This past weekend, I celebrated my belated birthday by
dragging taking my family on a hike to nearby Takao-san. Due to our son’s sports schedule, most of our weekends in September and October were taken up attending high school sporting events, but as it turned out it was a blessing in disguise. November, particularly late November, is prime season for Autumn foliage and we were amazed at the spectacular show of God’s artistry in nature.
Of course, if we know November is prime season, you can imagine the rest of the residents of the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan area also know. Hiking Takao-san on a three-day Autumn weekend is like a quiet walk in nature with 50,000 of your closest friends. Fortunately, Japanese people are generally so polite and the environment so breathtaking, even the crowds are not a huge distraction.
Unlike California where the Fall seems to last for a week or two, the season stretches out from early October and continues into December here in Japan. Some places in Tokyo, the leaves have only begun to turn while other places (particularly north of Tokyo), the Fall colors have already come and gone. It’s wonderful to be able to enjoy the full season of Autumn in all its splendor before the reality of a cold Winter comes next month!