Four Reasons to Love Japan’s Four Seasons!
This is an English article written by Rocelle, my coeditor of the blog coming from Philippine to Japan.
Coming from a different country with a very different weather cycle, seeing how Japan’s scenery changes with each coming season is a delight to the eyes and senses!
1. Spring Flower Power!
Spring is the most beautiful season of all, in my own opinion! It may be true too, as spring symbolizes beginnings! Beautiful flowers begin to blossom one at a time!
About two weeks ago, I came across a flower which was bright pink in color emerging from a seemingly dead tree. I took a closer look and smelled it to make sure if it was real! And indeed it was! It looked like the famous sakura but it turns out that it was ume! One of the early flowers to bloom that signals the coming of spring!
Not satisfied with only seeing one tree in some corner, I hungered to see more of the flowers. And so I went my way to Nagoya Castle having heard that there are about a hundred of them around its gardens.
Having seen and encountered these beautiful trees, I searched for more information about it! I learned that in Japanese gardens they are planted at the North East side as it is believed it wards off evil. And so true to its word, after having ridden a train to Nagoya to see them, I recently discovered there is one Ume tree in our CEO’s garden, next to our apartment!
In one of my afternoon walks, I also stumbled upon an ume farm! I feel like I have an endless luck in finding more of these flowers.
Just this week, I also saw a tree closely resembling a sakura. I have seen the blossom forecast of sakura and the earliest will be sometime in the last week of March. However, the sakura I have seen this week is indeed one of its varieties that blooms the earliest, they call it the Kazawa Sakura.
They line up a narrow street near a creek! Not all of them are in bloom yet so I will check them back later this week! 🙂
I cannot wait to see the full bloom of the famous Somei Yoshino and have a picnic under it.
Summer is that time when the sun sets later and one can enjoy a stroll under lingering sunset hues.
It is also a time for the most awaited festival of the year, Natsu Matsuri. Food-stall line the streets and dancing, too! This coming Natsu Matsuri, try the traditional Bon Odori dance as it is fun!
Also, flowers in this time of the year are aplenty! Having seen both sakuras and umes of spring, summer flowers may pale in comparison yet they are as beautiful and pleasant!
3. Autumn! Chilly, windy autumn!
The wind begins to change course and blows colder as days go by. Days are shorter and sunsets are hardly seen as it has already gone after working hours.
Tsukimi! Or Full Moon Viewing festival is also observed during the autumn season. It normally falls on the 15th of September! This festival also symbolizes that autumn halfway through and soon it is winter!
And there are the autum leaves! Climbing up mountains to see them from above is one of the fun autumn activities!
And cosmos flowers grow in the wild and bloom aplenty! They are said to be the “cherry blossoms of autumn” in Japan! Hmmm, interesting!
4. Winter! Bitter wind and snow in between!
For some people, especially foreigners coming from hot countries, the cold is not very much appreciated. Although playing in the snow has always been one in the bukcet list!
Winter time is happy time for people who love winter sports! Snowboarding and skiing are the most favored! Although I have not tried any of those yet but I do have a friend who used to teach snowboarding and can attest that the fun one can experience in such undertaking is unequalled! He may write an article about it too! 笑！
5. Very lovely isn’t it?
As a foreigner in this strange and beautiful land, I feel at home amidst the changing colours of the mountains and clouds and sunsets. I feel at home at each flower and tree that blooms and dies at the turn of each season! In Japan, I am home.
(Photos are by the author unless otherwise indicated. =))