“I think there are few things as beautiful as Kyoto in November.” – Sato-sensei
I won’t complain about the weather. I’ve done what I can to winterize my flat. And, thankfully, my kerosene heater doesn’t make me ill. Moreover, the cold weather so far hasn’t been too harsh, though January and February are just around the corner. The cold weather has arrived and I will take on the aspect of a bear – warm and strong and enduring.
When discussing my move to Japan with my professor, she indirectly asked me to promise her I’d go to Kyoto in November. And I did, twice.
I took a five day trip at the start of November. The weather was just beginning to turn cool. The Autumn colors (koyo) were beginning to show. I visited more temples than I can count and walked so much I wore holes into two pairs of pants.
The best find was an Irish pub called Gael’s. I happened upon it on Friday evening when they had live music. A pint of Guinness, fish and chips, and a chocolate sundae. Welcome to Kyoto!
While at my hostel, I made friends with people from Taiwan, The Netherlands, and all over Japan. Most interesting was a young Japanese girl who was quite a fan of Fidel Castro.
Since I’d hit Kyoto a little early for full force koyo, I made a second trip at the end of November. A shorter trip – only three days, but the city was awash in red, gold, and orange. I also spent more than I should have on hand made Japanese paper.
Autumn in Japan is nothing short of stunning. The gardens of Okayama Castle are sharp red and as gold as a dragon’s trove. Even the hills of my small mountain town are ablaze with Autumn.
Sato-sensei, thank you. In some ways I feel that Autumn in Japan is a gift from you.