My first autumn in Japan was a little disappointing. I’d heard much of the bright reds and vibrant yellows that fill the trees. It was, they promised me, as dramatic as the cherry blossom.
Quarantine robbed me of much of the wonder. By the time I was free to venture out of the house in Osaka, the “Koyo” had all but gone. A few trees here and there teased what could have been. They were dramatic in their own way, and worthy of being photographed endlessly by myself and what other few tourists found their way to Osaka Castle.
This year has been different. I’ve had the full majesty to enjoy. My bedroom window has framed a mountain side that’s changed from more shades of green than I thought possible, to waves of reds and yellows.
Then there have been the trips to spots much loved by locals eager to enjoy koyo. I’ve joined in with the (socially distanced) throngs gathering around trees with particularly spectacular displays. My camera has worked hard to capture hundreds of photographs. While some have moved quickly from tree to tree, as if documenting a museum’s exhibits, I’ve lingered, enjoying the light through the leaves, or the movement of branches lifted by breezes.
Around me there are plenty of trees still clinging to their brightly coloured foliage. The view from my bedroom window has become ever more spectacular. Yet there are signs the reds will soon turn to grey as leaves fall and bare branches exposed.
In a few short weeks, the greens will return, and the cycle of the seasons will continue as we pass through winter and into the rebirth of spring.