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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Fall in Kyoto


Kyoto fall flowersFall has finally arrived in Kyoto. After a blistering September, temperatures finally dipped following a downpour two weekends ago. Kyoto, which is known for its brutal steamy summers, endured a particularly long hot summer.

In addition to cool evenings and the festival season, fall also brings a new crop of flowers.

Close to the Keifuku rail line in western Kyoto, an explosion of color has replaced what was a dull brown patch of weeds only weeks ago.

Behind these flowers, the trains run in front of the wall that separates the train tracks from a local elementary school. The mountains that ring Kyoto can be seen in the distance.

Below left are perhaps the most common fall flower: cosmos. They grow like weeds, and can reach six or seven feet.

Kyoto fall flowersIn addition, the cooler fall air is scented with kinmokusei (osmanthus). This plant blossoms in October and truly gives off a smell like a perfume.

Days are punctuated by deep blue skies, a cornucopia of color, and the scent of osmanthus.

Food seems to taste better, "aki aji" (fall flavor) beer fuller, and the days themselves sweeter.

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