Seasons in Japan

It has been 3 years since I left Japan, yet I remember it fondly as one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived. Each season brings its own unique beauty, each as delicate as the next.

In the fall you can make the journey to Mino to see this gorgeous waterfall enshrouded in foliage. The Japanese even have a term for going to look at the leaves in fall: this is called Momiji. And not only do you get to see these fiery leaves outshine the sun, but you also get to eat them. Crispy and delicious, the Momiji Tempura is a must try at Mino.

Oh what fun it is to play in the leaves.

Koya-san, the high and holy city of Japan, is also best visited in the fall. Surrounded by mountains, Koya-san has an unearthly feel about it. The air is sharper but cleaner, and from the main gate, you can see a tapestry of the rainbow folding in the valleys below you. Here, an old couple enjoys the leaves at one of the many temples in Koya-san.

There are plenty of monasteries to stay in where they will serve you a gigantic traditional vegetarian meal and wake you up before dawn for meditation. From there you can take your time exploring this holy city or just rest and take in the serene atmosphere.

The most notable place to visit is the mausoleum. To get there, pilgrims walk through an eerie cemetery filled with decorated stone dolls. You must pause at the fountain of ablution to cleanse yourself before continuing across the bridge to where Kobodaishi still sits in eternal meditation. With winter comes the snow, and the nation is covered in a blanket of powder. The delectable temples, coated with a thin layer of icing, beckon invitingly to shivering visitors.

At Ginkakuji, the silver temple of Kyoto, the Zen garden’s dusty patterns come to life with the day’s infusion of snow.

A good place to hit the slopes as well as the annual Yuki Matsuri or snow festival is in Hokkaido. To warm up from the days activities, you can hit up an onsen or public bath where you can alternate between soaking in the hot sulphuric water and rolling around naked in the surrounding snow. Sapporo teems with ice sculptures of all shapes and sizes. There are some gigantic ones of buildings and a strange mish-mash of seemingly unrelated objects.

As you meander through the rows, you will definitely spot a few popular cartoon characters and a few unexpected things.

If you’re lucky, you might catch some scantily clad teenagers dancing away on an ice stage.

And of course, Hokkaido is famous for seafood. You must try all manner of sashimi at any of the local kaiten sushi places, miso ramen, and freshly caught crab.

In a nearby town, you can see artisans blowing glass globules. At night each globules contains a tiny candle and can be found floating over the water, like a reflection of the starry sky.

As snow melts into spring, people start obsessively checking the hanami forecast online to be ready for when the cherry blossoms are at their peak.

Then it’s time to whip out the sake and bentos for an afternoon picnic under the powdery pink and white sakura that line the riverbanks.

Maruyama Park is one of Kyoto’s most popular spots for a picnic.

These gorgeous blossoms represent the beautiful yet ephemeral nature of life for the Japanese and they treat this precious season accordingly, enjoying it to the full while it lasts.

As with the leaves in fall, you can view the sakura lit up in temples around the city at night. If you can get a ticket to the concert, at Heian Shrine you can combine hanami with beautiful music.

Summer brings with her sunshine, making the the leaves glimmer like emeralds. Now it is time to bike to the river and read a book under the shade. Or for the more adventurous, a trip to the country. Biking along dirt roads, you will see rice field after gleaming rice field, the world an unreal shade of green. Stop and sample some local udon or ramen.

Summer is a good time to visit Wakayama for the beaches, rocky shoreline, forests, and of course onsen where you can cook your own eggs while you bathe. It’s never too hot for a boiling dip in Japan!

Temples and Tori gates glow bright orange, like beacons seen from afar.


About Jean C Wong

I am a world traveler, writer, photographer, and teacher. I've lived all over the world and speak 5 languages.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Last morning of the 4 week youth series at @tszshanmonastery . Beautiful morning sunrise yoga and seriously the most delicious vegan char siu bao I have ever tasted. Yummy breakfast, gorgeous ✌️!
In Yoga Asana as in life, we all have weak areas that we can identify where we most need to focus our tapas or work on. For me, it’s internal rotation. Experimenting and moving gently this morning I found a sweet spot in half reclining hero. My body is afraid of it and I have been subconsciously avoiding it. Time to tap into my resistance and live consciously, with a growth mindset. Find your resistance and melt into it with joy. #faceyourfear #openup #virasana #tapas #letgo #practiceyoga #yogais #growth #consciousliving #findyoursweetspot 📷: @babnikmatt
I love Martha and her gongs. She puts her heart and soul into every performance and made it her mission to share gong therapy with the world. I truly admire her dedication and devotion to her mission. If you’re in Hong Kong make sure you pay a visit to @reddoorsstudio or go to one of her events. It’s truly an epic experience! Not affiliated with Red Doors- just a happy customer ❤️😍 #gong #soundtherapy #goodvibes #healing #vibration #sound #om #alignment #chakra
On a rainy day embrace the rain and play. Or stay dry and share your umbrella with your friends. As many as you can fit under it .......... 🌧 ☔️ 👭 .......... #rainydays #rainyseason #share #friends
What a setup of yin and yang style singing bowls for powerful healing sound therapy. With the strong vibrations your mind and body immediately feel the benefit. For me the rewards of Asana are greater but more gradual and carry different and more profound benefits. But sometimes we’re just plain bear and need a little pick me up. This is where sound therapy, steam sauna, sattvic music, or float can help. Just relax and let yourself heal. #wow #singingbowl #soundtherapy #🙏 #powerofsound #om #healing #chakra #tuneup #energy #energyhealing #sound
Excited to join @biteunite and @sharedspacehk for this exciting collaborative event on Sunday. #movement #parkour #brunch #fitness #fun #familyfriendly #hkmovement #move Reposted via: Bite Unite JOIN US FOR PARKOUR THIS SUNDAY! 🤸🏻‍♂️💥 Once again, we’re teaming up with our wonderful friends at @sharedspacehk to bring you a FUN, ACTIVE morning of fitness and food! We will start with a 60 minute outdoor movement class, including stretches and simple parkour movements, and end with a delicious spread of healthy goodies, prepared by chef Catherine of @puravidahkg Hong Kong and Chef Mia of @tizzyshots This event is suitable for ladies and gents of all ages and fitness levels. Please make sure to wear shoes you can run and jump in, and a towel for afterwards! RSVP NOW ON BITEUNITE.COM (go to the event page!)
Good Morning Hong Kong 🇭🇰 !!! If you haven’t yet signed up for the 30 Day Challenge with @babnikmatt over at @sharedspacehk , head over to his profile (link in bio) and do it now. Don’t miss this chance to jumpstart your day with an energising morning practice. One week left! The countdown begins... #betterthancoffee #wakeup #yogaprogress #yogapratice #practice #yogateacher #om #practiceandalliscoming #instayoga #🤸🏻‍♂️ #hkyoga #boysofyoga #yoga #yogi #🧘🏻‍♂️ #yogaboy #yogapose #yogisofinstagram #yogaeverydamnday #yogaeverywhere #yogaeveryday #dailyyoga #yogalove #iloveyoga #yogagram #fitness #health #progressnotperfection #teacherlove #🕉
FREEDOM: Yoga teaches me how to break free from the patterns of my past and those of previous generations. When I got on my mat for the first time I felt relief to finally be able to do something real and take the first steps to breaking free. @yogaglo #yogais #internationalyogaday @amyippoliti #🙏 #moksha #freedom
Thanks to @sh1nhui for taking such good care of the kiddos while mama got to enjoy the singing bowl healing and meditation. 🧘🏻‍♀️ #🙏 #mademyday #teacherlove #❤️ #happyyogaday
Delicious coconut 🥥 smoothie family date to seal our afternoon on International Yoga Day. Thanks @babnikmatt for joining me on this amazing yoga journey 5 years ago. We’ve come a long way. I ❤️U! #internationalyogaday #crossculture #family #familygoals #teatime #thaifood #coconut
%d bloggers like this: