I have always wanted to write a daily journal while I travelled. Ideally, at the end of each day, I would seat in front of my laptop in the hotel room to tag and organize photos I had taken on that day and write about interesting stuff I had encountered. Of course, my “good” intentions never amounted to anything. Otherwise, I would not be left with tens of thousands of photos grouped only by dates taken.
For the purpose of this blog, I have decided to write about the photos and videos that I will be working on instead of writing in the style of a journal to retell my past trips in chronological order. Now that I have started to write, I might have better luck during my next Kansai trip (which has been confirmed for eight days beginning 8th April, 2009, assuming my Kansai bug had not bitten me again before that) to really get into writing a journal.
Now, get back to the subject of this entry, the photo below depicts my first encounter with momiji:
The photo was taken on Saturday, 22nd November 2008 while I was trying to squeeze my way out of the platform of JR Saga Arashiyama Station (嵯峨嵐山駅). Arashiyama (嵐山) is one of the most popular momiji attractions in Kyoto (京都). In fact, as you can tell from the photo, the first thing that greeted me when I stepped out of the arriving train was a mountain blanketed in momiji. The second phenomenon that had awed me was the sea of people that had literally flooded Arashiyama, like below (click below to visit my “Arashiyama: Sea of People” album on Flickr):
I have visited Kansai in autumn before but I missed the momiji season every time. So, until my most recent trip in November, I had only seen either yellow or fallen leaves. But, don’t let my experience scares you. It is actually very easy to find the right timing and the right places to visit during the momiji season. If you google 紅葉, you will find many websites that feature interactive maps providing frequently updated information on the colouring stage of momiji throughout Japan. They also list momiji attractions together with information like getting there and rankings of popularity by readers. Because they provide forecast on the upcoming momiji season, they make very good planning tools for momiji trips. I have planned my last itinerary almost entirely based on information provided at http://kouyou.nihon-kankou.or.jp/ . The beauty of these sites is one doesn’t even have to know Japanese to comprehend because there are plenty of self-explanatory maps and pictures.
Next up is more momiji from Arashiyama.