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Japan Fall Foliage Memory by Yu Chen-yuan (Japanese new immigrant)

Delicious maple leaf tempura Spring, summer, fall, and winter, Japan’s climate created distinctive sceneries in all four seasons. In the autumn, when the summer heat dissipates into cool breeze, Japan is rendered gold, red and orange by the brightly colored maple leaves. Because japan archipelago is elongated that stretches from the north to the south, maple leaves start changing color up north and gradually move down south. Between mid-October and mid-December, fall foliage can be enjoyed all over Japan. Much like the cherry blossoms represents spring in Japan, brilliant maple leave is synonymous with autumn.
Beautiful Minoo Falls
The cool weather in the autumn is great for many different activities. Field days are held by schools across Japan in the autumn, and it is also the time of rice harvesting. Hence, autumn is called “season of sports,” “season of appetite,” and “season of reading.” In Japanese theirs is a common expression called “the taste of autumn,” and it would often remind me of ingredients available in the fall, namely Pacific saury, sweet potatoes, chestnuts, and pumpkin.

I love sweet desserts. Whenever I walked around supermarkets and convenience stores in fall, I would see many sweet potato and chestnut flavored snacks that are only available in fall. They are delicious and the packaging is usually adorable, and I would often pick up a few of them!

As an Osaka native, the fall leaves viewing spot I am most familiar with is Minoo Falls. Minoo Falls is not only known for its beautiful natural sceneries, it is also a great place to enjoy local seasonal cuisine, maple leaf tempura.

I once asked the shop staff if they go out and pick maple leaves for tempura everyday. They explained to me that the maple leaves they use to make the tempura are from the trees they planted. They pick the leaves and use salt to preserve them. In this way, visitors will be able to enjoy maple leaf tempura all year round.
The weather of autumn is cool, and there are autumn foliage and seasonal foods to be enjoyed, which makes autumn great for outdoor activities. I hope all of you can find time to go out and view the red maple leaves and enjoy the fall.