Hello all! Hope you’re doing well. I noticed this week as I was biking to school that the beautiful Japanese maples are now in full colour, so this morning I went to work early and spent half an hour taking pictures at my favourite spots!
Every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I bike past and over Tatebayashi Tsutsuji (Azalea) Park. It’s a gorgeous place: in the spring, the paths are lined with trees bursting with cherry blossoms, and in the summer you can wander through mazes of vivid azaleas and gorgeous irises.
It’s no less beautiful in the fall! Just as Japan has a word for spring blossom viewing (hanami), they also have a word for the changing of leaves in autumn: kōyō. I had high hopes for our Kyoto trip at the beginning of the month, but unluckily we were just a little too early! Luckily, Tatebayashi has some beautiful places if you know where to look.
The first place I stopped by was a beautiful little area called Kyū Akimoto Bettei. Interestingly, it has several rows of cherry blossom trees that also bloom in the winter!
Despite being right off a busy intersection, this place somehow manages to remain separate and ethereal.
From there I went to my favourite shrine, Obiki Inari. There are a few beautiful Japanese maples just near the entrance.
The grounds themselves were quiet and misty this morning. It was so very peaceful.
I would have loved to go farther in, but by this time it was 8:20 and I had only 10 minutes to get to school! (Though my school is less than 5 minutes from the shrine, I didn’t want to cut it too close!) I’ll have to go again sometime soon.
I’ve recently been missing shooting with film. Unfortunately, I don’t have the resources right now for it, but it has inspired me to take out my instax instant camera again! I found some pictures from a few years ago I’d taken when I first got it. Somehow, having tangible visual evidence of the past has really motivated me to take more pictures. I’ve been trying to document different places around Tatebayashi with the knowledge that, depending on whether or not we decide to move back to the States next spring or summer, a year from now this place might simply be a memory for me.
I think my only regret in regards to this blog is that I didn’t start it sooner! I’ve been here for four years, but only since writing this blog have I really started going out of my way to see the beauty around me here in Tatebayashi.
’Til next time! またね！