6 Reasons You Must Experience Autumn In Japan
Everyone talks about the beauties of Japan during its cherry blossoms season in spring, but seldom will someone speak highly of Japan during fall. Yet, I find Japan is the most beautiful during this season. Below, I will list all the reasons I love the Japanese fall season!
Wherever you are in Japan, there is an abundance of nature. Even in Tokyo there are several parks like Yoyogi Park and Shinjuku Gyōen National Garden that you can visit. There, you can witness a beautiful pallet of green, yellow, orange and red. This makes fall perfect for walks or runs. It’s important to stay fit and healthy when studying abroad. It can be very difficult to stay on track with the abundance of new kinds of food and the weekly student parties. So, why not use this change of scenery as some new motivation to go jogging. Then again, if you love food as much as I do, then this could even be the perfect opportunity for picnics! The Japanese don’t really picnic much in the fall season, but it stays warm long enough that it could still be an option!
The Japanese LOVE fall! Let’s just say that pretty much everything you can buy becomes fall themed. Every shop swaps its usual colour themes for reds, yellows and oranges, and even the food tastes of fall. (Think pumpkin spice and cinnamon on everything!)
When talking about seasons in Japan, one cannot forget about all the festivals surrounding them. Fall is no exception. Most of Japan’s fall festivals are local to a little village or city. All you need to do is Google your current location and add “fall festival”. A good website for local events is Timeout.
Last year, I went to the Mt Takao’s Autumn Leaves Festival. I wrote all about it in this blogpost about climbing a mountain alone. That was basically what I did – climb a mountain to commemorate the beauty of fall. None of my friends wanted to do anything that weekend, so I took matters into my own hands and went completely alone. The festival was absolutely beautiful! While hiking Mt Takao, you could admire the beautiful foliage and, along the way, you could find a ton of food stands selling dango (a Japanese sweet dumpling made from rice flower) and a ton of other delicious treats.
Normally, I don’t like travelling alone. But the moment I reached the top of the mountain all by myself, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I could stop and take pictures whenever I wanted, get lost, talk to strangers, stare at the view for as long as I wanted… that moment was absolutely perfect. Nature does do beautiful things to your mind and soul. I was completely at peace. Everything around me was coloured red, orange, yellow and still a bit of green here and there. When you live in a city like Tokyo, yes, there are still a few trees and parks here and there, but it’s not the same as just being overwhelmed by nature.
One of the best things about the Japanese fall season, is the good weather! When fall starts, the typhoon season (with all its rain) has passed and the sky clears up. It’s even pretty warm outside! Last year, I only started wearing a big winter coat around mid-December. This makes the scenery in Japan in this period even more beautiful. No need to worry too much about it raining and no need for too thick clothes yet. What’s more beautiful than the sun shining on those orange leaves? This was a complete new concept for me because where I’m from, fall season is a synonym for rain, cold and grey clouds.
Who doesn’t LOVE fall fashion?! I’ve always been a fan of #sweaterweather and #layers. But I must say that the Japanese have perfected this style to the T. When in Tokyo aka. one of the fashion capitols, the fall fashion styles don’t go unnoticed.
The most frequently seen styles can be described with a few key points:
- Berets or any other type of hat. When in Japan, you’ll notice the Japanese’s obsession with Paris is real (think: Eiffel Tower prints on pretty much everything you can imagine, pastry shops on every corner, the Tokyo Tower is basically a replica of the Eiffel Tower…). So, it won’t surprise you that the Japanese love berets and they’ve managed to make it into a fall staple piece. Besides the beret, big sun hats or baseball caps are very popular as well.
- Jacket-wise, three types of jackets really stand out. Number one is the trench coat. This classic, ultra-chic staple piece is by far the most popular. And beware! Wrinkled jackets are a no-no! Whenever you see a woman wearing a trench coat, they are beautifully ironed and the belt is knotted in a perfect bow in the back. Next, the bomber jacket. This is also a Japanese favourite. Dark blue, khaki green or black are popular colours for this type of jacket. And if it has a striking print in the back, even better! Third, are the over-sized denim jackets. In Shimokitazawa in Tokyo, there are tons of thrift shops where you can find beautiful vintage denim jackets.
- Now for sweaters. The Japanese are obsessed with oversized, funky sweaters. Any colour and any print you can imagine. The best ones have a cool quote on them. They usually wear these sweaters over a skirt or leggings, and if they’re wearing high-wasted jeans, they tuck the front in.
- Wide flared trousers or wide maxi skirts are a must. Whereas in Europe and the States, the norm is more to wear tight skinny jeans, in Japan, you’ll see more flared trousers than skinny ones. This can be in pretty much any fabric, although high waisted denim is the most popular.
- For shoes, in fall the Japanese love to sport their year-round favourite: sneakers. Especially if you live in Tokyo, sneakers are the best! You have to walk around so much every day that it makes sense that they made it into a must-have fashion piece. Platform booties are also super popular. This style can be mostly found around fashionable areas like Harajuku. Booties with heals are also very much loved, especially in Tokyo. Most Japanese women would wear heals everywhere for any occasion. But who can blame them? It makes any outfit look super chic.
Let’s not forget about one of the most fun events of the year: Halloween! Halloween is HUGE in Japan! It’s common knowledge that cosplay is a big thing in Japan, so it must come as no surprise that the Japanese love the excuse to dress up in their cosplays for Halloween as well. There are also a lot of places that get into the Halloween spirit: universities’ clubs often organise Halloween parties; night clubs definitely make use of the spooky holiday through Halloween-themed events; and Tokyo even holds a big Halloween event on the streets of Shibuya! If you are brave enough to face the big crowds, Shibuya is a must-see event. You’ll encounter the craziest and most fabulously cute costumes. Be sure to check it out!
There you have it! These are my top reasons why you must visit Japan during the fall. If you have any more suggestions about what to experience during fall time in Japan, be sure to let us know in the comments below!