I have a love-hate relationship with seasons in Japan, at least in south Kansai. On one hand, autumn and spring in Kansai are gorgeous (winter is known as “cold and bare without snow to make it pretty”, and summer has two categories: “wet, muggy, and mosquito-filled”, or “not raining, but still muggy and mosquito-filled”). On the other, the locals here still insist that Japan is the only country in the world to have four seasons.
“How do you like living somewhere that has four seasons?” they ask me, beaming. “I know that Canada is always cold.”
I laugh, and tell them that Ontario has four distinct, beautiful seasons. I remind them that Canada’s national symbol is the maple leaf, which is beloved in Japan. If we have time, I pull out my photos of home and show them pictures of my house in rural Ontario, bedecked with purple blossoms in the spring; yellow and red lilies in the summer; the maple trees abalze in winter; waist-high snow and homemade snow forts in the yard in winter.
But I will admit, for all that, that Japan has some of the prettiest autumn scenes I’ve come across.