Hi, it’s Derek from Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi. Today, I’m going to compare autumn in Japan and autumn in my home country, Canada. Let’s get started!
When It Is
Autumn in Canada typically runs from early September through November, but this can vary by region. In Japan, autumn runs from mid-September through early December depending on the region. In Tsukaguchi, Amagasaki autumn weather normally starts at the end of September. However this year, it was unusually hot and it started in October.
Canadian and Japanese Maples
Canada has the Canadian Maple and Japan has the Japanese Maple. While both Maples, they are of a different species. Canadian Maples are much taller, often growing over 100 feet tall. Japanese Maples tend to be shorter, normally reaching about 30 feet in height. Also, Canadian Maple leaves are bigger and shaped differently from Japanese Maple leaves. In addition, Canadian Maples are used to make maple syrup, whereas Japanese ones are not. However, both species offer a variety of leaf colors that are very pretty in autumn.
While colorful maple leaves are enjoyed by Canadians in Canada, we don’t have a special term for viewing them. Japanese do. They call it momijigari, literally “red leaf hunting”. In fall, Japanese enjoy going out to look for and enjoy the beautiful maple leaf colors. Arashiyama is Kyoto is a famous place for doing this. Red leaves are also enjoyed at or around shrines and temples which create a nice atmosphere. Over the years, I have held several momijigari events for my Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi students. You can read about some of them by clicking here and also here.
If you ask me about Canadian autumn dishes, the only thing that comes to mind is pumpkin pie in October. I asked my students at my English school in Tsukaguchi about Japanese autumn dishes. Some things they mentioned were sanma (Pacific saury), chestnut rice and baked sweet potatoes. They also mentioned Matsutake, a special mushroom that grows only in fall. Although very expensive, it offers an earthy, strong, spicy taste and aroma which people enjoy.
While both Canadian and Japanese autumns offer lovely autumn leaf colors, the surroundings can be quite different, giving different atmospheres. So I think it’s good to experience both Canadian and Japanese autumns.
Happy red leaf hunting! (^.^)