The lost beauty of the red foliage

The imperfect beauty




Kyoto did not get to enjoy its best fall this year. The untimely hurricane struck as soon as the cherry blossom leaves turned red, and cruelly blew all the red leaves away; it is a rather saddening scene seeing the beautifully colored leaves floating in puddles. The riverbanks of Okazaki Sosui River near Heian Shrine and Kamo River along Demachiyanagi are usually filled with lines of bright red leaves, this year, however, the trees along the banks were mostly leafless.

“I was hoping for some more charming red foliage this year,” a lady suddenly talked to me when I was taking a stroll. She was rather disappointed as she came all the way from Hyōgo Prefecture to view the fall foliage. In fact, people were more or less let down by the fall every year — last year was too warm, the leaves withered before they got a chance to turn red. The trees were covered by a not-so-appealing mix of green, red and withered leaves. As for the year before, the red leaves all fell to the ground because of the prolonged heavy rain. There always seems to be some reasons that’d affect the supposedly beautiful fall foliage.

Which year has the most stunning fall foliage? Perhaps many would similarly share such an imagination like mine. That would be a sunny fall with clear blue sky, temperature has slightly dropped and yet the weather is still so pleasant for enjoying the view of bright red maple leaves, cherry blossom trees, and the vivid yellow gingko. When saying “I was hoping for some more charming red foliage this year, perhaps we are simply reminiscing the scenery from the bygone days, hoping for a better year ahead, and recollecting the imperfection of the year we had.