Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness! Close bosom friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; ……
What a beautiful image of my favourite season. 🙂 I enjoy the weather. The scents. The low-hanging fruit. The colour! It’s my favourite time of year to travel too.
Spring comes second. It’s full of new life with flowers in full bloom. Its long days are a boon for the traveller. But I found out I was allergic to pollen the hard way when I visited friends in Hawaii, then in Edmonton, one spring. We drove in Canada and by the time we got to Victoria (after Calgary, Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise, Vancouver), my eyes had swelled to the proportion of the compound eyes of a fly! 😯 Needless to say, I was an ugly sight saved only by the bug-shaped sunnies covering my eyes! Irony that. 😀
Winter’s very difficult to pack for. Then there’s the stripping off and putting on the layers when you go into the heated indoors or step outside again. Very “mah fun”. I mean “leceh”. Ok that didn’t help either. 😛 Er… inconvenient, I guess, would come closest to it. Winter’s rather bleak too with its short days and leaveless trees. It’s like life being snuffed out.
I hate humid, clammy weather. I’ve been told I melt in the heat. Not that I didn’t know. 🙄 I feel every bead of sweat that contributes to the puddle. And since I melt all the time at home, summer is a season I don’t plan any travels for, unless it’s duty travel.
So autumn, pregnant with the scent of luscious harvests and peppered with hues of warm reds, oranges and browns is my preferred choice for travel. England – London, Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford, Cotswold, Bath, Lake District; Scotland – Loch Lomond, Perth (yes in Scotland), Glasgow, Edinburgh; New Zealand – Christchurch, Kaikoura, Alpine Triangle, Mount Cook, Queenstown, Lake Te Anau, Milford Sound, Fox Glaciers, tranz alpine track back to Christchurch; Australia – Perth, Margaret River, Denmark (yes in Western Australia), Pemberton, Cape Leeuwin, Albany, were places I visited in Autumn. Don’t mind the list. I’m just trying to remind myself of these places as most of my photos were lost in a laptop mishap off the mistake of HP! 😡 ..sigh..
Anyway, I had the privilege of visiting a friend in Nagoya last Autumn and enroute, I went to Takayama and Shirakawa-go, then later to Tokyo and Hakone. Since I have these photos, I thought I’d journal and post some of them. 🙂 Today it’ll be Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shirakawa-go is famed for its gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Some more than 250 years old. “Gassho-zukuri” means like hands in prayer. The sloping eaves is designed to withstand heavy snowfall the region experiences in winter. The roofs made without nails provided large attic spaces to cultivate silkworms. It takes 200 men over two days to re-thatch the roof every 30 to 40 years.
Children at play….
Hearkens back to the days when we used to catch “longkang” (drain) fish, spiders and other games we dreamt up. Made the rules up as we went along.
She suddenly straightened (see previous picture).
Saw me… Came closer and closer. Right up to me The observer became the observed 🙂 Then just as suddenly, off she ran to play. They were collecting leaves and stones from the drain and lining them up to be dried. What simple pleasures! 🙂 There was also a camera-shy third party 😛 playing with the girls. I presume they are siblings. I finally caught him in action. He was already running off as I snapped this.
Along a shaded path near the summit, I saw an artist at work. From his vantage point, he was painting the most recognised view of Shirakawa-go. He stopped to chat as I took photos of him at work. Yes, he spoke English and knew Singapore is an independent city state and not part of China. 😛
View from the top
I hear they light up the village in winter. Sounds magical! Tempting. Winter notwithstanding.
Shirakawa-go is 50 minutes by bus from Takayama – home of the Hida beef! 🙂 The morning that I was to leave for Shirakawa-go, it was misty in Takayama. I could hardly see beyond 10 metres from my room window. Bummer right!? Cos I couldn’t imagine much of any view from any viewpoint. But the choice was sure mist in Takayama or hopeful mist-less Shirakawa-go. I chose hope. 🙂 Checked out and trudged to the bus station to get my ticket. The mist followed us 😦 until a miraculous burst of sunlight 20 minutes into the journey then it was cloudless blue skies all the way. 🙂 So can’t complain that the pictures, particularly from the viewpoint are a little harsh (it was close to 11am) cos the sunlight was pouring down on an 18-degree celcius ground temperature! Brilliant! 🙂 from the bus… first burst of sunshine! 🙂 I digress… it was just to explain the rather harsh light of the viewpoint pics (besides being pixelated too due to “zoom”). Back to blue skies and idyllic village moments 😎
Largest bonsai i’ve seen
back at the start….