Photo Fridays! Take 7: fall colours in Dakigaeri Gorge, Akita, Japan

Dakigaeri Gorge, Kakunodate

Gorgeous Dakigaeri Gorge in all its colourful glory.

This photo celebrates the first day of fall, my favourite season in Japan and Canada, and the season I moved to Japan.

My first trip outside Akita City that wasn’t for work was to Dakigaeri Gorge. My friend and I took a local train to Kakunodate and then a rickety, old bus to the gorge. The fall colours were spectacular and reflected beautifully in the lake. Here’s to autumn!

Distinct seasons are a hallmark of some communities in Japan and Canada. Do you have a fall season in your current or past home? What distinguishes it from other seasons?

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30 thoughts on “Photo Fridays! Take 7: fall colours in Dakigaeri Gorge, Akita, Japan

    • Thank you! I agree. Autumn has something about it that makes me happy. The decaying leaves, the colors, the sun feels and looks different, the sweaters come out in the evening but it’s still warm enough some days for t-shirts… it feels like a time for beginnings. I’ve never been to NY or Vermont. I take it fall would be a perfect time to visit?? 🙂

    • Thank you! That fall day was incredible. I still have very fond memories of it and started to understand why fall is as revered as it is in the parts of Japan that experiences it like that. I want to explore your blog more but for now, where is the header pic from? It reminds me of Tazmania!

      • Thanks for checking out my blog 🙂 My header image is from the West Coast National Park here in South Africa! It one of my favorite places to visit here 🙂 I hope to go to Japan next year! I’m already saving up!

        • No problem! I do want to read more. I’ve had a few friends visit SA over the years and its beauty comes up a lot. Where would you like to go in Japan? I’m excited to hear what you are interested in doing!

          • I think I’ll end up going for ten days some time around the end of April next year. I’ll have to start off with the main two places, Tokyo and Kyoto. I want to experience all the cultural (modern and old) aspects and especially the food! Do you have any recommendations on smaller places to visit? I might want to see Osaka too…

            • Wonderful! The end of April is a great time to go. It’s easy to see the old and new anywhere, even in Tokyo. And the food… swoon! Try it all!

              Okay, smaller places. Well, Tokyo has many great neighborhoods off the beaten path if you want to get away from the touristy areas. We lived in Adachi Ward and my favorite areas are Oji Station and the nearby park in Kita Ward, the back streets in a certain section of Kita Ward (I can give maps if you like!), Heart Island, Kitasenju and area, and the main shrine in Adachi Ward. The back streets around Ikebukuro Station are fun to explore. Kyoto’s back streets are also a blast. Do you see a theme here? 😀 Wandering and seeing ordinary life makes me happiest. What do you like to do best when you’re travelling? I can then possibly make some different suggestions.

              As for smaller places, Japan is pretty easy to get around, to a point. Since you have 10 days and if you plan to split it halfway into Tokyo and Kyoto, you’ll likely have no trouble filling every single second inside the city limits alone. If you want to venture outside, there are many easy day trips like Osaka and Kobe from Kyoto. I love Kobe. It’s got a great vibe. From Tokyo, Mount Takao is fantastic, even though it can be crawling with people. You get the typical crowded Japanese hiking experience though and it’s a great place to spend the day. Kamakura and Kawagoe can be crowded but again, fun to see and very walkable. Of course, there’s the Fuji tromp but heading to Nikko and checking out Nantai-san (Mt. Nantai) is another way to get a full-day exhausting hiking experience with far fewer people. Hmmm… maybe I should write a post?? Feel free to ask anything! If hubby and I don’t know, we’ve got some contacts who likely will.

              • Whaaa!! Thanks for the awesome tips!! I love nature so would love to do a hiking trip 🙂 I’m planning to go alone but I’ve heard Japan is one of the safest places for solo female travelers! I love back streets and going off the beaten path! This sounds perfect. I’m totally interested in Ikebukuro…I wish I can go already! I feel like I will have to do a lot of planning so will scan your blog for tips. Budget wise it’s pretty expensive for us South Africans so I want to make sure I save enough so that I can see and do everything. What airport would be the best to fly to with easy transportation into town? Most of the flight deals head to Haneda and not Narita. How did you manage to get work as a foreigner in Japan?

                • No problem! I guess I should eventually pull these into a blog post, eh? As for going alone, it’s wise to keep your wits about you anywhere. My comfort level is to hike with at least one other person in case I break my leg but one of my relatives (in Japan) always hikes alone. Somewhere like Mt. Takao is likely not an issue if you stick to main trails but Nantai needs a buddy. Then there’s joining a (Japanese) group for Fuji, which hubby and I did! That’s great that you’re into nature and out of the way places! I will keep thinking of places for you.

                  Haneda is within Tokyo whereas Narita is in another city. Both have great transportation but Narita is quite a bit farther in some ways, especially if you’re taking the budget route. If you have extra cash, it’s quick on the express trains. It depends where you want to go in Tokyo, too but if the deals are going into Haneda, it’s no issue.

                  I scoured the internet looking for smaller schools with decent reputations where I could teach English. They had to be in northern Japan so I could snowboard. 😀 I applied to one school and got hired. I stayed with them for two years before finding my own job at a different school in Tokyo. Are you interested in working in Japan, too?

  1. Stunning photo! I’ve only been to Akita for work, once, but I’d like to visit again, and your photo just made that feeling stronger. ^^
    I just found your blog… but it’s bad timing! I’m dying to check out your other photos and posts, but off to juku I go. T-T Hoping to see more of your work soon!

    • Thank you! I have a soft spot for Akita as it was the first place I lived. There really is a lot to do there although it wasn’t spoken of favourably at the time. Maybe it’s changed??
      Thanks so much for your kind words! I’ve taken a quick look at your blog, too. I found it ages ago and then somehow unfollowed it or never followed it in the first place and then finally got around to following after seeing your comments here and there. 😀 I look forward to hearing what you think and to reading more of your work!

      • Hmm, I think Akita is mostly off people’s radars still, although the prefecture has been doing a lot of promotion lately! I have a friend from there so I’ve always been curious, but I’d love to explore more. I’ll have a look through your other posts to see if you have any recommended spots there! (If not, then I’ll look forward to seeing them in the future. 🙂 )

        I think I had the same thingーI remember seeing a comment by you on another blog and being curious, but I think I got confused over how to actually get to your homepage from your commenter profile page. <- Worked this time, and am now following you, so… yoroshiku! 🙂

        • Interesting about not being a place people would want to visit. I’m glad to hear they are doing more promotion though! Thanks for the idea too about recommended spots! I should collaborate with my friend from there who moved back with her hubby from Tokyo. If it weren’t for them moving back, I would never have met them and they never would have introduced me to my hubby. 😀 I’m going to put together a photos of Akita post soon all due to you!

  2. Hi Hilary….gorgeous photo!! Love the fall colors. Our weather has turned and the river valley is lovely, but it doesn’t have the lovely reds and lush undergrowth that appears in your photo. Maybe due to a humid climate??

  3. Such an amazing burst of colors! We also have fall in Denmark, but in Dubai, there’s only one season, and that’s summer:) I guess fall in Denmark is much like fall in Japan and Canada, but the weather here is probably worse, as it’s often very windy and rainy.

    • Thank you! I thought the colours were incredible. While I grew up seeing mostly yellows and greens with the occasional orange and red in Canada, I’d never seen anything like this! Ah yes, wind and rain are not always the most cheerful combination. Does it get cold as well?

  4. That picture is so beautiful. I love the colors of red, orange, and yellow peeking through the green.

    I really miss the changing of the seasons, especially fall. Taiwan does experience a subtle changing of the seasons but it is not as dramatic and substantial as Canada. I actually wrote a post about how I miss fall in Canada – feel free to check it out if you want to.

    http://foreignsanctuary.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/daydreaming-reminising-about-the-perfect-fall/

    • Thank you! It’s a real kaleidoscope for my eyes and I love it. 🙂

      Oh, I can imagine! I would really miss that, too. While I certainly got used to it, and without much protest, when I was in Thailand and Australia for seven months, the drawn out sense of summer seemed odd at first. I will definitely check out your post!

  5. Wow, amazing colours!
    I feel that here in London there is no real distinction between seasons. It all seems to blend in a sort of grey cloudy middling weather all year round with suddenly a heatwave or heavy snow fall to shake us out of our routine…

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