Review: The Beauty of Autumn in Japan

Sorry for the rather sporadic posting on here the past few weeks. Since moving to Tokyo, I feel like life is moving at warp speed. Especially since it’s foliage season, I hate to spend my days in front of the computer. I’d like to think that when winter really rolls around, I’ll be happier to spend more time in my cozy living room, but I suppose that remains to be seen. 🙂

autumnSpeaking of fall foliage, today’s book review is The Beauty of Autumn in Japan by Katsushiko Mizuno. It’s a 127 pages of gorgeous, foliage-themed photos from various neighborhoods around Kyoto. The author opens the book with a brief essay on the nature and characteristics of maple trees and what role they play in the scenery of Kyoto. The remainder of the book is divided into seventeen different Kyoto neighborhoods, with each chapter featuring a number of famous and lesser-known spots.

What did I like about this book? Ummm, hello? Do you know me? 🙂 Foliage nut, right here. I bought this book last year just before Christmas, when the leaves had all departed from the trees in Kyushu and I was thoroughly missing my daily dose of red. The photos are all full page (well, almost – a white border is left around the outside where the caption is written) and the shots are a good mix of full scenes mixed with close-ups. I was pleasantly surprised to learn of a few new destinations for maples that I hadn’t heard of much elsewhere, such as Nison-in in the Arashiyama area and Ryogin-an near Tofuku-ji.

What didn’t I like about this book? To be honest, did you ever feel like you could write a certain book yourself? I might not do as good a job but, as my husband pointed out, I certainly have enough foliage photos to try and at the cost of this book, it might have been more economical to attempt to create my own. The listed price of the book is 3400, not exactly a bargain. But if you are a lover of autumn and in need of a new coffee table book, this would be an attractive piece to peruse … especially when the snow lies thick on the ground and fall’s splendid foliage feels a long way off.

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