Today excepted, this whole past week here in Tamura has been a week of non-stop wonderful weather. In fact, it was so nice that I (Mike) couldn’t resist taking the digital camera to work and finally climbing up the hundred or so steps to the top of a local park to get a better look at the town of Takine. I spotted that park two weeks ago from the grounds of Takine Jr. High School, and I said to myself, “Self, that would be a great place to take some pictures!” So this past Wednesday I climbed up there twice–once in the morning and once in the afternoon, and got some great pictures of autumn here in this part of Japan. Allow me to give you the guided tour…

Autumn in Takine 1

Welcome to Atagoyama Park ! It’s a great little place. Even the sign is beautiful–lots of moss and natural colors and textures and such. Miyazaki would be proud! Get ready for some serious stairs, though–it’s probably at least a hundred steps to reach the top. It’s definitely a good workout, but it’s worth it.

Autumn in Takine 2

See? What did I tell you? It’s still a little cloudy , but I sort of think that the shadows on the ground make for a cool contrast-y effect. Besides, it’ll clear up later, I’m sure of it. By the way, that big long white building in the foreground is Takine Junior High School, where I work. Cool, eh?

Autumn in Takine 3

Here’s another view of Takine . We’re facing about due west here. Look at the variety of trees on those hills–the green of the evergreen trees and the brown and yellow from the other trees creates a cool sort of mottled effect. Oh, and that bright blue building with the steeple is the train station where I embark and disembark every day. Tell you what–let’s come back later, when it’s sunnier, Ok? I think the view will be even better.

Autumn in Takine 4

See, wasn’t that worth the wait? Look at that sky–amazing. This kind of weather is what the Japanese call koharu biyori –an indian summer. (Look up “indian summer” online–it’s a real English phrase!) That  mountain is the biggest in the area–it’s only 1000 meters tall, but it’s got two important local attractions on it (the observatory and a big limestone cave), so it shows up on every map.

Autumn in Takine 5

Even the bamboo looks beautiful in this nice warm sunshine. Not exactly a local attraction, but a little taste of Japan nonetheless. Oops… Look at the time. I should probably head back to school; my lunch break is almost over.

Autumn in Takine 6

Ah, school sweet school . Sorry, but I have to run. Thanks so much for coming with me to see the town of Takine! I can’t promise it’ll always look this good, but you’re welcome to come and visit again anytime! 

-Mike