When I rode the train towards Tokyo this morning, I suddenly let out a gasp – I had spotted Mount Fuji for the first time!
Mount Fuji is like a spectre. Everybody knows it is there and that it is really big and can be seen from some vantage points in Tokyo. Everybody knows the shape of its characteristic snow-capped crater top. But one hardly ever sees it since most of the time it is shrouded in the dense humidity of the Japanese sky. Visitors to Japan often tell the tale of when, after they had been there for a while already, they suddenly found Mount Fuji staring down at them one clear morning. I had been waiting to see it ever since I had arrived.
While summer is generally known to be very hot and humid around here, autumn is considered one of the best times of year. When we arrived in September, we were still living in a hot cloud. In October we had some fantastic days with daily temperatures over 20 degrees Celsius. But there was still a whole lot of humidity in the air. In this climate, the sun actually does come up as the national flag – a deep orange ball without any rays.
Now, autumn has arrived. The leaves are turning, leading to crowds of Japanese hogging Maple trees with tele-lenses, the temperatures are noticeably fresher (but still around 15 C in the afternoon) and the atmosphere has cleared up a lot. No more national flag in the morning, but instead we now had a series of days with electric blue skies and striking, crisp autumn colors. All of a sudden, November got promoted from my least favorite month to one on the top of my list.
And finally I also learned that Mount Fuji, which is South of Tokyo, can even be seen all the way in Kashiwanoha, even though we are located to the North of the town.