Ginko Trees and Maple Leaves: A Tokyo Autumn

One of my favorite things about nature? The changing colors.

   From falling spring blossoms to gliding dandelions of summer, from golden crunchy leaves to giant melting snowflakes, every season gives us something to watch and enjoy. Every season gives us an eye-catching display, a moment to remember how beautiful life is before fading away. If flowers were in bloom all the time, we would barely appreciate them in their fullness. When we grow accustomed to things, we never quite take the time to consider them as they deserve. Likewise, though transitions from one season to another can leave us a bit sad, they are also the beginning of something new. A chance to re-evaluate and be grateful for what we had, what will be, and what we have now, in the moment.

This autumn has been very busy, between school, work, and international visitors back-to-back for weeks. Even in tiredness, I’ve enjoyed every minute. Last week, I finally got a moment to take in Tokyo autumn. It came later than expected but welcome nonetheless. I can never quite complain when classes start a day later than anticipated – a nice surprise!

   After finishing a long-term project, I decided upon lunch in Omotesando and a chilly walk to Gaien-Mae. I originally thought I’d go to Sincere Garden, a vegan cafe above a spa, but along the way re-discovered a place I’d wanted to try — Cargo Rice Kitchen. It was settled. An excellent choice.

All the dishes were 1000 yen and the selection was quite appetizing. I decided on something light – a salad with brown rice on top, 3 types of deli items (including stir fried tofu noodles that were amazing), soup and coffee. So good.

By the time I arrived, after a few errands, at Gaien Mae, it was already late afternoon. Tea time!

   I asked for a seat with view of the beautiful ginko trees. A golden afternoon. It was between meal times at Shared Terrace, so I settled on a small bread roll and the hibiscus tea with honey. I got a little creative by using the honey on the roll and in the tea – a tasty decision, even if it appeared a little strange to the waitress.

Since that lovely Monday adventure, I have enjoyed nature in many places – on campus, around the city, and in Nagano. Details of that adventure soon to come!

The moral of the story? Go out and take it all in before it’s gone. The golds, the oranges, the reds. The crunching sounds and the chilly breeze. The autumn tastes and warm drinks. The beauty of a setting sun bringing these colors to life.





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