We stay in Nagoya – there’s a private party at Raffles’.
Grey. Cloud that comes down to the ground and mixes with the misty rain. Damp. Just like the English autumn. It starts to look quite picturesque as we get into the hills though, with trails of mist draped artistically over the landscape, where the trees have turned all shades of red, brown, green, orange and yellow. The gingko trees look especially good. It soon gets dark.
The rain stops on Monday, sort of. A warm sun and chilly rain alternate, sometime simultaneous. In the two weeks we’ve been gone things have moved from the tail end of summer to autumn, going on winter. The maple trees are bright red. One or two insects are bravely chirping.
Persimmon picking begins. Our one tree carries a huge crop every other year, and this year’s another big one. In 2011 T. took around 1000, and neighbours asked why we didn’t pick our persimmon tree! Some 2/3 of the fruit were still left. These are bitter persimmons with enough tannin to turn your mouth inside out, but if you peel them and hang them up to dry for a couple of weeks they turn sweet, like dried dates.
Min. temp. 7°C, max. 15°C
It starts sunny, but Sunday soon clouds over and at the Gifu house it’s cold and grey. The frost last week has killed the chillies. The thermometer shows a minimum of 2° and chillies can usually survive down to 0° but this year (they have to be rotated) they’re on a slope, so might have got a frosty wind that the thermometer on the house wall missed. Leaves have fallen from the persimmon tree, better to show the huge load of fruit – T. picks some of them. There are lots of berries on the bushes – does this mean a cold winter is coming? We use the oil stove for the first time.
Around 3AM I’m woken by a dog (not a wolf, surely?) barking and howling. (It is a full moon.) Maybe it’s a lost hunting dog?
Monday is that autumn mixture of sun, cloud and rain.