Autumn (Tokyo Studio)

Kanro: Chrysanthemums tinge yellow/ ducks migrate (3 of 5)

October 22nd, 2008

Kanro 13 of 15Today is English Club lunch-time conversation day at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building (no. 1). A club member started to tell me about the fruits of Autumn. She said that there are many fruits that come into season in Autumn: apples, grapes, persimmons, and pears are just a few. She then presented me with an enormous nashi (Japanese pear).

We also recently bought a bunch of grapes from the supermarket. Japanese grapes taste quite different. They are richly sweet with a tinge of fermentation. Apparently, you are meant to peel the skin of each grape before plopping it in your mouth, which actually makes sense since the skin is a bit thick and tastes bitter.

It is well-known that fruits are expensive in Japan and regarded as luxury items that are fitting for gift-giving of all occasions. In August this year, a bunch of new variety grapes with about 35 ping-pong ball-sized fruits fetched 100,000 JPY (about 1000 AUD) at an auction. And there is always the prestige attached to owning the first fruit of the season.

The talk of seasonality and food reminds me of someone’s comment I read on one of many websites devoted to eating here:

Autumn in Japan: Autumn of appetite, Autumn of movement, Autumn of reading

Autumn taste
A chestnut, a matsutake mushroom, a shiitake, a sweet potato
An apple, a pear tree, a grape, a mandarin orange, a fruit of a persimmon
A saury, a bonito, a salmon, a snow crab

2 Responses to “Kanro: Chrysanthemums tinge yellow/ ducks migrate (3 of 5)”

  1. 1 susie
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I’m always struck by the detail and attention laboured over presentation in Japan. The packaging is phenomoenal. I think if I ever went to japan I would just wonder the supermarkets for hours in owe of the infinite ways food can be wrapped, bundled, disected, copied into plastic replicas and gifted.

    Autumn is my favourite season. It has a tang and crispness that the other seasons don’t possess. At least in NZ it does. I’ll wait and see what autumn in oz produces.


  2. 2 jolaw
    March 30th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    If you visit Japan, I bet you will be stuck in ‘depato’ (department store) like Isten for days. Not to mention the 7 storeys stores devoted to a ‘creative lifestyle’:Tokyu Hands (!

    Autumn has always been my favorite season too. Even in subtropical climates like Hong Kong, I remember how the air turned dry and crisp around October. Smells would linger in the cool air in early evening just that bit longer when I walked home from school. I am now closely observing what the Autumn in Austinmer/ Wollongong, see posts starting: