Autumn colors are the pride of Japan, being enjoyed almost throughout Japan. In the western part of Japan, like Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Himeji, the autumn leaves are at their best from mid November through early December. The following pictures, taken on November 19th, 2018 in Minoo Park, Osaka, show red maple leaves making a super sharp contrast with evergreen leaves. Interestingly, unlike the cherry-blossom viewing in early April, most maple leave-goers enjoy the beautiful gradation of autumn colors calmly, NOT drinking beer or sake nor going wild. Anyway, I can safely say Japanese maples are special. This is because I hear that they call maples "Japanese maples" in Switzerland, instead of Swiss maples.
Autumn leaves are very much tasty as well as beautiful. It's Maple Leaf Tempura with a long time history of over 1,300 years, a specialty of Minoo Park in Osaka along with Kyoto's Takao and Arashiyama. There are several small businesses along both sides of the road to the fantastic Minoo Falls. The storekeeper says they go collect maple leaves early in the morning, and preserve them in salt for as long as 1 year before serving. I got some and tried it..... How did I like it? Awesome!! Major League Crisp! Like Japanese fried-doughs.
Here's another type of yumy food related to maple leaves. It's Hiroshima's sweet specialty called Momiji-manju, maple leaf-looking Japanese style bun stuffed with red bean paste. Without any real maple leaves inside, though. Shall we try it when in Hiroshima? ... Why not?
Looks like most Japanese people have long enjoyed viewing autumn colors and tasting a bunch of seasonal land delicacies in various ways.
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