Ahhhh cool autumn weather has finally hit Phoenix, and with it blows in that ever elusive feeling of nostalgia. My fall nostalgia is always accompanied by a sweet whiff of Kinmokusei.
When I was living in Kagoshima I had the privilege to attend several large Rotary conferences one of which was located in Nobeoka. (Nobeoka is one of my favorite places in the world, it’s a lovely, lovely town!)
The conference took place in a prestigious hotel and was attended by a great number of people and was very busy and crowded. I, being that I am very uncomfortable in large crowds, was somewhat worse for the wear by the end of the first night. Someone, I’m not sure who (being confused is 91% of being an exchange student) took pity on me and the other two exchange students and arranged to have a family with several kids whisk us off into the country side to stay with a friend of theirs for the night. (it seemed very random at the time, mind you, after an exhausting day I was stuffed in a car with strangers and driven out of the city. Luckily, I am well adapted at being happily confused)
The man whose house we were graciously put up in was named Yamamoto, and he lived unusually close to the mountains in a big, beautiful traditional Japanese home.One room housed a giant loom that encompassed the entire room from wall to wall, I was told that Mr. Yamamoto wove kimono on it.
The family, myself and Sebastian and Sunni, the other two exchange students slept there that night (on nice soft futons oooohh :D). We woke up early the next morning to hike into the forest, so we could drink the sweetest water in Kyushu (or at least that is what I derived from Mr. Yamamoto) I wasn’t not prepared for hiking since I had expected to be sitting and bored with a polite expression on my face in the conferences, so I had to borrow a pair of one of the little girl’s shoes (good thing I am child sized, even in Asia XD).
Japanese forests are some of the most beautiful that I have ever seen…and the water from a pool at the end of the trail was indeed the sweetest I have ever tasted.
We returned to Mr. Yamamoto’s home and packed to leave and during the chaos of cramming kids and suitcases into tiny, Japanese, tupperware-cars Mr. Yamamoto pulled me aside and broke a twig off a bush and handed it to me “This is what autumn in Japan smells like, we, Japanese, always wait for it” he said.
Now, whenever autumn decides to show up, I always return to the sweet smell of Kinmokusei and the sweet memories I have of Mr. Yamamoto and the kind family that took us to him.
(could this photo be any more chaotic? I love it!)
Now in case this post doesn’t seem sufficiently random, I thought to include this (it was for the parking lot of the fancy, conference hotel. )
Happy Finally-a-Nice-Day-In-Arizona Day, Everybody!