We went in search of some autumn color last week. We could have gone 1000 kilometers north to where it is already happening, but instead we decided to go up 1,000 meters to the top of Mount Hiba on the border between Shimane and Hiroshima.
Above 1100 meters the mountain is covered in forests of Beech, Buna in Japanese, but to get to it we had to pass through a sterile forest of cedar. Actually forest isn't the right word, because they are in reality tree farms. Quite depressing, with nothing living except the bureaucrats dream of "resources"..
Once we emerged into the beech forest though we were greeted with sunlight and birdsong.
We passed by the tomb of Izanami, the goddess who created the islands of Japan with her brother/husband Izanagi.
There was a sprinkling of color on the mountainsides, but it will be a couple of weeks before it is fully turned on.
We descended through the wide open space that will become a ski slope once the snow comes, and here susuki was spread all over......