Autumn weather is changeable. It can be the perfect time to enjoy your time outside visiting temples, hiking in nature, and autumn leaf viewing. But when it rains, there’s nothing more cosy than staying warm and snuggled up inside with a cup of tea.
There are so many things to do in autumn. In fact, you might have heard some idioms in Japanese, introducing things that Japanese people love to do in autumn. You may have seen these phrases in advertisements for restaurants, gyms, bookstores, and museums.
Some of the popular autumn idioms include:
食欲の秋 – Shokuyoku no Aki – Autumn of appetite
スポーツの秋 – Supotsu no Aki – Autumn of sports
読書の秋 – Dokusho no Aki – Autumn of reading
芸術の秋 – Geijutsu no Aki – Autumn of art
You may wonder why it’s autumn that is “Shokuyoku no Aki” – Autumn of appetite? It’s said that just like animals, people also naturally feel an increase in appetite to store fat in their bodies for winter! And of course, there are so many yummy fresh fruits, vegetables and fungi to enjoy in Japan in autumn.
“Supotsu no Aki” is just as obvious as it may seem. Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy sports outside after the humid, hot days of summer. You’ll find that many schools have their Sport’s Days in autumn!
Our Favourite Indoor Activities to Enjoy in Autumn in Japan
Why then are we introducing activities to do indoors? While the weather can be beautiful during autumn, there are also many typhoons and the Japanese fall has its fair share of rainy days.
The shorter days and longer nights also makes sitting at home with a candle and a fuzzy blanket seem all the more appealing.
We will go into more detail about Dokusho no Aki and Geijutsu no Aki in this article, read on to find out more!
読書の秋 – Dokusho no Aki – Autumn of Reading
The origin of Dokusho no Aki comes from China. One of the lettermen in the Tang period wrote a poem that states “the fall is the best season to read books under light during the night.” Later the famous Japanese novelist Natsume Soseki introduced this sentence in his novel, and the idea became popular from there.
Why not take this opportunity to try reading some books in Japanese at this opportunity! I recommend reading picture books for children (絵本, ehon) if it’s your first try! Here are some of my recommendations from old Japanese folktales.
Japanese old tales – 日本昔話- Nihon mukashi banashi:
- Momotaro (桃太郎)
- Issunboshi (一寸法師)
- Urashimataro (浦島太郎)
- Kaguyahime (かぐや姫)
- Omusubikororin (おむすびころりん) etc…
There are so many books that you might like available in Japan. I will show you a Japanese website to find your favourite book. From this website you can sort books based on their suitable age, which is located on the upper side. ‘歳’ means ‘years old’ in Japanese. So, if you don’t really have confidence in your Japanese, you can try some from the category ‘0歳’. If you are a fluent Japanese user, you can find some books for “大人” (otona, adults). I hope you will find your autumn personal favourite!
Find the website here: https://www.ehonnavi.net/
芸術の秋 – Geijutsu no Aki – Autumn of Art
The other suggestions we have are art related for you to enjoy your autumn through art!
“Geijutsu no Aki” was introduced in a magazine. The word came from ‘芸術祭 Geijutsusai’ which means ‘arts festival’ but also ‘autumn’ in Haiku poetry. This shows that Japanese people have enjoyed the arts in autumn for a very long time. There are tons of art museums in Japan, so whether you are an artist or not, please visit as many places as you can during this beautiful season! Some of these galleries and museums offer interesting activities for you to enjoy Geijutsu no Aki! I made a list of the art museums you should try for each district, and I hope you will find some nice art spots!
Hokkaido: Sapporo Art Park(Sapporo)/ Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum(Otaru)/ Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art(Sapporo)
Tohoku district: Aomori Museum of Art(Aomori)/ Hiroshige Museum of Art(Yamagata)/ The Miyagi Museum of Art(Miyagi)/ Morohashi Museum of Modern Art(Fukushima)
Kanto district: The National Museum of Western Art(Tokyo)/ The National Museum of Modern Art(Tokyo)/ The Hakone Open-Air Museum(Kanagawa)/ Hara Museum ARC(Gunma)/ Utsunomiya Museum of Art(Tochigi)
Chubu district: MOA Museum of Art(Shizuoka)/ Toyota Municipal Museum of Art(Aichi)/ 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art(Ishikawa)
Kinki district: Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art(Kyoto)/ National Museum of Art(Osaka)/ MIHO Museum(Shiga)/ Nara Prefectural Museum of Art(Nara)
Chugoku district: The Sand Museum(Tottori)/ OHARA Museum of Art(Okayama)/ ADACHI Museum of Art(Shimane)
Shikoku district: Chichu Art Museum(Kagawa)/ Otshuka Museum of Art(Tokushima)/ The Museum of Art KOCHI(Kochi)
Kushu district: Kitakushu Municipal Museum of Art(Fukuoka)/ Iwasaki Art Museum(Kagoshima)/ Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto(Kumamoto)
Do you remember working through colouring books when you were a child? Recently, there are so many colouring books in Japanese bookstores. It is said that colouring can reduce stress, improve your concentration power and it also helps keep your brain alert. Colouring books made for adults are more complicated than those for children, the designs are more intricate. It’s a pastime everyone can start since it is easy and fairly cheap.
Chigiri-e is a picture made by tearing papers such as origami and Japanese papers (和紙Washi). The benefits are similar to colouring, it is calming, relaxing, and great to for keeping your brain young. To make chigiri-e all you need to do is prepare glue, Japanese papers (like origami papers), hard paper, and a pair of tweezers. Then you can draw (or trace) an image on your harder paper, and tear and layer up your papers on top of your image to create a final design.
What Are Your Favourite Indoor Autumn Activities?
Autumn is arguably the best season in Japan, and is fun not only for outdoor types, but for indoor types too! Let us know your favourite activities to do in autumn!