As September arrives, the temperatures begin steadily falling, the rice turns a golden brown, and pampas grasses sway in the wind, the elegant Japanese autumn is here. The leaves start changing from around mid-October and the first frosts and snows visit the village in November, snow-sheds are built in preparation for the coming snowfall.
In the natural forests of Oshirakawa, the downy fluff of willow trees dances on the breeze.
● The coming of autumn
As cosmos flowers and pampas grass accompany the browning rice between the gassho style houses, we know that summer is almost at an end.
● Rice harvest
Harvesting the autumn crops. All around the gassho style village, harvested rice can be seen hung upside-down on long poles to dry.
Starting behind the culturally important property of the Wada residence, the village’s persimmon trees begin to bear fruit. You can enjoy the elegant autumn in the gassho style village.
● Autumn foliage on the mountains
The trees take on shades of red and yellow from around the beginning of October. The white waters of the waterfalls that cooled us in summer take on the colors of autumn. The Mt. Hakusan Park Line, Mt. Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road, and Amo Pass are perfect places to enjoy the fall foliage until around the end of October when they close for the winter.
● Doburoku festival
In mid-October, the mountains are painted in the colors of the autumn leaves and the harvest is drawing to a close. In Shirakawa-go, the joy of the autumn harvest is celebrated, and prayers given for the safety of families and peace in the mountain village, as the famously odd Doburoku festival is staged on a grand scale.
● Autumn leaves in the village
Shortly after the trees in the mountains, the foliage of the village also begins to take on shades of red and yellow. The refreshing blue skies of autumn visit the Shirakawa-go each day.
● Autumn leaves illuminations
Autumn leaves illuminations are conducted in the private gardens of gassho style houses during early November.
● Simultaneous Firehose Discharge
In early November, the simultaneous discharge of jets of water from firehoses is conducted as training in preparation for fighting fires during the winter.
● Steam rising from the thatched roofs
On early autumn mornings, this white steam like vapor can be seen rising from the thatched roofs of the gassho style houses. (video available here)