The last weekend my husband and I joined a Kanpukai meeting. Kanpukai is writtin 観楓会 in kanji character and it means a meeting to enjoy seeing autumn leaves. It is an unique event in Hokkaido and if you say your friends who live in Honshu, Shikokku, Kyushu islands and other places, they don't understand. Offices and circles in Hokkaido hold this kanpukai meetings when leaves wear autumn colors. But they don't mind seeing autumn leaves but just enjoy eating and drinking.
Most places in Japan enjoy Momiji-gari when leaves tinge with red or yellow. Momiji-gari is written "紅葉狩り" in japanese and its literal meaning is maple leaves hunting, but people don't gather maple leaves but just enjoy seeing beautiful shades of color, such as maples leaves and other autumn colored leaves.
Today I hiked Mt. Hakodate in a group and a fellow walker picked up a fallen leave of Katsura (Japanese Judas) tree. It smelled sweet and I liked it.
The leaves of the mountain have not changed their colors yet. But Urusi Japanese lacker tree leaves have change red. They are poisonous and if you touch it, you may be poisoned by lacquer.
Though it's getting colder and colder, but it's great to go hiking on fine days;)
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too. 函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。