In April there were parties to look at the flowers. From mid-October to around the second week of November, its time to party under the leaves. The tradition of viewing the "Koyo" is a long one, with the maple trees providing a carpet of red and yellow. The first leaves to change color are in the hills to the east - take a bus to Kourankei in Asuke for one of the most beautiful spots.
Late October: Mikawa no Kiku Matsuri (Mikawa Chrysanthemum Festival)at Okazaki castle (and a few other places). There are lots of beautiful chrysanthemums (Japan's national flower), and more excuses for enjoying a drink with friends.
Red and yellow leaves line the city streets, and the hills to the east are particularly lovely (take a ride out there on a bicycle, drive up to Lake Mikawa,or take a bus to beautiful Korankei Gorge in nearby Asuke).
In early November there is a festival called Aki no Shi-min Matsuri (Fall Citizens Festival) that is a little bit manufactured, but still fun. As with April, the center of activity is the area adjacent to the castle next to the Sugo River. There are displays of local products, hundreds of "yatai" stalls, and portable "Mikoshi" shrines.
If you are a jogger, it is possible to join in the Okazaki City Marathon (some run the whole distance, others run the part of the distance using a relay of runners). Enquire at City Hall for details.
It's suddenly cold, and its not unusual to have one or two days of snow just to remind you. The end of the calendar year is usually fairly hectic as people prepare for the New Year. It is expected that there will be a lot of cleaning, relatives to visit, "nengajo" cards to write (or print), and in many cases trips to plan.
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