Several months ago I trekked to Minoo, a spot in Japan famous for the fall leaves, and caught the last bit of their beauty. Minoo is a town where even the sewer covers are patterned with the outline of the Japanese maple leaf, where even now in spring they are selling tempura (fried) maple leaves and the shops are still selling maple leaf souvenirs. It's always fall in Minoo.
Except that really, it's now spring. The crowds are very thin. No one is so interested in seeing the soft pink haze of the Japanese maple trees which don't burst into blossom like their plum and cherry counterparts. They will only undramatically open into the star-shaped leaves that must wait for several months of simple service to their trees before displaying their life's work in a flourish of graceful beauty. But for now, silence. A building of something to come, unmarked, unnoticed, uncelebrated. A different kind of viewing from that of the spring blossoms and the autumn leaves, invisible.