Maple leaves on tiled steps


On the steps outside AQ’s office in Nishi Azabujuban. For a brief moment, the mundane becomes charming.


  1. Great photo. Glad (and amazing) you got to take it before someone swept them up. I’ve seen old women past midnight picking up every single fallen leaf as they fall on the street. I once asked my Japanese colleague, why do Japanese sweep up the leaves so quickly on the sidewalks and small streets, yet would never dream of sweeping fallen sakura blossoms. I usually get the reply, “That’s a very good question. I don’t know.” So often sidewalks and small streets, covered beautifully with Ginko leaves are all too soon swept ‘clean’ to reveal the cement or asphalt. I don’t get it. But I do know why they prune the branches clear down to the nub on many trees just as the leaves start to turn, to avoid having to sweep them up. I’ve gotten into debates with neighbors who had trees cut down because ‘the leaves were troublesome’. Good grief. Now only stumps remain where gorgeous, tall trees, some at least half a century old once stood. Very sad.

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