If you’ve ever been interested in the ancient Japanese culture, you’ll love the 72 Seasons Nara app.
The 72 Seasons Nara app takes you through a year (72 Seasons) of the ancient Japanese calendar. Approximately every 5 days you’ll get to explore a new season on the calendar – the weather, food, nature and seasonal highlights, with a specific focus on the city of Nara.
Each season is depicted in the app with photographs, illustrations, haiku poems and sweet anecdotes based on the names of the seasons. Each new season will take you through the subtle changes happening throughout the year.
Japan has four main seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
The ancient calendar had 24 seasons, based on the path of the Sun from Earth. Each season was given a name depicting the seasonal changes, each lasting about 15 days. These were then each divided into three again to then create the 72 season calendar. Which is what the app is based on.
We’re currently in the Frost Descent, the last season of Autumn. The two seasons that I’ve gone through since trying out the app include Light Rain Showers (approx. 28 Oct – 1 Nov) and The Maple and the Ivy Turn Yellow (approx. 2-7 Nov).
Each content page very well written – it’s an easy read that will probably only take you about 5 minutes to get through.
The photographs and illustrations are beautiful.
The app also provides you with seasonal highlights and recommended spots, listing specific activities in Nara that you can take part in, providing exact locations of events including times, access detail, dates and times, cost (if applicable), contact details and website links for more information. Such as during the season of The Maple and the Ivy Turn Yellow, the app recommended to go to the special opening of the Zao Gongen at Kinpusen-ji Temple.
The 72 Seasons Nara app seems like a great app to have handy if you're planning a trip to Nara. It'll give you specific recommendations on what to do to make the most of the time of year (including where to eat, what to go see and giving you a heads up around any special events happening). It's like having a local tour guide in your pocket - telling you all about the culture and highlights as you go.
What I loved about the app is that it brought me a new sense of consciousness about what is going on around me, and around the world. It’s so easy to get caught up in life, that you don’t notice the changes happening in nature around you. The subtle changes as we pass through the different seasons are so easily missed.
I’ve also really enjoyed jumping into another world, delving into a culture that is so vastly different from my own. There is something so tranquil about the Japanese culture that has always fascinated me, this tranquility shines through the app in the simplicity of it all.
The app is very basic
You're able to switch to either Japanese or English. To access the content, you can select the current time of year from the main menu. Unfortunately not all sections are available to view, currently only seasons from number 52 are available to read. I jumped in at number 53, and feel like I’ve missed out on loads from the beginning of the year.
The app can be downloaded on both Android and iOS.
Travel review shared by Bridget Langer for Travel Dudes