When people consider moving to Japan, they are often curious about what the weather is like just how extreme Japan’s seasons can get. In most parts of Japan, you can experience all four seasons. I know here in Tsukuba, we definitely have a distinct four.
I would say it can get pretty cold here in the winter time, with the occasional snowy day. I’ve never been a huge winter fan, because winter is the time for colds, for runny noses, the flu, and all kinds of other bacterial and viral goodies that come with a cold-battered immune system. I wouldn’t say that winter in my neck of Japan is bitter cold, but it does snow on occasion. The snow factor in Japan changes considerably as you head farther north. If you live in northeastern Japan, or if you’ve ever seen Japanese news reports filmed in those areas, you know what I mean. Why do think they had the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano that time? Because it’s cold as hell there, that’s why! I do enjoy snow and throwing snowballs as much as the next guy, but I also like being able to decide when the snow stops (i.e.-taking my Georgia butt to a warmer temperature).
Spring is another great time in Japan. For those who have allergies, this is when they usually suffer most, but I don’t (knock on wood) have any allergy problems. Spring is simply a beautiful season in Japan: cherry blossoms, plum blossoms, and pure sunshine minus the humidity. If you blink just right on a Japanese spring day, everything around you turns into the opening of a Disney cartoon…the birds flitting to and fro, friendly forest creatures bid you ado…it’s really quite amazing. Yep, that’s a slight exaggeration, but it’s not too far off.
Summer is just too freakin’ hot and too freakin’ humid for me to warm up to (that’s funny because, summer is warm, and used warm up as a play on words. Heh, heh, no? Not funny? Cheesy? Okay then, let’s move on). I can’t even remember how many perfectly good outfits I’ve soaked in my own sweat. Coming to work dripping isn’t the sexiest thing in the world. It’s hard to look cool with a sweat spot on your butt. It’s not all bad, though, because with summer comes some cool Japanese festivals (like the matsuri events). Summer also helps you to appreciate the little things like ice cream, summer breezes, and water. The fading of the summer sizzle makes way for my favorite season of them all, fall.
Ahhh fall, I love just about everything about fall. I love fall in Japan because the weather is slightly on the cooler side, which makes it perfect for running and exercise. I love looking up and seeing those brilliantly red, yellow, and orange leaves against the backdrop of the fall sky. I like fall because it’s the time when I can break out my favorite clothes, the sweater vests, the blazers, etc.. I enjoy reading and lounging on those fall, weekend afternoons. I have heard several Japanese people mention that fall is the best time for studying, but I don’t know if it’s true. What else? Oh yeah, I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but there is something about hot pancakes drizzled with warm, sweet syrup, and a tall glass of cold milk (on a cool fall day) that really relaxes me. I just love it.
*Speaking of syrupy , have I had waffles since I’ve been in Japan?! I honestly can’t remember.
Every year, fall seems like it’s the shortest of the four seasons, but that only makes me love it all the more.
What’s your favorite season in Japan?
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