Fall, My Favorite Japanese Season

By Donnie | Articles

Fall Leave in Nikko, Japan

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?


Donald Ash

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  • Funny enough, we got our first snow here in Southern Iwate today! Fall is pretty much over for us.

    My favorite season in Japan is spring because a)cherry blossoms, obviously and b) the weather is like a Canadian summer, perfect!

    My favorite season in Canada is fall because it is an exciting time: back to school! It feels like the beginning of something new. The leaves are so beautiful, but I think the leaves are nicer here in Japan. There is more variety of trees.

  • I have to agree that I like fall the best. It seems even better because it comes right after the unbearable heat of summer. I get bad hay fever in spring so that ruins it for me. Plus in fall everything is still in bloom and when the leaves start changing in fall it’s beautiful. In spring the leaves are just coming back and things are still pretty bare.

    • Donald Ash

      Of course you were going to choose fall. You’re the female version of me!! I’d be surprised if you hadn’t Amanda-chan. Uh oh, you’ve got the spring allergies, huh? That can really blow from what I hear. But, you’re good for right now, ne ;D

      Winter’s coming fast, though.

  • Kiiiiide! I’m totally envious. Those are beautiful colors. WV has some pretty spectacular colors some years but nothing compared to that! I’d love to see spring too. This late spring/early summer I *may* be getting to travel to Nihon. I’m hoping to get to go early enough to still enjoy spring. I don’t even know where I’m going yet. The natural beauty is just breathtaking in some of the photographs I’ve seen, all over.

    BTW.. >>; Yes I am ninja. And I’d be either Storm or Rogue.

    • Donald Ash

      I hope you do get to visit, Nanami. I know you’ve been wanting to. You’ll get to see just how cool this place really is.

      • I hope so. I don’t really know where to start the planning. I want to stay for about a month so who knows, I may get to visit you too!

  • Sheldon

    So far I like the fall because of the beautiful autunm leaves. But strange as it seems to be, here in Sano City, Tochigi the leaves had just changed colour since the ending of November and now I am in December 1st and the leaves are still in their colours. Therefore I don`t have to travel northbound nor mountain high to see the fall colours anymore for the rest of this season. But it`s getting cold!

  • Petaris

    Here in NW Wisconsin I really like fall the best. I haven’t been in Japan when the leaves were changing but someday I would like to see it. So for now I would have to choose spring, because the weather is awesome, the sakura and plum blossoms are blooming, and after a hard NW Wisconsin January it feels sooooo nice!!! 😀 I will actually be back in Japan with my wife and son sometime in early April. We make the trip back once a year, but boy is it getting expensive!

    – Petaris

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