is for natsu, or the Japanese word for Summer. It’s hard to talk about Japan without talking about summer. The smells, sights, and sounds of the season are distinct. Shaved ice, night markets, greasy foods on a stick –– while American county fairs are for a couple of weekends in July, Japan celebrates summer for a full three months.
Kyoto is one of the most humid places I’ve ever lived, and that’s saying a lot for someone born in the Bayou. It’s hard to walk out of your house mid-summer and not feel like you’re slogging through a miasma of your own sweat. Cicada are loud enough to deafen you, and the roads radiate heat. Mosquitos make any sort of outside activity rather difficult: you either sweat or you get bitten.
However, Japan has plenty to help you stave off the discomfort with activities, beaches, rivers, and fireworks. Theme parks even have walk-in refrigerators. And a vending machine is always right around the corner. Though I hate the humidity, I will definitely miss summers in Japan.
Images hosted on Flickr.