Sunday, June 5, 2022

Summertime in Tokyo

 -- Susan, every other Sunday

One of the many things I love about living in Japan is the way the country changes with the seasons--and it's not only the weather that changes. Everything from menus to clothes to decorations shifts to mark and harmonize with the changing temperatures.

Tokyo's rainy season "officially" begins in early June--and given the weather the last few days, I'd say it's now upon us. From now until the end of July, we'll have showers and/or thunderstorms just about every day, though fortunately they don't normally last too long. (On a lot of days, they'll come and go all day, though.)

While I'm not that fond of the heat and humidity of Tokyo summers, I do love taking walks in my neighborhood under the fresh, green canopy of new leaves on the cherry trees.

Fresh green leaves in Meguro

Earlier this week, I bid a sad farewell to hot coffee...for the most part, I'll be drinking the iced version until fall.

Goodbye, old friend. I'll see you soon. (Though not soon enough, if I must be honest.)

The local wildlife loves the warmer weather. The turtles at the shrines, and in the parks, have come out of hibernation and are soaking up the rays when the sun is shining.

Welcome back, little guy! Did you have a nice sleep?

While walking through Ueno Park a couple of weeks ago, I noticed the swan boats are also out of hibernation, and back in service for the summer. A paddle on the lake is a popular way to escape the summer heat--and yes, this park is in the center of downtown Tokyo.

Swan Boats in Ueno Park - a sure sign of summer.

The last of the cherry blossoms fell several weeks ago, but on the day I took this walk, a few "late bloomers" were still scattered on the ground.

"dove" in Ueno Park.

For the most part, though, the trees are brilliant green.

In a few months, this pond will be full of giant lotuses

I also saw a cormorant sunning himself at the edge of the lake - a rare sight in central Tokyo, though the birds are not that uncommon in other parts of Japan.

Even cormorants love the summer sun

As the summer stretches on, the days will get hotter and muggier. By August, when we've reached the "drinkable air" portion of the summer, I know I'll be desperate for autumn--and not only because it's my favorite season of the year. But now, with the bloom still (literally) on the rose, I can't help but welcome summer's vibrant colors, pleasant warmth, and tasty treats. Any day now, the shops will start selling kakigori (traditional Japanese shaved ice), and with tourism poised to reopen (and already starting, slowly and on a small scale), I'm looking forward to friends and family returning to Japan as well.

Like the swan boats, I'm out of hibernation and ready for some summer fun!

Hello, summer!

  How do you welcome summer in your part of the world? I'd love to hear!

1 comment:

  1. In NW New Jersey with mosquito repellant and black-fly swatters. In Mykonos, with mosquito repellant and cruise boat alert days. I far prefer your style, Susan. :)