It’s now summertime.
Currently it’s 「梅雨」 (“Rainy season“) in Japan. As usual for this time of year, it’s forecast to rain a lot for the next few days.
But also, the temperature is rising steadily and it’s quite humid. Today it was a muggy 31°C (88°F) in Tokyo.
Summer is hot and humid here…but it’s still very enjoyable. There’s so much to do.
Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer are all very different in Japan. Of course the weather is different…but I mean the food, festivals, and general atmosphere is different and unique to each season.
In a couple of earlier posts I mentioned that fast-food chains in Japan have spicy items on their menus (Click here to read one of those posts)…but fast-food isn’t a traditional Japanese summer tradition of course, and actually their spicy summer foods aren’t extremely popular in Japan (I haven’t even tried any of them).
There are traditional foods that are very popular in Japan during the summer to help you deal with the summer heat.
Some of them are:
- 冷やし中華 (“Hiyashi Chuuka“). Cold noodles, cucumbers, ham, tomatoes, and cold soy sauce.
- スイカ (watermelon)
- かき氷 (shaved ice)
- ビール (beer)…Popular all year long, of course. But excellent to help you cool down in the summer.
- うな丼 (Freshwater eel on rice). This is said to help keep up your stamina in hot weather.
Some other aspects of summer in Japan include:
- the beaches and pools become crowded. Especially in August.
- the numerous summer festivals including 花火 (summer fireworks shows).
- insects. The “sound of summer” in Japan is the chirping of the セミ (cicadas). There are also カブト虫 (beetles)…and, unfortunately, ゴキブリ (cockroaches) and 蚊 (mosquitoes).
- 蚊取線香 (mosquito repellent incense).
To stay cool, there’s also ウチワ and 扇子 (types of paper fans), and ジンベイ and ユカタ (traditional Japanese summer clothing).
This isn’t an all-exclusive description of a summer in Japan, of course. It’s difficult to describe…you should come to Japan in each of the seasons and see “four different Japans”.
What’s summer like in your country?