日本の夏

18 Jun

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.

うな丼 (Freshwater eel on rice). I enjoy this dish a lot!

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 (mosquitoes).

蚊取線香 (mosquito repellent incense).

蚊取線香 (mosquito repellent incense) often is shaped like a pig

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?

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10 Responses to “日本の夏”

  1. cuteandcurls June 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Over here its always summer-ish with the humidity and heat so when I went to Melbourne last March, it was a beautiful most favoured change of holiday destination for me. I like that mosquito incense holder ..been lookin high and low for that over here but with no success 😀 Maybe Ive never asked you this but which season in Japan do you prefer and look forward to?

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

      I like that Tokyo has four distinct seasons…so I enjoy them all.
      Unlike Florida (where I grew up), each season is like a different Japan.

      All four seasons have good and bad points. But if I had to rank them, I’d say Spring is best, followed by Summer, then Autumn and Winter is last.

      Like

  2. Cecilia June 20, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    I really like your blog! I just discovered it so I’ve had a lot of reading to do! I love Tokyo and have been there three times. Will go there again in August, even though I’ve experienced the hot and humid summer in Tokyo before.. I live in Sweden and the weather varies a lot. A lot of rainy days and some warm and sunny days as well. If it gets hot and humid, it doesn’t last for many days in a row..

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 21, 2010 at 12:12 am #

      >I really like your blog!

      Thanks.

      >I just discovered it so I’ve had a lot of reading to do!

      Yes. Please read my blog and comment in many posts!

      >I love Tokyo and have been there three times.

      Really? When were you here? For how long? What did you see / do?
      Only Tokyo or other parts of Japan as well?

      >Will go there again in August

      Have you been to Japan in August before?
      It’s very hot…but there are many great festivals.
      ( See my “Festivals In Tokyo” page.)

      What dates in August will you be here?

      >If it gets hot and humid (in Sweden), it doesn’t last for many days in a row..

      Well, summer in Tokyo (especially August) is hot and humid about everyday (unless maybe it’s raining).

      Like

  3. Troo June 18, 2010 at 4:27 am #

    Reminds me of the first time I went to Japan. We arrived on the last day of 2007’s Typhoon season and were utterly drenched through to the bone after a few minutes on the streets.

    It was brilliant after a twelve hour flight, believe me! 🐱

    Summer in the UK is horrible. Hot, often humid, and with most of the country complaining that Summer still “hasn’t arrived”. They care not that I’m allergic to that big orange ball of fire in the sky.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 18, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

      You didn’t go outside during a typhoon, did you?
      It’s dangerous.

      >Summer in the UK is horrible. Hot, often humid

      Tokyo is the same. Have you ever visited Japan in the summertime?

      Like

      • Troo June 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

        Damn right, we went outside in a typhoon for about ten minutes. Thankfully protected by tall buildings before we scurried into a cafe to sit it out.

        I’ve had to avoid Japan in the summer, which is a shame as there are so many matsuri I’d love to see. Not only am I allergic to high UV, but I don’t do well in humid heat at all. We were in Kamakura last May and it was already getting too hot and humid for me to function 😦

        Like

      • tokyo5 June 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

        Were you here just last month? For how long?

        If you thought May was too hot in Japan, you definitely wouldn’t like July or August!

        Like

      • Troo June 22, 2010 at 2:05 am #

        Sorry, “last May” is English for May 2009, to differentiate it from “May”, which would be May 2010.

        I tend to have to avoid July and August in most countries.

        Like

      • tokyo5 June 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

        >“last May” is English for May 2009, to differentiate it from “May”, which would be May 2010.

        Oh, to me…”last May” refers to the most recently passed one—May 2010.
        I’d call “May 2009” as “May of last year”.

        >I tend to have to avoid July and August in most countries

        It’s wintertime in Australia then.

        Like

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