Tag Archives: winter

Snowy Day in Tokyo

18 Jan

The weather forecast yesterday said that it was going to snow in the Tokyo area this morning, so I wasn’t surprised by this morning’s snow.

It snows a lot in northern Japan, but only a couple of times each winter in Tokyo. And when it does snow here, it’s normally not very much. I have seen blizzards and heavy snow in Tokyo…but not so often.

Because it doesn’t snow so much here, Tokyo isn’t as prepared for it as they are up north. Most people don’t own a snow shovel here. You can often see people using dustpans to move snow from driveways.

And, the buses and trains will often be delayed when there is a lot (by Tokyo standards) of snowfall. There were a lot of delays this morning.
Though train and bus delays are an inconvenience that we’re not so used to in Japan (due to the extremely punctual public transportation system here), no one complains…everyone understands that the train and bus workers are doing their best to deal with the weather. Better “safe than sorry”.

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A picture I took this morning of someone’s flower garden covered in snow.

2014 Olympics have ended

24 Feb

Yesterday was the closing ceremony of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Did you watch it? It began after 1:00AM Japan Time…so I didn’t stay up to watch. Was it good?

On the medal count, Russia came in first place after all. America was fourth, and Japan 17th place.

Here’s a list of the top 20 countries by medal count at the 2014 Olympics:

olympics

The gold, silver, and bronze medals winners in Women’s Figure Skating: Korea (center), Japan (left), and Canada (right), respectively.

Snowstorm of 2014 Feb 8th

10 Feb

Last Saturday (2014 February 8th), as forecast, a heavy snowstorm hit Tokyo!

It was the biggest snowstorm to hit the Tokyo area since 1998. I remember that ’98 snowstorm! I had tickets to a KISS-Fest in Yokohama the next day. It was difficult walking in the deep snow to the venue from the the train station!

Last Saturday’s storm was just as bad! Strong wind and 27cm (11″) of snow covered Tokyo.

I grew up in Florida so my only experience with snow is in Japan. I’ve been to really cold places in the wintertime a few times…Hokkaido, Niigata, and Nagano in Japan, and New York in America. But those were only for short trips.
I’ve lived my whole adult life in Tokyo…so I’m used to Tokyo’s weather more than any other place.

It normally snows once or twice every winter in Tokyo…but not very much.
Snowstorms like last weekend’s are, thankfully, very rare here.

Here are some photos I took:

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2014-02-08 17.40.372014-02-08 21.06.22

2014-02-08 20.54.11

2014-02-08 21.06.50

 

Winter solstice

22 Dec

今日は「冬至 (touji)」 (Today is “winter solstice”).

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Click here and read the post I wrote five years ago about the Japanese traditions on this day (there are also some videos I took in a traditional area of Tokyo).

Vernal Equinox

19 Mar

Tomorrow, 2013 March 20th, is 春分の日 (Vernal (or Spring) Equinox).

shunbun

春分の日 (Vernal Equinox) is in the third week of March.
This is one of two days per year that both day and night are an equal twelve hours. It’s also commonly considered the first day of spring (in the northern hemisphere).

This day is a legal holiday in Japan. So, most people have the day off from work or school.

Six month later, in September, is 秋分の日 (Autumn Equinox). That is the other day that both day and night are an equal twelve hours long.
It’s commonly considered the first day of Autumn.
And it is also a legal holiday in Japan.

There is also, of course, 夏至 (Summer Solstice) in June. Daylight is longest on this day. It’s the first day of summer.
And, 冬至 (Winter Solstice) in December. Nighttime is longest on this day. It’s the beginning of winter.

Although both Spring and Autumn Equinoxes are holidays in Japan…oddly, neither Summer or Winter Solstice are.

Maybe you’re wondering how Spring and Autumn Equinoxes are “celebrated” in Japan.
On these days, many people go to their family grave at the cemetery to clean the grave, leave flowers and incense, and remember their ancestors.

Snowy Adults Day

14 Jan

Today is a holiday in Japan.
It’s 「成人の日」(“Coming of Age Day” or “Adults Day”).

In Japan,  twenty years old is the legal age of adulthood.
The drinking and voting age is 20 in Japan.

On the second Monday of January (today), twenty-year-olds in Japan dress in kimono and attend a special ceremony.

My oldest daughter will do it next year!
I can’t believe how fast they grow up!

Anyway, every winter in Tokyo it usually snows once or twice.
It’s snowing today!

The weather had been so nice everyday recently and then, on the day that so many people dressed up for a special day, the weather went downhill.

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I feel sorry for them!

I hope the weather is nice on this day next year and the following two years … for my daughters’ ceremonies!

Winter’s back

7 Mar

Yesterday (Sunday, March 6th) was a nice day and it was pretty warm. My wife and I went to 上野 (Ueno, Tokyo) and walked around (my kids stayed home and studied for their final exams this week).

Ueno train station (Tokyo, Japan)

It was so warm that I began to think that spring has come. But this morning I saw the weather forecast on TV that said it would be a cold and rainy day today…and from about 9:00AM – lunchtime, it would snow!

Tokyo's weather forecast for 2011 March 7 - 14.

The weather forecast was exactly right. It was quite cold today and it snowed all morning starting at about 9:00AM.

I’m happy to see that it’s not forecast to rain or snow anymore for the rest of the week. It’s be sunny most days…and start getting warmer again. Next Monday is forecast to have a high temperature of 16°C (about 61°F).

How’s the weather in your city now?