Mōshobi (猛暑日)

Another post about summer heat. When Sky Tree is barely visible in a hazy, sullen sky, you know it’s going to be a mōshobi (猛暑日), which means a fiercely hot day of 35+ degrees. I took this photo at 6 am, when it was already 31 with a “real feel” of 38. Japan is currently experiencing a heat wave with temperatures above 40 in certain areas. Hang in there, folks, and drink lots of water or, even better, beer.



Brain-obliterating heat

August. Energy-sapping, spirit-draining, feet-killing, backbone-demolishing, courage-shattering, hope-destroying, brain-obliterating month of ruthless, savage, searing heat.

Everybody’s standard greeting is not hallo, but a reference to the heat. “Atsui desu ne!” (“It’s hot, isn’t it?”) When summer is over, some inexplicable communication via osmosis takes place and suddenly, without warning and for no apparent reason, everybody says, “Samui desu ne!” (“It’s cold, isn’t it?”) Please note that it’s either very hot or very cold, that this amazing transition takes place overnight, and that everybody changes at exactly the same moment like a flock of birds swerving in the same direction. One day it’s “atsui” at 22 degrees and the next day it’s “samui” at 21 degrees.

That’s Japan.

Summer’s here

We’re sleeping with open windows.

I had my first ice cream of the season a few days ago.

Summer festivals have started. Here in our neighbourhood the streets are lined with cheerful paper lanterns in preparation for a major festival two weeks from now.

You can see face cloths everywhere, and business-suited men have started wiping their faces. This morning, although it’s coolish, I felt myself perspiring as I walked due to the increasing humidity. Time to pack my own face cloth.

It’s summer.