25 July, 2006

Japanese Summer

Geez it’s kinda cool again today. It makes me forget what season it is.
But I tell you, it’s going to get super hot one day so suddenly and the gap’s gonna kill me.

Some of the people who’re coming over from outside of Tokyo might be disappointed with the weather... or perhaps, some others might be feeling “great, it’s nice and cool.” I bet no one would really appreciate the rain, though.

I don’t think (more like, hope not) that we’ll enter August like this, but what were those steaming and baking days we had in the end of June and early July? When summer is this cold, I feel sorry for the people who run businesses at beaches and swimming pools. The air is still like “ok! summer’s about to start!!” but I know it’s gonna fly real fast.

I love summer so I get all excited as the days get longer each day (still, sunset is around 19:00 at the latest here in Tokyo). But sadly, because I’m a grown-up working morning to night everyday and don’t have that much of a summer vacation anymore, by the time I get out of office it’s dark and then the night air eventually starts to carry scents of autumn leaving me not enough time to feel like summer was actually here. It’s sad. It’s even sadder that I’ve been having this feeling and reality for the past few years.

So, I have committed to myself that I am going to have a fruitful summer – be it short or whatever – but specifically, what should I do to have a summer that I won’t regret?

Do you guys have summer plans yet?
(Not to forget that some of you reading this may be experiencing freezing winter.)
I googled “Japanese Summer” (nihon no natsu, in Japanese) the top site on the list was hanabi – fireworks. Oh yeah man, bring it on. How can you spend summer in Japan without fireworks?

The next one that came was matsuri, which of course are summer festivals. In fact, I’ve written about a ton of fireworks and summer festivals that’s been and will be going on this summer throughout Japan in the “Blast in Japan Summer 2006” series on JapanMode. I wrote so much that I can say I’m sort of a hanabi&matsuri wiz now.

The third one on the search was somen*...
(*somen... rehydratable noodle made of wheat flour; a traditional summer dish in Japan in which you ice the noodles with cold water and ice cubes after boiling, and eat as you dip in soup based on soy sauce.)
Well... yeah, I mean... somen is something I’d appreciate on an extremely hot summer day, but c’mon, it’s not something that can come in third place following hanabi and matsuri :P

Following somen were several kinds of commercial goods including post cards and all that.

SO according to Teacher Google, spending a Japanesey summer is about “go watch the fireworks, have fun at the festivals and have somen at home.”

Funny thing, it does sound like a typical August day I used to have when I was a kid. I think it combines superbly the key elements of Japanese summer XD
All right, sounds like a day I want to have!!

What’s your summer gonna be like?


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