How about some wind to go with the cold?

It has been a cold November and December so far.  From what I’ve heard, October was one of the warmer Octobers on record, while November was one of the colder ones.  The Japan Meteorological Agency is predicting that this winter will be colder than last winter.  Last winter was a cold one!  And then today, we had an incredible amount of wind.  Goodbye leaves.

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The wind was devastating to the gingko leaves.

It’s funny how the temperatures we’re getting now are cold to me.  In Canada, this kind of weather, averaging 9 to 14 degrees Celsius, would have been balmy at this time of year.  It’s been extremely snowy and cold in Canada so far this fall.  But here in the Tokyo region, we rarely get snow.  So why is it that I feel so cold?  Of course, today’s wind made it feel very cold.  But even when it isn’t windy, I feel very cold.  I think it has to do with the environment I live in.  This kind of weather would have felt cold in early October in Canada.  However, it would feel warm in December.  It’s all in how you perceive it.  It’s what you’re used to.  By this time, below 0 is the norm in Canada, so above 0 would feel warm.  However, we have yet to feel a significant amount of time at this temperature, so it feels cold.

But another big difference is inside the home.  In Canada, thanks to central heating and good insulation, it’s always warm inside. In Japan, homes are built to allow air to move freely during the extremely hot summer months, but they don’t seem to take into account that it gets cold in winter. No central heating, except in the north.  Poor insulation is a big problem here.  Some people have suggested that insulation isn’t used much here because of the humidity, but I don’t buy it.  Vancouver and Victoria are very humid for half the year, yet they have good insulation.  In the 5 years that I lived in Victoria, I had no problems with insulation.

Inside in Japan, it is cold. This can be alleviated by using kerosene heaters, electric heaters, air conditioners, or kotatsu (tables with heaters underneath).  Some people even have heated floors.  But I think one of the best things is to have some nice hot food, such as ramen, nabe, udon, or curry.  That’ll heat me up.

What do you do in cold winter months to keep yourself warm?

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6 Comments

Filed under Daily Life, Japan, Weather

6 responses to “How about some wind to go with the cold?

  1. I feel the same. Back in Germany I was used to a lot of snow and temperatures of around -20°C. It felt cold, of course, but now I’m freezing when it goes below 10°C here in Japan.
    For me I think it’s because it’s so cold inside (not outside) no matter where you go.

    • Glad I’m not the only one that feels this way. However, I do have to say that it is really comfortable inside supermarkets in winter. In summer, they’re far too cold. And I love the toasty warm trains in winter.

  2. Pr0m3th3u5

    The cold feels different depending on the humidity. If you are near the sea then the cold will feel like it is getting into your bones due to thermal transfer through the humidity and through your clothing. Hot Peppers and other spicy foods can make you feel better. One thing to think about is wool. If you can stand wearing wool then it helps because it retains its insulating qualities when wet or damp unlike most of the other fabrics we get clothed with today.

    There is a reason why all those sailors and submariners wear those wool sweaters !

    http://www.winteroutfitters.com/properties.htm

    • Good point about humidity. I used to live on the west coast of Canada, where it was very humid during winter. The cold did feel like it went right into the bones. However, the east coast of Japan is very dry during winter. Very low humidity. Many people use humidifiers because it’s so dry. Good for laundry, though. It dries quickly.
      However, it seems that the wind mostly comes from the mountains here.

  3. It’s supposed to get a bit warmer from Saturday….supposed to….

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