Tag Archives: seasons

Japanese Seasons

This is a bit of a summary of what I’ve already talked about in the past on here, but now it’s in video form! Take a look at what I think of Japan’s seasons and the attitude that Japan’s uniqueness is partly because it has four distinct seasons.

Sorry about the sound in he beginning.  It seems that the mic doesn’t work very well when I direct the screen away from me.

One thing that I find annoying to myself is that I speak far too slowly.  I have to thank more than 9 years of teaching English in Japan for that.  When I speak with other native English speakers, I’m quite normal, but for some reason, I slow down for the video.  I need to fix that.

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Filed under Japan, Weather

Relabeling the seasons

I find that one of the most humourous comments I hear from people in Japan is that Japan is special because it has four seasons.  For some reason, many Japanese people think it’s unique to Japan.  But now that summer is upon us, I’ve been thinking about the seasons in the Tokyo area.  They’re not really as well defined as people claim they are.  Winter isn’t very winter-like.  Early autumn can be quite hot.  Even late autumn is still very comfortable, while in Canada, it’s freezing and snowing.  So, I thought I’d relabel the seasons in Tokyo from an Edmonton, Alberta point of view.

Let’s start with where we are now.  While it’s early summer now, it’s in the middle of rainy season.  It’s also a lot warmer than it usually gets in Edmonton.  So, from early June to mid-July, it shall now be known as “Rainy Sauna.” It’s humid and daytime is pretty damn warm.  From mid-July to late September, the season is now called “Broil.” The heat from above is intense, and no matter where you go, whether in the shade or the sun, it’s extremely hot and humid.  October is now known as “Summer.” It’s quite like Edmonton’s summer.  November and December are known as “Autumn.”  It’s quite beautiful and comfortable.  November is still very mild, while December gets the leaves changing colour.  January is now known as “False Winter.”  It doesn’t usually snow, but it is still cold.  Above freezing, though.  It’s not a true Canadian winter.  February to April is known as “Spring.” The flowers are blooming and the trees start turning green.  Just like early spring in Canada, it can snow and be cold, but the signs of spring are always there.  Finally, we have May, when the season shall now be known as “Summer.”  What’s that?  Two summers?  May and October are the closest we get to a Canadian summer here.  It’s warm and sunny and quite comfortable.

For those of you who don’t like to read, here’s a handy list of the seasons starting in January:

  • False Winter – January
  • Spring – February to April
  • Summer (1) – May
  • Rainy Sauna – June to mid-July
  • Broil – mid-July to September
  • Summer (2) – October
  • Autumn – November to December

So there it is, Japan’s unique 7 seasons.

Just a note: This is the first day of my attempt to make a post a day in July.

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Filed under Humour, Japan, Weather

Japan is unique because…

Sometimes I get some of the strangest comments from a few people in Japan, I have to wonder if they’ve ever learned about anything outside of Japan.  One of the most common comments I’ve had is that Japan is unique because it has 4 seasons.  It’s as if only Japan gets 4 seasons.  When I tell them that Canada has 4 seasons, they’re shocked to discover this.  They thought only Japan has 4 seasons.  I then go on to tell them that every country outside of the tropics has 4 seasons.  It really seems to surprise them.  They then go on to say that Japan’s seasons are special, and describe them briefly.  Then I tell them that’s what it’s like in Canada, too.  I think I’ve shattered a few people’s bubbles that they live in.  And that’s a good thing.

On a similar note, even though I’ve been in Japan for more than 6 years, I still have people telling me about rainy season as if it’s the first time I’ve heard of it.

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Tokyo vs Edmonton: Seasons

Autumn has just begun, so this is a quick comparison between the seasons of the Tokyo area and Edmonton.  First of all, Edmonton is in a temperate climate zone, which has warm, short summers and cold winters.  Tokyo is in a humid subtropical climate, which has hot, humid summers, a monsoon season and a mild winter.

Autumn – In Tokyo, it starts out very warm or even hot in September, and finishes cool in December.  There’s plenty of rain and possible typhoons in early autumn.  In November and December, the leaves change colour.  It’s a generally pleasant season that is great for outdoor activities.  In Edmonton, it starts out warm or cool in September, and finishes very cold in December, below 0 degrees Celsius.  The leaves change colour in September to October, and snow can start as early as September or as late as November.  I’d have to say that autumn in Tokyo is far better and very comfortable.

Winter – In Tokyo, it starts out comfortably cool in December, but quickly gets colder, with temperatures of around 7 or 8 degrees in January and February.  Snow is possible, but doesn’t happen every year.  Plum trees start blooming in February, with cherry trees blooming in March.  By March, the temperatures start getting comfortable again.  In Edmonton, it’s cold and snows the entire winter.  March may see some thawing, but the snow is usually still there.  Unless you like cold weather, Tokyo has the better winter, where you can stay active outside all season.

Spring – In Tokyo, the season starts out with blooming cherry blossoms and comfortable temperatures.  It’s absolutely beautiful by May, and it starts getting hot then.  Spring finishes in June with hot, humid weather and the beginning of rainy season.  In Edmonton, spring starts out cold, but in April, the snow melts and leaves piles of sand on the side of the roads.  This results in possible blowing sand.  Everything starts getting green around the end of April or beginning of May, and it becomes quite beautiful.  Spring ends in June with warm weather.  Snow is often possible as late as May.  Who wins?  Tokyo is beautiful, and it’s the most amazing season I’ve seen ever.  Edmonton has residual winter, and it can be quite messy.  Tokyo has the better spring.

Summer – In Tokyo, summer starts out hot, humid and very rainy.  It’s rainy season.  That lasts into July, when it becomes hot, humid and very sunny.  The rest of summer until September is hot, humid and very sunny with the occasional typhoon.  This season has very stable weather with little variation from day to day, and even night time temperatures are hot.  Very uncomfortable for sleeping.  In Edmonton, summer starts warm, and is generally warm until early September.  In September, it starts getting cool.  Summer is unstable, and there can be widely varying temperatures, as well as incredible thunderstorms, which are very frequent.  It can be hot, and it can also be quite cool.  Who wins the summer battle?  This is a difficult one.  Edmonton is more comfortable, but the weather is unpredictable.  I can depend on the weather being stable in Tokyo in summer, even though it is incredibly hot and humid.  I’d call it a draw.

What’s your favourite season?

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Filed under Alberta, Canada, Edmonton, Japan, Tokyo, Weather