Summer in the city

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I’ve just returned from visiting my family for a couple of weeks, and I found it rather difficult to answer the oft-asked questions “what’s it like to live in Japan” and “what do you like about living in Japan”? I didn’t have a concise answer prepared, but I will try to write more here to get to the heart of it.

In the last two weeks, the weather has progressed much deeper into summer, and now I finally get to experience the sticky season that everyone has been warning me about. I visited a dry climate, so the contrast is stark returning to 30 degrees (mid-80s F) with 80-90% humidity. I know it’s weird, but I like to feel warm and slightly sweaty; that probably has to do with my bad circulation which makes my hands, feet, and nose turn strange colours when I’m cold.

Being away from a place for a little while is great for enhancing your perceptions when you return, and I’ve been enjoying the discovery or rediscovery of various sights and sounds, such as the iconic cicadas in one of the parks where I often walk:

(Depending on the quality of your speakers and/or hearing abilities, this may just sound like static, or nothing, but trust me, I captured the relentless chirpy hum of cicadas!)

The sense of place that I notice the most is smells, but alas (or perhaps fortunately) I haven’t invented scent-blogging yet, so I’ll have to resort to words. I visited a land of mostly clear air with lightly scented pines, but in contrast, in the parks in Yokohama, there are so many smells of wet earth and every shade of green and flowers and ocean. The different scents stand out in turn as the slight breeze shifts or the rain starts to fall, but they all speak of warmth and life.

Long story short, I love summer: in dry climates and so far, in humid ones, too.

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