Flowers. Beach. Falling leaves. Snow. A typical description of the different seasons of the year. But growing up in a tropical country, this has been never my case. In Philippines every day is suhrojmmer so it made me wonder how it feels like if we have four seasons in a year. Thus, my bucket list of visiting or perhaps living in a foreign country has entirely been inclined to the idea of experiencing the varied seasons.
So when I got the offer of working in Japan, I never had any second thoughts and accepted it right away. Finally, this is it!
A very familiar vibe for me. Sweat and the ever humid atmosphere certainly what this season has to offer. I thought I’ll manage it after living in Philippines all my life. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Japan’s summer is literally HOT! I even asked myself, “Where is the wind in this city?”. Since I’m in Tokyo, buildings seems to trap the heat and block the wind so it wasn’t breezy after all. It’s dry that I often suffer from a dry throat which is bothersome for my job as a teacher. Solution – drink lots of water. So vending machines come in handy for this weather.
As a general thing to do, going to the beach is what we usually associate summer with, but not here. Japanese beaches are situated quite far and mostly it’s too crowded. Also, it is not as blue or clean enough to swim (no offense to Japanese, just an observation) which is quite too sad. Me and my friends managed to visit a beach on the southern part of Japan but to our surprise, the beach was less crowded but what bothered was the color of the water. Thus, we decided not to plunge in the water. Fortunately, we had other option of just sunbathing. Still not a bad summer experience though.
Favorite season so far. Bright orange and flaming leaves decorating parks and mountains will leave anyone in awe of its beauty. The sight simply makes you want to be poetic. When I first caught sight of the leaves’ transformation, I instantly thought nature is definitely an art- beautiful and magical. The view is mesmerizing that I couldn’t leave my eyes off the trees.
I enjoyed the whole experience with my friends by visiting parks and Mt. Takao to try our luck but only a few leaves changed at that time. But the view from the top was so serene that it took my breath way. It is particularly distinct in Japan to have that perfect autumn view due to its preserved number of parks and mountains. An act worthy to be emulated by other countries.
The season that most of my countrymen want to experience ever since. With a humidity like that of the Philippines, one would definitely wonder what it feels like waking up with a temperature below zero. I wasn’t an exemption to that. Television and movies gave me that vivid image of a snowcapped mountain and streets covered with white powder, I instantly added experiencing snow to my bucket list. Why not?
When I finally step out of the plane February 23rd of 2016, I instantly got a freezing welcome which was so surreal. I was so excited, excited to wear those winter clothes and to see my breath reflected in the cool air. All those expectations were met early this year. The company I’m working gave us a ski trip in Gunma which was another first for me. The feeling of the snow on my hand was indescribable. It was painful after a few minutes though which made me doubtful if my fellow countrymen will ever survive it.
So many fun activities enjoyed in this season but probably I just don’t have that much skill in doing so for now. Better have it at the end of this year. I will share it on my blog for sure.
Only one word comes to mind – flowers. In Japan’s case, Spring has always been anticipated by both locals and international tourists. If you happen to be familiar with cherry blossoms (sakura) then you know what I’m talking about here. The fleeting beauty of sakura creates that magical feeling to the season. No wonder I fell in love with it.
However, it isn’t only about amazing selections of blooming flowers, it is also during this season that most people here in Japan experience “pollen allergy” which causes discomfort on their day to day tasks. So, obviously most of those who are sensitive to it wears masks which is an ideal thing to do. Therefore, expect people with masks on the first week of this season. Usually, I refer them as “ninjas”.
Nevertheless, this season offers a refreshing start for me especially after the winter season. It makes you want to look forward to another spring experience. Next year again?