First stop was spring, now let us go to summer in Japan.
Summer, well, more often than not, summers are sunny, humid, and, on a bad day, skin-burning. And in many areas, the locals, even tourists, flock the chilly mountains while other opt to take a dip in a beach to escape the severe heat. As for the working people, they have to go to their respective offices, but the good part is, they have air-conditioned rooms. This is the typical scenario in the cities. People keep their workplaces and homes well ventilated with air conditioners.
A friend of mine who works in Japan took me to a beach and we saw how they play a popular beach game, the suikawari, or the splitting of a watermelon with a wooden stick while blind folded. Though there are many festivals being celebrated at this time; and most of them features bright and colorful fireworks, or hanabi, as the Japanese would say it.
At this time, the biggest festival is Obon, which is held in late July or early August. This particular celebration entices a lot of people, perhaps, over a one and a half million attend each year to witness the fireworks displays happening by the Sumida River in Tokyo.
Third stop, AUTUMN
The close of the summer season, triggers the start of autumn. And with that comes into to play the tropical typhoons and storms which, sad to say, usually wreak havoc across Japan, more so on the southeastern part of the country. I was told that there was a certain typhoon that visited Japan and it sank an invader ship, belonged to the Mongols, I think. And this gave the world the term, ‘kamikaze’.
At around the last quarter of the year, the temperature sinks and the maple leaves as well as other deciduous trees start to take on their remarkable autumn shades of oranges, reds, browns, and yellows. And believe me, this is a breathtaking sight to behold, especially when the majestic Mt. Fuji is the backdrop, not to mention the vivid blue sky present at this time of the year.
Last stop is WINTER
Cold and rather dry, this is winter in Japan, well most of Japan, that is. Majority of the country is blanketed with snow, those facing the Sea of Japan, while locals near the Pacific Ocean experience warm and at most times, snow-free weather. At this time, the air is crisp. And one of the awe-inspiring winter highlights is, none other, but Mt. Fuji. Said mountain is at its finest and most magnificent, sharing the scene with the clean air of winter.
By the time the snow starts to fall, the skiers, of course, begin to inundate the resorts like those in Hakuba as well as Naeba to join and witness popular winter sports in Japan.
And because the festival is being held at the summit of the flu season, a lot of individuals wear masks though they are worn or sported to shield other people from catching cold, rather than to protect the one wearing it from catching colds from other people.
Visiting Japan, whether it be on winter, spring, summer, or autumn, is very much enjoyable. And with each offering diverse attractions, Japan is certainly a tourist destination anytime of the year.