Fireworks!

As I said 2 weeks ago, the odds that you will bump into a festival when you come to Japan in summer are quite high. One of them is fireworks shows. There are fireworks shows in almost every town in Japan over the summer holiday period between June and August. Wanna play fireworks yourself instead of watching? Unlike many other countries, it is legal to play with fireworks in Japan. It also explains why you will see shops put out loads of fireworks products in this time.

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Festivals 祭り

If you are planning to come to Japan in summer, you may bump into a festival one day on the street. Different kinds of summer festivals have been going in different parts of Japan. I came across with one in my town 2 weeks ago and another  one yesterday in Utsunomiya.

It was so crowded!

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Wanna try your luck? Here is another way out except for lottery – Goldfish scooping!

One round for 300yen. They will give you 2 fish as souvenirs even if you can’t catch any in the end.Image

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Fireworks festival in my town 2 weeks ago:

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I was given a watermelon!

Summer has arrived. I have been teaching summer classes run by the government in my prefecture. In one of the classes, a student gave me a watermelon after the lesson! A watermelon probably doesn’t mean much if it happens in any other country, except for Japan. Unlike other countries, fruits are luxuries in Japan. This medium sized watermelon surely costs you at least $15 (or 1500yen).

Watermelon

1 minute later:

Watermelon

Summer hibernation

It’s been over 35 degree for most of the days this week in the Tokyo region. Cases of people die of heat stroke come up on news almost every day. It’s particularly hard for those who work and study at school (ie. teachers and students) as there is no air-conditioner in most of the schools in Japan. Plus, there are few fans installed in each classroom. If you are not from east Asia, you may not understand why everyone’s screaming hell, it’s only 35 degrees anyway.

The situation in Japan and other south Asian countries are very different from those in the United States, and even Africa. There is a teacher from Africa who said that, though he is from the country where temperature is much higher than that in Japan, he finds in more difficult to cope with the heat in Japan than in Africa because of the lack of open space so air is trapped in a small, enclosed area without proper ventilation.  The summer in Japan is not only hot, but humid, very humid to the extent that your tops and pants keep sticking to your skin, making you feeling really uncomfy. You will find yourself out of breath if you stay in a small area with a lot of people. Also, unlike other countries where open space is much more available than the number of people, Japan is quite a crowded country and houses are built right next to each other. Also, due to lack of space, buildings and structures are designed to accommodate more people per unit of area. Open space is really limited, particularly in or near Tokyo region.

So, unlike last summer, I have decided to hibernate this time– simply staying in my room as much as I can and not going anywhere.

heat wave