As a guy who can’t stand the cold, that title is probably a little weird don’t you think? Me who would much rather spend all year round in sunshine than one cold winter with snow and sledding … even if I did really enjoy the recent Frozen movie. In fact, winters in Japan (where I live anyway) aren’t as cold as they are in the UK (where I lived anyway), so why in early November am I remeniscing about English winters? It’s because they take time to arrive!
In the UK once August is done, it starts to get cooler. September brings a bit of freshness gradually, so that when winter arrives it isn’t such a shock to the system. This magical period of time gives you a bit of warning. It’s the weather equivalent of hitting the snooze button, I guess.
This special period is called autumn.
Now of course Japan has autumn, as well as the other seasons. In fact a lot has been written about claims that Japan is the only country to have four seasons (not including the rainy season, an typhoon season of course). Autumn here is a beautiful period where the leaves of trees go from green to red, and people go out and enjoy viewing the change.
The weather on the other hand likes to believe that autumn lasts for just a few hours.
After a nice long summer of weather in the low 30s, you will suddenly wake up freezing. It’ll be three in the morning, and you’ll realise that the light t-shirt and shorts you wore to bed were a terrible mistake. You’ll fumble about in the dark, half asleep, looking for anything to cover your body with; jumpers, trousers, towels, ANYTHING. But of course you put all of your winter stuff into storage so you’ll have to wait until the next day before you can get it. Back to bed, still half asleep looking like you’re trying to take as many clothes onto a plane as you can because your luggage was overweight.
The next morning you get up, still feeling cold, and look over at the thermometer. Over the space of an evening the temperature has dropped by 12 degrees. It’s now 18, which is still pretty warm for the UK (presuming it’s not raining), but you feel like you’ve just been kicked out into the Arctic Circle in your PE vest and pants.
People in Japan enjoy the gradation of leaves changing colour. I often long for the gradation of a temperature drop.