This year marked my first summer in Japan. My original trip happened in November of 2011. Fall is a season I have come to really love and admire, regardless of my place and home and I have regularly welcomed it with open arms even though it marked winter to be right on its tail.
I’ve enjoyed summer in Edmonton, it’s the few times the city actually feels alive and active and you see that there are ties that create a sense of community, if to a degree. I have always seen Edmonton however to be a city of two seasons. Spring is brown and dirty, it doesn’t have the appeal of other countries. Fall comes and goes, a mere interlude between the already short but still late summer and the incessant cold and snow. I love it but it’s always gone far too soon and appears far too bipolar.
People who have lived here will tell you Japan has four distinct seasons and they are absolutely right. Each one comes with it’s own unique flavour and feeling. Summer has been something special though. Japan being an island with a predominantly Japanese population and a vivid history has a deep rooted sense of community. You see it in the movement of the people in the countless festivals, you see it in the coworkers enjoying drinking nights on izakayas spilling out onto the streets and you see it in the waves of people criss-crossing along the evenings of Shinjuku station.
Summer in Japan brings with it a lot of movement, despite the heat and humidity. Everywhere you go you will find people enjoying the beautiful weather and there is no shortage of holidays and special events to facilitate people coming together. Tokyo is an active place during the spring but the beauty and life that summer brings feels like something truly unique.
I personally found my place along the sea walls of the Shounan coast, often enjoying a solitary beer with the setting sun and my camera as well as the occasional passer-by who took the courage to strike up a conversation. Summer is coming to an end and although I’ve always felt at home in Autumn I will wholeheartedly miss it in Japan, regardless of the number of times i’ve cursed the humidity.