Summer In Japan

I first came to Japan in the summer of 1990 for a month long stay. When I got here for that vacation it was early August. I remember arriving at Tokyo/Narita airport after a really long, long bit of travel. I went from Cincinnati to Seattle, them from Seattle to Tokyo/Narita. The flight was easily 2 months long, or so it seemed. I went through the passport gate no problem. Went down the steps and collected my bags, went through customs, and then headed out to catch my bus to Tokyo. You see, the international airport in Tokyo is actually in Narita, which is about an hour by train and easily 2 and a half to 3 hours by bus. I don’t remember there being a train option at the time, but, that was 22 years ago so I really don’t remember. One thing I do remember, though, was the doors going out of the terminal opening and me being punched right in the face with the most intense, humid wall of heat that I had ever experienced. It literally knocked the wind out of you. If you have an image of how hot Hell might be, double that and add 90% humidity and almost no wind whatsoever. The air was so thick and and stagnant that you probably could have cut a slice out of it with a knife if you tried. I had only walked about 25 feet to where the bus stop was, and I was sitting on my suitcase with sweat just pouring down my neck, sides, back, crack of my ass….you name it, if I have a place there, it was sweating. It was atrocious.

Fast forward to Shizuoka. I was about 4 hours south of Tokyo here in Shizuoka and the weather was pretty much the same. I tried everything, hand held fans, cold compresses, screaming in the throes of death….nothing worked. Of that entire month here, the one thing I can clearly remember was that stifling heat and humidity. I hate heat and humidity so why did I come back? I couldn’t answer that one for you. I just remember thinking that this was the place for me to be.

I went back to America and sold everything and 6 months later I was here again, this time it was winter. Coming from Cincinnati I am accustomed to cold weather so the winters here don’t bother me too much. It doesn’t snow here in Shizuoka. I mean, in 21 years I’ve only seen snow twice and none of it stuck to the ground so it’s fair to say that it doesn’t get too bad in the winter. Summers though, good Lord.

If you’re thinking of coming to Japan, and you don’t like heat and humidity, summer time is not the time of year for you. I’d suggest anytime from mid-October to around May. After that, you’re on your own.


Y’all come back, I’ll leave the light on for ya,






ex-pat American living in Japan since 1991. Love to play guitar and billiards. Love my Cincinnati Bengals too. Who-Dey!!
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2 Responses to Summer In Japan

  1. LylesBrother says:

    Great blog, Jim. And yeah, I don’t remember there being any train from Narita back in those days; just a very long bus ride. -Kurt 🙂

  2. Katie says:

    The weather kind of sounds like where I live now. (In the states…the south)… I personally do not like the heat but it’s something that I just got to deal with… I want to go to Japan one day so maybe it will not be a huge unexpected “punch in the face” 🙂

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