Summer in Japan can be trying.
First is the six-week rainy season, which stretches from roughly June 10 - July 20. Days are muggy and overcast. Things smell. People become cranky.
That is followed by the scorching heat of high summer that lasts for roughly a month or more. Going outside is an exercise in supreme discomfort, with early morning temperatures already in the 90s.
Summer vacation is short, and anywhere you go in Japan will be crowded.
The 10-12 week endless summer of our American youth bears no likeness to the experience here in urban Japan.
However, one of the (few) pleasures of summer in Japan is the yukata, or cotton robe. Women and to a lesser degree men wear the colorful cotton robes to festivals and out for an evening.
They are light weight, easy to wear, and easy on the eye. Floral prints abound.
Wandering near Pontocho, in Kyoto, one night, I came across this group of young women bedecked in their summer finest. And that is about as good as it gets until the cool nights of late September usher in Japan's finest season: autumn.
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Monday, August 03, 2009