Missing Japanese summer – crazy, nostalgic, or both?

I really miss living in Japan. I left the country a little over a year ago and at first I didn’t miss it too badly. It was nice to experience all the familiar things in Belgium again. But recently my Japan deprivation has been getting worse. How can I tell that it’s getting really bad? I have started feeling nostalgic about Japanese summer.

Those of you who have experienced summer in Japan will immediately understand why this is a bad sign. If you’re longing to be back in Japanese summer weather, you’re not quite right in the head. The combination of heat and humidity in Japan is brutal. As soon as the summer heat starts, people start counting down to autumn. Heat exhaustion is a common phenomenon and people prefer to stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible.

But reason and emotion do not abide by the same rules. Although I realise that I have often cursed Japanese summer while I was living there, I am feeling very nostalgic about it. The sound of the cicada, eating a snow cone (kakigōri かき氷) on a hot day, the evening light over green rice fields, … なつかしいね!

You can hear what a cicada sounds like and read more about typical, nostalgic summer things in ‘Summer in Japan’.

evening light over the rice fields
Evening light over the rice fields – Toyota City, July 2011
riding home from work on a summer evening
Riding home from work on a beautiful summer evening – Toyota City, July 2011

14 thoughts on “Missing Japanese summer – crazy, nostalgic, or both?

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  1. I used to live in Hokkaido. Summer was not so bad up north. Days were hot but nights were cool. I live in Cairns, Australia now and summers are very hot and humid. I sometimes miss living in Hokkaido. But I don’t miss the Hokkaido winter.

    1. During our first summer in Japan, we went to Hokkaido in August. It was great to get away from the Nagoya heat. Summer was wonderful up there. I absolutely loved Hokkaido. It is one of my favourite places of everything we visited in Japan. You are so lucky that you got to live there ^_^ But I’m glad we went in summer and not in winter. I’m not one for cold places and I can very well imagine that you don’t miss the Hokkaido winter.

      If you’re interested to see my impressions of Hokkaido, I wrote a few blog posts about it: https://thejapans.wordpress.com/?s=hokkaido&submit=Search

  2. Well, yes, it’s a little crazy. But understandable. Love makes us feel crazy things, and it’s clear you love Japan. 🙂 That’s a feeling understand and share. Wouldn’t it be great to take a stroll in the breeziness of Osu Kannon and slurp up a soft-serve matcha, adzuki, or kuro goma ice cream cone right about now?

    1. Hi Ann! ひさしぶりね!You’re right, I do love Japan 🙂 Strolling through Osu Kannon and having some Japanese ice cream would be wonderful indeed. Osu is possibly my favourite area in Nagoya and I have passed many an afternoon there, just wandering about and exploring.

  3. Today was another unbearable day in Tokyo! Humid which has been the case for the last so many days but for the first time in about a week it was scorching hot with the sun glaring. It was quite unpleasant to walk especially if you were over-dressed for the weather as many people can be here and just seeing that makes it seem hotter… Luckily I don’t have to wear a suit to work and neither do my colleagues…

    1. Thank you Ayako-san. Your comment makes me miss Japanese summer a tiny bit less 🙂

      After two weeks of very hot weather here in Belgium, today we had a day with non-stop rain and 18°C. Really cold! The rest of the week should be better though.

      Do you wear ‘Super Cool Bizz’ to work or do you just get to wear whatever you like?

      1. At any given time of the year, I wear anything I like given the nature of my line of work. I could wear T-shirts and shorts to work if I so chose. No need to wear suit at any occasion although I have moments when I should be more “dressy” or more “presentable”.

  4. There are lots of cool things to enjoy about summer in Japan from the vivid green of the rice fields and mountains like you mentioned to all that cool summer food like kakigori, yakiniku and cold noodles. It’s a great time to be in Japan with all the amazing festivals and fireworks.

    1. It’s nice to see that someone else likes Japanese summer as well ^_^ I also miss hanabitaikai and wearing yukata. Next week there is an obon celebration in the Japanese garden in Belgium. I think I will attend, mainly to have an excuse to wear yukata again.

      1. That sounds good to me! It is a good way to stay in touch with your Japanese connection. We used to attend a lot of Japanese festivals when we lived in Australia as well 🙂

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