Japanese Language Blog

The Rainy Season Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well, it has finally happened. The 梅雨 (つゆ/rainy season) has begun! I grew up on the coast of カナダの東 (かなだのひがし/eastern Canada), so I have always been intimately familiar with 雨(あめ/rain), but it was only after I moved to 日本 (にほん/Japan) in 六月 (ろくがつ/June), that I finally understood what the term “rainy season” 梅雨really meant. Note the use of the 梅 (うめ/Japanese plum) character along with the 雨 character, which is used because the 梅雨 coincides with the 梅 harvesting season, like the “strawberry moon” is the full moon that happens during strawberry season).

It was hard for me to believe that a city could go for days, perhaps even weeks, with 雨 nearly 毎日 (まいにち/every day) and with almost no sunny days, but that was the 天気 (てんき/weather) I encountered when I arrived in Japan. It has been the case every single late 春 (はる/spring) / early 夏 (なつ/summer) since. Once the 梅雨 starts, you really cherish those rare sunny days. It might not be as bad as the monsoons around インド (India), but it is cloudy almost constantly and 雨 falls very frequently.

Lightning over Kagoshima

Lightning over Kagoshima

Still though, I actually enjoy the 梅雨. I have a small 野菜 (やさい/vegetable) garden that seems to thrive in the wet, humid 梅雨. I’m also one of those weird people who loves thunder and lightning, which is plentiful during the 梅雨. Mother Nature’s 花火 (はなび/fireworks)!

Most importantly though, it’s the last time I can hope for comfortable temperatures. When the 梅雨 finishes, the temperature spikes up to around 35 degrees Celsius sometimes! I (and my 野菜) prefer the 涼しい (すずしい/cool, refreshing), albeit humid, 梅雨.

Then again, while driving home in a very heavy rainfall today, I had to drive through overflowing 水 (みず/water) 10-20cm deep on several occasions. Maybe it isn’t all that great…

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  1. Geri:

    本当だ!I went to Japan at the end of May for two weeks and returned not too long ago. I didn’t quite mind the cloudy days though, they weren’t too hot or too cold, cause where I’m from It’s hot all year round so cool is good!

    I managed to visit skytree too, it hasn’t opened yet so we just admired it from below, it’s unfortunate that we went on a cold, rainy day but it did look quite spectacular with the clouds gathering round it!


    • Marcel:

      @Geri I’m jealous you got to see the Tokyo Sky Tree! In my two trips to Tokyo, I never even managed to get to Tokyo Tower! My wife’s parents visited last month and were able to go inside, and they said it was really impressive. I hope to get out there sometime soon to see it for myself!