Home > Gaijin Chronicles > Summer Sucks

Summer Sucks

I fucking hate summer in Japan.

Winter is, by far, the best season here.  By a landslide.  And yet, this is another thing that the Japanese just don’t understand about me (the fish allergy being #1 – “how can you not like fish?  It’s so delicious?  What?  Allergy?  You will die?  …Blasphemy!  Fish is made of nothing but rainbows and happiness.”).  Why do you like winter?  It’s so cold!  And…it’s so cold!  Did you forget about how cold it is?

Yes, winter is cold.  Suck it up, you panzies.  And its funny that I would say this, me being from California and all.  Because when it comes to weather, Californians are absolute 100% pussies.  We get all chilly and reach for our jackets when the weather drops to 70; meanwhile on the East Coast, people go outside wearing shorts and shit at -5, and laugh at those silly hippies.  “Look at those guys, wearing coats in 70 degree weather and with their Terminator governor and shit.”  The tradeoff is that while Californians are pussies when it comes to the weather, should the Earth start moving beneath us, we don’t really care unless the Richter scale reaches at least 7.

Anyway, back to summer.  Summer in Japan sucks for a multitude of reasons.  …What are those reasons?  I’m glad you asked!  Sit down and grab a Snickers because…well…y’know.

1.  It’s hotter and muggier than a sweaty dog’s fur.

The heat itself isn’t really a problem.  Japan actually doesn’t even get that hot.  But maybe I have no perspective on this – I lived in the SoCal desert for a few years.  Do you know what they call that region – Death Valley.  Yeah, Death Valley.  115 degree days were nothing.

Despite this, Japan is worse because the humidity level is at like 2000%.  You sweat simply because you exist.  I think, overall, you would end up drier if you just jumped directly into a swimming pool, as compared to walking around outside in Japan for 5 mintues.  While Death Valley was hot, it was dry hot, so it was much more bearable.  Given the choice, I would gladly spend a summer in Death Valley over Japan.

…Y’hear that Japan?  Your country in the summer is even worse than Death.

The humidity also means that, even when the sun goes down, the heat and mugginess stick around.  And that shit is just not fair.

Perhaps this would be bearable if I were a single guy, and could run my air conditioner 24/7.  And when I was a single guy, I did run my AC 24/7.  That’s not even a joke, I just never turned it off.  Why would I?  Even when I wasn’t home, if I turned it off then, when I did come home I’d have to put up with my room feeling like Sticky Maple Syrup Death for however long it took for the AC to fix the problem.  Funk that.  Instant gratification – the second I crossed my doorway, I was greeted by a cool and dry temperature, and that shit was wonderful.

All of that goes flying out of the window however should the single guy start dating.  Because Japanese women have some sort of mind-blowing allergy to air-conditioning.  “It’s cold!” she burrs as she goes to crank down the AC to 28 (82 in F).  Yes it’s cold, and that’s the point!  Eat more meat, get more body fat, and maybe you will learn to appreciate it!  God forbid you marry one, cause she won’t let you run it during the night, and you wake up at 4AM all hot and sweaty, and unfortunately not in the good way.

This is one area in which I sort of envy my female ex-patriot counterparts.  While they may complain about being perpetually single here in Japan, the trade-off is that at least they get to run the shit out of their air-conditioners.  Have an apartment as nice and frosty as the conditions between their legs.*

*Girls, don’t take too much offense to that…but if you ARE an expat female in Japan and you complain about having no sex life, yet you make no attempt to actually change this, despite the fact that unless you look like the bastard love child of Whoopi Goldberg and Danny DeVito you can pretty much go up to almost any guy and say “let’s have sex” and he will probably say yes….well, just know that I have no sympathy for you.  None.

2.  Japan’s “hidden” 5th season – biblical plague umbrellas.

Despite spring and summer supposedly being the best seasons of the year, rainy season happens to fall right between them.  And while it doesn’t rain everyday, it rains just enough to make you think that God hates this country and wants to drown it under a saucy river of steamy sky water.

Now, the rain itself isn’t that bad.  I actually like rain.  Yes, I like winter, and I like rain.  I’m special like that.  What bothers me most about this season is the umbrellas.  Maybe my memory isn’t that good, but as I recall, back in America the umbrellas only came out for substantial rain.  It had to be enough so that you would be actually wet, and continue to be wet unless you changed clothes.  Not for drizzling, or for the stuff that would get you moderately moist, but you’d be dry after 5 minutes indoors.

But Japan doesn’t play by these rules.  Even the slightest inkling of rain will produce umbrellas.  Even just the essence of rain is enough.  Never mind that they are only outside for maybe 5 minutes in between the train station and work/home.  No no, don’t want to melt in the nasty acid rain, gotta pop out that umbrella.    Why do I care?  Remember that Japanese people move in some sort of magical self-contained bubble, completely impervious to the outside world around them.  Now factor in that umbrellas only serve to make their radius wider, and given the height difference, most Japanese people hold them at about my eye-level.  …Yeah.

Maybe if it was just during rainy days, the umbrella hyper barrage would be tolerable.  But you should know by now that that’s not the case, now is it?  Japanese women also pop them out on sunny days.  Y’know, don’t want to get skin cancer and all.  No, wait, that reason would actually make sense, if this were Australia.  (Regardless of the status of the ozone layer over this country, I think the dense levels of smog alone will stop UV rays, and anything short of Galactus coming to eat the planet.  Even then, Galactus has a lot of smog to get through before he reaches Japan…)  No no, they just don’t want to ruin their beautiful white porcelain skin with an ugly dark tan.  As a member of a race who is permanently suntanned, I will refain from commenting too deeply on this.  I will only say this – sunburn – how does that work out for you guys?  Bwa ha ha ha ha!

Ahem.  I digress.  So the umbrellas come out on rainy days, sunny days…and overcast days!  Yes, overcast days!  I shit you not, it will be a cloudy day and there will still be women carrying umbrellas.  As a preemptive strike against either outcome?  What the hell I don’t even

So rainy season ends, and maybe one or two months later, we transistion nicely into…typhoon season!  Sweet!  And if you just thought “Well, surely Japanese people don’t carry umbrellas out in the typhoon!”, obviously you don’t live here.  My favorite part of typhoon season is watching the news, and them showing the one person crossing the bridge with the umbrella that’s getting thrashed by the raw natural elements.  This isn’t a recycled shot, they shoot this shot every year and show it I guess to shock and awe us over the power of the typhoon.  And while I guess I should be worried about the mini hurricane, I’m always rooting for the typhoons to mangle as many umbrellas as possible.

3.  Festivals suck ass.

So with the weather being so good (ha!), summer is prime festival season here in Japan.  And that’s a good thing, right?  An important part of Japanese culture?  A fun event the whole family can enjoy?  Wrong!

Festivals consist of little booths, where you can buy stuff like yakitori, yakisoba, takoyaki, whatever.  Nevermind that you can buy these things almost anywhere at anytime, and here at the festival they are especially overpriced.  Then they will have some summer-specific stuff like shaved ice, and maybe some games like the goldfish scooper thing.

And that’s about it.  No, really.

They may have one of those shrine things, that either people will carry around on their shoulders, or will be situated in the middle of the street.  But really, that’s about the extent of it.  Of course, there are like eleventy billion people there.  So you fight against hordes upon hordes of people to see a hand-held shrine and go buy some overpriced bar foods.  While I can understand the novelty of it at first, I’ve been here for 7 years and it has become beyond repetitive.  I would imagine that even the Penis Festival would get old at some point*.

*The funny thing about the Penis Festival, to me at least, is the hundreds of guys there with cameras to take pictures of girls eating penis-shaped candy and riding giant wooden phalluses (…Is Japan the only country where this sentence is even possible?  I think so!).  What exactly are you going to do with that picture?  Show it to friends?  “And this is a picture of some girl I don’t know riding atop a 5-foot wooden penis.”  It just seems weird to me to grab your camera and head out to some country bumpkin town so you can take pictures of girls you don’t even know playing around with glorified dildoes in a non-sexual manner.  I mean, wouldn’t downloading porn be a whole lot easier/faster/more satisfying?  I mean…shit.

Summer is also prime time for fireworks festivals.  Admittedly, the Japanese do put on a pretty good fireworks show.  However, to get to said show, again you have to fight against a crowd that rivals the population of Bangladesh, kill two salarymen and an obasan to get a spot to sit on the ground, and then considering that everyone goes home at exactly the same time, take 2 hours just to get to the train station, and then watch as the trains move so slowly, it would be faster to just ride piggyback on an elementary schooler to go home.  Can’t I just buy a Fireworks of the World Blu-Ray or something and eliminate the unneeded stress?

4.  Show me the skin….oh, wait.

In most other countries, for us guys, summer means girls in tank tops and oh so short shorts.  We may be hot and sweating, but hey, at least the scenery is nice.  I suppose maybe the same is true for women?  Hot guys shirtless and sweaty and shit?  I don’t know, I won’t pretend to know how the female mind works.  My impression of it is that its a direct opposite of the male mind.  So if we men like seeing beautiful women scantily clothed, I imagine the female turn on being a guy in an apron offering to cook dinner, clean the house, and then sit down and have a talk about his feelings for the next three hours.  That, or vampires who sparkle in the sunlight.  It’s that kind of shit that makes the female mind so baffling.

Anyway, summer and skin.  This is yet another area where Japan fails.  Forget about tank tops, because Japanese women don’t show cleavage.  Most of them don’t even have it, but the few that do don’t show it.  In fact, its just the opposite – they’re so paranoid over getting tanned that they wear more layers of clothing than they do in the winter.  Go figure that one out.

The shorts are the same story.  They wear short skirts all year round, so summer isn’t anything special.  Actually, I think the skirts get shorter in the winter.  I have nothing other than my hunches to lay stake to this claim; but other guys I’ve talked to feel the same way.  I would love to present some hard data as evidence, but I don’t think most women will allow me to go around measuring their skirt length.  Maybe if I could find a way to involve giant wooden phalluses in the process?

If you are a guy and you want to see some summer skin, pretty much the beach is your last refuge.  It’s actually a pretty damn good last refuge though.  Hundreds upon hundreds of bikini-clad beach babes…yeah…

I’m sorry, I went away for a minute there.  I’m back now.

Either way, I’m married, and all that eye candy is off-limits to me now anyway.  For me, its kind of like overload.  Imagine you’re on a diet – you might see a picture of a delicious cheesecake in a magazine or on TV or something, and you think “Mmm that’d be nice” but its not too bad.  But then some friends take you to the Cheesecake Factory and they all order huge portions of cheesecake and they look like they’re having orgasms while eating it simply from the delicious taste of it, and you have to stick to your diet and not eat one single bite.  At all.  Or your wife will divorce you and you lose half of everything you own.  That is why I don’t want to go to the beach anymore.

That paragraph probably only made sense if you are a married man.

Anyway.  In conclusion.  Between the horrible heat, shitty weather overall, overcrowded festivals and lack of any real redeeming qualities, summer is officially the worst season in Japan.  Despite that, nearly every Japanese person will say “summer” if you ask them what their favorite season is.   The reasoning?  “At least its not cold.”  And I thought Californians were bad when it came to weather.


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Categories: Gaijin Chronicles
  1. Xeirich
    July 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    YES, at last, someone else who loves both the rain AND Winter! You’re not the only one who leaves the A/C on 24/7 either XD
    I absolutely hate Summer. Living in Canada, I get more than my share of Winter chill and snow, and I’m happy for that 😀

  2. r3l4x
    July 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I agree with you 110%, the heat isn’t the bad thing, it’s freaking walking around and realising you could’ve swam to your destination and would’ve been less wet.

    Also, I have to say that in my opinion the skirts do get longer here when it get’s hotter. And that while the beach may be a great opportunity to see some skin, seeing a decently filled bathing suit walk past or, god forbid, in the water is like striking oil of the coast of Japan.

    Anyway that’s just my two cents. Love the new blog and keep up the good work.

  3. Sam G
    July 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I like the rain as well – though I worry about my electronic devices – and winter is… more tolerable than summer, I’d say. I hate summer. I’m not a fan of winter either, since it gets cold – as cold as Australia gets, anyway – but summer is hell. At least in winter you can put on jumpers and jackets and use mini heaters. In summer, even if you’re wearing hardly anything, you’ll still be hot, and fans do nothing but blow hot air. Without A/C you are doomed, and mine’s broken.

  4. thecheshirekatt
    July 6, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Hey now, I’m in Cali and can’t stand the heat. I prefer winter, and rain as well. The only thing going for this summer is that it’s been unseasonably cold. I think the thermometer has stayed at 68 the past month and a half. Then again, last summer was pretty cold too, barring October and the start of fire season which always sucks.

  5. July 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I hate summer with a passion. I live in Georgia, and while it’s not the hottest state, the humidity can get absolutely miserable this time of year. I think I’d prefer Death valley if it’s dry.

  6. Kyle
    July 6, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I live in Georgia and summers here aren’t so bad. The humidity isn’t nearly as horrible as in Houston, TX, and I expect Japan’s even worse than that (the only time I’ve been in Japan during the summer I was in Aomori, which actually felt pretty pleasant.)

    The being allergic to sunlight behavior might SEEM annoying, but you’ll be glad when your wife hits middle age. Unlike all the leather-skinned white yuppie women where I live, Japanese women seem to have nice skin for a much, much longer time because they don’t incinerate themselves.

    The air conditioning part does sound pretty bad though. What I hear is really frustrating are workplaces that have an air conditioner but never turn it on. Now that sounds frustrating. And also, there is no way I would ever let my girlfriend/wife/whatever set the temperature inside to boiling hot. She can whine about it all she wants, but if I want it cool inside, it’s going to be cool.

  7. Jill, Mawande
    July 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Spring is usually my favorite. Though this year, spring was a little weird to me. Summers I’m not particularly good at. Last year I shaved my head. My mother and my neighbor freaked out, but it made the summer weather much easier on me.

  8. July 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    ah, I remember not being able to tell where sweat ended and where actual water from air condensation started. The world where everything is sticky! Such fond memories…

    As for the “skirts being shorter in winter”, we got an explanation from a genuine japanese boy: japanese girls generally don’t like their legs, so, in summer they have to wear pants or skirts to hide them. In winter, they can wear stocking, cue the really short skirts !

    • December 12, 2010 at 3:58 am

      thanks, its very good…

  9. Mayhem
    July 7, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I’m definitely a winter guy myself… says he just about to head to the US where it will be 90+ every single day for more than two weeks, especially in Vegas. Viva la aircon! Only just found out where this site has gone to, especially given the domain expire… it lives 🙂

  10. Jen
    July 7, 2010 at 1:32 am

    You now gave me a reason to go to Japan in April. I wanna see this Penis festival myself. XD

    I question my own gender when surrounded by sparklepire lovers. I don’t understand the attraction to Twishit, at all.

    I also have no problem with my guy looking as long as it’s not disgusting. Hell, even I’d notice a hot girl. I just don’t want to see drool running down his face or something.

    I’m from San Antonio. It’s not as bad as Houston, but I know the feeling. I get exhausted from just walking to get the newspaper from the driveway because of the humidity. The rest of the year, I have no problem walking six miles. >.X

    • December 12, 2010 at 4:03 am

      hi jill
      we have image for all word in body, we good very very ..

  11. Jj
    July 7, 2010 at 1:53 am

    My god, I wish we had Japan temps where I live! See winter for me means being happy if the temp is above -15C! Summer means average of 30C with a nice dose of humidity!
    But, I live summer better than winter, I wonder why!

  12. Andrew
    July 7, 2010 at 3:59 am

    I’m from Minnesota, so we get all the season. How cold does it get in Japan during winter? Where I’m at we will have a few -20F days and a lot of single digit highs. By the way, Californians are pussies. My shorts come out in spring when the temp is 35F.

  13. Alex
    July 7, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Summer used to be my favorite season until I stopped going to school and elevated myself to the working class. Now I love the cold and the rain. Summertime in Houston is terrible. I wish it would here everyday so it wouldn’t be so hot.

  14. July 7, 2010 at 5:49 am

    I very much prefer the winter over summer. I can’t stand heat. You can always put on more clothes if you’re cold. Once you’re naked, nothing helps heat. I also LOVE rain. It’s my favorite weather.

  15. blacky
    July 7, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Nice to see you getting back into a posting rhythm that’s measured in weeks rather than years 😉

    And as always, several chuckles were had.

    Another seasonal WTF is winter in areas where it only happens for two days and /everything/ grinds to a halt over half an inch of snow while 50 miles up the mountains, there are ten inches new snow per night and it’s like nobody notices. And worst of all, the incompetent flatlanders are surprised about winter coming every damn December!

  16. Larry
    July 7, 2010 at 6:12 am

    I love rain, winter, snow, and hail. By far my favorite types of weather. Living in georgia, we know how hot and muggy it can get. Crazy humidity over here.

  17. Bara
    July 7, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Ugh, summer in Japan reminds me of the time I spent in Ft. Stewart Georgia. Nothing like going for a brisk 5 mile formation run at 6 am in the morning with temps over 75 degrees and the humidity so high you could actually see mist rising off the swamps that surrounded the post. (I won’t mention the paper mills that added such sweetness to the air. It was like rose scented perfume… NOT! It was like Satan farting brimstone and rancid bologna and then you sucking it DEEP into your lungs as you gasped for air in that last quarter mile.)
    Ahhh, fun times… NOT! I’m a California boy, dammit! I put in for a transfer to Germany ASAP!!! I’d rather run in snow drifts (which we did all winter long)than stay in that humidity.

  18. July 7, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    When your eyes are the height of umbrellas spokes – you have to pop their solipsistic mindset. I do it by being uber-friendly. Walk up and say hello. That puts the fear of GOD in them! Did it to some stocky Sumo students by calling them “nice little guys.” They hated it but I was a whole head taller than them.

    In Japan Winter rocks in Japan because I’ve got the “OMG! Santa Claus!” thing going for me. In Kyushu, we could make kids crap in their pants as they have the whole Dutch Santa and Black Peter legend there.

  19. Longtime Reader
    July 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Az, correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Japan also have a trend called “Ganguro” that involves significant tanning?

    • Kyle
      July 8, 2010 at 6:29 am

      Ganguro was kind of a late 90s-ish fad, I don’t think much of anyone does it anymore. There are, of course, some Japanese women who tan voluntarily, it’s just not nearly as common as in western countries.

      • 34
        July 8, 2010 at 11:26 pm

        You can still see a few of them in Shibuya, but yeah, it’s not all that common anymore.

  20. Kosine
    July 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Wow, nice website Az! Took me a while to figure out that Smash had moved to OP9, and then to here. But, I’m all caught up now.

    I don’t care what you say, I’m still a Summer-man – the cold is my bitter, mortal enemy. Admittedly, the thought of all that humidity is extraordinarily unattractive… Well, at least I can dodge that by visiting during Spring or Autumn, right?

    Hahahaha, and people think I should move to Japan…

  21. Leidbag
    July 7, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    “But then some friends take you to the Cheesecake Factory and they all order huge portions of cheesecake and they look like they’re having orgasms while eating it simply from the delicious taste of it, and you have to stick to your diet and not eat one single bite. At all. Or your wife will divorce you and you lose half of everything you own. That is why I don’t want to go to the beach anymore.”

    Awesome, man. You never lost a step.

  22. Eric
    July 8, 2010 at 7:48 am

    As a California native myself (I’t been in the 70s the past few days, with a couple days of early morning rain) I recall my trip to Japan back in 2008 (7/7/08-7/21/08) as being not as bad as I had thought it might be weather wise, but worse than I would have liked of course. There’s nothing worse in my mind than hot rain, as you have to chose between being hot(ter) and dry, or somewhat cooler (but still hot) and wet. Luckily my trip included an extended home-stay in Akita (Kakunodate to be exact), where much cooler weather was to be had. This way by the time we got to out Tokyo destination of Ikebukuro we were much more acclimated to the whole humidity issue. All in all not so bad really. Then again California weather seems to follow me wherever I travel, as I can’t recall the temp getting beyond 88 degree F for the duration of our trip, and rain really was at minimum. But yeah, Japanese summers are far from their best season, but I’d be happy to go again ^^.

    *Plus, Maid Cafes in Akihabara make everything awesome.

  23. HiEv
    July 8, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Please tell me I’m not the only one seeing “It’s hotter and muggier than a sweaty dog’s fur” and thinking, “But… dogs don’t really sweat!” They sweat a bit though their footpads, yeah, but primarily they regulate heat by panting. So, that makes that part of the “Japanese Teachers Say the Darndest Things” even more… er… darnder? (Is that a word?)

    Also, the line “What the hell I don’t even” ends right there. I think the rest of that bit got lost somewhere.

    Anyways, always glad to read more of your stuff. Keep up the good work!

    • itrolu
      July 12, 2010 at 1:23 pm

      it’s a meme

      he just modified it; the original is:
      what is this i dont even

  24. Sorgrid
    July 8, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Man, that rain on Tanabata? Forget the umbrella, give me a fucking submarine!
    Well done again Az! Looking forwards the next one!

  25. Nicolas Rodrigue
    July 8, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I definitely get the feeling this week.
    Crazy temperature in Canada (Montreal). 30C-35C all week long with tons of humidity which makes it feel like between 40C-45C.
    I walk out for 2 minutes and I’m sweating.
    I walk out for 1 hour between home and work and I feel like I need a new shower or a pool to get in.

    And to top it off, I didn’t get someone to install my AC because it wasn’t hot enough before and it’s installed on my room’s window, I prefer not having bugs over some heat. But heat like that, bring any bug! The catch is that I suffer from a long-term ankle-tendinitis. Lifting my AC is a guaranteed 1 week recovery window just to walk around my apartment.
    And seeing that my vacations are next week, I’d like to enjoy my vacation week not grunting on every step I take.

    • July 18, 2010 at 11:00 am

      I’m from Montreal as well, now living in Chiba City in Japan. I thought Montreal was hot and muggy in summer, but I never imagined it would be even worse in Japan! The simplest of movements, like *raising an arm*, or an eyebrow, will make you sweat buckets.

      I totally agree with the post, summer is disgusting in Japan. Absolutely true about the AC, too. I used to have it at 18 degrees (!) when I first arrived, but now have to compromise at 28 degrees + dehumidifier since the girlfriend moved in. Had a good laugh at Az’s accurate observation 🙂

      By the way, my dehumidifier can collect 4 liters of water in a 10-tatami room overnight. That’s two 2L Coke bottles full of water in the air in one night!

      Quick tip for the trains in Japan during summer:
      – I find that standing in the center area of the wagon (not the corridor with the seats) is the cooler place to be (and I mean “cooler”, not “cool”). Don’t stand near the doors, but more in the inside region of the center area, if you know what I mean.
      – Avoid trains with a high number of salary-men, old salary-men, and tall salary-men. They generate more heat. Find trains with more women in them: they do not generate as much heat, and the train smells better in general.
      – Ride in the odd-numbered wagons: the AC is strongest in those, to cover for the weaker even-numbered wagons. Also avoid the “jaku-reibou (弱冷房)” wagons, they tend to have weak AC for those that think trains are “too cold”. Avoid Jack Raybow in general, really.

  26. Lyn
    July 8, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I don’t have school, but it’s 90F almost EVERY day and usually really humid (worse this year because of flooding… I live in TN). I prefer Fall personally, it’s not freakin’ freezing (I have yet to discover the prefect combination of layers where I don’t freeze in Winter), it’s not humid, and it’s not blazing hot. It doesn’t help that we are cursed to where our AC breaks EVERY summer without fail.

  27. Ryan
    July 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    While I’ve known a lot of women who like things a little warmer than I do, my live-in GF does things a little differently. Being from a cold climate, she likes to crank the AC way down while she sleeps, and then she curls up under lots of bedclothes. Very snug and cozy for her, but my nocturnal self gets to sit out in the living room and freeze because she can’t figure out how to sleep under just a sheet. If I can train her to do that, we can just set the thermostat at 72 and leave it the hell alone all year.

    And I was also dumbfounded at how popular a series of books about sparkly vampires could be, until I found this excellent explanation: http://theoatmeal.com/story/twilight

    • Andrew
      July 13, 2010 at 4:22 am

      You just described every Minnesotan’s (where I’m from) sleeping habits lol.

    • RieaMiea
      September 1, 2010 at 1:29 pm

      Dude I read the damn books and I am still confused. Don’t even get me started on that fucked craptastic love story

  28. B16CXHatch
    July 8, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Dude, I feel ya. The only reason I like summer is I’m off from school and make more money thanks to more hours at work. I can readily sympathize with many of your reasons.

    1. I live in middle Tennessee. It’s muggy as balls here too. Luckily, it’s just me and my roommate so we run the A/C a lot… in the apartment. My car, the A/C doesn’t work (never has in the almost 4 years I’ve owned it). I work at an auto parts store so I often have to go out and test/change people’s batteries and whatnot and that is agonizingly painful when people park IN THE FUCKING SUN which is about 95% of the time.

    2. umbrellas aren’t a huge problem around here but I am baffled by the folks that’ll break one out when it’s misting. Shit, the wind is just gonna blow it straight into your face. Now I walk to class from my apartment and I’ll break out the mega huge, beat the shit outta somebody, golf umbrella when a justifiable rain starts. When you got nearly $2000 worth of laptop, books, computer equipment, and other electronics with you, you’ll wanna keep that shit dry.

    3. Replace Festivals with County Fairs. I fuckin hate the things. The rides suck, everything is waste of money, it’s hot, hicks everywhere, etc. Just, no. I ain’t gonna go unless some girl I really like is wanting me to go. Otherwise, fuck off.

    4. Sadly since I live off campus, I don’t get to see much of the ladies wearing their skimpy shit in the summer (which sucks cause there is some epic eye candy on campus). Again, I work at an auto parts store, so I get fat, shirtless rednecks coming into my store. I thank the lord I’m actually a driver and not retail staff so that means I might get a delivery to save me from that hell.

  29. Nathan
    July 8, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    I agree with you 100% on both rain and winter.

    Especially winter.

    Fuck summer, at least in winter I can always put on more clothes. You can only get so naked before you get arrested for it when summer rolls around.

  30. 34
    July 8, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    You forgot one of the absolute worst things about summer here:


    I’m not talkin’ your average, wimpy little American cockroach, either- I’m talking the big fat yokozuna motherfuckers that suddenly appear in your bathroom for no reason one night (and why the fuck is it always the BATHROOM? The kitchen I could understand, but the bathroom?? I guess, ’cause it’s darker, maybe, but still…). And, of course, being The Guy, it’s always your job to take care of the motherfucker. Which generally means spraying it liberally from a safe distance, then running in terror (but continuing to spray) as it rushes at you, around the corner, & into the motherfucking BEDROOM CLOSET under a huge pile of bags (why girls feel the need to keep all their paper shopping bags is beyond me- sure, a couple here or there might be useful at some point- but DOZENS?), then sitting there, unwilling to leave lest it make its way back out somewhere else, spraying every time it’s in view (and a few times even when it’s not), listening to the fucker continue to scratch its way around, until finally, a full 5 minutes later, you’ve got enough of the bags pulled out to spray that fucker a few more times, as it finally slows down enough to scoop it up w/ a small plastic garbage container & chuck that fucker in the toilet.

    …Guess what -I- just did? T_T;

    Oh, and yeah- rain (I mean REAL rain, esp. thunderstorms- not your “oh no it’s drizzling 1 micrometer an hour- better pull out the umbrella!” pussy-Japanese rain) + winter = WIN.

    And yes- it’s 11:30pm and my AC is on.

    • Fumi
      July 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      Spray? Roll up some newspaper or grab a slipper and smash the cockroach like a man would.

      • giga
        July 11, 2010 at 12:14 pm

        Yeah, you’ve never seen a Japanese cockroach, have you?
        You have to gas them out. Trying to smash them is useless as their shells are invincible.

      • wole
        July 14, 2010 at 5:07 am

        Yeah why gas them and inhale all that gas urself when u can use a stick if newpapers wont do the job. Man up bro

  31. July 9, 2010 at 2:34 am

    Just found this blog and love it! I can’t get enough of the senseless and infuriating ways of the country–not only is it fascinating to me, but I need it to cancel out some of the OMGz EVERYTHING JAPAN IS AWEUSDFSOAGME!! ideas that rage about much of the Internet. Thanks for your honesty and humor. I’ll be reading your archives too, hope you don’t mind comments on your older entries??

  32. July 9, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Hey Az. Apologies in advance because I know this comment doesn’t have shit to do with this blog post — I’d have emailed this to you, but you need to frickin’ fix your email, ‘cos your outpostnine.com email isn’t working. =p

    I’m plenty aware that you don’t have the slightest frickin’ idea of who I am, but I’ve been following you for years ever since I discovered your “I’m a japanese school teacher” series, and just recently found out that you’d moved out of Gaijin Smash. I just wanted to tell ya that I’m very very glad to have found your blog again, very very happy for you to finally be on your way to being a dad (I don’t care if you buy a rocket launcher, black + jap = delicious, so I’m still getting pictures of your daughter in about 19 years or so =p but only if you train her in the arts of Transformers and Street Fighter, and maybe Devil May Cry and the Nasuverse too), and that now that I’ve found your new blog, I just subscribed to your RSS feed and hope you don’t move again out of there again (your original site, Outpost Nine, didn’t even come to mind the few times the Gaijin Smash feed started to go bonkers on me =( boo).

    By the way, you need to post a picture of you with your rapidly increasing family. =p

    Cheers, and I’ll see how and when my increasingly short funds allow me to make donation — I know kids can be expensive, my 3-year old niece who lives with me is living proof of it. =)

    Best wishes for you and your wife. =)

  33. July 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Fantastic stuff as always Az. Just like the person above, I’ve been following your exploits right from your schoolteacher days.

    I live in India and if anyone whose visited this place can tell you, the heat is a killer. We’re just at the end of summer which went upwards of 48’C with 100% humidity this season and we have 3 months of the monsoons to look forward to (joy!) where we’re greeted with not typhoons, but enough rain to have most of the cities submerged.

    The only thing we do look forward to is the winters where it doesn’t get below 12’C for me 🙂

    The saddest thing is living in a conservative society by the most part, we don’t get to see much skin here, even in the killer heat women are mostly covered (although not as much as those in the Middle-East).

    Best wishes for your you and the family.

  34. Steve
    July 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Hey azrael seeing that with you being married and having financial issue. I reckon you should collect all your blogs and publish it into a book. Kind of like cultural learning of japan kind of thing. I definitely would buy it, just a thought Keep up with these posts.

  35. GrimEyes
    July 10, 2010 at 12:53 am

    You think summer is bad in Japan? At least they have 4 seasons. Try growing up in a tropical country. Here we have only two seasons; Summer, the time of year when its extremely hot and Not Summer, where the weather can range from not-so-bad to biblical floods to it-still-feels-like-summer. From where I live, summer is absolute living hell. I don’t even own an AC, so I pretty much just have to suffer through it. Homeless people die because of the extreme heat.

  36. mangamuscle
    July 10, 2010 at 5:10 am

    After all the years you have been living in Japan you still use Fahrenheit? WTF!? or you really think most of your readers belong to the USA (which USA citizens call america, trying to forget that the rest of America uses the metric system)?

    • Bara
      July 10, 2010 at 1:01 pm

      That’s right Az; real Americans use miles, yards, feet, inches and Fahrenheit. Don’t give in to the metric pansies! 😉

      • August 23, 2010 at 5:49 am

        I can’t understand why the USAnians are the only people on this planet who still stick to those antiquated units, while the rest of the planet has gone metric aeons ago…

  37. Boxberg
    July 10, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Are you telling me that both times I visited Japan I could have gotten laid to my heart’s content? I was constantly told Japanese men don’t like foreigners and if they do you have to be white. Being black I figured I didn’t have a chance so I never bothered. Now I’m just thinking of the hot guy on the shinkansen that got away.

    I’m halfway with you, love the rain but I’ll take the heat to the cold anyday.

  38. July 11, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Went to the local festival yesterday and had to laugh at your description. We also have the added entertainment of way too many yanqui punks at ours. Good to hear you’re still writing

  39. itrolu
    July 12, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    sup az
    where in japan would I meet the best people? I mean by personality; i.e not running into salarymen and shallow girls all day. I’m thinking either Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, or even up north in Sapporo.

    Also, are there any cities in japan known for being friendly to polite gaijin — and even maybe known for being easier to get girls for gaijin?

  40. Dave
    July 13, 2010 at 3:52 am

    You’re right about the skirts getting shorter in the winter, I noticed that as well and I have come up with what I believe to be a fairly logical theory.

    In the winter, girls wear mini skirts, but they also wear those tight stretchy pants under them, meaning there is no chance for their underwear to be exposed. With no fear of exposure, girls are free to wear their skirts as short as they can to be cute.

    • July 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      Yup. I third the short length theory. In summer they wear those super long peasant skirts and dresses…I’m the only gal who wears the same dress/tunics as I do in winter minus the leggings!

  41. Amanda
    July 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    It’s so nice to hear from you regularly! Congrats on the baby, and I look forward to reading more posts soon!

  42. wole
    July 14, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Yeah I am a spring guy but prefer winter to summer. but living in the states least not married always makes for an enjoyable summer. btw az was ur wife also as hyped abt twlight as the women over here are? any idea on if it is also as popular with japanese women?

  43. July 14, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I’m trying to find the humor here, and I think I do, but why stay if everything is so wrong? I guess everyone has their preference – winter is difficult for me, although Shizuoka doesn’t get that cold so at least it’s tolerable.

    As for the rain, I’m from Seattle, where we snicker at folks carrying around umbrellas. We deal with the rain without using umbrellas, but the rain in Seattle is incredibly different from rain in Japan (yes aside the fact that it is still…rain). Sometimes it might sprinkle or drizzle here, but let’s be honest, most of the time it pours. So even if you think you can get away without an umbrella, the rain will sneak up and catch you anyway. From someone who never carried an umbrella her entire life living in the rainy Pacific Northwest – I carry one around now living in Japan. Especially during the rainy season when these bursts come, and I end up soaked because I stupidly thought it wouldn’t rain that hard. I’ve learned the hard way.

  44. Lyn
    July 23, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I just had a thought about the waking up sticky because your wife won’t let you run the AC. Why not just get a dehumidifier?

  45. Nummnuttz
    August 1, 2010 at 2:10 am

    >I will only say this – sunburn – how does that work out for you guys? Bwa ha ha ha ha!

    As a white guy who has been told by a dermatologist that he can never tan after having spent hundreds of dollars trying, I think I speak for all of us when I say: FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

  46. Rodney Reynosa
    August 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Great post! You forgot to mention my greatest enemy though… the cicada…

  47. C
    August 7, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Atsui ne?

  48. Rodney Reynosa
    August 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm
  49. vaidkun
    August 9, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    um… yes summer in japan is hot recently i was in tokyo. but winter is not so bad..
    where i lived summer hot 30C or so winter can be as cold as -30C 🙂
    which is better?

  50. kanashibari
    August 10, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    The one thing I hate about summer in Osaka the most are these noisy winged monstrosities kids like to play with. One sight of a Kumazemi, let alone the thought of one flying in my face and pelting my skin with those giant papery transparent appendages, is enough to transform every hair on my neck into some form of arthropodic lifeform.

  51. dylan
    August 13, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Man, I totally feel your pain. I live in Texas and my wife is from Japan. She will not let me turn the AC down past 80, and only if I agree not to turn the fan on to blow the hot air around. She gets cold and then complains about back aches and such so I just have to suffer being hot all the damn time. My brother-in-law on the other hand (also Japanese) really appreciates the cold AC everywhere he goes, so I think it’s just a girl thing..

    • vaidkun
      August 13, 2010 at 5:12 pm

      can japanese woman live in winter when its -30 outside and ofcourse not so very hot inside?

  52. kirstin
    August 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    As a SoCal girl, I’m really hating Japanese summers with the ridiculous humidity. However, as a single female, I love my very cold air conditioned apartment. As a teacher, my students complain that my classrooms are too cold, but I told them to bring a sweater as I’m not allowed to wear less clothes than I already do. But I do think that I must be a strange woman, cause I am always hot and hardly ever cold. In California, I live in jeans and a tank top almost 365 days a year. Of course, it’s a moderate 65-75 degrees year round where I lived by the beach. Can’t tell you how much I am missing that right now!

    Just found your blog today and enjoying laughing my ass off while reading it. I’ve noticed some of the same peculiarities about Japan that you have but you state them, uhm, so eloquently 🙂

    My thought about the beach was that I saw less skin there than I do on a average winter day in California. Everyone seemed to be wearing long sleeves and maybe shorts and hats into the sun and water. But immediately after the beach, this same crowd wanted to go to a bath – so they have no problem showing skin and getting naked in front of each other but just don’t want to get tan. Crazy idea to a sun-lovin’ girl like me!

  53. August 16, 2010 at 12:48 am

    If Japan is anywhere near as muggy as downstate New York, then you have my complete sympathy. Weather in NY is miserable except in the autumn.

  54. Jen
    August 17, 2010 at 10:43 am

    While I can understand your hatred of the Japanese summer heat (how in the world did you afford to run your AC 24/7!?), I just had to comment cause I’m a cold-hating, wimpy East Coast girl who lived in Kyoto.

    I am from Pittsburgh – where it gets to -15F in the winter, and where we got 3 fucking feet of snow this February – but, if I hadn’t had my kotatsu I would have literally died during winter in Kyoto, where it only got down to 32F. Outside wasn’t that bad – it was the INSIDE! I mean, how the fuck is it colder inside than outside? My hands actually stuck to my ceramic bowls a couple times in my kitchen after washing my hands, it was so cold. And don’t get me started on the “Open the windows once an hour to make sure we don’t catch a cold” campaign (No, we did not have kerosene heaters – or any heaters for that matter – at my school). I actually went to work in 4 shirts (an undershirts, a long sleeve dress shirt, and 2 sweaters), 2 pairs of wool socks, and 1-2 pairs of pants in the winter, much to the annoyance of my house husband, and I was still cold.

    I think if it’s below 70F, it’s freezing, and I’m putting on a long sleeved shirt. Then again, I have an underactive thyroid, so that may explain my serious cold sensitivity.

    I like Japanese spring the best, I think – except the Sakura crowds.

  55. August 23, 2010 at 5:45 am

    I’m a goth, but I love summer. I stay in the shadow because my skin burns very fast. I don’t need to avoid tanning, my genes take care of that – my skin knows only two colours, white and red.

    But I’m also very skinny, I can eat tons of meat and fries, but I don’t gain any weight at all. I haven’t got any problems with a temperature of 30°C, but as soon as the temperature drops below 21°C (common room temperature is 20°C), I need to put on a long sleeved shirt.

    And since I absolutely love fish and seafood, maybe I should move to Japan… 😀

  56. Kurisu
    August 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Regarding the pictures of girls riding penises in broad daylight in public:

    “(…Is Japan the only country where this sentence is even possible? I think so!)”

    Wrong! Korea has not one, but two (possibly more) “penis parks”, featuring large wooden objects cut into the shape of phalluses of all shapes. All of them have faces, and some of them even have female features. I saw one that even had a baby inside, with a rope for an umbilical cord. Not to mention that the baby was also sporting a giant hard-on. Of course, you can visit one of these parks all year round!

    I should also mention that Korea’s strict Confucian tradition, along with the large penetration of Christian churches (over 50% of Koreans are Christians) make Korea by far the most socially conservative country in Asia. With all the sexual repression that goes with it, I suppose something weird had to happen.

    Adding to the irony, most of the other visitors I saw were families taking pictures of their primary school kids standing next to one of the statues or sitting on one of the wooden penis benches.

  57. RieaMiea
    September 1, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I feel ya I hate summer. Mainly cause I live in the Bahamas and I am always hot(even in the winter) So I melt in the summer.

    Actually yeah we women(this one anyway) like to see shirtless guys. Ok the sparly vampires*sigh*(twilight has ruined vampires and to some degree werewolves) and talk about your feelings thing I am not there.

    Japan baffles me.

  58. RieaMiea
    September 1, 2010 at 1:27 pm


  59. 名無し
    September 7, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Just as a preface, I’ve only ever lived in Japan for four and a half months during the summer of 09, so I obviously don’t have as much experience as you.


    I’ve been reading your stuff for a while, and honestly this seems rather whiney. I mean, you don’t have to go festivals (I’ve been to one, it was neat.) and the crowds there and the crowds getting to fireworks shows aren’t that bad if you’re used to city living.

    As for the rest of it, from someone who’s been living in the country for seven years, these complaints seem rather petty. In short, I expect better :S

  60. September 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    > worse because the humidity level is at like 2000%

    Yeah, the eastern two thirds of the continental US has humid summers, too. Summer in the south is particularly egregious, but even clear up in Michigan they have days when it’s over 95 F and also over 95% relative humidity at the same time, which doesn’t exactly feel frigid.

    > The humidity also means that, even when the sun
    > goes down, the heat and mugginess stick around.

    Wait, there are places where this doesn’t happen? In the summer? I’ve just always sort of taken it for granted that nobody can sleep during the dog days of summer (except inside the polar regions where they don’t actually _have_ summer, of course). Are you telling me there’s someplace I could move where as soon as the summer sun drops below the horizon at night it cools down?

    > as I recall, back in America the umbrellas
    > only came out for substantial rain.

    It depends who you’re with. Office workers are 3-5 times as likely to get out the umbrella as anybody else, and women are several times more likely to get out an umbrella than men, and middle-aged people are much more likely to carry an umbrella than young people, among other things. So if you hang out with 21-year-old male construction workers, you won’t see an umbrella even if the rain is coming down so hard you can barely see your hand in front of your face, but if some of your friends or coworkers are middle-aged female office workers, you may see umbrellas somewhat more frequently.

    > I will only say this – sunburn – how
    > does that work out for you guys?

    It’s no problem, as long as we don’t spend time outdoors. Fortunately I’m a computer geek, so this works out okay for me. I suppose it might be harder on white-skinned athletes.

    As for the typhoon, if it can’t manage to rip an open umbrella out of your grip, that’s either a pretty wimpy windstorm or an awesome cybornetic hand. (Actually, a cheap umbrella would just be ripped apart and you’d be left with nothing but a handle in your hand, but we’ll assume a higher quality umbrella.)

    Those festivals sound like the street carnivals that every city in the Midwest has at least once a year. Some communities have as many as four. (Okay, so instead of the yakitori ours sell overpriced funnel cakes and bratwurst and frozen bananas on sticks. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.)

  61. SmilingxLove
    September 21, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    It’s interesting reading this now that I’m actually living in Kyoto. And DAMN is it ever hot! I come from southeastern US, so I’m used to the heat and the humidity. But when it’s 40 degrees Celsius in September, there’s something very, very wrong. Plus I sleep on the 2nd floor in a room with no AC. That’s one thing about the States that I miss.

    Also, I’m actually a huge fan of the UV resistant umbrellas. As a pale, white kid, they are way more effective than a pair of Wal*mart sunglasses. I love the typhoons here too; it’s the only time when I don’t start dripping with sweat just by looking outside!

  62. amybowen
    November 19, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Re: the female mind being the opposite of the male mind: I can think of at least one instance of that being true. In the communities of Inception movie fans over at LiveJournal, we women think that the hotness of the men in the movie is only enhanced by the fact that most of them spend large amounts of screen time wearing really nice suits. Yeah, go figure.

  63. Knice
    December 23, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I love reading your posts. As a tall black dude now living in Tokyo I can relate to a lot of what you write. Its actually things I wish to write about myself. I am just afraid of starting up a blog because my girlfriend will find it and she gets upset if she even thinks I am saying something remotely negative about Japan.

    Me: eww. I hate mayo
    Her: What?! Japanese people love mayo. Its part of our culture. You hate Japan. You should go back to America!

    Anyway, I agree with every point about summer. Especially the umbrellas being at eye level. Once had an obaasan try to lift her umbrella over my head as she passed. Guess she thought she was being nice. Only problem she was like 4ft tall so she was really just bringing it to my eye level. Festival were nice the first few times. But I can get yakisoba everywhere. The Penis Festival was novel actually in that “oh, i’ve never seen that before” sort of way.

    One other thing about the summer that you didn’t mention was when it gets dark. At least for me it was kind of annoying. I used to loved the fact that the days were extra long due to daylights savings time. And sometimes I would go on vacation in the Caribbean where my relatives live and there is no DST, it would still get dark at 8pm. In Japan it sets at like 6:30. Sure it probably rises extra early, but that does me know good.

    • vaidkun
      June 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      man mayo is part of france culture japanese have sushi, sushimi, natto, sukiyaki… why mayo?

      and where i lived in mid summer we have sun light until around 11pm so when it gets dark in japn so early really strange.

  64. enkephalin
    January 27, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I can’t believe you left out the BUGS. Humid summers especially bring them out en masse. Indoors is hardly a shelter.

  65. Tez
    February 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    “bikini-clad beach babes” – no no most of bikini’s have a little half length skirt covering them up, to see a real bikini is rare, most don’t have build to carry it…

  66. RCP
    February 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    As a fellow Californian (living in Death Valley/Mojave Desert no less) I know what you mean about the heat… which is why I love the rain and Winter season as well. In fact, we’ve gotten a ton of rain here in the last few months, and that’s pretty awesome.

    Also, it sounds like summer sucks there.

  67. TheOtherJN
    June 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Ha… summer is here in Canada and Japan now. Oh my goodness how I loathe summer. The temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius (80 F) and I just cant bear the stickiness, especially when I try to sleep. You have it much worse in Japan though.

  68. Kyle
    July 24, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I live in northern Japan, which doesn’t get that hot… except there’s no AC because my town is better prepared for being buried in snow than the 1.5 months of hot weather it gets per year. Even though it’s usually in the eighties, it feels quite hot to me because my house has no AC.

    I lived in the southeast US (Texas and Georgia) my whole life, so I’m used to the humidity at least. The weather in Japan is a lot like the southeast, actually. I’m not even really sure what this “dry heat” thing feels like.

    I love cold weather. I like wearing more layers and not having to worry about sweat messing up my hair and stuff.

  69. Vidgmchtr
    July 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I was in Shizuoka for the month of June, and I have to agree the humidity did pretty much suck there.

    I live on Long Island which can get pretty damn humid on some days during the summer. The recent heat waves were unbearable, but did not beat my last week in Japan.

    Because of the earthquake my host family did not want to risk any power outages and so decided not to use their A/C for the summer. I ended up putting my fan on high every night. Didn’t really help, I’d sleep with almost no clothes on and still wake up all sweaty.

    By my last week there my host family surrendered to the heat and finally turned their A/C on. At a low setting. It was an improvement but my room (a small tatami room) would remain hot and sticky as hell.

    I never complained though, they were an awesome host family. :3

    The school I was at provided a BIT of relief, despite the building looking like a set out of a Japanese horror film, the classroom had four huge ass air conditioners that got the room down to almost freezing. ❤

    But even as I complain about humidity, I will always prefer summer over winter, because snow is an asshole.

  1. July 7, 2010 at 7:14 pm
  2. July 14, 2010 at 6:19 am

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