As I write these words, the sun is shining, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and there is an ice-cold beer by my side.
Without a doubt, spring has arrived.
Growing up in Canada, spring was always my favourite time of year. Anyone who has experienced long months when the temperature was 10 degrees below, or colder, would probably feel the same way. This is the time of year when Canadians emerge from hibernation, put on a light sweater instead of a parka and congratulate their neighbours on surviving another frigid winter. The only downside is that spring means hockey season is nearly over.
It’s a special time, but it’s still nothing like the excitement many Japanese seem to have for the changing of the seasons here.
I have to admit, when I first moved to Japan I had a tough time understanding why everyone was so excited about the country’s four seasons. In fact, I think this part of Japanese culture surprises a lot of foreign nationals and catches them off guard.
Canada also has four distinct seasons and, other than being pleased when winter finally comes to an end, I don’t think I’ve ever given it too much thought. So I wondered why everyone talks about Japan’s four seasons as if they are so unique. Besides, compared to Canada, the winters in Tokyo have never felt like a real winter. This year I didn’t even take my winter jacket out of storage! (Joel Tansey)
To be continued…
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.
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