Tokyo Kills Me: Photos

Tokyo Kills me, 2008

Ongoing Updates (5.26.18). Snapshots from daily life in and around Tokyo, a.k.a. “The Big Sushi,” at the end of the second millennium and the start of the third.

Check out the most recent pictures posted, circa 2007-2008, at Tokyo Kills Me: Photos

Advertisements

Tokyo Kills Me: Photos

20070701-untitled shoot-9_DxO

Ongoing Updates (5.23.18). Snapshots from daily life in and around Tokyo, a.k.a. “The Big Sushi,” at the end of the second millennium and the start of the third.

See more at Tokyo Kills Me: Photos

Tokyo Kills Me: Photos

Ongoing Updates (5.20.18). Snapshots from daily life in and around Tokyo, a.k.a. “The Big Sushi,” at the end of the second millennium and the start of the third.

20061204tokyo5253_DxO-4_DxO-1

 

See more snaps at Tokyo Kills Me: Photos 

Home Sweet Home Hokkaido 1998 – 2002

19990724-untitled shoot-4_DxO-1

I lived in rural Hokkaido from 1998 – 2002, my first four years in Japan. I loved the fields and mountains, the champagne powder snow and rich, saturated island light.

It was on Hokkaido that my passion for photography really developed, so to speak. Unfortunately, I had little money for such an expensive pastime – a roll of film was a luxury – and digital cameras were still bleeding-edge tech.

I did, however, take a few keepers, which were later scanned and I have now uploaded to the series Home Sweet Home Hokkaido 1998 – 2002: Photos.

Take a look at Medium.com https://medium.com/series/9cb2804d546a

 

 

Extreme Weather: How Hot is Tokyo in Summer?

Recently a question was posed on Quora: “How is the Tokyo summer heat?”. Here’s the bulk of my answer:

…   June is the rainy season: not as hot, but, well rainy (though not every day). July is, apparently, the most humid Weather and Climate: Average monthly Rainfall, Sunshine, Temperatures, Humidity, Wind Speed. August is the hottest.

It’s been a long time – 35 years? – since I visited Arizona in summer, specifically Sun City West where my grandparents retired. What I remember, however, is the dry heat you mention. even coming from my hometown of Toronto, a place not known for being particularly hot at any time of the year, I was surprised that the 100-degree-plus days didn’t FEEL hotter than they did (seems to me the hottest temp during one of my visits was 116).

By contrast, a hot day in Tokyo reaches 35 degrees Celsius, sometimes topping 38 (100 degrees Fahrenheit). However, there are two additional factors to take into consideration: humidity, and the heat-island effect.

Offhand, I can’t find any useful stats on just how humid Tokyo can be in the summer, but I can recall days where the temp was around 38 and the humidity above 90%. According to the Heat Index calculator at the National Weather Centre, that works out to 178 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, that ain’t the average, as I say, and I’m not sure any days reached that high in the summer of 2016, but it gets there – and in the summer of 2015 there was a record number of straight days of temps above 35 celsius in early August – in fact I posted about it Big Sushi, Little Fishes: a japan blog

The other consideration is the heat-island effect. I don’t know of any way to calculate how much concrete can raise the ambient temperature of a city, but I do know that walking ib Shinjuku, say, on a hot summer day, with car and air conditioner exhaust, amidst crowds of sweltering people, and a hot wind blowing up the urban canyonland can be an overwhelming experience. Fortunately, there are bars and cafes and shops and department stores and the like, most with over-active aircon, in which to take refuge!

So yes, of course comfortable weather is a relative phenomenon, and coming from southern Arizona the temps may even be a little low compared to what you’re used to. But temperature is only part of the equation; people who know say that in summer Tokyo is a tropical climate, on par with Singapore and other hotspots in southern Asia.

Of course, life does go on – even in heat-island Shinjuku – and there are mountains nearby to escape to if the heat does get oppressive. So the heat and humidity is no reason not to visit in summer: it’s just a matter of adjusting your inner thermostat, so to speak!

Mountain Day 2016

Japan’s New National Holiday

Happy Mountain Day, 2016! If you don’t know already, today — Thursday, 11 August, 2016 — is the first-ever Mountain Day national holiday here in Japan.

That’s what today’s image on Google Japan is all about, if you didn’t know https://www.google.co.jp/

TBH, though R. has the day off work and school hasn’t yet started, we don’t have plans to do anything specific to celebrate. We figure we already spend a lot of time in the mountains – in fact we’re just back from our summer trip to the Canadian Rockies! – and besides, it’s uncomfortably hot on main-island Honshu in August. Besides, summer is a busy time in Japan, and the mountain trails and huts will be crowded with students and tourists and other holiday-makers.

We prefer to do our own thing, at our own pace 🙂 We’ll celebrate the mountains we’ve been blessed with in our own way, as we always have…

Meantime, here’s Kachou Fuugetsu “Flower Bird Wind Moon:” a gallery of pictures from our outdoor adventures in Japan