Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post questions and answers about living or visiting Japan or the culture
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two_heads_talking
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by two_heads_talking » Tue 11.06.2007 2:40 pm

I can only speak from Tokyo north, and I would agree with you Chris, it's very simialr to the same latitude as the east coast, since the coastal states have a different dynamic of temperature due to the proximity to the ocean.

I-samu
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by I-samu » Tue 11.06.2007 8:08 pm

Mike Cash wrote:
I-samu wrote:
But isn't is obscenely cold in Japan during winter?


It would help matters greatly if you would narrow it down a bit. WHERE in Japan are you going to be? I don't want to insult your intelligence, but since Americans seem to be woefully lacking in the basics of geography these days I'll run that risk by pointing out to you that Japan covers quite a bit of latitude.

And aren't you in Colorado? A little cold is going to bother you? I can't help but be reminded of the scene in "Coming to America" where the landlord is showing the guys the shared bathroom in the tenement...."Little bit of an insect problem; but you boys from Africa....y'all used to that."

Most of my family is in Nerima Tokyo, and the rest are scattered around tokyo.
And I have some friends in hiroshima.
I might go to kyoto too.
Last edited by I-samu on Tue 11.06.2007 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hatori
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by Hatori » Tue 11.06.2007 8:12 pm

Winter seems like it'd be a better choice probably because of the holiday. But in the summer there may be festivals in August. Just depending on where you are, it'll be warmer or colder than the US because of the ocean and latitude and longitude of course!
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Mike Cash
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by Mike Cash » Wed 11.07.2007 5:17 am

Living in Colorado, then, I can't imagine that Tokyo, Kyoto, or Hiroshima winters would bother you in the slightest.
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.

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Yudan Taiteki
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Wed 11.07.2007 9:45 am

I don't know. I grew up in Chicago where we routinely had entire months where the temperature didn't get above freezing, and the wind chill was often in the double digit negatives. But the Japanese winter still bothered me because of the lack of central heating at my workplace (I could control my house a little better), and the fact that I had to ride my bicycle everywhere no matter what the temperature.
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two_heads_talking
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by two_heads_talking » Wed 11.07.2007 9:53 am

Chris, I rode a bike every day and had no office to work in for the two years I was a missionary. No central heating in any of the aprtments I lived in within the Tohoku area. But even with that said, I would much rather it be cold than hot. you can add layers of clothing to stay warm, after a point, you can't take anything more off to stay cool. the summers in Iwanuma and Sendai killed me, I can't even imagine what it would have been like south of Tokyo.

OP, I guess what we are saying is that depending on whether you like warm or cold weather and what festivals you like should dictate when you go.

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Oyaji
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by Oyaji » Thu 11.08.2007 12:47 am

Quick story: I remember my first winter in Kyushu -- one particularly cold morning when I put my hand in the refrigerator to get some milk, I was sure that it was broken because it felt warm. In fact it was simply that the temperature in the kitchen was colder than the temperature inside the refrigerator. :o

As to the OP: If you are able to stay with friends or family then I think a Japanese New Year is definitely worth experiencing at least once. Of course the same can be said about summer festival season as well. :D

In summary, there is no right answer to your question, so just go when it works out best, and enjoy what that season has to offer.

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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Thu 11.08.2007 8:49 am

I took 3 showers a day in the summer. The winters are definitely better.

(The 1 or 2 weeks of autumn and spring were the best seasons. :)
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Mike Cash
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by Mike Cash » Fri 11.09.2007 6:11 am

My in-laws have a fabulous home.

But in the winter the sole source of heat in the home is a single kotatsu.

I don't visit them in the winter.
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.

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two_heads_talking
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by two_heads_talking » Fri 11.09.2007 9:55 am

Mike Cash wrote:
My in-laws have a fabulous home.

But in the winter the sole source of heat in the home is a single kotatsu.

I don't visit them in the winter.
wow no seki (did i remember that work correctly?) stoves?

when I lived in Oodate, we had one seki stove to heat the whole apartment. needless to say, it basically stayed in one room and so did we. lol. the problem with those types of heaters, is you must open two windows to keep the fumes from overpowering you..

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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by Dehitay » Fri 11.09.2007 12:48 pm

are space heaters cheap in Japan? I can buy a small one here for $20 that will warm a room if you close all the doors
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Yudan Taiteki
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Fri 11.09.2007 2:07 pm

My kerosene heater cost $150 or so, but it worked really well, and there was hardly any kerosene smell. I could also set a timer so that it turned on before I got up in the morning. The kerosene was much cheaper than electricity would have been.
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two_heads_talking
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by two_heads_talking » Fri 11.09.2007 4:32 pm

yeah kerosene is definately the cheapest way to go and there are many models that are very technically savy.

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Mike Cash
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by Mike Cash » Fri 11.09.2007 9:08 pm

You're thinking of 石油 (sekiyu) stoves.

Fortunately, a great deal of technological improvement has happened to those things in the last decade or two. One of the main ones being, as Chris pointed out, the almost total suppression of the kerosene smell. Of course, the danger from the exhaust gases are still the same and one still has to be careful about ventilation.

These days they burn cleaner and more efficiently, have fan forced convection (leaving the tops and sides cool to the touch), are available with much larger tanks, and come with timers.

You can still find the old-skool dinosaurs being sold, though.
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Oyaji
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RE: Go to Japan in Winter or Summer?

Post by Oyaji » Fri 11.09.2007 10:46 pm

Mike Cash wrote:
My in-laws have a fabulous home.

But in the winter the sole source of heat in the home is a single kotatsu.

I don't visit them in the winter.


Do they say things like 冬が寒いのは当たり前。?

This reminds me of something a friend once told me. In the winter, when he and his wife come home from work the house is ice cold, even though his elderly parents are there all day. When he asked them why they don't use the heaters their response was that since they are no longer contributing to society they don't deserve to be extravagant. :|

We will be spending New Years at my in-laws. Fortunately they use heaters.

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