Tsuyu: Heat, humidity and rice planting

I have never lived anywhere where I disliked the weather as much as I do in Japan.  Absurdly hot and humid in the summer, cold in the winter and constantly raining in the spring, there are few days with pleasant weather. A combination of factors make the already ridiculous weather here even more unbearable: I commute to work by bicycle, and Japanese workplaces don’t have air conditioning or heating.*

They call this season Tsuyu – the rainy season. Today, at 8:30, it was already 29°C with a relative humidity of 78%.  After ten minutes of cycling, and ten minutes of pushing my bike up a steep hill, I made it inside my school, where it is also 29°C with a relative humidity of 78%. No relief there. I have started leaving the air conditioner on in my apartment during the day to reduce the humidity and prevent invasions of bugs and mold. Yesterday I found mold on a nail polish bottle in my bedroom. It’s out of control.

Despite the overheating complaints, Japan is exceptionally beautiful during rainy season. The rice fields around my house are being planted this week, and every day I see farmers out  tilling and planting. The spring flowers are still blooming and new ones are appearing every day.

I shouldn’t complain, because I know the moment I come back to Canada and experience the winter’s chill, I’ll miss Japan, bizarre climate and all.


*Note: They do have air conditioning in the staff room and some, not mine, classrooms, but there is a rule about not turning it on until July. Even when they do turn it on, it’s nothing like we are used to in North America.

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