Thursday, October 18, 2012

Only in Japan: 3 Signs of Autumn

Image source: Trip Advisor

I love Fall. It is by far the best of seasons. Maybe it's because I lived through the death-heat of Fresno summers for 26 years and fall was always a welcomed relief. Or maybe because my birthday is snug in the middle of fall. In any case, I LOVE FALL!

The other day I realized fall had snuck up on me. I went for a walk and ::BAM:: Autumn! It's probably because the signs of Autumn are so different here from what I'm used to. Of course there's the typical changing of leaves, and crisp air, but there are no Halloween decorations on every house, no Fresno Fair, no Pumpkin Spice Lattes. It got me thinking, what are the signs of Autumn in Japan. So with out further ado, I bring to you 3 signs that Fall has come to Japan.

1-The familiar song of the sweet potato truck.
No ice cream trucks in Japan. But they do have guys who drive around singing through a speaker, selling roasted sweet potatoes. We've yet to purchase any, but I hear they're great. Maybe I'll send Stephen down next time I hear his song. 

2-Everyone starts wearing long sleeves and jackets. 
Yes, I know this is typical in the States as well. It's cold; you wear warmer clothing. But here, it seems like the change in clothes has more to do with the date on the calendar than the temperature on the thermometer. October 1, rain or shine, everyone puts away the short sleeves and shorts in favor of long pants, long sleeves, jackets, scarves, and hats. This year, there have been a few very nice, warm days after the 1st. The kind of days where a pair of jeans and a short sleeve shirt are perfect. Yet, we're are the only two people crazy enough to buck the trend and dress for the weather, not the calendar. It usually makes for very funny conversations with every person we see. 
"Eeehhh, samukunai?! (aren't you cold?!)"
"No, it's 75 degrees and sunny. Aren't you hot?"

3-I plugged in my toilet.
Yes, you read that right.
Without central heating, the bathroom can get mighty chilly and who wants to sit on an icy throne in the middle of the night. Not the Japanese! That's why many toilets here are heated. (LOVE IT!) I leave the seat unplugged through out the spring and summer, but once the temperature dips, our favorite appliance gets plugged in.


  1. i wish our toilet could be plugged in!!! our bathroom is right on an outer wall and it gets totally freezing sometimes. what a great idea!!

  2. I am ever so slightly jealous of your heated toilet.... okay, I admit, I am VERY jealous!!! Reason #2 made me laugh quite a bit! :) We live in Nebraska, if it is over 60 degrees we are in jeans (or shorts) and t-shirts! :)


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