Summer in Tokyo is for sure hot and humid. So what do locals do to have fun even while the whole city seems to be melting in the heat? According to the Japanese magazine “Enjoy Tokyo” the August issue introduces the most favorite ten activities during summer vacation as the following:
1. festivals (夏祭り): The joy of dancing in a group on a summer evening.
2. fireworks (花火大会): Being in a packed crowd, clad in a yukata waiting for the fireworks to start.
3. beer garden: Most likely on a rooftop enjoying a cold beer after work.
4. local festivals (盆踊り): Rather similar to the most favorite activity above, but the size of the festival is smaller, plus a much stronger community feeling is present.
5. swimming pool: Local community pools do truly fill up in the summer. Good luck with finding your spot in the water to cool off your body.
6. independent research during summer vacation: Visit to local museums or public technical facilities, most likely connected to the need of getting the kids during summer vacation out of home, but still stay in the cool.
7. yukata fair: A must for a Japanese woman to have is a yukata, especially when going out in the summer! Consequently the department stores offering yukata’s is the place to be.
8. tanabata matsuri (七夕祭り): Activities related to the Chinese origin festival of Qixi: Chinese Valentines Day. According to wikipedia in Heian period this festival came to Japan and changed then during Edo period the meaning: Girls wished for better sewing and craftsmanship, and boys wished for better handwriting by writing wishes on strips of paper.
9. barbeque, camping place: Enjoying freshly grilled food outdoors with friends and family.
10. Study trip: Most likely related to the homework of the Japanese school children, who have to finish up some assignments.
Hope you are having a nice summer, Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)