When is your favorite month to be in Japan?
By Brett Milliner
After living in Japan for over a decade, the thing that still excites me the most is Japan's four seasons. This means there is always something new around the corner. For example, you have different clothes to wear, there are different events to attend, the colours outside always change, and most importantly, there are yummy Japanese foods for each season.
Every year, however, there is one month I enjoy living in Japan the most, September. September is a month when you can really feel a change in seasons, and it is when I find my biggest thrills each year.
Typhoon surfing in Shikoku (2010)
September is the peak of the typhoon season. Most Japanese worry about this period, but as a surfer, this is the time I most look forward to. I love to ride big waves, and typhoons create the biggest waves each year. I train my body and eat carefully in preparation for riding these waves every year. I also try not to schedule events in September so I can focus all of my time and energy on catching the best waves. Typhoons also create extreme weather conditions, such as torrential rain and strong winds. These experiences teach us about the power of nature. Moreover, these storms create some stunning landscapes. Have you ever appreciated a post-typhoon sunset? Have you ever seen or heard giant waves crashing on the beach during a typhoon? Do you enjoy the cool, dry change after a storm passes?
Typhoon Sunset (September 4, 2017)
I am very much looking forward to riding some special waves this September.
The second reason I love September is that it is a special time for my body physically. Each day is becoming shorter and the nights are cooler, so your body likes to sleep a little longer. I also feel my energy lowers, and I seek quieter places during this period. I become more reflective on the year that has almost passed, and I start to think about how I can finish the year in the best way possible. Although I am always a little sad to see the end of summer, I started to like slowing down and reflecting on things each September.
Lastly, September is the best time for eating in Japan. In Japanese, you have the phrase 食欲の秋 (an increase of appetite in the fall), and I start to notice my increasing desire for food in September. This change is also very welcome because most of my favorite foods are in peak season during September. Grilled 秋刀魚 (Saury) fish are fantastic in September. Grapes, nashis, and pears are also in peak season during September, therefore there is always a lot of yummy fruit in my house.
September grapes set on top of an Australian dessert, trifle. (2017)
These are the reasons I love September in Japan. Do you have a favorite month?