A July Day in Japan






It is finally July here in Japan which means that the days are getting hotter, the cicadas are getting louder and the festivals are starting! Here in Nagoya Japan it is very hot right now. My daily commute as a home stay student is about 40 or so minutes. My host family usually drops me off at the train station and I ride the train to a station that is 10 minutes away from my school. It is a nice scenic walk but the heat and cicadas definitely make it tougher. It is about 85 degrees Farenheit or higher here most days. It is also humid so the heat can become pretty dangerous. My host family buys me a drink called Pocari Sweat which is an electrolyte drink which is very helpful with this weather. I recently went to a festival here and it was beautiful. We sat near the ocean and watched fireworks for an hour after which we went to the food stands to buy snacks. These festivals were very cool. As someone from America I can relate to these sort of events. The fireworks are a staple of Four of July so I was no stranger to that. Additionally, the fair usually comes to my hometown in the summer so the food stands reminded me of that. It was so pretty to see the festival floats and everyone in their ukatas. Ukata is a traditional summer outfit in Japan that is akin to a kimono. Kimonos are different however. Ukatas are simpler I believe. Being in Japan I often go to convenience stores since there are so many. So I go in and usually get ice cream with friends to cool off. I am always surprised by the kindness of everyone here. In the stores the staff always treats me with so much respect and kindness. Especially as someone actively studying the language and culture, recieving compliments about my Japanese speaking abilities is always so heartwarming. I have made so many friends here through school events and I really appreciate when they make plans and invite me. It really makes me feel at home and welcome here despite being halfway across the world from home. Every time I hang out with my friends we always have a good time and just goof around. It really makes me forget that we are from two different cultures. I realize that I have more in common with my friends that I originally thought. We all love trying new things so we all go exploring and find new places to eat and hang out. Everyday feels like an adventure or a learning opportunity which I am thankful for. Even at home with my host family I am always learning new things. With it being July I have to enjoy these days even more. My time here is limited but even just in June I did so much and had such an amazing time. I have no doubts that I will enjoy the rest of my time here. The biggest thing I have learned from June is to always be open to new things. It could mean being open to hang out in a different spot with people I do not know to make new friends or it could be trying something different for dinner. It has lead to some fun experiences such as me trying sea urchin. It was not bad but I cannot tell if I like it. Many people do not like it so I advise caution to those who try it. But that is the most important thing, to try.