Summer features in Japan.

Summer features in Japan.


Do you know Japanese unique phrases “the seasonal tradition”? 
  
“the seasonal tradition” means things which remind people of a particular season such as phenomenon, culture, smell and vendor. 
The range of “the seasonal tradition” is wide and it points to the thing that season in Japan appeals to the mind of our modern people. 
 
This time, I will introduce various things called summer features among four seasons. 
This article would be helpful if you come to Japan! 
 
 

[Events]

 
Fireworks
 
花火
 
手持ち花火
 
Speaking of Japanese summer, many people will probably imagine fireworks. 
Many fireworks displays will be held all over the country on July and August of summertime. We can buy handheld fireworks at the supermarkets or the convenience stores, and many people enjoy it at the beach, the park, the yard and the riverside. 
  
Go to the beach
 
海水浴
 
When summer has come, the beaches begin to be offered as the place of the leisure, and many beaches are crowded with many people. 
In “Seaside houses” that operate for a limited time, you can use paid hot shower, locker room and locker at that house. And also many people enjoy foods and drinks. 
 
Bon festival dance
 
盆踊り
 
“Bon festival dance” is an event for holding a service for the spirits of our ancestors on the season of Bon that is early August.  
The general style of Bon festival dance is that a tower put up at the center of an open space and then people dance going around the tower. 
Speaking of the event for death person, you may imagine a dark image, but this festival is held in many places and there are many vendors, so you can enjoy it very much like a festival. 
 
The evening breeze
 
夕涼み
 
“The evening breeze” mean that enjoy the cool air at outdoors in the summer evening. 
The range of “The evening breeze” is wide, but many people enjoy drinking at the yard, the park or the house-boat. 
There are also events such as “Concert for the evening breeze” and “Fireworks for the evening breeze”. 
 
 

[Items]

Yukata
 
浴衣
 
“Yukata” is the one of Japanese traditional costume. 
Recently, we Japanese don’t wear frequently it but it is worn at events like festivals or firework displays. 
 
Uchiwa
 
団扇
 
Uchiwa is the Japanese fan and make a wind by fanning it with a hand. 
You can get it for free in various places in summer season. 
It’s very useful when you enjoy the cool evening breeze! 
 
Japanese wind chime
 
風鈴
 
“Japanese wind chime” that is used by hanging the under eaves of the house makes the sounds by wind. 
It is generally expressed as cool sound and it is said that resemble the voice of the insect which inform autumn is coming. 
The times when there was not the air conditioner, Japanese people enjoyed the cool feeling by hearing the sound of wind chimes to spend a humid summer of Japan. 
 
Mosquito coil
 
蚊取り線香
 
It is a spiral insecticide for getting rid of the mosquitoes. 
It’s basically dark green color, and you put the fire on the edge of the spiral and then it will be burnt to ashes. 
This smell is very unique and it reminds Japanese people of summertime. 
The electric things are commonplace nowadays, but many people still use the mosquito coil to enjoy the Japanese taste. 
 
 

[Nature]

 
Cumulonimbus cloud
 
入道雲
 
In Japan, the cumulonimbus that appear in summer calls “Cumulonimbus cloud”. 
Under the cumulonimbus clouds are very dark and have a heavy rain and thunderstorm but those clouds look pure white from a distance. That’s why, we Japanese have the recognition for “Beautiful summer clouds that shows up on blue sky”. 
 
Sunflower
 
ヒマワリ
 
Sunflower is the one of the typical flower that blooms in the summer season. 
It is drawn with cumulonimbus clouds in the pictures or illustrations that imaged summer scene. The contrast of white cumulonimbus cloud, blue sky and yellow sunflower is very beautiful. 
Furthermore, many people visit the sunflower fields as popular sightseeing spot during summer season. 
 
Morning glory
 
アサガオ
 
“Morning glory” is same as sunflower, is the one of the typical flower in the summer season. 
In contrast to the sunflower which has the cheerful image, it has the graceful image. 
It is associated with fresh morning because it blooms in the early morning and wilts before noon. 
It blooms flowers of various colors such as purple, blue and pink, and it’s very popular as pattern of Yukata. 
  
The cicada’s song
 

 
Cicadas are insects that symbolizes the summer of Japan. 
So many cicadas are buzzing in the summer of Japan everyday. 
It is the summer features, but it is frequently disliked by women. 
The elementary school boys catch it by the net and play when summer vacation comes around. 
 
 

[Foods]

 
Somen
 
そうめん
 
“Somen” is the one of the noodle that made from wheat flour, is generally eaten to cool down for summer season. 
It is eaten with condiments, is dipped in soup before eating. 
It is the one of the summer food that is eaten during hot and humid summer. 
Furthermore, there are interesting custom called “Nagashi-somen” that water and noodle flow on the bamboo which divided into half, and catch it by chopsticks. 
 
Shaved ice
 
かき氷
 
“Shaved ice” is also the one of the summer features. 
Shaved ice is eaten with the syrup and you can absolutely buy it in various festival or fireworks displays. 
There is the ice shaving machine for household use, so you can enjoy and make it with favorite syrups. 
 
Beer
 
ビール
 
Beer is drunk all the year over, but the best season is the summer! 
Especially, the cold beer that can drink at the summer hot outdoors! It’s an indispensable drink in summer leisure!  
The beer gardens for a limited time will be held in various places and those are crowded with many people every year. 
 
Water-melon
 
スイカ
 
“Water-melon” is being loved as summer fruits from old time. 
The cold and the crunchy texture is very good in hot summer! 
It is eaten as summer dessert by the general household, is eaten by sprinkling salt on it to enhance sweetness. 
To eat a watermelon, there is the game that wear a blindfold and beat it by a stick at the beach.