One thing that I in particular have to do in Japan is to go to a ‘large size clothing’ store. In Australia, I was ‘average’ and bought ‘medium’ sized clothing. However, compared to the slim Japanese folks (who often have slightly shorter arms and legs), I am an ‘extra large’ and my size is usually not catered to in regular department stores. Luckily, there is a ‘large size’ clothing shop that sells high quality clothing and brand-label suits in my town of Matsusaka. I also buy my shoes there, as my feet are 29 cm in length, whereas the average Japanese males wears shoes sized between 24 cm and 27cm. It’s simply part of living in Japan.
I wear a long winter coat, a scarf and gloves, too, as I trudge out through the ice and snow to my car. I keep them on in the car (as inside the car is freezing) and also in to work, where I can finally shed my outer layer in the warmth of the office air conditioner. I never even owned a winter jacket or coat in Australia. Gloves? I thought they were something that fashionable women wore. LOL. But now every winter I wear fleecy-lined ‘driving’ gloves and a woolen coat. I wear a hat as well to keep my head warm, but I wore a hat in Australia to guard against the sun so that is not something different for me.
Speaking of seasons, another thing I must sometimes do here that I never did on the Gold Coast in Australia is scrape the ice and/or snow off my windscreen! Occasionally, I need to pour warm water over it to melt the ice. My car also has ‘snow tires’ otherwise known as studless tires. Basically, they are softer tires with a lot more grip than usual tires. I have them put on in late December and have them taken off again in March. They’re a little expensive but it’s better than sliding around on icy roads or losing traction in snowy conditions. It’s something I never even thought about when I was living in Australia.
On the Gold Coast, I was never really aware of seasonal change except to note that it was warm enough to swim in the ocean after October and that it was getting a little too cold to keep swimming after April or May. We didn’t have the kind of foliage that shows off autumn colors or that spring has arrived. However, in Japan, spring is incredibly beautiful, with its famous ‘sakura’ (cherry blossom) trees and its colorful spring flowers. Autumn is just as breathtaking with its amazing array of fall colors. In most places in Japan, one can see a myriad of autumn colors on the trees around them, and not just in the countryside: red, purple, orange, yellow, brown and so on – such a delightful sight.
Until then have a great month, take care and best wishes.
Kind regards, Chris