Expectations, reality and the best time “to taste” Japan

Several months ago:

“What is the best time to come for a visit?”

“October should be perfect. It is still warm, typhoon season is over, a bit too early for autumn leaves if around Tokyo, but should be nice and beautiful. There is no such thing as grey and depressing autumn sky in Japan. And you will not need a coat until November.”

“Sounds great!”

Sunday, October 22nd afternoon:

“It’s been raining for almost two weeks now, the sky is grey and depressing. It is cold, in fact, it feels colder than in Europe. And if that was not enough, a (super) typhoon is going to land on Tokyo tonight…”

“Hmmm, well… life is full of surprises, isn’t it?”

Indeed, October this year is very unusual according to Japanese standard, exactly the opposite of what it is expected to be. Back in 1964, October was chosen for Tokyo Summer Olympic Games because of nice weather. Try it now!

While some will say that there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing, it is still not much fun to wander outside in the constant cold, drizzle or rain. What do people do? Remember, apartments here are generally very small, so if not outside, major part of population ends up in shopping malls, cafes, cinemas or museums.

Speaking of shopping malls, Japan has many and they are often interconnected by underground passages. Very often you can find all of the above (cafes, cinemas and even museums) in or connected to shopping malls as well.

Hiding away from the rain with your running umbrella? No worries, even this is taken care of, and in many places you will find special spin-dry pads or dispensers for plastic umbrella covers that will keep all the raindrops inside.

A dispenser for plastic umbrella covers on a rainy day.

You do not even have to like shopping and can limit yourself to trying out new restaurants and cafes.

Variety is enormous, ranging from simple to the most sophisticated, Michelin-starred places. Did you know that Tokyo is the city with most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world?

“Don’t worry, next weekend should be nice and sunny, we can still do some sightseeing before you go. What about a place over there for a coffee?…”

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