Almost Spring.

We have been traveling quite a bit the past few weeks — first to Abu Dhabi, UAE, and last week to Saint Petersburg, Russia. I am fortunate to be able to accompany my husband sometimes when he travels on business. But while we were away this last week, early spring seems to have arrived in Tokyo.

Winters in Tokyo are relatively mild — actually pretty similar to Atlanta. There is little snow, and temperatures rarely stay below freezing for very long. Now with a few warm and sunny days, there is evidence that spring is on the way. Trees and plants are starting to leaf out and bloom. Soon the beautiful Sakura trees will be in bloom, and there will be Hanami (flower viewing) parties under the trees in all the parks. Cherry blossoms will be followed by azaleas, wisteria, hydrangeas, and lotus flowers. It seems like every month here is associated with the blooming of some flower or tree.

The “winter time” ducks have suddenly started to leave to go wherever they go during the warm months. All I saw as I was out for my run this morning were the Spotbill ducks — which stay here and raise their young on the canals during the summer — some Eurasian Coots, and a few straggling Pochards. All the other species were gone! I always miss the winter ducks when they leave… there is such a variety. They won’t be back again until late fall.

The mild and beautiful spring never lasts long enough though. It won’t be long before it will be hot and humid summertime here again. The word in Japanese is “mushi atsui” — humid… totemo mushi atsui… miserable, sticky, heat of summer. Enjoy the spring while you can.


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My husband and I were both born and raised in Kansas, but for the past 20+ years we have been living in Atlanta, Georgia. Now, with our children grown and out of the house, we have the opportunity to spend two years living in Tokyo. My husband will be working with the Japanese counterpart to his American company.

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