Time Difference

The time difference between Japan and Germany is +8 hours in winter and +7 hours in summer (as Japan does not follow daylight savings time), so Japan is ahead of German time. Interestingly this didn’t bother me when I arrived – I was exhausted from the trip and the moving as a whole, so I didn’t have much jet lag. By now I am back to a rather normal sleeping pattern of around 8 hours during the night, as opposed to the 5 or so hours I had the week before the move.

What does bother me tremendously is this: It’s getting dark so early here…

Kyoto lies on approximately the same latitude as Nicosia (Greece) or Albuquerque (New Mexico), and currently sunrise is around 5 am and sunset around 7 pm here – which means there are about 14 hours of daylight. In Germany, I lived 17 degrees further north, where the sunrise currently is around 5:30 am and sunset around 9 pm – meaning one and a half hour of sun more. Also I noticed that here, once the sun has set, it’s getting dark very quickly, whereas in Germany you could sit outside and read until past 10 pm.

I’m a night owl, so I enjoy having light until late, and I got used to going to bed about an hour or two after sunset. Of course, with that routine in place I get sleepy like that here as well – and it’s only 9 pm or so. I’ll get used to it in no time, I’m sure, but right now it does feel funny…

Sunset in Kyoto
sunset in Kyoto, courtesy of Tim Vickerman