This summer’s weather in Kyoto is rather strange. It is not (yet) as hot as it was last year, and even though it is summer, it is mostly overcast and grey. Only for the last three weeks – just in time for the Saki matsuri parade – the sun started to come out. The last few weeks were so bad all over Japan, that at least 15 people died because of the heat – I assume mostly old people who live in houses without aircondition, just like I do…

Weather in Kyoto, 31st July 2014

And on top of that, my room faces West, so it gets lots of sun in the afternoon. At some point, the ventilator I have started using since Gion matsuri only distributes the hot air, and there is no more cooling effect. The best thing to do during such a day is to flee to some place where there is aircondition. I like to go to the Prefectural Library near Heian shrine, and also to Kyoto International House, either to their library or downstairs to their big meeting hall. Both places are convenient because they have desks where I can work and even plug in my computer, and you can stay there as long as you like. These days I see many more people there than otherwise, I guess none of them have airco at home, or they choose not to use it for financial reasons.

Still, the weather is a bit strange. Last Saturday we had 37 degrees in the afternoon, with bright blue sky. And yesterday, it was equally bad: 30 degrees at 10 am, and I was dripping like a leaky faucet at that time already, so I left the house then, the first time I fled that early this year. However, today the sky was grey and overcast again, we only had 35 degrees, which still sounds a lot, but I swear it was much more bearable. And this is how it went the last few weeks: A day or two of blue skies and blistering heat, followed by several days of cloudy skies.  It seems that places around Kyoto have much more sun; I think this is one of those few times when I should be grateful that Kyoto is surrounded by mountains and everything is grey and thus cool. Sometimes it is so hot that I am yearning for a bit of rain, but there is none, at least not in my area. We will see how the summer develops. Kyoto people claim that the highest temperatures are between Gion matsuri and Obon, which is two more weeks off.