Winter is just a few weeks away. In winter, a lot of festivals and events are held all over Japan. In the city of Kobe, people can enjoy the illumination festival in Kobe. The annual illumination festival is held in memory of the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake that occurred in 1995. It’s a very beautiful thing to see. In addition to the lighting, you are able to buy food from various food stands.  The event is usually held for 2 weeks in the winter season.

In addition to the illumination festival, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day are two days that many people in Japan look forward to. On New Year’s Eve, people celebrate the night in public bars, night clubs, or in the streets in big cities. There hundreds of people in the streets eating food, drinking, and going to a local shrine to pray for the new year. It’s a fantastic sight to see. Children in Japan really love this season because they receive money from family members called, “otoshidama.” Otoshidama is a custom in Japan when children receive money from the adults in their family. I know some children who have received 10,000 yen, or $100.oo on New Year’s Day.

Sounds fun, right? I forgot to mention. If you are into winter sports, there are a lot of mountains in Japan where you can go skiing and snowboarding. I live in Kobe, Japan. There is a mountain in Kobe where people can go skiing. There are a lot of ski resorts in Japan, so you don’t have to travel too far to go skiing.

The winter season in Japan sounds great, right? Well, I’m from California. In most places, in the summer and winter seasons, most places are well air conditioned. I get hot or cold very easily in Japan because my body is used to the climate in California. In Japan, most shops and restaurants refrain from using their air conditioning. A lot of my foreign friends sweat a lot in the winter and summer seasons. Most Japanese people get cold very easily, so most companies, restaurants, bars, trains, and other places tend not to use their air conditioning as much as we expect them to. Even when they use their air conditioning, it may be set at a temperature that may be cool to some people, but it may be cold for the average citizen.

If you are planning to travel to Japan in the summer or winter season, be aware of the temperatures. If you get hot very easily, be sure to bring a lot of deodorant because the deodorant that I used back in america cannot be found in Japan.