In spite of the fact that it’s definitely warm enough, it doesn’t really feel like summer to me. I think there are two main reasons for that. The first is year round schooling. While our compatriots at home are rejoicing over the end of the school year and the long summer holiday stretching out before them, we will continue to teach.
The Japanese school year begins in early April and ends in late March with only a week or two between. They have a few days off in early May for Golden Week, a summer vacation in August during which many students attend cram school and a two week winter vacation over Christmas and New Years, much like the one we get at home. In addition, there are several one day national holidays. Though ours is a private language school, it follows the regular school schedule quite closely except that we only have a one week vacation in August. We work some of the national holidays but two compensation days were added to our Golden Week vacation and we get other days off in lieu that adjust the schedule so that each of our regular classes occurs the same number of times over the course of a year.
The other reason that this doesn’t feel like summer is because there are no long summer evenings like the ones we’re accustomed to in Canada. Since our latitude is between that of San Fransisco and Los Angeles and Japan doesn’t practice daylight savings time, the sun rose this morning at 4:26 a.m. and set at exactly 7:00 p.m. On Saturdays we only work until 7:00 p.m. so I actually walked home in twilight tonight but we usually work until 8:30 or 9:00 and come home after dark. I understand that the Prime Minister of Japan is in favour of instituting daylight savings time which I think is an excellent idea.
Though this really doesn’t seem like summer, it also doesn’t seem to be the rainy season that we’d been told to expect. In fact, there was more rain in May which is supposed to be one of the nicest months here than there has been in June, the first month of the rainy season. I’m not complaining though! We’ve seen enough rain to last us a very long time!