Sticky air, scorching sunshine, heat from the pavement
August is the hottest month of the year in Japan. The heat-island effect is making high summer even more relentless in urban areas. And a town in the west part of Japan has recorded over 40C degree this year! You may want to stay in an air-conditioned room all day no matter where you are living or traveling this year. To prevent heat stroke, you should take a bottle of water with you, or stop at a coffee shop frequently enough to take in water, when you go out during this season.
It will be a few more weeks before it starts getting cool. Many citizens and visitors are coming to the water front area to spend time in the evening. Many are coming to Osanbashi, the Yokohama International Passenger Terminal, to enjoy the summer evening breeze. The roof of the terminal has a wooden floor, and a large part of the roof is covered with lawn. The roof is called “the back of a humpback whale” due to its wavy shape. Many come with their family or friends, sit on the hilly area of the roof, and enjoy the wonderful view of Minato Mirai at twilight.
Around 140 passenger ships call at the terminal every year. Osanbashi has been the busiest passenger pier in Japan for 10 years straight since 2003. When I visited the pier on a Friday evening, two Japanese passenger ships were berthed at the pier. It looked like there were more families and couples than usual on the roof to see them. There is a snack bar on the roof, too, and some people had bought drinks and snacks and were sitting on chairs nearby watching the ships and Minato Mirai area in the fading light.
Besides the passenger terminal, there are many other nice places to enjoy walking around in the evening breeze such as Yamashita Park and the Red Brick Warehouses. And of course, there are many restaurants nearby serving you cold beer and a wide variety of delicious food. Yokohama is the birth place of the first beer brewery in Japan. Some restaurants serve beers brewed here in micro-breweries as well as national brands like Kirin and Sapporo. Please enjoy the rest of summer.