Tag Archives: Summer

The Cliffs of Hotokegaura

The craggy white cliffs of Hotokegaura in Aomori
The craggy white cliffs of Hotokegaura in Aomori

Even though I’ve lived here for nearly three full years now, Aomori still manages to surprise me in the best possible ways. There’s always some naturally gorgeous spot to stumble upon for the first time and make me fall in love with Aomori all over again.

See Exhibit A: the cliffs of Hotokegaura (仏ヶ浦), which now reign supreme as my absolute favorite place in Aomori.

Sapphire water, white stone, and verdant trees set the scene.
Sapphire water, white stone, and verdant trees set the scene.

Continue reading The Cliffs of Hotokegaura

Summer Sonic 2013 (Or, “The Top Reason I Hate Teenagers”)

It’s amazing how time has had the tendency to get away from me lately. Case in point: I meant to write this blogpost far earlier, considering its subject – the Summer Sonic music festival – occurred a month ago today. But for whatever reason, the days are flying by even more quickly than usual, and I can’t believe that it’s already well into September.

The reason for my August trip down to the tropics of Tokyo was Summer Sonic, an annual music festival that’s held dually in Tokyo (or technically, Chiba, a nearby city) and Osaka. I think of it as the Reading and Leeds of Japan, only much, much smaller. Basically the two-day festival trades lineups between the two cities. Whoever plays in Chiba on Saturday will play in Osaka on Sunday and vice versa. One of the reasons I’m really fond of Summer Sonic is because they tend to divide their artists pretty evenly according to style. Last year, for instance, one day’s lineup included Ke$ha, Rihanna, and a host of other pop acts. The following day boasted bands like Grouplove, The Vaccines, Franz Ferdinand, Crystal Castles, and Sigur Rós. (Take a wild guess at which day I attended…) Continue reading Summer Sonic 2013 (Or, “The Top Reason I Hate Teenagers”)


I’ve never been one of those people who truly love summer. When I was in high school and college, it meant working twelve- or fifteen-hour days. At W&J, I was (and still am) enough of a nerd that I actually genuinely enjoyed academia, so three months away from lectures about British Romanticism and the like seemed to last forever. The thing that most strongly contributes to my dislike of summer, though, is the heat. Hot weather and I don’t get along so well; I tend to turn a nice shade of radioactive lobster red after being out in the sun for any extended period of time. I’d be perfectly content living somewhere that has nine months of fall, thanks very much. A month of the other seasons – most importantly, summer – would be just fine in my book.

In Aomori, though, I have to admit that I’ve become fonder of summer in the past few years. (Despite the overwhelming lack of air conditioning.) And it’s because of one thing: ねぶた (Nebuta).

ネぶた floats! Summer has truly arrived!
ねぶた floats! Summer has truly arrived!

Continue reading ラッセラ!ラッセラ!

Is It Winter Yet?!

Greetings, from the surface of the sun.

I don’t deal well with heat. That’s putting it mildly. I broil in the sun till I’m an attractive lobster-red, sweating is possibly my least favorite summer activity, and summer is just generally my least favorite season. This year is making it especially clear why. Continue reading Is It Winter Yet?!