When you imagine spring-time, you imagine flowers blooming all over the place, a sense of happiness as you come out of winter hibernation, and (most importantly) a stable type of weather that gets consistently warmer. And while Tokyo has the first two down to pat, the weather is definitely anything but consistent.
After an especially humid summer, a beautiful autumn, and a snowy-ish winter, I was very excited for the subtle warmth of spring time. In fact, I was told that it was the best season in Japan – and that May was the most comfortable month. But truthfully, I felt that spring in Tokyo was a little strange and difficult to predict. This is not to say that it didn’t have its high points.
I think the best thing about spring in Japan is the blooming of a shit-ton of flowers – namely the infamous cherry blossoms. The cherry blossom season is particularly famous in Japan as they are often the earliest flowers to bloom – thus signalling the end of winter and the beginning of spring. However, the sakura season (which starts in late March) is very short lived: it usually only lasts one or two weeks in each place.
But fear not! The are plenty of other flower festivals that you can enjoy if you spend time in Tokyo and Japan throughout the spring. There are plenty of shibazakura (moss phlox), Nemophila (Baby Blue-Eyes), Fuji (Wisteria), tulips and roses – all of which bloom at different times during spring.
So that’s the beautiful part of spring. Now it’s time for the most frustrating part: the weather. Now, before I had even reached autumn in Japan, I had already heard that spring time had the best whether in Japan. That it wasn’t too hot and that everyday was comfortable. Well… this was a lie. Coming out of winter, the weather definitely did start to get warmer. However, it was rather like a drunk baby trying to climb stairs: one step warmer, two steps colder.
Indeed, the whether is extremely difficult to predict. One day it would be warm and sunny, the next blustering and cold, warm and sunny again, cold and rainy, semi-warm, semi-sunny – it just keeps changing. Even towards the end of May when the climate is significantly warmer, you can still have a cold and windy day.
However, one thing does seem to be fairly constant through this tumultuous time… it’s windy as hell. (Although not as windy as a Cape Town South-Easter).
But even despite this unpredictability, the spring season is still relatively comfortable and beautiful. And of course it’s far better than the dreaded rainy season (tsuyu梅雨) at the beginning of summer (i.e. when the ocean invades the land).