I feel like fall officially started the night I went to Sankeien with Flower Boy for tsukimi. I mentioned a few posts back that the Japanese are the kind of people who think that sitting out at night to watch the moon is a great activity, and I can't disagree. I like being out at night, anyways - no sun, so I don't burst into flame, and I feel like that magical feeling is stronger at night, although admittedly I like being a little closer to home than Sankeien is when things are over. Still, the Harvest Moon only comes along once a year, so trek home or no, I made plans to visit this classical Japanese garden with him.
I assume most people ask rhetorically, since I almost never miss a chance to talk about Mongolia. It's true, though, that I came without a coat - my trusty red cashmere was wearing thin long before the end of last winter, and I felt like, really, after 5 years in Mongolia, what could Japanese winters really do to me???
In fact, I remind myself often what the temperature is like back in UB, because it helps me to appreciate that Yokohama is really not that cold. Unless it's raining. Or dark. Or, you know, I've just come home to my apartment. When I first arrived in UB, I bemoaned the loss of the ondol floors in my Shanghai apartment. Now I'd give anything to be warming my back against the radiator in the teachers' apartments at ASU. My apartment - which I love, don't get me wrong - is none-too-well-insulated and heated by an AC unit. It works well enough that I can't complain, but at the same time, I kind of miss sleeping with a fan year round - even when it's -40 out- because the heating system works that well.
On the other hand, in UB I wouldn't walk more than a couple of blocks outside in winter if I could avoid it, so I guess there are trade-offs.