Monday, November 7, 2016


Early Wednesday morning, as I was driving to work, the weather announcer told me that "It's 21 degrees in Naha now. It's getting chilly now, so bring a coat". 21 degrees is "chilly"? Ridiculous.

A banyan tree ("gajumaru") at Sogenji in Naha.

A closer look at the huge tree.
Except that it did feel a little chilly. The day was cloudy and quite windy. The sea had turned slate grey instead of its usual crystal-clear blue-green hue, and I found myself wishing for long sleeves. Autumn had happened, as suddenly as flipping a switch.

But it's too early to break out the kotatsu, pull on a wool sweater and start heating the mulled wine. The grey clouds broke up by evening and the wind calmed the next day. It may technically be autumn here, but it's nothing like autumn up north; there's no rustling of fall leaves and no early morning frost.

Fall fashion says "knitted caps" so you wear a knitted cap, even if it's hot enough for t-shirts and sunglasses. Of course, biker fashion says "black leather" even in high summer, so it's not as if young men are immune either.

Early mornings may be as cool as 21-22 degrees now, but we get well over 25 degrees later in the day. The sudden rains have stopped, and the air turned dry and clear, with high, bright skies. It's warm enough to go swimming if you want, but the weather is really perfect to go walking in the sun, or while away an afternoon at an outdoor coffee shop.

Crossing a canal in Naha.
Now that it's cool enough, we spent the past weekend walking through Naha. We left home near city hall, walked along the monorail line and had lunch at a very good shabu-shabu restaurant called "Ganaha" near Miebashi station. Great place; we'll have to go there again.

We walked on to the Sogenji ruins, then up to Omoromachi, the new business and shopping district. Had some coffee, browsed a bookstore (I need something new to read now that I've finished "電車の運転"), bought ingredients for dinner, then we returned home on the monorail in the late afternoon sun. Life is good.

A temporary izakaya in a parking lot near the Ryubo department store. Plenty warm enough to sit outside at night.