That was fast: the fall-like weather was short lived and it is definitely winter in Japan. The temperatures have fallen to the SINGLE digits–BRR! Well, single digits in Celsius, which I guess is like the mid-high forties in Fahrenheit. But still, it’s frigid and it seems colder than the temperature reading. Time to pull out the heated blankets, the winter jackets, hats and gloves. Last week, my sister had a layover in Tokyo, so she sent us our last duffle bag of winter coats, which arrived just before this sudden changing of seasons. Thank you Ven!
I’m not sure if I’ve turned into a wimp or what, but I recall 48º F in Seattle meant I could probably get by with a sweater or hoodie (unlike my neighbor who is known for wearing her winter coat in June!). But for some reason, 48º F here feels like 32º F (0º C). I think it has to do with humidity…or something? Or it could be because we live in a concrete structure with no insulation? Or maybe I’m just getting old?
Even Z needed to alter his school uniform look. The school uniform requires boys wear shorts–all year long, no matter how cold it gets. So, I went out and got Z some heat-tech leggings and undershirt to go with his blazer. Here’s his updated look compared to the hot summer:
There are plenty of heating option in Japan for thin-skinned individuals like me. There’s a hot carpet (a heated rug), gas stove (portable gas heater) and a kotatsu table (a low table with a heating element underneath) to name a few. Our first thought when the temperature took a dive was none of the above, but also essential: a new toilet seat. Not the first thing to come to mind for those living in the States, but the washlet toilet seats here are oh so heavenly. I remember when Michael’s friend James brought one back from Japan. We totally got why, but most other friends in Seattle were quite perplexed by his decision.
Here’s what our bathroom (although I guess technically it’s a toilet room?) looked like when we moved in:
Just kidding! I guess we don’t have any pictures of the before. But here’s what it looks like now:
The feature we felt necessary in the winter is the seat warmer function. It may sound strange and is off-putting the first time since it feels like someone was just sitting on the seat before you, but once you’ve experienced it, you’ll never go back to the plain old, non-heated kind.
We also got our washitsu (Japanese tatami room) updated with the winter necessity. Floor pad and thick, comfy blanket that slides underneath the tabletop to keep your feet nice and warm. Putting your feet under this cozy table is a sign that winter has arrived in Japan! I wonder how long the winters last here?