Japan has four seasons to enjoy in which spring, summer, autumn, and winter are almost equal in length.

Japan has four seasons to enjoy in which spring, summer, autumn, and winter are almost equal in length.

The Japanese enjoy the changes in season with seasonal dishes, clothing, festivals, and other events.

There are many events reflecting the seasons, for instance, cherry blossom, viewing in spring, or wearing yukata (summer kimono) for lifework displays in summer.

In haiku - which originated in Japan and is composed of 17 syllables and is said to be the world's shortest form of poetry - there is a rule that a phrase referencing the season must be included.

Japan's Meteorological Agency defines spring as falling between March and May, summer between June and August, autumn between September and November, and winter between December and February.

Astronomically, spring is from the spring equinox to the summer solstice, summer from the summer solstice to the autumn equinox, autumn from the autumn equinox to the winter solstice, and winter from the winter solstice to the spring equinox.

In order for people to get more of a sense of the passing of the seasons, the traditional Japanese calendar divides a year into 24 seasons with the names of each season written on it.

It states that the first day of spring is February 4, the first day of summer is May 6, the first day of autumn is August 7, and the first day of winter is November 7. This may be one day before or after since it is based on the movements of the sun.


However, abnormal weather in recent years has affected Japan's four seasons, too.

Temperatures are going up during summer in Japan and are exceeding 40 degrees centigrade in some areas.

Japan is a long, narrow country covering a large distance from north to south. However, even in northern Hokkaido, the number of days in which the temperature exceeds 30 degrees centigrade is increasing in summer.

In response to global warming, the amount of rainfall has been increasing. Typhoons have become bigger and more powerful.

In addition, typhoons used to arrive in late summer, but many have begun to hit the country in autumn, too.

If this trend continues, it will be difficult to enjoy the autumn leaves, which used to be part of a typical autumn scene.

Furthermore, temperature rises in the sea could influence fish populations, and some people are predicting a shortage of ingredients for sushi in the near future.

The vegetable harvest has already been affected.

Meanwhile, there is hardly any show left in Shirakawa-go, a village that has been registered as a World Heritage site and is famed for its sleep-roofed houses and beautiful snowy scenery.

Similarly, there was little snow to be seen at the "Sapporo Snow Festival," which is known for its rows of snow statutes.

A movement protesting against the irresponsibility of adults over environmental issues is growing worldwide.

It's been pointed out that though Japan has been blessed with four seasons, it lacks a sense of crisis.

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