• Shona McCarthy

Kyoto In The Autumn

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(Picture from Wix.)

The first time I visited Japan, I was in Kyoto in the early Autumn. Indeed, if you wish to save money when you visit Japan, the early Autumn is the best time. 

It will be too early for the leaves to have changes, meaning that most of the tourist locations shouldn't be too densely packed, with notable exceptions, such as culture day and the Jidai matsuri. 

The weather itself was much warmer than websites had indicated for those weeks. So I found that the clothing I had packed was mostly too warm. 

This was doubly true of the kimono I had packed. The kimono one is meant to wear in Autumn is hitoe: a solid yet unlined style of kimono that allows better ventilation than their lined counterparts. But I didn't know this, so nearly every where I went, I sweltered and suffered in my beautiful awase, or lined, brocades. 

(Photo of me wearing layers of kimono and haori in Arashiyama. Taken by Josiah Sillavan, 2015.)

Japanese heat isn't the same as Australian heat. Here we tend to have a kind of dry, direct heat that seems to sear and bake whatever sits in it. In Japan, the heat is often humid. So, rather than feeling your brain roast in your skull, you feel as though you are constantly sweating and steaming in your clothes. 

There is also the problem of indoor air-con, as I describe in another post. So, as I mention there and elsewhere, I suggest dressing in layers and taking thin, breathable clothes with you if you plan on being in Japan between mid April and mid October. Bring a good jacket for unexpected changes. 

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