Trading Osaka Summer for August in Orlando

We walked with some apartment friends out for dinner then to Namba Shrine for a local festival, Matsuri. This kitsune mask caught my eye. Photo by Sydney Solis.

So hot in Osaka in late July. We walked with some apartment friends out for dinner then to Namba Shrine for a local festival, Hiruma Matsuri. This kitsune mask caught my eye. Photo by Sydney Solis

After the big Osaka earthquake the whole family experienced June 18, then record rain and flooding throughout Japan, followed in July by a heat wave that is killing people in droves and sending thousands to the hospital, another typhoon has hit.

Yet I was in Orlando for it! Had boarded a plane July 26 and headed East. My hubby was in the high-rise and in all the rain and steamy subways during the hottest month of the year – August.

Because it was getting too hot and after all the crazy natural disasters I decided that wandering around Northern Japan and Hokkaido by my self as previously planned to cope with the summer here wasn’t a good idea right now! Not even going out for the festivals I stayed for in the first place because of the record heat!

I did get in one day in Kyoto for a Gion Matsuri parade, but since then have been mostly walking to local shrines in the evening or seeing Tenjin Matsuri fireworks from our 35th floor with some Japanese friends, including the chiropractor.

Namba Shrine summer Hiruma Matsuri festival vendor. Osaka. Photo By Sydney Solis

Namba Shrine summer Hiruma Matsuri festival vendor. Osaka. Photo By Sydney Solis

I was looking out over some hazy days in the record heat from the balcony. One afternoon I was supposed to go to a Haiku class up at Senri-Chuo, I stepped outside and thought ‘NO WAY AM I GETTING ON THAT SUBWAY.” My husband already leaves for work at 6 am to avoid heat and crowds. Tokyo asking commuters to do the same now.

35 floors up
an earthquake rocks
and rumbles –
it clutches my heart

—-  Sydney Solis

My poem above was used in class as well as in the Hailstone Haiku Circles Icebox Online Publication. Featured in a sequence of haiku and all the weather events.

As much as I love Osaka, my hubby and the excitement of Japan, being back here in the Orlando is important to integrate and reflect on my experience. I’m dying connect with my kids, dogs, neighbors, friends and garden and art again after such an amazing and intense experience as living in Japan! I will return September 13 after my daughter’s birthday.

Sand drawings at Honen-ji Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, Japan. Photo by Sydney Solis

Sand drawings at Honen-ji Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, Japan. Photo by Sydney Solis

And so many wonderful things about Florida! Yes, it’s hot and humid, but not like the world’s sweltering cities in the summer. But we just go to the beach! Or hang out under the palm trees and gardens and enjoy the night breeze.

Since my kids’ June visit, my daughter is now employed at a Japanese restaurant in DeLand, Florida, and my son has been making homemade Japanese curry for all his friends! I just listed our cute, downtown walkable Orlando home on AirBNB! Check it out! Stay at our place! Lots of artwork and plants and books, Japanese food and green tea! Cross cultural alliance Orlando Osaka is where it’s at! Stay tuned!


I will be writing here to catch up on my amazing experiences and photos! I just love Taiko drumming! Amazing to watch it in the intense evening heat. Alive!

Miss you, hubby! Miss you Japan! Got my bike fixed in Orlando! Miss that about Japan! Riding my bike everywhere. Check out my online art gallery of photos and prints and other cool stuff! More coming!

 

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