"But, Kady," said nobody, "it's still bloody warm outside. I don't see any leaves or chestnuts falling in Osaka right now. Is it really autumn? Really?"
Japan's stance on seasons is that Japan is the only country which actually has 4 distinct seasons. Using 'distinct' there is very important. Here, each new season comes in like clockwork. And, somehow, the weather manages to match these changes exactly.
Summer started on June 1st.
May had been a pretty comfortable month, heat-wise. My pasty British skin was dealing with it nicely. I was fine in light cardigans and shawls, but everyone around me still clung to their coats and jackets.
Why were people still bundled up on such sunny and warm days?
Because it wasn't 'summer' yet.
As soon as the first day of June began, it got HOT. Relentless days of 30-degree+ weather with seemingly no end in sight. And overnight, the winter wardrobes went out of the window. Not a single parka to be seen.
Autumn started on September 1st.
It'd been a damn hot August. It continued in much the same way as July, humid and sticky. But on the night of August 31st, a typhoon swept in. The temperature dropped something like 10 degrees overnight. And so we got our autumn.
Don't get me wrong, it's still warmer than your typical Brit autumn. But, for all intents and purposes, a brand new season has begun. First day of the month, the next season's here to pinch and punch you until you put different clothes on.
It must be autumn, you know. Hot drinks are back on convenience store shelves. Green tea bottles now come decorated with red and orange leaves. Halloween costumes are now on sale, because Halloween lasts 2 months here.
It's set in stone. Spring, summer, autumn and winter get exactly 3 months each.
This is a country in which the weather is often horribly precise. I just checked the live forecast for today, and it includes the line 'rain starting in 51 minutes'. I don't doubt it for a second. Roll on spring - which, mercifully, begins on March 1st no matter what.