Winters are cold, and in many parts snowy,
you eat hot pot dishes and keep warm with hot water bottles or kotatsu (table with heater underneath and a thick floor length cover to keep your legs warm).
Spring is famous for its cherry blossoms,
In summer, the humidity is over powering, first with the rainy season, then with the heat. Hydrangeas,
Autumn harvests fill the tables with fruit, vegetables and delicious oily fish. The changing of the leaves can be spectacular...
There are other things that mark the seasons and time of year. There are about 16 public holidays. The Japanese love to celebrate, they have festivals at local shrines, note the dates in the Japanese and Chinese calendar, or take up foreign traditions like St Valentine and Halloween.
Everywhere you go you will see signs of what time of year it is - there are decorations in shop displays, in schools and workplaces, on posters and advertisements, and of course in homes.
After arriving in Japan I soon took up this tradition and change the decorations at home for the various events.
Now it was time to put up the Christmas decorations. In the coming weeks I will blog about them, and first out is this wall quilt.
The mother of a student made this for me many years ago. I feel so humble and grateful that she would spend so much time and effort on this. It is mostly made of 1 cm squares, and she must have had a fantastic collection of Christmas prints to make the tree. There are lots of tiny bells embellishing the quilt.