Andrew’s world in Japan 2018/July

Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring the creative process & connecting with other creative people.

Seasons of Change

It seems like a poor choice to start an article as if we were sitting around a nice cozy campfire in a forest somewhere. Can you hear the crackle of the crisp dry firewood? Do you feel the cool night breeze and not really want to rise up out of your comfortable seat to wander off into the dark and find a nice place to relieve yourself? Yea, I thought as much. The process of expressing something often strikes me like a spark on dry tinder. Are you familiar with that philosophical question, ‘if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?’ For one week now, approximately seven days, there has been steady precipitation, aka rain, in Petaling Jaya. It could very well be the rainy season. Not so long ago, when I asked about Malaysian weather, I was told there are two seasons, wet and wetter. This time of wetter is formally referred to as monsoon season. Peninsular Malaysia generally sees the monsoons occur between mid-October to the end of March. Tracking and understanding seasons was more important when most people were involved in growing our food. Today, most people are not connected with the life around us. Everything has become ‘industry.’ What are the consequences of identifying our environment this way?

Grab a passer-by and attempt to pick their brain. The greater concern is centered on the latest trends, movies, apps and tech. Seasons and how they impact our environment have become marginal jump-off points for an uninspired populace. Tourism has played a part in this. In most parts of the world, tourism is a desired aspect. Much of today’s world seems to be tied up in a dependent relationship with what seasons can draw tourists in. Winter has snowboarding, skiing and those looking to enjoy what the cold brings. Summer carries its own variety of sunbathing vacationers. Some towns close down during their down seasons, those times when the main attractions are not at their best let alone safe to the public. Malaysia set up a government entity in May 1992 to try and control and direct tourism. Japan is considered to have opened up formally to foreign tourism in 1853. Japanese traveling within Japan for the sole purpose of visiting specific sights and festivals may have begun in the early 1600’s.

Japan enjoys the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Each of these offers special unique attractions. If you’ve been looking into traveling Japan, you’ve most likely already discovered this. In almost 20 years, Japan has seen the number of foreign visitors grow from below 5 million to nearly 25 million. Most of this in the last 5 years. Now it may be more important than ever to take some time to research and prepare for what you’d really like to see and do in Japan.