Sunday, April 27, 2014

Living in Japan: The Sun

This weekend it seems like we jumped through Spring and started Summer in Kobe.

 The sky is bright blue, the sun is out and it's about 20C (about 70 degrees F).

Yesterday, I went out for my run on the Greenbelt, happy that I didn't have to put on a ton of layers and wanting a little color on my pasty skin.  I put on a tanktop and no sunscreen, knowing I was just going out for a 30 minute run.

I've lived here long enough and have become a bit more modest in my dress, especially in my workout clothes (maybe it's me getting older too), but I was, by far, the most under-dressed person on the Greenbelt (a 5K loop around the residential area of our island).

Yesterday was probably the start for most Japanese people to get out the sun protection gear - enlarged visors, UV sleeves and umbrellas.

While I was soaking up the warmth of the sun (and hopefully a bit of color), everyone else I ran past was totally covered up.

Now, if you've been to Japan, you'll realize that this protection from the sun bodes well for Japanese people.  I have seen octogenarians without a wrinkle on their face.  Frequently, I cannot guess the age of friends, because, well, they just look so young and healthy.

I wish I could have taken photos to really show the contrast between me in my flesh-flashing outfit (which really was just exposing my face and arms) compared to my walking and running compadres on the Greenbelt.  Unfortunately, I couldn't capture this as it would have been disrespectful to take photos of others walking/running by...

I've included some images of the lengths taken to make sure skin is protected in Japan (and these are very common accessories that are frequently seen from now until November).