My first June in Japan, the summer of 2015, was not particularly wet. June is the "rainy season" and like all the seasons here, was highly anticipated and much talked about. I expected 20+ days of rain. Like a snowless winter in the mountains, it was a dud. I was disappointed.
This June there has been rain, a lot of rain, almost everyday. It is not a heavy rain; it is not an all-day deluge. It is mostly soft and pleasant. The asphalt of the streets, continuously stained by rain, is a richer black. The leaves of the trees and the moss of the earth have a phosphorescent green glow. The cedar of the minka (traditional houses) is most fragrant when rain dampened. The whole city smells somehow green, fresh, alive.
Based on last years rainfall I have misjudged the gray skies on several occasions and have been caught in an afternoon shower without an umbrella. This was not altogether disagreeable and I was not inclined to curse my gambling spirit or Mother Nature's humor. A quiet tribute to Gene Kelly seemed more apropos.
My flea market umbrella has begun to rust at the hinges from overuse. I seem to always be drying out socks and shoes. No sooner do I water the plants on my terrace than the rain begins to fall.
I grew up in southern California where rain is a somewhat rare event. My Japanese friends have no great love for this season. For me, it is a joy.
"I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain..."