Umibiraki

Me: I’ve heard about something called umibiraki.

Japan: Oh, yeah, umibiraki – The Opening of the Sea.

Me: Opening?

Japan: Yeah. Normally in the first week of July a Shinto priest holds the umibiraki ceremony on the beach. He purifies the sea to make it safe.

Me: So, is it closed before then?

Japan: Well, not closed exactly.

Me: But people don’t go to the beach and have a swim in the ocean before umibiraki in July?

Japan: No, of course not. Why would you do that?

Me: Because it’s really nice weather in May and June.

Japan: But that’s before umibiraki.

Me: Yeah but it’s nice and warm and sunny and stuff.

Japan: It’s spring.

Me: Yeah, right. Or you could go in September. You’ve got lovely weather in September.

Japan: No, no, no. You can’t go for a swim at the beach in September.

Me: Why not?

Japan: It’s after the beach season.

Me: So, when does it end?

Japan: Late August.

Me: Late August? Pretty much the hottest time of the year?

Japan: Yeah.

Me: But…what…I mean…

Japan: Why would you go for a swim at any other time of the year?

Me: Because you like the beach.

Japan: But it’s not the beach season.

Me: Who cares? It’ll be nice and sunny.

Japan: But you won’t be covered in sweltering, sweaty, heat stroke inducing hotness.

Me: Great!

Japan: What? But then you won’t need a tent.

Me: A tent?

Japan: Yeah, you know a big tent/gazebo thing to give you some shade.

Me: But –

Japan: And if it’s not meltingly hot and humid you won’t need to take a cool box to keep the food and drinks suitably cold and refreshed.

Me: If you go when it’s not oppressively hot you won’t need all this.

Japan: That’s crazy. What about the fold up chairs and the bbq?

Me: Who the fuck takes all this shit to the beach?

Japan: Me.

Me: Why?

Japan: Because it’s hot.

Me: Why don’t you go when it’s not hot?

Japan: I’ve told you already. You can’t go to the beach when it’s not beach season.

Me: What if you like surfing?

Japan: Well, that’s different. You don’t need a tent and a bbq to go surfing do you? You need a surfboard and a wet suit.

Me: What about the Okinawa islands?

Japan: It’s always beach season there.

Me: Do you need a tent and a bbq when you go to Okinawa?

Japan: Well of course not. That would be silly wouldn’t it?

Me: Yes, of course…

Japan: So, what are you doing this weekend?

Me: Well, if it’s nice weather I was thinking of going to the beach.

Japan: But you can’t go to the beach. It’s not the beach season.

Me: But it might be nice weather.

Japan: You should go hiking.

Me: What? Why?

Japan: Well, hiking season will be starting now.

Me: Will it be busy?

Japan: Sure.

Me: Wouldn’t it be nice to get away from all the crowds?

Japan: Oh yeah, definitely it would. But where could we go?

Me: Erm, the beach?

Japan: Impossible. It’s not beach season.

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September 6, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.