Mar 7, 2019

5 reasons why this expat family is glad to see the back of winter

As a family, there are certain seasons we enjoy far more than others since we've lived in Japan. Winter is without a doubt one of the hardest for us. The days are slowly getting longer, we're getting more sun, and seeing the snow melt inch by inch - and we couldn't be happier! Here are five reasons why our family is happy to say sayonara to the colder months.

5 reasons why this expat family is glad to see the back of winter photo

It's easier to enjoy the outdoors

There is a certain beauty to winter without a doubt, but it can be pretty difficult to really enjoy it with young children in tow. Getting kids into layers upon layers of snow clothes can be a struggle (it's like wrestling an angry eel, sometimes), and then there's the fact that it's just really. freaking. cold. We also really like going out for walks, but our youngest still needs a stroller for the most part - he's not even two yet. You can imagine how well a stroller works when there's snow everywhere.

Less having to deal with indoor play centers

I used to be all about indoor play centers - until my kids seemed to start picking up every bug imaginable from them. It doesn't matter how many times we wash their hands, or how much hand sanitizer we disperse...someone always gets sick when we go to them. And yet, when it's the middle of winter and the kids need to burn off some energy, we're stuck between a rock and a hard place. There's only so much indoor play you can do at home until everyone, adults included, start going stir crazy.

5 reasons why this expat family is glad to see the back of winter photo

You can just feel the germs. 

A decrease in school bugs

Ahh, preschools. I'm sure it's the same in every country, but I've only experienced parenting here in Japan. My daughter's school may as well be a petri dish with how many kids get sick in winter. Of course, a big part of it lies in the fact that a lot of the time, the kids are stuck indoors because the snow is so heavy that they can't go outside and play. 

5 reasons why this expat family is glad to see the back of winter photo

A little tricky to go out and play when that's what you're contending with.

More interaction with neighbors

One of the best things about living in the Japanese countryside is the sense of community. The warmer months see our neighbors out planting all manner of veggies and rice in their fields, and it's a great opportunity for us to interact with them - one of our favorite things to do! Many of our older neighbors have become like honorary grandparents to our kids, but during winter when everyone stays tucked up inside so much more we just don't see everyone as regularly.

More manageable household bills

During any season where the temperatures are at their extremes, our bills go way up. It's unavoidable in winter when you have to heat your house - especially for the kid's sakes - and even more pronounced here in Japan where insulation is a pipe dream. We always look forward to the "in-between" months where we can get a bit of financial reprieve on the family budget.



After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!