The Heat of August versus the Cool of Autumn

tokyo heat WSJ
from the Wall Street Journal
I had always wondered why the 1964 Olympic Summer Games took place in October, which is a beautiful time in Japan, primarily because it is Autumn.

One reason was to avoid the typhoons of summer in Japan, which could possibly wreak havoc on a tight two-week schedule. Another reason was possibly to avoid the heat and humidity of August in Tokyo.

That is the reason raised by Terrie Lloyd, a Japan-hand who currently writes and consults on tourism in Japan. In his latest post, he wondered why officials set the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo in late July, early August. As Lloyd pointed out, we suffered through horrible heat in that period this year, with temperatures ranging from 35 to 38 degrees celsius (95 to 100 degrees fahrenheit). He claims that the actual feel on the street averaged something closer to 47-50 degrees!

The Wall Street Journal stated that “since 1964, average July-August temperatures in Tokyo have risen several degrees, as heat radiating off asphalt and buildings and coming out of car exhausts and air conditioners remains trapped at night.”

Lloyd claims that if temperatures hit an average of 38 degrees at this time in 2020, the Tokyo Summer Games would be the hottest in 120 years.

So he asks, why July/August? Well, that may seem more obvious if you follow the money. NBC has paid a king’s ransom to broadcast the 2020 Games in the U.S., and would rather not have to compete with the NBA championships in June, or the NFL season that starts in September, or the World Series that plays out in October.

By the way, if you visit Tokyo in August, it’s hot and muggy. The only good thing about that? A cold beer tastes absolutely heavenly!

ichiban shibori