It is so hot here. We knew it would be hot, but we were not quite prepared for just how hot it would feel. The temperature is 88, pretty much every day. But that is misleading, because the feels like temperature is usually over 100 to 102. And there is a low of 78 each day, but that also is misleading because that only happens for a single hour at 3 am and then its back up to at least 80 and quickly back on the way to 88. I belabor this point because it just quite simply makes everything take longer and be harder than we’re used to. Even when you sleep at night you feel like your body is working out a bit, trying to wrap its mind around being so hot. And this is with AC on also.
Our guide book says that we’ll acclimate after about 2 weeks. We’re one week in and its gotten a little better, so we’re hoping for some non-linear acclimation soon.
Traffic and prices
Japan was really easy to get around on foot and subway. We walked for hours each day and were able to get pretty much every where we wanted. We took a handful of taxis, usually when we had our bags or when it was raining. Here there is no public transportation other than songthaew which are basically pick-up trucks which circle the ring road of the island. Some tourists rent motor bikes to get around, but that seems absolutely insane given the flow of traffic. The main ring road is two lanes, with both directions freqently passing slow moter bikes in the middle of the road. Also, there is no constant speed, its very erratic.
As a result of this, we’ve taken a lot more taxis, which are one of the most expensive commodities on the island. For example, an hour long thai massage and a ride to the next beach over in a taxi cost about the same. However, that comparision is a bit misleading because thai massage is probably one of the best relative deals here. Food is highly variable in price. There are some places where you can get pad thai or fried rice for $2-3, but there are many places that will charge $10-15 for a very similar dish. This seems somewhat governed by how touristy of an area you are in and whether you are on the water or not. There are also a bunch of high end restaurants that we haven’t ventured in to.
In typical vacation fashion, I ate recreationally a lot in Japan and as such gained quite a bit of weight. I’ve experimented with fasting before in the past. Previously, I fasted once a week for an entire day. But that seemed like it would be difficult to do in this climate and situation, so I’ve settled on trying intermittent fasting. I consume all of the calories for the day between 12 and 6. Fasting for the other 18 hours of the day. Some people who do IF have smaller windows of 4 or 5 hours, but 6 seems like it should still get some of the benefits and be quite a bit more convenient. So far its actually been quite easy and I’m eating a lot less.
Overall, the trip has been really good for depression. I’ve only had two days of depression symptoms and was able to recover more quickly than has been typical for me in the past. Both were likely triggered by high levels of stress. We had a particularly difficult travel day getting to Osaka and trying to get into our airbnb and then more recently I had to make a lot of phone calls to insurance companies about extending benefits while I’m on my leave of absence. It also hasn’t been helping that sleeping has been much more difficult here. So the downside is that I’m still in no way resilient to what should be minor stressors. The upside is that I have generally been feeling as good as I have in over a year.
Food and Water
The food has been delicious here. Interestingly, it hasn’t in general been that spicy. Perhaps a broad attempt to accomodate tourists. However, most places will bring the spice tray with powdered chilis, red chili sauce, green chili sauce and sugar. So you can end up making this as spicy as you like. We’ve mostly been sticking to fried rice and fried noodles, both are so good its just hard to try branching out.