Heavy rain and lightning have been hitting Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto areas causing flash flooding, power outages and many other problems lately.
Heavy thunderstorms in Tokyo caused flooding in rural Shinjuku and surrounding areas. People were stranded in their cars and some even had to abandon their cars otherwise they would possibly have drowned. One woman showed cameramen her car in an underground tunnel. Her car had water up to the roof.
In Kobe, heavy rains caused several city workers who were in manholes to be washed away downstream. One man survived escaping death by grasping a handle near another manhole as he was being washed downstream.
Koshien stadium paused high school baseball games going on during the annual high school baseball tournament because of heavy rains and lightning. The games later continued.
People say it is the most lightning they’ve ever seen in the Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. People on the streets stop and stare into the dark thunderclouds to watch the light displays crackling through the sky in fear and awe.
The Keihan and Hankyu railways have had many delayed trains, something that is unusual in Japanese train systems, because of heavy rain and power outages in Osaka and Kyoto. Train passengers were caught in the storms standing on platforms with no place to go as they waited for the next train. It took me an extra thirty minutes on my train ride home from Nara because of train delays.
Cold and warm air masses have been looming over Japan for the past week causing the turbulent weather, and more heavy rain and thunderstorms are predicted. If you are traveling to Japan, you may want to buy an umbrella when you arrive along with some rainboots.
A river rose in less than a minute in Kobe and washed several children and adults away to their death. So be careful not to be around any rivers or valleys during rainstorms because flash flooding happens in an instant and even the most prepared can be caught offguard.
Read more about the author of this post: Kyle Yates is an American English teacher living and working in the Kansai area since 1996. Read more from this author