On the Passing of Typhoons


My little girl and I, we are fans of a good thunderstorm. The kind where rain comes down in buckets and the wind rattles the windows till you’re pretty sure something’s gonna break. The kind where lightning ignites your room in a flash of blinding light and the crack of thunder makes you yelp and giggle with glee.

The typhoon that passed through Tokyo late last night and into the wee hours of the morning brought along with it some good old howling winds and sheets of rain. E and I were up early enough to see the rain clear up and make way for the beautiful October day that followed.

after the typhoon

There’s a phrase in Japanese, “taifu ikka,” which literally means “typhoon once past.” Basically, it refers to the beautiful weather that comes after a typhoon. (The word “ikka” also means “family” so I used to think the phrase referred to a family that was out of control, like a typhoon. Haha. Wrong.)

After seeing how blue the sky was from the living room window, E insisted that we go up to the roof to check out the view.

It was gorgeous.

Taifu ikka.

after the typhoon




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  1. Oh wow that is gorgeous! On my side of the world…the skies were…hazy and grey and it got worse until a nice incredibly short shower of rain cleared it enough for me not to have to wear a mask during my walk home. I actually love all the shots you made in this post! I love ones with the silhouette of your little girl pressed up against the window, the colors contrasting each other so well, plus the last one of the blue open skies with puffs of white clouds looming above the city, absolutely gorgeous!

    • Thanks, Kim! When I saw my daughter pressed up against the window with the natural light flowing in, I just couldn’t resist taking some pictures. She’s pretty used to me snapping away by now so she didn’t move from the spot–allowing me to get the shot ;)

  2. Oh my word how beautiful the typhoon ikka is! I am inclined to plan a trip to Tokyo . . . or at least some place where there may be a chance of seeing some rain! As you may know we had the driest summer/year in California HISTORY last year and we are nearing some very serious water rationing. I long to hear thunder and the sound of rain on the roof. :( Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks, Sue! Yes, I’ve heard about how dry it is in California! Sunny skies all year around sounds dreamy but I guess the reality is harsh. I hope you get a good thunderstorm or two soon!

  3. I agree, the sky was simply gorgeous! I was sad that i didn’t get around to taking any photos so i’m happy to see you got some stunning shots:) The first one is simply amazing.
    (& oops! I also thought ‘taifu ikka’ was used to describe a boisterous family until i read your post O: )

  4. I have a friend in Okinawa that was sharing just how bad the streets flooded there during that typhoon. We also had a hurricane hit us as well. Crazy right? We are in the middle of a desert but they come up from Mexico so it’s not the brute force of a hurricane but flooding tends to be bad since the earth does not adsorb water very quickly.

    Oh my gosh love, love love your first photo!

  5. That last photo is a stunner. E must have known it was going to be a good view. Smart girl!

    PS: I’d never actually heard that word before…Taifu-ikka, it’s in my vocabulary now! ;D

    • Thanks, Kaori ;)

      I think E can recognize when the sky looks different than usual. Sometimes she looks at the sky in the evening (from our living room) and suggests that we go check out the sunset. Of course, it may also be because I’ve been pointing out sunsets to her since she couldn’t even talk. haha.

      PS. Yay, I taught someone Japanese! That’s like a major accomplishment for me ;)

  6. Oh, I do love a good storm. While London certainly gets its fair share of rain, we actually don’t get a lot of thunderstorms. I believe I’ve seen/heard a total of 3 since we moved here 17 months ago. That’s one of the things I miss the most about Tennessee. The dark clouds rolling in, the smell of rain before it hits, and that delicious feeling of all the hairs on my arms standing up at the first crack of lightning – yeah, London definitely gets the short end of the weather stick.

    By the way, I love it when you include Japanese words and phrases in your posts. One day, after I’ve “mastered” Spanish and ASL, I’d love to begin learning Japanese. It intimidates me more than a little, though!

    • Really? London doesn’t get many thunderstorms? I totally assumed that all that rain = many, many fantastic thunderstorms.

      And I’m glad you like the bits of Japanese I sneak into my posts! It’s definitely a difficult language to learn, but it’s also very interesting–so different from English or European languages ;)


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