The Tokyo Olympics are heading for a climate catastrophe

BY Philip Patrick   /  7 August 2019

It was 34 degrees here in Tokyo yesterday, with humidity hovering around the 70% mark. The day before that was much the same, and the day before that…

I live 10 minutes walk from my home station Sasazuka in central Tokyo, and it’s another 20 from there to my air-conditioned office. Just getting to work each day makes me feel like a legionnaire reaching an oasis. I’m soaked-through, weak, parched, and mildly delirious by the time I stagger into the room.

Like most Tokyoites I stoically endure the sweltering heat. You carry a towel, and a bottle of sports drink (the revoltingly named but refreshing “Pocari Sweat” is the favourite) and just get on with it. And there is an upside, with fun to be had in the cooler evenings, with colourful lightweight yukatas on show for the firework festivals, and boozy night cruises along the Sumida River.


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