緯度 ido—latitude

Living here in Sakai, I am a lot further south than at home in Ireland. In fact I am further south than even the southernmost fringes of Europe, such as the south of Italy, Spain, Malta or Greece. If you travelled south from Ireland until you reach this latitude, you would be near the city of Fez, Morocco.

However, it’s not a fair comparison. It’s warm here, but not that warm. Being on the western rim of an ocean (as in Japan) is not the same as being on the eastern side (as in Europe). A better comparison would be between Japan and the east coast of North America.

Some of the more far-flung islands have been left out of the picture, but we can see that the main islands of Japan map quite well to the east coast of the USA, from New England (Hokkaido) with its snowy winters, to Alabama (Kyushu) with its sweaty summers. We also see Okinawa enjoying a balmy tropical climate in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. In this scheme, Osaka/Sakai (the red dot) is found somewhere in South Carolina. Which is probably a better climatic fit than Morocco.

Note on the word of the day:

The character 度, pronounced do, means degree. Degrees of temperature 温度, angle 角度, or latitude 緯度, and also the degree or amount of other measured quantities such as speed 速度.

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