Living in Japan, one soon becomes accustomed to the yellow sands that blow in from deserts in Mongolia and China at different times of the year. This leaves a fine film on cars, windows, and on really bad days on the road itself.
This year, however, more toxic substances appear to be arriving from the Asian mainland.
Prevailing winds from the west are carrying particles from Asia, in particular China.
In the northern Kyushu region of Japan, the concentration of particles 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter has been as high as 50 micrograms per cubic meter in the last few days. The government’s safety limit is 35 micrograms.
Experts have confirmed that these particles are not yellow sand - and thus are toxic.
As one who commutes to work or for errands on a daily basis here in Kyoto, north of Kyushu but not that far away, this has got us wondering.
We finally pulled out the black cycling mask we ordered a few years ago. It is uncomfortable, ugly, and only good for mask-friendly Japan (in the US, the cops would pull you over as a suspect in a bank robbery). Still, we hope, it is preventing toxic particles from entering our lungs.
Castelli Squadra Long Waterproof Jacket
Tags Japan Touring Kyoto Cycle Japanese