Let’s start off a hot week with a photo of a place hotter and steamier than anywhere I’ve ever been in my life, even Houston. This is summer in Japan, where it’s hot, it’s humid, it’s relentless, and even in the shade (as my friend Kazumi warned) there’s no coolness. But Japan was so fascinating it overrode even the heat!
This was taken at a temple in ancient Nara, once the capital of Japan, even before Kyoto, let alone before upstart Tokyo. And the woman is, as you suspected, not carrying an umbrella against nonexistent rain: the umbrella is doing parasol service —