Japan is a land that is plagued by natural disasters. It is literally the result of volcanos and earthquakes pushing rocks up from the bottom of the ocean. On top of that, it is subject to some of the worst natural disasters available. Tsunamis, floods, typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions are all common enough that you have to layer Godzilla on top to bother watching the news. While we lived there, we had to cancel church in parts of our stake twice due to volcanic eruptions that made it unsafe to breathe outside for a bit. We commonly had minor earthquakes, and a couple that lasted long enough for Betsy and me to wake up, wait a bit, realize it wasn’t stopping, and then decide to go to the kids rooms and be prepared to evacuate. Of course the kids slept right through those. Typhoons came through a couple of times, most often further south than us, but they always brought fun wind and water. (For clarity, a typhoon is a hurricane that originates in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Don’t ask me why–I don’t know. The same swirling vortex of wind and water in the south pacific is called a cyclone.)
Typhoons, and their slightly weaker cousins, monsoons, were great fun for the kids, and both really allowed the marvel of civil engineering that is Tokyo city to shine. During a serious storm, water would be dropping in bucketloads, and the streets would fill up, but quite literally within minutes of cessation, the streets were drained and passable again. Luckily, with my dad being a civil engineer, I was able to pause to gawk at the amazing systems that must exist beneath Tokyo streets to move that much water that efficiently.