Seattle is located in the northwest corner of America's West Coast, about two hours by car (182 km) from the Canadian border and the city of Vancouver. Seattle is the closest major city to Japan on the US mainland. From Narita Airport in Japan, Northwest Airlines and United Airlines operate direct flights which take about nine hours.
At 47°N latitude, Seattle is further north than Hokkaido, but ocean currents have a warming effect, giving Seattle a mild, comfortable climate. In summer, the average high temperature is 24°C, much cooler than summer in Japan. And with low humidity, most homes do not even need air conditioning. Winters are relatively mild, too, with average low temperatures for January at 2°C. Sub-zero freezing temperatures come only a few days a year. Snowfall is scarce in the lowlands around Seattle, but plentiful in the nearby mountains. When snow does fall in Seattle it usually melts away in a day or two. In the autumn-winter months of November through March, light rain is frequent, but the total amount of rainfall is not excessive. The spring-summer months of May through September are the best season, with day after day of clear blue cloudless skies, bright sunshine, and abundant greenery swaying in the gentle breezes.
Washington State's many mountains, forests, and lakes make it the ideal place for outdoor sports. When Seattle was chosen as the most desirable city to live in America several years ago, its comfortable climate was surely a major factor in the rating. Famous local industries include the Boeing Company which manufactures airplanes at its humungous factory in the City of Everett, and Microsoft Corporation with its sprawling campus in the City of Redmond. Other world-famous computer and biotechnology companies also comprise the economic landscape of Washington State. Also, Starbucks Coffee, a household name even in Japan, got its start from a small espresso shop in the heart of Seattle.
Twenty minutes north of Seattle by car are the City of Shoreline and Shoreline Community College, with its beautiful campus surrounded by forests and lawns. Fifteen minutes further north is Edmonds Community College in the City of Lynnwood. Adjacent to the Edmonds campus is an impressive 18-hole municipal golf course. Edmonds is perhaps the only community college in America that is right next to a golf course. Twenty minutes further east of Lynnwood is Cascadia College in the City of Bothell. This campus is located in the forest and shared with the University of Washington Bothell.