Are you planning a trip to Japan in the summer? Well, congratulations, you’ve just earned your Brave Adventurer badge. No seriously, Japan in the summer is not for the faint faint-hearted. But for those that are brave enough to take the plunge, you will be well rewarded with a joyous and memorable summer in Japan.
- The Truth About Japan In The Summer
- Tips on Visiting Japan In Summer
- Bucket List – Best Things To Do In Japan In Summer
- Must Visit Places In Japan During The Summer
- The Veiled Explorer’s Summary
The Truth About Japan In The Summer
When Is It Summer In Japan?
Summer in Japan runs from June to Mid-September each year. During the summer season, it can get very hot and humid in Japan, with temperatures ranging from 21°C to 32°C. During a heatwave, temperatures can range up to 40°C.
If you are someone that’s intolerant to the heat and struggle to do any activities when it’s hot and humid, you may want to consider visiting Japan during a different season.
TOP TIP: Be sure to always check the latest weather update here. You can find out whether there’s a heatstroke alert, torrential rain alert, tsunami alert, etc.
Japan’s Rainy Season and Typhoon Season
If you thought that the heat was the only thing that you have to worry about during the summer in Japan, well buckle up children. The summer season in Japan also coincides with Japan’s rainy and typhoon seasons.
Japan’s Rainy Season
The rainy season in Japan runs from the start of June to late July in most of the country. Though, do note that the rainy season in Okinawa starts a month early and usually runs between the start of May and Ends at the start of June.
Though not all is lost. Whilst the showers may be intense on a rainy day, there are also days when you may not see a single drop of rain.
TOP TIP: If you want to avoid the rainy season altogether, you’ll have better luck if you visit the islands of Hokkaido and Ogasawara.
Japan’s Typhoon Season
If the rainy season wasn’t enough, the Typhoon season amplifies just as the rainy season starts to end. If you’re not familiar with what a typhoon is, it’s similar to a hurricane and a tropical cyclone. And if you’ve never experienced any of those things, picture a tropical storm.
Whilst the Typhoon season runs from May to October each year, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a storm each day. In fact, there are roughly 30 storms that form each year, with only about 3 hitting mainland Japan.
Why Many Travellers Still Visit Japan in Summer
You’re probably wondering why do people still visit Japan in summer? Well, that’s because there are a lot of things to be enjoyed during the summer that makes the weather in Japan bearable. From Mount Fuji opening up for the hiking season to Japan putting on their summer festivals up and down the country, your visit will undoubtedly be worthwhile.
Tips on Visiting Japan In Summer
How Long Should A Summer Holiday In Japan Be
To ensure that you have enough time in your itinerary to factor in any potential rainy days, I would highly recommend spending a minimum of two weeks in Japan. The longer time that you have to spend visiting Japan, the better it is.
What To Pack For A Summer In Japan
Given that it will be hot and humid, think light and airy outfits that are easy to move around in. Don’t choose any fabric that is dark coloured, heavy or that will stick to your skin and make you feel any more uncomfortable.
Some items to consider packing are
- Flowy maxi skirts
- Maxi dresses
- Lightweight abayas
- Lightweight hijabs
- Baggy oversized T-shirts with leggings
- Wide-legged trousers
- Loose tops
- Breathable trainers
Modest Outfit Inspiration For Summer In Japan
How To Stay Cool When Visiting Japan In The Summer
If there’s one thing that you must do when visiting Japan during the summer, it’s to avoid getting heatstroke at all costs. Below are some tips to help you stay cool in the soaring weather.
- Hydration, hydration, hydration – The best thing that you can do for yourself is to stay hydrated. Be sure to replenish all the sweat loss with lots of water and the odd Pocari Sweat, which is a sodium based drink to prevent hyponatremia. Looking for a sweet touch? Why not try the beloved lemonade called Ramune, or the tourist favourite, Fanta Melon. Looking for more Japanese drinks to try during your trip? Check out this article here.
- Portable Fan – You’ll notice that portable fans are very popular across Asia. Why not immerse yourself into the Kawaii culture and pick up a cute Hello Kitty fan.
- Parasol – Just like you would use an umbrella when it rains, you can use a parasol to shield yourself from the shine. You don’t have to worry about looking out of place, either, as the Japanese takes sun health very seriously.
- Cool Wipe – Whilst you may use a misting spray to hydrate your skin in hot weather. Given that the climate would already be humid you may prefer to use a cool wipe. You can easily find these at the convenience stores called ‘kombini’.
- Cooling Feet Spray – Whilst you’re purchasing your cool wipe, be sure to lookout for cooling feet spray. I promise it will feel super refreshing.
Bucket List – Best Things To Do In Japan In Summer
Like with every other season, Summer is a time for fun, adventure and festivities in Japan. And with that, I present to you your ultimate bucket list for your summer in Japan.
- Hike Mount Fuji
- Visit A Summer Festival In The North
- View The River Fireworks Festival In Sumida
- Dance (Or Spectate) The Bon Odori
- Stay In A Ryokan
- Visit The Snow Monkeys In The Japanese Alps
- Photograph A Kyoto Garden In Full Bloom
- Eat At A Restaurant With Kawadoko In Kyoto
- Go Swimming In Okinawa
- Surf The Many Surf Spots Across Japan
- Chase Waterfalls
- Visit The Lavender Field In Hokkaido
- Have Fresh Seafood
- Drink A Fanta Melon Soda
- Eat Kakigori, Japanese Shaved Ice
- Drink A Tapioca Milk Tea Frappe
- Eat Cold Noodles
- Eat Warabimochi
Must Visit Places In Japan During The Summer
When visiting Japan in the summer, you may want to limit your time in Tokyo to escape the blazing city heat. Below are some alternative must-visit cities, or prefectures as they are called in Japan, to add to your itinerary. These include the best things to do in Japan in the summer to ensure you get the full experience and don’t miss out on any of the festivities.
NOTE: For the Muslim travellers venturing out of the main touristic cities in Japan, it may be hard to find halal food. So, fully prepare your mind and stomach to be feasting on seafood or vegetarian dishes. Even then, you may want to ask for the ingredient list, as pork or alcohol could be mixed into broths and sauces.
Tokyo – For Ueno Festival, Bon Dance Festival And Halal Food
Yes, Tokyo is hot and humid. But one cannot visit Japan without stopping in Tokyo. And a summer in Tokyo isn’t one to turn your nose at, either. The Ueno Festival is held here for 5 weeks between July and August every year, and they put on a jammed packed schedule that guarantees something for everyone.
If you’re after more, that’s precisely what Tokyo will give you. Not only are there multiple Firework displays throughout the summer, but Tokyo also puts on the famous Tsukiji Honganji Bon Dance Festival. This is a Buddhist festival to honour the spirits of the ancestors.
If you want to try a wide array of Japanese specialities, I’m sure you’ll find it in Tokyo. And for Muslim travellers, you’re in luck! You’ll find that Tokyo offers a great selection of Halal restaurants.
Looking for more things to do whilst you’re in Tokyo?
Kyoto – For Gardens, History And Culture
Kyoto in the summer is hot and humid. However, given the vast and varied number of beautiful Japanese gardens, palaces, and shrines here, it still makes Kyoto an absolute must-visit.
If you’re a photographer or enjoy being photographed, you’ll love capturing the great landscapes in this city. Whilst the foliage may not be as exotic as Spring or Autumn, it definitely still is captivating.
Hokkaido – For Seafood And Instagram Worthy Lavender Fields
Hokkaido in the summer is much cooler and less humid than mainland Japan, and it makes a perfect escape from the heat. However, it’s not just the cool escape that is on offer here. Summer mixed with the island life has a way of making people crave seafood, and that’s precisely one of the main draws here. Seafood lovers rejoice!
If you’re looking for something to spice up your Instagram feed, well then be sure to check out the lavender fields here. Though, do note that they only bloom for a short period of time. So you’ll have to be quick if you want to catch them.
Aomori – For Apples, Nature And Nebuta Festival
In the northernmost part of Japan, you’ll find Aomori. A town famed for its apples (seriously, they love their apples here) and seafood. Come summer, though, millions of tourists from all around the world flood Aomori for the popular Nebuta Festival. This is a fire festival consisting of lanterns, floats, and music that promises to keep you entertained.
And if you want an escape from it all, Aomori is also a nature filled destination that’s surrounded by the ocean on 3 sides. In the summer, the lush greenery here really comes to life. If you’re into forest bathing or shinrin yoku as the Japanese would say, Aomori is the place for it.
Akita – For Locally Grown Rice Produce And Kanto Matsuri Festival;
One cannot talk about the Nebuta festival without talking about the Kanto Matsuri aka pole festival in Akita City. Be rest assured, this is a family friendly festival that’s also held in the summer in Japan. It involves skilled performers balancing bamboo poles with lanterns attached to them.
If that doesn’t satisfy your appetite, you’ll also be able to watch firework displays all over the prefecture to welcome in the warm summer nights. And of course, wherever there’s merriment, there will always be food.
However, you’re probably wondering what is Akita famous for though, right? And the answer is Sake, which is rice wine. Whilst this may not be halal for Muslim travellers, maybe you can taste some locally grown rice and see what the fuss is all about?
Tokushima – For Awa Odori Festival, Nature, Water Sports And Naruto Whirpools
Tokushima prefecture is located on the island of Shikoku and is famed for many things. Keeping with the other regions, Tokushima also puts on a fine festival come August. The Awa Odori festival is Tokushima’s main attraction and is their local take on the Bon-Odori dance that takes place all over Japan.
It draws in over a million revellers each year to participate in the festival of the folklore dance, making Tokushima a lively place to be.
If folklore dancing is not your thing, there’s still lots more to enjoy on the island as you can immerse yourself in nature activities. In the summer you can enjoy surfing, white water rafting and even take a cruise out to see the famous Naruto whirpools.
Japanese Alps – For Hiking And Snow Monkeys
The Japanese Alps may not be an obvious choice for those visiting Japan, but if time permits, you should definitely add it to your itinerary. From hiking the Hida Ranges to spotting the Snow Monkeys, there are lots of bucket list moments to be had here.
If you are looking for a refreshing break from the festivals, the Japanese Alps is the place to head to.
Okinawa – For Culture, Theme Park, Cave, Swimming And Scuba Diving
Okinawa is the island that has it all. For a Japanese cultural fix, Okinawa offers Futenma Shrine and Shuri Castle. For thrill and adventure, you can visit the theme park Okinawa World. To escape the heat, you can head to the Gyokusendo Cave.
But to really bask in that holiday feel, it’s the beaches here that make Okinawa a great destination in summer. Not only are the Okinawa beaches perfect to swim in, but the ecosystem here is ideal for scuba divers and snorkellers alike.
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The Veiled Explorer’s Summary
And there we have it. The best things to do and absolute must visit places when travelling to Japan in summer. From the cultural festivals up and down the country to tasty summer sweet treats and water activities, Japan has everything for the perfect summer holiday.
So what do you think? Would you brave the heat to enjoy Japan in summer? Leave me a comment down below to let me know which activity are you looking forward to the most.