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Japan's Rainy Season 2024: Time, Fun Things to Do, and What to Wear

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Japan's rainy season, or tsuyu, is a period of heavy rainfall in early summer that affects most of the country. Learn about the rainy season in Tokyo, Kyoto, and each region of Japan, and tips on how to make the rainy season enjoyable.

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Japan’s Rainy Season: Basic Information

Japan's Rainy Season 2023: Basic Information and What to Wear

Tokyo Station in the rain. Photo by Pixta
The rainy season (tsuyu in Japanese) is the period of severe rainfall and cloudy weather, annually occurring from the end of May and until the middle of July. This phenomenon occurs not only in Japan, but also in southern China and South Korea.

Geographically, the rainy season isn’t typical in Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture in Japan. The reason for this is that the rain clouds, or the seasonal rain front which take over Japan’s sky, get weaker as they move to the north of the country, so Hokkaido doesn’t have the long spells of rain typical of the rainy season.

Rainy Season: Facts and Tips

1. The Beginning and End of the Rainy Season
2. Average Temperatures and What to Wear During the Rainy Season
3. Fun Things to Do during Japan's Rainy Season
- Enjoy Hydrangea Viewing
- Visit an Umbrella Sky Event!
- View the Irises
- Shop for Colorful Umbrellas and Rainwear

The Beginning and End of the Rainy Season

Japan's rainy season

Photo by Pixta
The beginning of the rainy season is called tsuyu-iri, and the end of the rainy season is tsuyu-ake in Japanese. The exact dates of each event, as well as the period during which the rainy season occurs, differ each year. Below are estimates of when to expect this rainy period in Japan.

Area Beginning of Rainy Season* End of Rainy Season
Okinawa Around May 10 Around June 21
Southern Kyushu (Kagoshima, Miyazaki) Around May 30 Around July 15
Shikoku (Kochi, Kagawa, Tokushima) Around June 5 Around July 17
Kinki (Nara, Hyogo, Wakayama) Around June 6 Around July 19
Kanto (Tokyo, Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Chiba, Ibaraki) Around June 7 Around July 19
Northern Tohoku (Yamagata, Akita, Iwate, Aomori) Around June 15 Around July 28

*These are average annual dates from the Japan Meteorological Agency's report The Average Beginning and End of the Rainy Season (Japanese)

Both dates (opening and end of the rainy season) are estimated and announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency every year.

The rain clouds first hit the southern parts of the country, slowly moving up to the north. Thus, the start and end of the rainy season begin in the south and move north.

As shown in the table above, the rainy season in the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, usually starts around June 7 and ends around July 19.

The rainy season usually lasts from one month to one month and a half. As soon as the rainy season is over, the gray sky transforms into the bright, blue one, and Japan experiences a sudden and significant rise in temperature.

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Average Temperatures and What to Wear During the Rainy Season

Tsuyu

During the rainy season, the highest temperature in June in Tokyo is 26, and the lowest is 19 degrees Celsius on average. The weather during the rainy season can be confusing, as you may feel hot during a sunny day, but chilly when it rains. If there are long intervals of rain, especially if it is all day, the air gets very humid.

Although a short-sleeved shirt is ideal during the day, bring along a light jacket or a cardigan for the evening and when it rains.

Fun Things to Do during Japan's Rainy Season

Although the rain might interfere with your initial travel itinerary, there's no need to worry! There are many locations and things that can be enjoyed during the rainy season.

1. Enjoy Hydrangea Viewing

hydrangeas

Photo by Pixta

The hydrangeas bloom during the rainy season in Japan. There are numerous places throughout the country where you can admire these gorgeous blooms.

Raindrops make the vibrant purple and pink petals and green leaves look even brighter, so be sure to capture photos of hydrangeas on a rainy day!

Rainy season in Japan

Hakusan Shrine in Tokyo. Photo by Pixta

Tokyo’s East Gardens of the Imperial Palace and Hakusan Shrine are two locations famous for their mesmerizing hydrangeas.

2. Visit an Umbrella Sky Event!

Japan's Rainy Season 2023: Basic Information and What to Wear

Izu Panorama Park in Shizuoka. Photo by Pixta

Umbrella sky events have become a much-awaited highlight of the rainy season. These events are held on various scales all around Japan. Particularly famous is the umbrella sky held early at Harunire Terrace in Karuizawa or the one at Moominvalley Park near Tokyo.

Not only are the umbrella displays very photogenic but there are often food stalls and booths near the venues offering local treats and refreshments. If you're in Japan in June, don't miss out on the umbrella sky events!

3. View the Irises

Japanese irises

Photo by Pixta
The elegant irises are also in bloom around this time. The flowers can often be seen at traditional Japanese gardens, and at gardens at shrines and temples.

Meiji Jingu Inner garden

Meiji Jingu Inner Garden. Photo by Pixta

To see the irises in Tokyo, head to Meiji Jingu Inner Garden, or Hamarikyu Gardens, a traditional garden in the central part of the city.


4. Shop for Colorful Umbrellas and Rainwear

It is also entertaining to look for rain gear goods during this season. You can find a whole array of umbrellas, coats, and boots, from elegant to simply adorable designs. Shopping for something special when it rains is sure to brighten your mood.

Those who want to stand out with unique umbrellas can go to Wakeari Honpo, in Asakusa, Tokyo. You can take a pick among countless umbrellas filled with originality and charm, such as the folding one in the shape of kokeshi, a traditional Japanese doll, or an umbrella covered in sushi.

At Cool Magic SHU’S, a store in Tokyo's Jiyugaoka area specializing in umbrellas, customers can choose from a selection of around 5,000 colorful umbrellas. A compact and light folding umbrella would make a great souvenir.

Cool Magic SHU’S
Address: Tokyo, Meguro, Jiyugaoka 1-9-1 Google Map
Official Website: http://www.water-front.co.jp/index.html (Japanese)

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Enjoy the Rain!

Japan's rainy season

Photo by Pixta
Japan’s rainy season doesn’t only mean rainy weather, but also plenty of places to visit and enjoyable pastimes. Consider choosing different destinations and preparing rainwear, too, when planning your sightseeing experience in Japan.

Originally written by Sawada Tomomi
This article is a rewritten version of an article published on August 15, 2016.
Main picture by Pixta

Written by

The MATCHA editorial department. Our articles feature useful travel information for visitors to Japan, from how-to guides to recommended places to visit.

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