Translated by Lester Somera
Summer In Japan - Weather, Clothing And Travel Tips For June-August
Summer in Japan runs from June to August and is a season of fireworks, festivities, and delicious food. This article introduces weather, summer activities, and recommendations for making a memorable trip.
Written by MATCHA
Summer Weather, Clothing, and Travel Tips in Japan
Picture from All About Yukata: Traditional Japanese Summer Kimono
Summer in Japan is associated with lively festivals, yukatas (summer kimonos) and sunny skies. In this article we introduce you to Japanese summer weather, summer activities, and give you tips on how to stay cool.
Recommended Summer Activities and Tips
Summer Weather in Japan
Picture from Heatstroke And Japanese Summer – More Than Just Heat
Summer in Japan is hot and humid. The season normally begins in June and lasts through August. For visitors traveling from regions with more temperate weather, the heat and the humidity in Japan might be difficult to get used to, but with some planning and strategizing, it is possible to avoid the heat and discomfort.
May and June - Rainy Season in Japan
In addition to the heat, the humidity level is very high as well. The end of May to the end of June is known as tsuyu, or rainy season in Japan. It is a time of constant rain and even typhoons. During this time, the average daytime temperature in Tokyo is about 22℃, or 71.6℉, and average rainfall is 167.7 mm. Nevertheless, there are many activities and aspects of Japan's nature that can be enjoyed only in the rainy season.
July and August - Japan's Hottest Months
In recent years, summer temperatures have been particularly high, prompting news cautions for people to protect themselves from the heat to avoid heat-related illnesses such as heat strokes. On an average day in July, the temperature in Tokyo is about 27.3℃ or 81.14℉, in August, it's about 26.4℃, or 79.52℉. High humidity levels in are also characteristic for Japanese summer weather, ranging from about 78% relative humidity to 83% relative humidity during July and August.
In addition to the intense heat and humidity, yu-dachi, or rain on a summer day, is also common. In recent years, guerilla downpours, intense and unpredictable bursts of sudden severe rainfall have been occurring. It is recommended to carry around an umbrella at all times or have access to a potential shelter from the rain.
Top Summer Activities
Watch Colorful Fireworks Festivals
Summer fireworks festivals, also known as hanabi, are commonly held in Japan during July and August. Japanese fireworks are famous all over the world and a part of the festival culture in Japan. Festival visitors can also enjoy an array of iconic Japanese festival food sold at stalls. Many people at these festivals will wear yukata or jinbei, a wrap-around top and shorts with a similar style to a yukata.
The Sumida River Fireworks Festival in Tokyo is particularly famous and attracts a large audience each year. In the Kansai region, the Nagahama Kita-Biwako Fireworks Festival is another famous option.
Enjoy Japanese Summer Festivals!
Picture from Feel The North's Summer Heat At The 2017 Aomori Nebuta Festival!
In addition to festivals with fireworks displays, there are numerous local festivals that feature displays of beautifully-designed festival floats and traditional performances. The most well-known festivals include Kyoto's Gion Festival in mid-July, Tenjin Festival in Osaka held in late July, Nebuta Festival in the Tohoku region during the beginning of August.
Summer events celebrated throughout Japan include the Tanabata festival on July 7th, and the Obon Festival honoring ancestors and people who has passed away, which occurs in the second week of August. At each of these festivals, visitors can also try delicious traditional festival food and beverages, and dress in traditional ware, like yukata and jinbei.
Taste Japanese Summer Cuisine
Picture from Japanese Encyclopedia: Sōmen and Nagashi Sōmen
Due to the intense heat in the summer, Japanese cuisine during this season centers around chilled dishes utilizing fresh ingredients. Japan is well-known for its delicious kakigori, or shave ice, which is crushed ice flavored with sweet syrup or condensed milk. Kakigori is easy to find during the summer month, as is sold at festivals and appears on the menu of many restaurants. Other common sweet treats are seasonal fruits, including watermelon, peaches, and cherries.
Chilled noodle dishes are also essential during the summer. Well-known dishes include zaru soba , buckwheat noodles that are served cold with a light broth, and chilled somen, or thin wheat noodles, which come with fresh toppings and a cold dipping broth. Both meals are delicious, light, and suitable for the summer time.
Outdoor beer gardens are also held during the summer throughout Japan and are well-attended. Pricing and plans vary by location, but visitors usually pay a fixed fee for an all-you-can-drink plan within a certain time limit. Depending on the plan, food is also included in these plans, and usually consists of food that is easy to eat, including edamame, french fries, and meat dishes.
In addition to beer gardens, kawadoko, or outdoor patio seating built over a river bed, are offered by certain restaurants in Japan during the summer as well. The types of cuisine at these restaurants range from Japanese over Italian to American-style food. Customers dining on the kawadoko can relax with the cool mist rising from the river while enjoying dining on delicious food. In particular, Kyoto is well-known for its kawadoko.
Japanese Foods To Try In The Summer
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Recommended Summer Attire in Japan
July and August are extremely humid and hot, so visitors are recommended to wear thin short-sleeved shirts, one-piece dresses, and clothing with breathable fabric, like cotton. In areas with little shade, it is also advisable to wear a hat with a brim to protect against ultraviolet light and sunburn.
It is important to note that when visiting Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, you shouldn't sleeveless tops or clothing that reveals certain areas of the body. If you plan to make an excursion to a shrine or temple, bring along something to cover up your arms. In addition, the indoor air-conditioning can make trains and shops feel cold in contrast to the outside heat, so it is also recommended to bring along a jacket at any time.
Enjoying Summer in Japan
Traveling in Japan during the summer is a great opportunity to experience many unique activities, including fireworks, festivals, and delicious food. While the heat and the weather conditions during this time requires paying more attention to physical well-being, summertime is a special season in Japan that is truly enjoyable.