Summer in Japan: 4 Things You Should Know in 2022

by Flora Baker

Summer in Japan

Japan is a place like no other for cultural flair, unforgettable food, rich history, and astounding architecture. If you’ve been to Japan before, you might still dream of all the sights, sounds, and delicious meals waiting for you on your next return. But if you’re planning a trip for the first time, you’re in luck—an unforgettable experience awaits with many tourist attractions to entice first-time travelers. 

Japan consists of four islands, all surrounded by sea, creating picturesque coastlines and beaches.1 Travel inland, and you’ll discover most of the country covered in staggering snow-covered mountains. From the urban lights of Tokyo to the tranquil gardens of Kyoto, Japan will have you feeling like you’re living inside a work of art.  

Summer is one of the best times to visit Japan, as it comes to life during the festival season. It usually starts from early June to August. The temperatures may rise, but don’t worry—the locals have just the solution for it. Here’s what you need to know before experiencing summer in Japan. 

#1 Japan in Summer is Hot and Humid 

If you’re visiting Japan in the warmer months, be ready for some heat. Japanese summers, which occur from June to August, typically see an average temperature between 70–90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Japan’s rainy season, tsuyu, also falls in the summer. It greets the country from June to late July, and brings plenty of humidity with it. Most regions of Japan experience this season, especially on the western end, but the rain usually dies down once August rolls around.  

But if you’re not a fan of the warmer temperatures, don’t sweat it. Japanese locals are experts at handling the summer heat and humidity, creating plenty of fun activities to enjoy in the summertime. Plus, don’t forget—the whole country is surrounded by water, so there may be plenty of refreshing trips to the sea on your horizon. 

#2 Locals Dress Light as a Feather 

You might wonder what kinds of clothes to pack and wear in the summer heat. To stay cool, no matter the temperature, take inspiration from locals and dress lightly. Think light, breezy, and breathable clothing, like tees, cotton shirts, and flowy dresses.  

Here’s what to pack for a trip to Japan in the summer:  

  • Plenty of breathable cotton tees 
  • Flowy dresses 
  • Colorful cotton blouses 
  • Loose-fitting pants  
  • Sweat-wicking athleisure wear  
  • Comfortable walking shoes 
  • A light cardigan  

With plenty of these options in your suitcase, you’ll stay nice and breezy—and blend in at the same time. If you have a chance to attend a summer festival, you can rent or buy a traditional yukata. It's light and breezy and perfect for travel as you try street food and play traditional games. 

women wearing a yukata

#3 You Can Find Refreshing Food at Every Corner 

Picture your favorite Japanese food. Maybe it’s a beautifully simple bowl of ramen or a deeply satisfying plate of okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake made of cabbage and pork. Or maybe you’re just in it for the snacks. Whatever your culinary craving, Japanese summer is about to blow your mind with flavorful, refreshing, cold spins on the classics. 

So make a quick stop at one of the many beverage vending machines for a cold tea. Then, look around—your options for frosty fare are endless, no matter the time of day.  

Don’t miss these Japanese summer staple dishes:

  • Kakigori – Japanese shaved ice, which can be found almost everywhere
  • Hiyashi chuka – A cross between ramen and a crisp veggie salad—yum!
  • Rei shabu – Hot pot, but make it cold (and oh, so delectable)
  • Ayu – Also known as sweetfish, a street food available only in summer
  • HiyayakkoFlavorful cold toppings on tofu, like ginger and soy sauce
  • TokorotenA popular cold noodle dish made of agar jelly that can be sweet or savory

Are we the only ones scrolling through tokoroten recipes at home? Don’t worry—if you can’t wait until your trip to try some Japanese summer treats, you can order your own. Try these popular suika watermelon gummies, some peach konjac jelly, or some irresistible warabi mochi, and your taste buds will be transported there in no time.

#4 Japanese Festivals Bring the Summer to Life

In Japan, summer is the season of festivals. Dozens of them take place throughout the summer to celebrate Japanese culture and commemorate events of historical significance. If you’re lucky enough to attend one of these events, you’ll see color, lights, and life like you’ve never seen it before. 

Along with festivals, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in Japan’s summer season: 

  • Witness the Gion Matsuri, Japan's biggest summer lantern festival 
  • The Aomori Nebuta Matsuri float festival (or simply the Aomori Nebuta festival) in August. The summer festival is held in Northern Japan and features gigantic colorful floats.
  • Attend the Obon Festival in August and watch the fireworks display
  • Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic are two of Japan's biggest summer music festivals held in August
  • Cool off in Japan’s famous shopping arcades in Akihabara
  • Hike through the Japanese Alps or Mt. Fuji
  • Enjoy a kaiseki dinner with seasonal summer ingredients at a local restaurant
  • Traverse the coral reefs of the Okinawa beaches
  • Cool off with a scoop of refreshing matcha ice cream
  • Experience the lavender, marigolds, and dahlias at Farm Tomitawall lined with paper lanterns

    No matter what sights you see and outdoor activities you choose, you’re bound to create memories that keep you company long after your trip comes to a close.

    Bokksu Brings the Japanese Summer to You

    There’s no shortage of joy to be found in Japan in summer. The warm season brings the landscape to life with color, flavor, and adventure in every direction. If you’ve already booked your trip, we’re so excited for you (and pretty jealous, too). If you haven’t—what are you waiting for? 

    Hello—we’re Bokksu. We’re here for the times you can’t swing a dreamy trip to Japan, but you’re still craving its unparalleled indulgences. We bring the flavors of Japan to you through one of the very best vehicles—snacks. Get a Bokksu Japanese subscription box today!

    We source excellent quality snacks from local makers in Japan to bring the most authentic Japanese tasting experience straight to your home. Let us curate the perfect salty, sweet, savory, spicy, and totally unique snack box for you or someone you really like. The shipping is on us. 

    Explore our snack boutique and prepare for the Japanese trip of a lifetime. 

    Here's a video on staying cool in the Japanese summer!

    Author Bio

    Flora Baker is a writer, blogger and author based in London, UK. She runs the award-winning travel website Flora The Explorer and has written for Coastal Living, Telegraph, and National Geographic Traveler.