When it comes to travelling during summer, Singaporeans might usually think of visiting countries in the Southern Hemisphere, or somewhere that doesn’t have soaring temperatures close to 40 degrees Celsius.
But as it turns out, Japan is just as eventful during summer as it is during the other seasons, with lesser international crowd, which will give you ample reasons to visit despite the weather. However, if you do visit Japan during summer, remember to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and dress accordingly.
If you really hate the scorching weather in summer but still want to spend time in Japan, you can also consider visiting the Hokkaido region. You’d be delighted to know that the average temperature in summer in Hokkaido is about 24 degrees Celsius.
Regardless of the weather, here’s why you should visit Japan during summer, and some unique experiences and activities you can expect to find exclusively during this season.
Japan is famous for its bustling summer festivals, known as natsu matsuri. These festivals showcase traditional music, dance, fireworks, and street food. One of the most renowned festivals is the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto, where you can witness spectacular processions and performances. Other notable festivals include the Tanabata Festival in Sendai and the Awa Odori Festival in Tokushima.
Kyoto Gion Summer Festival and Arashiyama 1-Day Self Guided Tour
17th July Kyoto Gion Festival with Reserved Seat Tour from Osaka
2. Matsuri Fashion
Traditional Japanese summer attire, known as yukata, becomes popular during this season. Many people, especially young adults, dress up in these lightweight cotton kimonos and participate in summer festivals, creating a festive and colourful atmosphere.
Kimono and Yukata Rental at Kimono Miyabi in Tokyo Asakusa
From S$28.35 (was S$29.40)
Kimono and Yukata Rental at Kimono Miyabi Kyoto
From S$24.99 (was S$29.40)
Summer in Japan is synonymous with dazzling fireworks displays. Many cities and towns hold fireworks festivals, offering mesmerising shows with synchronised music and vibrant colours. The Sumida River Fireworks Festival in Tokyo and the Omagari Fireworks Competition in Akita are among the most renowned events that attract thousands of spectators.
Atami Fireworks Festival & Mt. Izu Omuro One-day Tour from Tokyo
Mount Omuro Jogasaki Coast Atami Fireworks Festival day Tour
Yokohama Port Opening Festival Fireworks One Day Tour from Tokyo
4. Summer Cuisine
Japanese cuisine is diverse and delightful throughout the year, but summer brings its own unique culinary experiences. You can savour seasonal delicacies like cold noodles (somen or hiyashi chuka), fresh seafood, refreshing shaved ice desserts (kakigori), and various street food delights. Additionally, you can enjoy the freshest and most succulent fruits, such as watermelons and peaches.
When I went to a summer festival in Japan a few years back, they even sold frozen canned oranges that were satisfyingly refreshing and rejuvenating. It was probably the best thing to combat the blazing weather then.
5. Beer Gardens
What’s a better way to quell the heat than a mug of ice-cold beer? With ample seating, delicious food, and a wide variety of beer choices, beer gardens provide the perfect setting to unwind, socialise, and savour the flavours of summer. Some beer gardens may also serve Kirin’s Frozen Beer, which is a must-try!
6. Outdoor Activities
Japan offers a wide range of outdoor activities during summer. You can go swimming and snorkelling in Okinawa’s crystal-clear waters, hike along beautiful trails in national parks like Hakone or Nikko, or enjoy water sports such as kayaking and rafting in the numerous rivers and lakes across the country.
Summer Canyoning in Hokkaido
S$68.65 (was S$78.45)
Kamikochi Hiking Experience
Japanese Glamping – Ogawa Type 52R
7. Natural Beauty
Japan’s landscapes come alive during summer. You can explore the picturesque countryside, visit beautiful gardens and flower parks, or go hiking in the mountains. The countryside is lush and green, and you’ll have the opportunity to see iconic sights like Mt. Fuji surrounded by bright flowers and clear skies. Besides, summer is also when you can immerse yourself in the large sunflower fields, such as the Narita Dream Farm.
Hokkaido’s Three Great Early Summer Flower Fields｜Shibazakura, Tulip and Rapeseed Flowers One-day Tour
S$125.49 (was S$139.43)
Yamanashi｜Kawaguchiko Oishi Park & Fugaku Wind Cave & Narusawa Ice Cave & Oshino Hakkai Day Tour｜From Tokyo
8. Longer Days
Summer in Japan brings longer daylight hours—no more sunsets at 5pm, thank goodness! This means you’ll have more time to explore and enjoy the attractions. You can make the most of your days by visiting various sights, experiencing local culture, and taking part in outdoor activities without worrying about early sunsets.
Tokyo Disney Resort Park Ticket
From S$82 (was S$82.35)
Universal Studios Japan Studio Pass
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