In Japan, the rainy season is called “tsuyu” or sometimes “baiyu”. It translates to “plum rain” because it is during the season when plums start to ripen. This season can directly impact your travel plans, especially for outdoor activities, so it is essential to check the weather regularly!
The rainy season in Japan starts in late May and usually lasts until late July. It generally impacts the islands of Okinawa first and slowly starts heading north toward South Korea.
This is because of two different air masses- the cold air from the north and warm air from the south. The collision of these two air masses brings days, sometimes weeks, of heavy rain across East Asia, especially China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.
The amount of rain is usually also influenced by the formation of typhoons in the region. Overall, typhoons usually form in the Philippine and East China Sea between late July and early September.
Most typhoons usually pass through regions in west Japan, such as Kyushu, Shikoku, and Kansai. Occasionally some typhoons may pass through the Kanto region too. However, Hokkaido is the only Japanese region largely unaffected by the rain.
Are you looking to enjoy some fantastic snacks during the upcoming rainy season? Check out TokyoTreat! TokyoTreat delivers the latest Japanese snacks, sweets, drinks, candy, and noodles straight from Japan to your door. So you can have a taste of Tokyo without leaving your home!
During the rainy season, it is common for train lines, especially JR (Japan Railway) lines, to get suspended. Boats, trains, and ferries may also get suspended if a typhoon is approaching – usually due to the strong winds that come with it.
Check weather websites such as Accuweather for weather forecasts if you plan to travel to Japan between June and August. JR also has an English website that provides the latest up-to-date information about the status of trains.
With this in mind, the timing and amount of rain can be somewhat unpredictable. So it’s a good idea to buy waterproof shoes, a raincoat, and an umbrella to be ready for anything.
In Japan, raincoats and umbrellas have various designs; some can be very cute! There are many umbrella designs featuring cats or rabbits, as well as designs featuring seasonal flowers like ajisai (hydrangeas)!
It can be sweltering and humid on days when it doesn’t rain. Keeping your fluid and salt levels up is vital because you will sweat. In addition, you can come across drinks like Pocari Sweat and Aquarius in many vending machines and stores.
These drinks replenish electrolytes significantly if you are affected by nechusho (heat stroke). Moreover, many convenience stores also sell salt tablets to help prevent heat stroke.
If you visit coastal areas or regions with large rivers, heed any warnings regarding flooding or landslides due to heavy rain. Evacuation warnings are rare, but follow instructions to the nearest evacuation center if you hear one.
However, if it’s super rainy and windy, it may be safer to stay in your accommodation. Many hotels have TVs installed so you can enjoy a relaxing day watching movies and tv shows!
Although traveling in Japan during the rainy season can be difficult due to the rain and humidity, there are still some fun things to do! One of Japan’s most popular places to travel in Hokkaido because of the lack of rain and bearable temperatures. That is to say, June and July is the best time to see the lavender fields in Furano in Hokkaido. You can also have refreshing lavender ice cream there and buy memorable souvenirs!
Outside Hokkaido, it is prevalent for people to go to hydrangea-viewing festivals throughout Japan! The top five places to specifically see hydrangeas are Unshoji (Akita), Shimoda Park (Shizuoka), Yoshimine (Kyoto), Okawara Plateau (Tokushima), and Michinoku Hydrangea Garden in Iwate.
Furthermore, the rainy season will give you some moody and mystical shots if you plan to visit the mountains! Hakone and Mount Koya are beautiful places to visit to get amazing pictures of nature during the rain.
Rainy season can be a very troublesome time to visit Japan, but if you are “travel smart,” you can still have an enjoyable trip! Will you visit Japan this summer? If you are planning to travel, where are the places you want to travel to? Let us know in the comments below!
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