Top 17 Thrilling Things to Do in Japan in July

Do you think that the summer heat of July in Japan will keep everyone inside the home?

Well, the truth is actually the opposite!!

It’s because July is the perfect time to experience various Japanese street festivals, firework shows, and indulge yourself in some summer delicacies.

So, now that you have a little sneak peek of this month’s specialty, aren’t you excited to know all the things to do in Japan in July in detail.

Then be prepared to go through all of my suggestions from here.

17 Best Things That July Has to Offer That You Simply Can’t Miss Out!

While traveling to Japan in July, there are loads of things to do, from visiting attractive places, attending cheerful festivals to enjoying fun activities.

For your better understanding, I am going to discuss them separating into different segments.

Participate in Various Festivals & Events in Japan in July

Festivals and events are where July shines the most.

From colorful to traditional ones, there are many events that will keep you entertained throughout your journey.

Here I am going to describe each Japanese festival that occurs in July.

1. Celebrate The Gion Matsuri in Kyoto

Being one of the most renowned festivals in Japan, the Kyoto Gion Festival is colorful, fun, and in a word, full of amusement.

It is a traditional festival that has been organized for over 1,000 years in Yasaka Shrine, which is situated in the Gion area of Kyoto.

The celebration features several events that take place throughout the entire month of July.

Gion Matsuri

Although there are several parades during the whole month, the main attraction of the feast is the large procession of floats called Yamaboko Junko that occurs on 17th and 24th of July.

On the 17th July, the parade is usually held between 9:00 and 13:00, and on the 24th of July, from 9:30 to 11:50.

Starting from Shijo-Karasuma (on 17th) and from Karasuma-Oike (on 24th), the procession follows a three-kilometer long route along the Shijo, Kawaramachi, and Oike streets.

Matsuri parade

Some paid seating is available in front of the city hall that requires advance booking. So if you are interested to see the parade in a relaxed mood, you may purchase one beforehand from any online portal.

However, as the procession is being carried out for a long route, you will be able to find great viewpoints elsewhere without any trouble.

Anyway, along with the streets, there are many stalls selling different traditional festival food, including okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and yakitori.

Apart from all the fun festivities, you may have an opportunity to capture pictures of geisha or maiko, but of course, you have to look out for that.

2. Attend The Tanabata Festival to Make Your Wish Come True!

Tanabata Festival, also known as Star Festival, is a traditional event that celebrates the meeting of two lovers separated by the Milky Way.

Maybe you have no idea what I am talking about!

So, let me tell you the full story first.

Japanese legend has it that Orihime was a hard-working weaver who lived in the cosmos with her father.

After she married her husband, Hikoboshi, they fell in love so deeply and started to grow lazy and useless.

It made Orihime’s father furious; as a result, he sent them to live on the opposite sides of the Milky Way, yet allowing them to reunite on the seventh day of the seventh month every year.

And we Japanese call this day “Tanabata.”

Tanabata Festival

Most of the cities celebrate this festival on 7th July, but some regions follow the lunar calendar and celebrate it on 7th August.

Okay, here comes good news for you.

While you are staying in Tokyo, you have the opportunity to attend Hiratsuka’s Tanabata, which is held on 7th July and is the biggest one in the Kanto region.

Tokyo's Tanabata Festival

Now, don’t you feel like floating in the seventh sky when your much-awaited dream comes true?

For example, your crush finally notices you or smiles at you!!

Hmm, feeling goosebumps, right?

Well, though I can’t assure you that it will be possible, but the Tanabata Festival offers you a little scope.

During the feast, Japanese people make wishes by writing on small pieces of paper and hanging them on a bamboo tree, hoping that the wish will come true.

Tanabata Festival wish paper

And when the celebration ends, they either burn the paper or throw them away.

So, I suggest you do so, cause who knows, maybe your long desire will finally come true!

3. Watch Fireworks Nearby The Sumida River

If you wonder what to do in Tokyo in July, plenty of things are actually available.

Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival is one of them which is also the biggest firework display in Tokyo.

It is arranged on the last Saturday of July every year and takes place nearby the Sumida river in Asakusa.

Sumida riverside firework

With approximately 22,000 fireworks, the city’s sky lights up with various colors at night.

The best place to witness the fireworks is by the riverside, but as this show attracts around one million people, I suggest you claim your spot as early as possible before the show begins at nearly 7 p.m.

people watching firework

By the way, you will find lines of food stalls here, so don’t mind satisfying your tummy with some yummy cuisine.

See also  20 Best Things to Do in Japan in Spring

Also, there are toilets available nearby the venue, which you can find out with the help of their website.

4. Go Crazy in Fuji Rock Festival

When the beat drops, bang your heads with the rhythm of bass thumps!

As a metalhead, I can’t resist attending a rock festival at any cost. So, if you are like me, this is where you can satisfy your musical thirst.

Rock concert

Anyway, now come to the details.

This event is named Fuji Rock Festival because the first feast in 1997 was held at the base of Mt. Fuji.

However, since 1999, it has been organized at the Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture.

It is a three-day event that usually takes place in late July.

The date of this event differs each year, so please check the latest update.

Former performers include Red Hot Chilli Pepper, The Chemical Brothers, Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Coldplay, and many more legends.

Rock band

Now, how do you feel after learning about the former performing artists’ names?

I think you will just count days to attend this rock festival in Japan.

But, I recommend you to go there fully prepared for either a sunny or a rainy day.

Rock Festival crowd

Also, the crowd will be huge. For example, more than 100,000 people attended this event in 2005.

Hence, I suggest not to take your kids, but you may go with your family members, friends or partner.

5. Be A Part of The Tenjin Matsuri

One of the renowned festivals in Japan in July is Tenjin Matsuri of Osaka. It’s even ranked as one of the top three festivals, along with Kanda Matsuri and Gion Matsuri.

This feast was started in the 10th century, and now it is arranged on July 24th and 25th every year.

The main celebration of this event is held on the second day (25th July), which includes a procession with fireworks on land, and on the river.

Tenmangu Shrine hosts this fiesta in honor of its principal deity Sugawara Michizane.

The event begins with a ceremony of inviting the deity out of the shrine and taking him through the city.

Various cheerful festivities are carried out to entertain him throughout this journey before taking him back to the shrine.

I will say, the lively atmosphere of this feast is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the summer days to the fullest.

So, if you are staying in Osaka in July, don’t forget to be a part of this occasion.

6. Join An Obon Festival

Obon is an annual Buddhist event celebrated in the memory of deceased ancestors of the local people.

It’s presumed that each year during Obon, the ancestors’ spirits come back to the world to visit their relatives.

Obon Festival lantern outside home

During this time, lanterns are hung in the front of houses in terms of guiding the spirits, graves are visited, Obon dances are performed, and food offerings are made at house fonts and temples.

And, at the end of the feast, floating lanterns are placed into the rivers, seas, and lakes in order to lead the spirits back to their world.

Obon lantern floating on water

By the way, the customs vary from region to region, and you may see different types of celebrations in different places.

Although Obon isn’t a public holiday, many companies remain closed, and most people take the days off.

Here comes the important part.

Obon is either 13th to 15th July (according to the solar calendar) or 13th to 15th August (according to the lunar calendar).

That’s why different regions celebrate it at different times, and in some cases, people end up celebrating both as they have relatives in various locations.

So, I will ask you to check out whether an Obon celebration is occurring nearby you or not in July.

7. Witness The Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival

If you want to attend an interesting event in Japan in early July, then this is your way out.

Hakata Gion Yamakasa feast is celebrated from 1st to 15th July in Hakata, Fukuoka.

The fiesta is centered on the Kushida Jinja Shrine and is famous for floats racing.

In the race, seven neighborhoods of Hakata district compete in pushing decorated floats along a five-kilometer-long road through the city.

The floats don’t have wheels and are dragged across the streets. Water is being spread in front of the float to reduce friction between the float and the street’s surface and cool down the participants.

From July 10th to 14th, these seven teams practice running to prepare themselves for the main event.

On July 15th, right after 1 a.m, all the teams line up behind the start line in front of Kushida Shrine.

The race begins at 4:59 a.m, and thousands of spectators gather around the five-kilometer long course to see it.

As there is a huge space to witness the race, you can easily find a spot along the street.

But, some sections tend to get too crowded that you will struggle to secure a spot. Such as the starting area where people gather in advance to reserve a good viewing site.

8. Observe The Shinjuku Eisa Festival

Shinjuku Eisa is celebrated towards the end of July. It is a popular mid-summer event that tourists and locals both enjoy.

Eisa is a traditional dance which originated in the Okinawa islands.

You will see traditional costumes, dance performances, and dramming during the feast.

Eisa Dance festival

I think it will be a super opportunity for you to witness our culture and learn different aspects of Japanese tradition.

Anyway, the event is organized around the east and west exits of  Shinjuku Station and continues from 12 noon to 8 p.m.

Top Places to Visit in Japan in July

Here are a few places to go in July for a refreshing and overwhelming experience.

9. Plan A Trip to Okinawa to Embrace The Heat

Wanna capture some breathtaking instagrammable pictures?

Then you should head to Okinawa, which is undoubtedly one of the best beach destinations in Japan.

Each beach of Okinawa’s island is famous for its white sand and aqua water.

When you take a picture with the sea at the backdrop, it will look like straight out of a model photoshoot.

I think you can visualize it by watching the below image.

Beach photo

You may also try snorkeling and diving. The moment you will dive into the sea, the coral reefs and colorful tropical fish will greet you.

See also  Top 22 Things to Do in Japan in Summer

You will feel more than alive swimming with these beautiful sea creatures.

Scuba diving

The remote islands like Ishigaki and Miyako are famous as diving spots, so you can go there to enjoy such summer activities.

Aside from the beaches, Okinawa has plenty of other things to offer.

You can visit the Churaumi Aquarium at the Ocean Expo Park, which is the biggest aquarium in Japan.

Another highlight of Okinawa is Gyokusendo Cave, which has 300,000 years old limestone spreading around 5 km.

Okinawa Cave

If you are here with your spouse, you may go into this mysterious cave and stroll together arm in arm on the walkway that is 890 meters long.

As I have only mentioned about spouse, don’t assume you can’t go there alone!

I just said it because experiencing something mysterious with the other half uplift the excitement even more.

10. Enjoy The Diverse Charm of Hokkaido

Hokkaido is known for its heavy snowfall and long winters, but summer offers relief from the snow and sun!

So, if you want to escape the heat, Hokkaido is ready to welcome you with its cool breeze in July.

Lavender Field

Especially the countryside of Hokkaido comes to life with green forests, lush fields, and vibrant flower displays.

And in search of the most famous flower manifest, you have to go to the lavender fields in Furano.

In July, several types of lavender flourished, creating a rainbow of color.

Hokkaido Summer Flower Field

The moment you enter this space, you will question yourself whether it’s real or you are just dreaming!

If you ever wonder whether a painting can come to life, you are going to experience such an impression here.

Just north of Furano, a small town called Biei also holds a similar outlook in July.

This town’s hills become a blanket of color, with different types of flowers, trees, and crop fields.

Flower display in Biei

There are two famous viewing points: Panorama Road and Patchwork Road.

On Panorama Road, you may visit two sites which are Shikisai Hill and Kanno Farm, to see various blooms, including lavender.

Now, what if you are not a big fan of flower displays and looking for something else.

In that case, Hokkaido has other popular things that I didn’t reveal yet!

Yes, such as Rishiri and Rebun islands.

Rebun island

Just imagine yourself in a place with coastal views and landscapes with green mountains, that’s what represents these two islands.

In short, if you want to experience something phenomenal, Hokkaido is one of the must-see places in Japan.

11. Experience The Beauty of Hachijojima Island

If you think of Tokyo as a bustling city, it’s time to change your perspective!

Yes, you heard me right.

Although there are several places to visit in Japan in July, Hachijojima island is one of my favorites.

This remote island is an example of a subtropical paradise located 286 km away from Tokyo’s center area.

Hachijojima Island

You can get there by a large ferry or airplane.

Even if you don’t like the sunny days, you are going to fall in love with the mixture of cool ocean breeze and the sweet sunshine.

I recommend you plan at least two days’ visit to this place to enjoy its beauty fully, because this island is a perfect destination for Japanese summer activities like hiking, diving, and surfing.

Hachijojima island

And, don’t worry about any inconvenience as there are several Japanese hotels & ryokans and hot spring resorts here to accommodate visitors and tourists.

When it comes to talking about food, you will find some unique Japanese cuisine with wonderful flavors, such as shimazushi, kusaya, and various dishes that have local plant ashibata.

12. Drop By The Hakuba Village

With green mountains, serene lakes, and eye-catching flower displays, Hakuba is one of the most beautiful villages in Japan.

This town is surrounded by Nagano city (eastward), the Tateyama Kurobe Dam area (southward), and the sea of Japan (northward).

Hakuba Village

As Hakuba is a famous summer vacation area, you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities like rafting, shower climbing, mountain bike, paragliding, and hiking in July.

Other day activities include visiting snow monkeys, kimono experiences, traditional cooking classes, a tour to Matsumoto castle, watching Taiko drumming, and many more.

13. Get Your Summer Retreat in Karuizawa

Karuizawa is a resort town surrounded by mountains near Nagano. It is especially popular for relaxing summer treats.

Thanks to the town’s elevation, the air is chilly even in the hot months of July and August.

Shiraito Falls

The Shiraito Falls and Kumoba Pond are adorned with a breathtaking view during July.

Another attraction of this village is Karuizawa Kogen Church. A highlighted facility of this church is gospel meetings and candlelight service, which are open for everyone.

Parks & Temples That Are Worth Visiting in Japan

In Japan, there are loads of temples and parks all over the country.

Although these types of places can be visited any time of the year, you should not miss them if it’s your first time in Japan.

14. Wonder Around The Famous Shrines & Gardens in Tokyo

While talking about things to do in Tokyo in July, there are plenty of shrines and parks to visit.

Surprisingly, even though Tokyo is a busy and populous city, it has a shrine that is surrounded by a large forest.

I know that it’s shocking because it’s really hard to find a forest in the capital city of any country.

Yes, you should expect the unexpected when you are in our beloved Japan.

Anyway, I was talking about Meiji Jingu, which is a grand Shinto shrine surrounded by a lush forest in the heart of Tokyo.

Meiji Jingu Tori Gate

Besides this, you may also visit other temples and shrines such as Senso-ji Temple (in Asakusa), Toshogu-jinja Shrine (in Ueno), Kanda Myojin Shrine (in Kanda), Yushima Seido Temple (in Akihabara), Zojo-ji Temple (in Hamamatsucho), etc.

Now come to Tokyo’s park.

One of the most beautiful scenic gardens in Tokyo is Rikugien. It is a great example of an Edo Period-style park that features a large pond circled by man made hills and forest.

Rikugien garden, Tokyo

Other gardens that are equally appealing are Koishikawa Korakuen, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Ueno Park, and Yoyogi Park.

15. Explore The Kyoto’s Treasure

Kyoto presents a blissful beauty with its classical temples and historical gardens.

See also  15 Enjoyable Things to Do in Japan in January

Around 20% of Japan’s national treasures and 14% of cultural properties exist in Kyoto.

Seventeen locations have been declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

So, do you think it will be wise to skip such a city while coming to Japan?

Of course not!

Okay, one of my favorite shrines in Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera, which stands on one of the peaks of the Higashiyama mountain range.

Kiyomizu-dera

Another spectacular temple is Kinkaku-ji, also known as the “Temple of the Golden Pavilion.”

Well, this is not the end of the long list of Kyoto’s shrines and temples.

You have a handful of options to consider, from Yasaka Shrine, Ryoanji Temple and rock garden, Ginkakuji, Toji Temple, Kamigamo Jinja, Tofukuji Temple, and so on.

Taste The Summer Delicacies in Japan

Here I will mention some foods that are perfect for enjoying the summer heat in July.

16. Cool Yourself with Shaved Ice

When the shiny sun is bothering you, you need to cool down!

Shaved Ice or Kakigori is a popular treat that you should try at least once.

The ice is flavored with syrup, topped with fresh fruits and condensed milk, and shaved finely in a different form.

Shaved Ice

Regardless of your preference, you will find your desired ones as they come with every type of flavor like strawberry, cola, lemon, green tea, orange, and many more.

To enjoy its taste, you may go to any traditional Japanese cafe or dessert shop.

17. Eat Japanese Cold Noodles (Nagashi Somen)

Did you ever catch noodles when they are flowing down with water!!

Sounds weird! Right?

Well, that’s how Nagashi Somen is traditionally enjoyed in Japan.

The diners need to catch the noodles with chopsticks when they are sliding down on a bamboo shoot with flowing water.

Somen Noodles catching

After catching, you can dip them in a bowl of broth and eat.

A different form is followed in some restaurants, like noodles rotating around in a large dish.

In short, if you want to experience something fun and exciting, you should try out these cold noodles.

Alright, I have finished discussing the things you may enjoy while coming to Japan this upcoming July.

Now, it’s time to know other details.

How Is The Weather Like in Japan in July?

While going to Japan in July, visitors often wonder whether the weather will be favorable or not.

Well, there is no proper answer to this query, as depending on the area, things may vary.

However, one thing is sure that July is pretty hot and humid in Japan.

Another fact is that from the beginning of June to the end of July, the rainy season falls in Japan.

I think the following chart will help you a lot to get a quick idea about the temperature variance in different regions of Japan in July.

City Name Avg. Daily High (°C/°F) Avg. Daily Low (°C/°F) Approx. Rainy Days Avg. Humidity
Tokyo
29.6/85
23/73.5
10 days
74
Sapporo
25.2/77
17.6/63.6
8 days
76
Osaka
31.7/89
24.4/76
9 days
70
Okinawa
31.1/88
26.1/79
8 days
84
Kyoto
31.7/89
22.8/73
12 days
82
Sendai
26.2/79
19.9/67.7
13 days
83
Hiroshima
30.7/87
23.9/75
11 days
75
Fukuoka
31.1/88
24.5/76
11 days
75
Naha
31.8/89
26.9/80.4
9 days
78

As you can see from above, the rain is normally more frequent in the southern areas of Japan and relatively lower in the northern zones.

When it comes to talking about Tokyo, the weather is gently hot and humid compared to some other Japanese cities, and you may expect a few rainy days (typically between the 2nd week of June till the 3rd week of July).

Now you may question, is July a good time to go to Japan?

Well, don’t worry, as Japan’s rainy season doesn’t mean it will rain every day. Hence, you can enjoy your vacation thoroughly.

However, as it is obvious that sometimes it will rain, I think you should come here fully prepared.

Therefore, check out the next segment, which will be helpful in this regard.

What to Pack While Going to Japan in July?

For the hot and sunny days, you will need-

  1. Light cotton shirts, light pants, short pants, summer dresses, short skirts.
  2. Open sandals and comfortable shoes.
  3. Sunglasses, hats, wet wipes, sunscreen.
  4. An umbrella to avoid the sunray.

Be prepared for rainy days with-

  1. Raincoat or umbrella.
  2. Rainboot.
  3. Waterproof backpack.

For the evening when the weather might get a little cooler-

  1. Long-sleeved shirts or tops.
  2. Long pants or dresses.
  3. Comfy shoes and socks.

Other necessary things include-

  1. Travel documents.
  2. Toothbrush and other skincare products.
  3. Mobile charger, power bank, other tech gadgets like camera, etc.
  4. Swimsuit (in case you will go to a beach).
  5. Hiking boots (if you wanna go hiking).
  6. Mini first aid kit.

Costs & Crowds

The typical hot weather of July in Japan makes it a low season for international travelers in most of its locations, except Okinawa and Hokkaido.

Local Japanese and foreign visitors head to Okinawa to enjoy swimming in the sea and Hokkaido to escape the heat.

Therefore, it will be wise if you book your accommodation in Okinawa and Hokkaido in advance.

Also, expect a high season price especially in the beach resorts of Okinawa.

From late July, Japanese schools have summer vacation for several weeks.

That’s why popular amusement parks, beaches, and other attractive places get crowded with young people and families.

And, while talking about Tokyo, this city has so much to offer in every season that you will see the crowd all year round.

But, don’t worry, the crowd is not too much, and you will surely enjoy each and every moment of your Japan trip in July.

Alright, I have nothing more to add to today’s writing.

So, let’s move to the conclusion.

Conclusion

Now that you have a vast knowledge about all the exciting things to do in Japan in July, are you ready to feel the thrill?

Then, what are you waiting for? Just pack your bag quickly and come to our beautiful country without any delay.

We Japanese are always prepared to welcome you and make your trip more fun and exciting than ever.

And, lastly, thanks for being with me till the end.