Visiting Japan this summer? We have curated a list of cool and fun things to do in Japan in Summer to beat the heat! Check it out!
Embrace the vibrant energy of summer in Japan, a season brimming with lively festivals, lush landscapes, and outdoor adventures.
From the sun-soaked beaches to the cool retreats of the mountains, summer unveils a dynamic array of activities that celebrate the country’s natural beauty and rich cultural tapestry.
Dive into the excitement and discover the endless possibilities that await under the Japanese sun.
Things To Do In Japan In Summer
Climb The Mount Fuji
Love to try different adventurous things? Or does hiking seem fun to you?
If your answer is yes, then do not miss the never-forgetting experience of climbing Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan.
The summer season opens this door for you to experience this exciting trip.
So, I will suggest you grab this golden opportunity right away.
Keep in mind that the official climbing time is early July to early September.
Climbing the crest will take a couple of days.
Well, you can choose different routes for hiking.
But if you want my suggestions, I will recommend the most popular Yoshida Trail, followed by the Fujinomiya Trail.
You can also try the Gotemba Trail or Subashiri Trail, but they have comparatively fewer hikers.
Also, try to go there on a weekday to avoid the huge crowd, and don’t forget to go through a guidebook on climbing Mount Fuji to ensure a safe and trouble-free journey.
Don’t like mountains? Then, of course, you like the sea! Right?
Spend A Relaxing Beach Day In Japan
Being an island country, Japan is home to countless beautiful beaches.
Going to beaches is really something that can give you a vibe of the arrival of summer.
You can swim in the crystal-clear seawater, try marine activities or just take a refreshing stroll while enjoying the comforting sea breeze.
If you want a classic, tropical beach vibe, the smaller islands in Japan instead of Honshu can be your best bet.
On the main island of Honshu, there are also some popular beach spots like Odaiba Marine Park Beach in Tokyo.
Just outside of Tokyo, Kamakura and Enoshima beaches are within easy reach.
If you don’t mind going further, go to Okinawa that boasts numerous scenic beaches with classic bright blue water.
Yonaha Maehama and Nishibama are two such beaches.
And not to mention Ishigaki and Miyakojima, two wonderful islands in Okinawa that make for a great weekend getaway.
Explore Fascinating Floral Displays in Hokkaido
Hokkaido, the largest and northernmost prefecture, is one of the cold places in Japan during summer.
Here you won’t experience the hot weather of Tokyo’s summer. Everything is cool; the weather, foods, atmosphere, nature, landscapes, and people also.
Hokkaido waits to welcome you with its eye-catching flower arrangements throughout the summertime.
And firstly, you should head to Furano-Biei in central Hokkaido to watch vibrant and colorful flower fields.
You cannot take your eyes off the attractive lavender fields of Farm Tomita in the town of Biei as well.
The whole area wears a festive look with a delicate purple in the early to mid-July.
For more flowers, visit Asahikawa to the north, which has the fantastical gardens of Ueno Farm.
To add a colorful, fantasy-like touch to your trip, don’t forget to visit the sunflower field in Hokuryu Town also.
Sunflowers are the symbol of summer in Hokkaido.
You will see a magnificent view of a golden field with countless numbers of sunflowers.
The best time to enjoy this scenic beauty is mid-July to mid-August.
Watch Fireflies and Let Them Capture Your Heart
You can watch fireflies during the summer night in Japan.
However, rural or countryside areas where nature remains mostly untouched tend to offer more chances to observe these gorgeous tiny creatures.
They start glowing at night and light up the surroundings with peaceful color.
It seems like the sparkling stars from the night sky have come down to earth to create a heavenly atmosphere.
For watching this unworldly beauty, I recommend going to Tatsuno Town in Nagano prefecture. It attracts numerous visitors in the middle of June with thousands of wild fireflies.
They even hold an annual firefly festival on a large scale in July for the entire town.
The interesting thing is that the light of the fireflies is believed to signify a romantic proposal from a male firefly.
Hence, if you are looking for a way to propose to your beloved bae in a romantic place, you can consider this place.
Fireflies can also be seen in Tokyo at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo in Bunkyo Ward.
The glowing light from the fireflies against the cityscape is truly stunning.
Kyoto is also a great destination for firefly watching.
Head to the rural Ohara area, which is known especially for its beautiful fireflies lighting up the night sky.
Hike The Japanese Alps
If climbing Mount Fuji is not enough for you or you are somewhere near Nagano, Gifu, or Toyama prefecture, you can consider hiking the Japanese Alps.
Hiking in the high-altitude Japanese Alps is an ideal summer activity for nature lovers.
The most convenient thing is the elevation of these areas keeps the climate cool and comfortable even in the summer.
Hence you can enjoy your hiking without any difficulties.
Kamikochi in Matsumoto, Nagano, is a renowned mountain resort area where travelers can enjoy light hiking.
Another famous area is Hakuba, which has numerous areas and trails to enjoy nature.
World Heritage-designated Takayama is also situated in the Japanese Alps. It is also a recommended place for its traditional townscape, restaurants, and shops.
Catch A Firework Festival
If you come from a place or region where fireworks festivals are rarely celebrated, Japan’s beautiful hanabi (firework) festivals will be particularly worth seeing.
Here fireworks are traditional summer events.
So, you will find a number of fireworks events all over Japan during summer!
Don’t hesitate to grab the opportunity to view one of them.
I can suggest several places that are the best to enjoy a firework event.
If you are in Hokkaido, check out nightly fireworks on the shore of Lake Toya. Or, don’t forget to catch a front-row seat at the Omagari Fireworks.
And not to mention Sumida River Fireworks Festival, one of the most famous festivals, which takes place by Tokyo Skytree and Asakusa.
Another must-see hanabi is held in Osaka, known as Tenjin Matsuri. It is a grand summer festival centered around Tenmangu Shrine with a stunning fireworks display.
You may also count the Aomori Nebuta Festival for watching fireworks.
It is actually a festival of colorful massive floats where the festival ends with a fantastic firework display around Aomori Bay.
Seeing the glittering, colorful displays illuminating the summer night sky, of course, will be a magical, one-of-a-kind experience for you.
Attend Gion Matsuri in Kyoto
An ancient event in Japan is Kyoto Gion Matsuri, one of the biggest festivals in Japan.
This festival symbolizes the old tradition of Kyoto, which is colorful, fun, and in a word, unforgettable.
You may not be interested in Japanese culture, but still, I believe it will be a remarkable experience for anyone.
While describing this festival, I am quite confused about which one to cover first or which not.
What a sweet problem! Right?
July 17 is the most exciting day of Gion Matsuri as the grand procession of floats takes place on this day.
The festival is featured with different events, such as the grand procession of floats, parades, and so on.
I must share a few things with you that the festival begins every year in July and is celebrated the entire month.
Participate in Tanabata Festival & Make Your Wish Come True
This festival is celebrated annually all around Japan.
Some regions celebrate Tanabata on July 7, while others celebrate it on August 7 following the old traditional calendar.
It is a traditional custom, dating back to the Nara Period, that commemorates the ancient story of two deities in love but unable to meet.
On this day, colorful strips called tanzaku are hung on bamboo branches with wishes written on them.
As it occurs throughout Japan, look for the colorful streamers where you are and participate yourself by writing your own wishes.
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Join Fuji Rock Music Festivals
Some of the country’s biggest music festivals are held in the summer season.
Two notable ones are Fuji Rock Festivals (end of July) in Niigata and Summer Sonic (mid-August) in Tokyo and Osaka.
World-class artists from overseas as well as Japanese groups perform at these multi-day festivals.
Another popular one, called Rock in Japan Festival, takes place at Hitachi Seaside Park for ten days in August.
It features domestic artists mainly. If you are a crazy fan of Japanese rock or pop, don’t hesitate for a second to attend this event.
Though these festivals are very popular, you may be surprised by the discipline and calmness of the crowds.
On top of that, the music experience will be one of a kind for you!
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Join An Obon Festival
Obon is a Japanese cultural event that remembers the deceased ancestors of the locals.
This event generally takes place in July or August, depending on the region, and it generally starts with a festival of paper lanterns (chochin lanterns).
The lanterns are cast in a river that eventually floats towards the sea. Symbolically, it represents sending the ancestors’ spirits into the sky.
These events also cover dance performances.
The most popular Obon festival is the Daimonji Festival in Kyoto.
However, many cities and towns also have their own celebrations.
You can consider going to these places during summertime.
Have Fun Time at Sumo Nagoya Basho
Sumo is a great way to get an idea about traditional martial arts in Japan.
The most talented and professional wrestlers in Japan compete in the Grand Sumo Tournament.
It is held annually in July in Nagoya at the venue Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
For the most traditional experience, make sure to book a box seat on the floor. Here you may take off your shoes and sit on cushions comfortably.
The great Nagoya Castle is not far away from the venue.
So, suppose you pay a visit to Nagoya to see the Grand Sumo Tournament. In that case, it will give you an opportunity to explore the Castle area and other attractive places located nearby.
Attend The Peace Memorial Ceremony for The Victims of Hiroshima
The Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima holds ceremonies and a lantern floating event every year on August 6. It takes place in remembrance of the victims and lasting damage from the atomic bomb dropped in 1945.
This custom includes speeches from government officials from all over the world.
Colorful paper lanterns holding personal messages are floated down in the Motoyasu River, which is next to Hiroshima’s A-Bomb Dome.
You can also participate in this ritual by adding a message to a lantern and lining up to set it afloat for a small fee.
Eat Nagashi Somen (Cold Japanese Noodles)
Enjoying the summer in Japan without having somen! It can’t happen.
Nothing can beat the heat in Japan better than a bowl of nagashi somen noodles.
Nagashi somen is a delicious Japanese summer dish that involves catching and eating chilled and thin wheat somen noodles.
Traditionally, somen noodles are slid down an excavated bamboo shoot with flowing water. The diners have to catch the noodles with their chopsticks, dip them in a bowl of broth, and eat.
It is a delicious and fun activity done in Japanese households during summer.
You can also find similar restaurants with different forms of nagashi somen, which includes the noodles rotating around in a large dish.
Eat Mochi Icecream in Japan
In summer, other cool things to do in Japan include indulging in a traditional frozen delicacy.
You can try mochi ice cream to cool yourself off.
Glutinous rice dough is formed into a ball, then filled with Japanese ice cream, and finally, it is kept to be frozen.
You will find frozen mochi in most sweet shops throughout Japan.
Tokyo even has some popular mochi sellers like Ginza Akebono or the top-class wagashi store, Toraya.
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Cool yourself off with Ice Shaves Kakigori
Kakigori, or shaved ice, is a popular summer treat in Japan that all visitors should try at least once.
There is something to please all tastebuds and dietary preferences. The ice is shaved finely, flavored with syrup, and topped with condensed milk and fresh fruits.
There are many flavor variations in kakigori like strawberry, cola, melon, lemon, ramune, green tea, orange, and many more.
You can enjoy its fluffy taste at traditional Japanese cafes and dessert shops.
Therefore, don’t forget to satisfy your taste buds and cool down with delicious and sweet kakigori on a hot day in japan.
Except for these three, Japanese summer fruits such as watermelon, pear, melon, peach, etc., are also worth trying.
They are so delicious that ‘yumm’ is the word that will come out of your mouth while eating.
If I cover all the things to do in Japan in Summer, a book will not be enough to enlist them.
Hence, I have included the most worthy or mentionable ones for you.
I know it is not possible to try all the things listed here, but I will suggest trying a few from each category to make your summer vacation a memorable one.
Lastly, happy traveling.
Is summer a good time to visit Japan?
Well, summer may not be the best time for visiting Japan, but I can say it is obviously a good time.
Summer in Japan has so much to offer you.
You can attend a number of summer festivals and events, explore some spectacular flower gardens with eye-catching flowers, observe the scenic beauty of nature, hike the mountains, roam around beaches and participate in a lot of activities during summertime.
What are summers in Japan like?
Summers in Japan are hot and humid, which extends from June to mid-September. The summer temperature ranges from approximately 21 to 32 °C (70 to 90 °F).
Usually, the hottest and most humid time of the year is July and August.
Summer In Japan 2024
Summer in Japan, typically lasting from June to August, is a vibrant season characterized by hot temperatures, high humidity, and exciting festivals. Here’s what you can expect weather-wise in 2024:
- June: Starts warm and humid, with average highs around 27°C (80°F) and lows of 18°C (64°F). Rainfall increases, marking the beginning of the rainy season.
- July: The hottest month, with average highs reaching 30°C (86°F) in major cities and even exceeding 35°C (95°F) in some areas. Expect high humidity and plenty of sunshine.
- August: Similar to July, with average highs around 30°C (86°F) and slightly lower humidity as the rainy season winds down. Typhoon season typically starts in late August.
What to pack for the summer in Japan?
If you are planning a trip to Japan during the summer months, it is important to pack light and breathable clothing suitable for hot and humid weather. Here are some essential items to consider when packing for summer in Japan:
- Light and breathable clothing
Pack lightweight and breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, and rayon. Avoid heavy fabrics such as denim, which can be uncomfortable in the heat.
- Comfortable shoes
Bring comfortable walking shoes suitable for walking on hot and sometimes uneven surfaces. Sandals or flip-flops can also be a good option for beach or poolside activities.
- Sun protection
Bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect your skin from the strong UV rays.
- Insect repellent
Mosquitoes can be common in some areas during summer in Japan, so consider bringing insect repellent.
- Rain gear
Summer is also the rainy season in Japan, so consider bringing a lightweight rain jacket or umbrella to stay dry during unexpected showers.
- Electrical adaptors
If you are traveling from outside of Japan, make sure to bring an electrical adaptor for your electronic devices.
- Cash and cards
Japan is a largely cash-based society, so make sure to bring enough cash with you. Credit cards are accepted in larger stores and restaurants, but cash is still recommended for smaller shops and street vendors.
Overall, it is important to pack light and comfortable clothing suitable for the hot and humid weather, as well as items to protect yourself from the sun and rain.
Cost of Traveling to Japan in Summer
The cost of traveling to Japan in the summer varies greatly depending on several factors, including:
- Budget Traveler: Expect to spend around $60-$80 per day, excluding flights. Opt for hostels, cook some meals yourself, and utilize public transportation for sightseeing.
- Mid-Range Traveler: Aim for $120-$150 per day. Enjoy comfortable hotels, a mix of restaurant and convenience store meals, and paid attractions like museums.
- Luxury Traveler: Budget upwards of $200+ per day. Stay in high-end hotels, indulge in fine dining, and participate in exclusive experiences.
- Shorter trips generally have higher daily costs due to fixed expenses like flights. Longer trips allow for better budgeting and spreading costs over more days.
Time of Summer:
- Early summer (June) can be slightly cheaper than peak season (July-August), when flights and accommodation tend to be more expensive.
- Major cities like Tokyo and Osaka are pricier than smaller towns and rural areas. Consider exploring less touristy regions for better deals.
Crowds In Japan In Summer
Crowds in Japan during summer can be significant, especially in popular tourist destinations. Here’s what you can expect:
- July and August: These months are the peak of summer and see the highest number of tourists due to school holidays in Japan and abroad. Expect long lines at popular attractions like temples, shrines, and museums. Public transportation, especially in major cities, can be packed, and finding accommodation might be challenging and expensive.
- Festivals: Summer is packed with exciting festivals throughout Japan, attracting both locals and tourists. Expect larger crowds at festival locations, transportation hubs, and surrounding areas.
- Specific Dates: Obon, a Buddhist holiday honoring ancestors, falls in mid-August and is a major travel period for Japanese people. Expect significant crowds during this time, particularly at airports, train stations, and popular tourist destinations.