Although summer in most of Japan can be hot and humid, it’s also the season for ultimate entertainment and fun. There are so many fun activities you can take part in, such as mountain hikes or mass folk dancing. Or you can visit the top festivals which take place in Japan between June and September. In the meantime, you can visit some extraordinary places and eat traditional Japanese dishes. Even summer in Japan is a rainy season, that will not spoil your fun. Also, there is no reason to fear for your belongings, especially if you’re coming from a different country or continent. There is always an option to use a bonded warehouse and simply don’t worry about it. So, carry a fan and make your summer unforgettable. Here are our tips on the best things to do in summer in Japan.
Don’t miss the fireworks and festivals, because they are one of the best things to do in summer in Japan
Fireworks are magnificent, no matter where and when you see them. But, fireworks in Japan, well, that is a different story. Let’s just say, you don’t want to miss them if you are in Japan in late July and August. Japanese fireworks explode and dazzle the skies like colorful stars. For example, on the last Saturday in July, Tokyo has the biggest firework during the Sumida-gawa Fireworks Festival. Or, if you are near Ōtsu on 7 August, observe the Biwa-ko Great Fireworks Festival.
The Japanese summer festival is an unforgettable experience
There is no chance you travel to Japan during the summer and not run into a festival of some sort. Festivals in Japan are called matsuri. So, there is Kyoto’s famous Gion Matsuri, which runs for the whole of July or Osaka’s Tenjin Matsuri, on 24 and 25 July.
Never the less, don’t forget that you are traveling to a different culture. There are different rules than in your home country. Check the regulations on carrying some of the items and check cargo import&export rules.
If you feel adventurous enough, climb Mount Fuji, one of the unforgettable things to do in summer in Japan
Let’s start by saying that this type of adventure is only for the brave and bold. Official climbing season starts in July and lasts until mid-September. Although some people climb outside the official season, we don’t recommend doing it. Weather can be pretty unpredictable. Furthermore, there are free wi-fi hotspots along the climbing route, so you can grab a chance and take a selfie at the top of the world. Bare in mind that you have to be prepared for such an expedition, so we give you tips on how to climb a mountain. In addition, we would like to point out that hikers love Mount Fuji, so this is definitely not the place to isolate from people.
Taste the summer specialties in Japan
There are too many dishes in Japan which you have to try at least once in your lifetime. Also, every season has its specialties, hence that is the case with summer as well. We recommend trying a cold-noodle dish with a dipping sauce and side dishes such as ham, tomatoes or cucumber. If you want to feel like a true Japanese, try eating them with chopsticks. That’s quite an experience, especially if you’re eating ‘flowing noodles’ or wagashi-sōmen, as it’s called in Japanese.
Try specialties at festivals
If you have an opportunity, it’s mandatory to try fried goods and food-on-sticks which can be easily found at summer festivals. Yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), yaki-soba (fried noodles), takoyaki (battered, fried octopus pieces), okonomiyaki (fried savory ‘pancakes’) and ika-yaki (grilled squid on skewers) are one of the typical festivals treats. If you’re especially interested, we present you with advice on Japanese food.
Visit Japan’s beer gardens- a must-do in summer in Japan
As you surely know, Japan has many beautiful gardens in every city. If you add a beer to those gardens, it definitely sounds alluring. Japan’s beer gardens open from late May to early September and they attract students, families and others who want to have a cheap and relaxing evening out. Although, don’t expect too much of a garden, because you can find them on the rooftops of hotels, or within parks. So, for example, you can visit:
Forest Beer Garden in Tokyo- this is a popular spot that is located in the Meiji Shrine outer garden.
Kyoto Tower Hotel- as you guessed, it is located in Kyoto, below the spire of Kyoto Tower.
Take part in the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri. One of the most exciting things to do in summer in Japan
Let’s start by explaining the meaning of Nebuta. Nebuta means to float and it is a fire festival. Participants form a parade in the streets with giant illuminated floats. There in the street, people dance and have many entertaining shows while they pull floats through the streets. The festival ends with a spectacular firework.
Go to Hokkaido and visit Flower gardens in Furano
Hokkaido is such a great part of Japan to visit during summer. The weather is cool, nature and the people are calm. One of the destinations to visit there is Furano, the city of lavender farms. Besides enjoying the view, you can lavender themed products. The lavender season starts here in early July.
Have fun at Sumo Nagoya Basho
If you are a fan of sumo wrestling, don’t skip this event. This is one of the six yearly Grand Sumo Tournaments which is held during summer. Enjoy watching them compete for a grand prize and at the same time feel the joy of every sumo wrestler.
In the end, as Japan is such a vast country, we tried to display only a few interesting things to do in summer in Japan. But, opportunities are countless. There are enough activities to make Japan’s summer trip never-to-be-forgotten. We wish you an unforgettable time and successful trip to Japan.