Japanese summer is often said to be too hot, and many people suffer from the summer heat especially foreign tourists. Foreigners that come to Japan for the first time in the summer promise that they’d never come back here again in the summer! Wait a minute! Is that really so?
There are so many fun things that you are only able to do at this time of the year. That’s why you don’t want to miss the summertime in Japan. I am going to introduce 5 things about the Japanese summertime that means you simply cannot miss out on it!
You can find so many music festivals every summer in Japan. There are two types of summer music festival: Outdoor-style in the countryside, and Urban-style. Have you ever heard of the “Fuji Rock Festival”? It is the biggest and the most famous music festival in Japan! This annual event takes place in the ski resort in Niigata Prefecture where you can enjoy both outdoor activities and of course, music.
If you plan to go to this kind of outdoor festival, make sure you have everything that you are likely to need. It is strictly prohibited to use umbrellas at the festival despite it often being hit by rain! Worst case scenario – it may rain the whole time, so you have to be prepared for whatever weather it may be. You will need items such as rain wear, sun protection items, anti-insect products such as bug spray, adhesive tapes, compact chair, etc.. It’s better to prepare for camping rather than just a music event.
Another famous music festival is “Summer Sonic”. This event is an urban-style music festival held for 2 days. A good point about the urban style festivals are that they are easier to get to and you don’t need to take as much stuff with you. The venues are often smaller than the outdoor-style events as well, so if you prefer to enjoy music more than being out and about in nature, then this style of festival probably suits you better.
Whichever type of festival you choose, please enjoy the event and be well mannered:
*Try to reduce garbage and clean up when you leave.
*Smoking is allowed but only in designated smoking areas. It is also useful to carry a cigarette butt pouch with you.
*Avoid getting silly drunk
The 3 Best Festivals in Japan: Gion-Matsuri, Tenjin-Matsuri, and Kanda-Matsuri are held in the summer time every year. Gion and Tenjin Matsuri are in July and Kanda-Matsuri is in May. You can immerse yourself in Japanese traditional culture by watching the great festival float carried through the town or enjoy the food and games at stalls all over the place, as well as the summer atmosphere present at these festivals.
Kingyo-skui (Goldfish scooping), Shageki (Shooting for some gifts), Yo-yo (Balloon scooping) are the most popular games you can play at the stalls at summer festivals. You can also find Japanese local food such as Takoyaki (Octopus balls), Yakisoba Noodle, Ringo-ame (apples coated with thin candy), Kakigo-ri (Shaved ice with a syrup), Ikayaki (Roasted squid), Watagashi (Cotton candy), etc…
My recommendation is to visit these stalls in the evening when it’s not too hot. It is also a very romantic thing to do and is very sweet with lots of lantern lights.
Japan has many fireworks displays during the summer all around the country. You can watch many beautiful and amazing fireworks brightly color the summer sky. There are various different shapes of the fireworks too such as heart, star, flower, double layered and sometimes even a face! You should find out what kind of new fireworks they may display this summer – they are never the same. The sounds of the fireworks are also the essence of a Japanese summer night.
Many people enjoy this event wearing Yukata, so you will see traditional Yukata-style couples passing by. Why don’t you try Yukata yourself and go to Fireworks event as well? It will be an amazing summer experience for you!
Fireworks don’t always have to be big. There are small types of fireworks that you can hold yourself and enjoy at home or by the river or parks with your family or friends. You can always find a package of small fireworks at convenience stores, DIY stores, and more. It’s quite fun! But please make sure to put out THE fire completely after you finish them.
In the summer, you can climb up the famous Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan. Mt. Fuji is very famous with its beautiful peak covered with snow in the most of the year. This mountain is often used in many art pieces such as woodblock prints, cloisonné plates, and more. Mt. Fuji is open only for 2 months in the summer. The best season for this is from the end of July to the beginning of September.
Many people climb Mt. Fuji, so it can be quite crowed near the peak. So I recommend you to consider taking extra days off when you arrange your schedule!
It is always nice to cool down in the evening wind, having your favorite drinks in your hand with some food and snacks. Beer Garden space is either inside a restaurant or on the roof of hotels or restaurants where you can sit at a table and enjoy the evening views. Beer gardens are not necessarily only at night though.
In many cases, you can drink as much as you want for 2 hours at a fixed price. There have been various places for beer gardens such as on a boat, on the top of the mountain and so on. The atmosphere at a beer garden is often friendly, so you might be able to find new friends if you want. Japanese people are shy but become friendlier when they drink.
If you don’t like beer, you can still have a good time because they often offer other drinks such as Chuhai (Japanese fruit cocktails), wine, and other kinds of drink depending on the restaurant.
Thats 5 Reasons you should visit Japan in the summer! Did you find them attractive and now want to come to Japan? No? Then how about this option – Summer in Japan is said to be extremely hot, but it is not always true, Japan is a vertically long country, so the climate is quite different in the north and south. If you are tired of the hot climate, then I recommend you to visit Hokkaido or Shinshu and some more cool places. Then you might find other parts of Japan that suit you better.