Summer in Japan isn't for everyone. These months tend to be hot and humid in most parts of the country. As a tourist, be prepared to combat frizzy hair, clothing that clings to your clammy body and more. While humidity isn't a very pleasant experience, there are lots of fun activities to take part in during Japan's summer months. They include festivals, water parks, and fireworks.
Catch a Fireworks Show
Did you know that fireworks originated in Asia? Called hanabi in Japan, fireworks are a symbol of summer in the country. As a tourist, seize the opportunity to view thousands of fireworks celebrations during the summer. Unlike the United States, fireworks are not just displayed during one summer holiday but throughout the entire season. Watching fireworks is how many Japanese people pass the hot summer nights.
AddressMount Fuji, Kitayama, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture 418-0112, Japan
If you're an outdoorsy type, you'll want to visit Mount Fuji. It is the highest mountain in Japan, standing at 12,389 feet. The official climbing season of the mountain takes place from July 1 to August 31. Mount Fuji is often called "Fuji-san" by the Japanese. It has been deemed one of three sacred mountain sites in Japan and is a major tourist attraction located near the Pacific coast of Honshu (southwest of Tokyo). It overlaps the Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures.
Mount Fuji isn't just a hiking destination but also an active volcano. However, it last erupted on December 16, 1707, so there's little fear that it will erupt again soon.
AddressJapan, 〒197-0832 Tōkyō-to, Akiruno-shi, Fuchigami, 上代継６００
Since summer in Japan can be so uncomfortable, it can be refreshing for tourists and residents alike to pass the day at a water park during the warm months. Tokyo's best water parks include the following:
In addition to water parks, outdoor swimming pools are popular attractions during the summertime. Most of Japan's pools open in early July and close in early September. They can be crowded during the school summer holiday period that lasts from late July to August.
You may not be able to beat the crowds at the pools, but you can call the pools to find out which part of the day they're likely to be the least busy.
Tattooed guests beware! These water parks have a strict no tattoos policy and if you're spotted you will be removed from the park without a refund.
AddressMiyako-jima, Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture 906-0000, Japan
Fortunately, Japan is surrounded by oceans, so it's easy to find beaches in most prefectures. Below is a list of some of the most popular beaches in the country:
- Yonaha Maehama Beach (Miyako Island)
- Kondoi Beach (Taketomi Island)
- Shirahama Beach (Wakayama Prefecture)
- Nishi no Hama Beach (Hateruma Island)
- Hate no Hama Beach (Kume Island)
- Nirai Beach (Yomitan Village, mainland Okinawa)
- Aragusuku Beach (Miyako Island)
- Sunayama Beach (Miyako Island)
- Aharen Beach (Tokashiki Island)
- Okuma Beach (Kunigami Village, mainland Okinawa)
Camping has become a popular leisure activity among the Japanese in recent years, and thousands of campgrounds have been built all over the country. If you plan to stay in a campground during the summer (July and August) or on weekends, early reservations are recommended.
Listen to Music at an Outdoor Concert
A number of outdoor summer concerts take place in Japan. They feature artists from around the world. While surrounded by nature, enjoy the sounds of live music but be prepared for hot weather.
Festivals of the Summer Season
Festivals in Japan are major tourist attractions during the summertime. Obon is one of the top summer festivals. It takes place in August and marks a time to commemorate one's ancestors.