Things to Do in Japan in August
August is a full summer month in Japan. Nocturnal terraces offer an ideal backdrop to gather with friends and fresh beers. Japanese people take some days of vacations to enjoy the big summer festivals and O-bon in mid-August. Tokyo becomes quieter, while countryside cities see many tourists arriving.
August appeals to many foreign tourists but not as much as July. August has levels of tourism close to April's, a still relatively high frequentation. August is still considered a peak season for tourism. Japanese people go on vacation mostly on weekends, and public transportation is crowded at the end of the week. We advise travelers to book seats in advance.
Climate and weather
As the hottest month of the year, August has average temperatures above 30°C (86°F) and as low as 20°C (68°F) in the evenings. The rate of sunny days in Japan is high, accentuating this hot and heavy atmosphere. It is necessary to go to the northern part of the country, such as Hokkaido, or higher in altitude to enjoy lower temperatures.
Typhoons 🌀 slowly appear with a more or less strong rhythm. Weather forecasts are very precise and provide real time information when big storms arrive. If needed, transportation can be suspended or undergo detours. After these heavy rains ☔️, the weather is quieter and allows visitors to enjoy outdoor discoveries.
National public holidays
August has only one unworked public holiday:
- August 11 -- 山の日 yama no hi, Mountain Day
Along with the following O-bon period until mid-August, these few days allow summer breaks for Japanese people to go to resort hotels 🏨 and tourist attractions.
Top things to do
The event calendar in August is still filled with plenty of matsuri celebrations and especially fireworks that are held throughout the archipelago. Fired at the end of each event, they are usually scheduled on weekends but can also be held during the week. The illuminated paper lanterns also offer a magical night show to visitors.
The many traditional street celebrations encourage young adults to come into contact with the Japanese effervescence. As a family, the heat of the sun and sometimes the low-pressure climate require special attention for children and the elderly; museums, aquariums and other indoor air-conditioned tours are advised in case of bad weather.
Below is a list of Japanese seasonal attractions and events in August:
Travel packing tips
Summer clothes in natural fabrics and a pair of breathable shoes adapted for long walks are essential. A hat, cap, sunglasses, and sunscreens are essential accessories to protect against the sun’s rays.
Once in Japan, you must remain hydrated. Plan in advance to bring portable and reusable bottles, coins to regularly use the vending machines, or to go into the air-conditioned cafes. For the most sensitive travelers, a water spray and electrical fan should be packed for outside excursions.
To take stable photographs during night events, plan to bring a solid tripod to cover some of the gorgeous fireworks!