In Japan, the start of summer in June is marked by a rainy season called tsuyu. During this transitional month, young Japanese people remain studious and prepare for their midterm tests. In this relatively quiet atmosphere, tourists can choose between outings to lush natural settings and visits to air-conditioned indoor attractions, which allow them to avoid the relatively humid hot weather.
June does not attract a large number of tourists; in fact, it is among the months in which foreigners least frequent Japan. Thus, airlines, hotels and tour operators regularly offer great deals during this period. This makes it easier for tourists to leave at the last minute and still get good value for their money when utilizing public transportation and accommodations.
In addition, during June, Japanese expatriates often take long holidays in which they return to their home country to see their families.
Climate and weather
The weather conditions in June are notable, so please consider the following dates:
- June 6 -- The official start of the rainy season
- June 21 -- The beginning of summer
Tsuyu brings humidity, heat and cloudy weather. Warm air masses from the south encounter cold air from the north and form heavy rains that last for several days. It is rare to have little rainfall in June. Rainy days are even more prevalent in the south of the archipelago (on Kyushu and Kansai) than in the north (on Tohoku). Okinawa is the first tourist destination to exit the rainy season, at approximately the end of June.
Note that Hokkaido does not experience this rainy period and in fact has rather pleasant temperatures of 15–20°C (59–68°F), with lots of sunshine and dry weather.
In Japan’s big cities, the average temperature in June ranges between 20 and 25°C (68 to 77°F) and can easily reach 30°C (86°F) on the hottest afternoons. Thus, accommodations with air conditioning are strongly recommended. The Sun rises at around 4:30 a.m. and sets at around 7 p.m.
National public holidays
There are no public holidays during this transition month, and the population is more focused on the transition to the summer season.
Top things to do
Outdoor visits must be planned according to the weather. For this reason, museums are a strong choice for culture lovers, and shopping malls attract shopaholics and food lovers. In addition, sheltered observation decks offer everyone a contemplative break.
After the rains have passed, Japan’s inter-mountain forests and other green spaces are magical. The rainy season goes hand in hand with the presence of mosses, which, when saturated with water, display the most beautiful shades of green. Be careful: It is quite possible to encounter snakes in the gardens of Japan’s temples and shrines.
Below is a list of Japanese seasonal attractions and events in June:
|Date||What to do||Where||Related|
|Around June 2||Participate in the Yokohama Port Festival, featuring beautiful fireworks over the water, in the Minato Mirai 21 District||Yokohama||Event|
|First weekend in June||Attend the Hamakita Kite-Flying Festival (Enshu Hamakita Hiryu Matsuri), which includes fireworks held at the Tenryu River.||Hamamatsu (Shizuoka)||Event|
|June 5||At night, admire the 365 floating lanterns (Kento Makiwara) erected during the Atsuta Festival||Nagoya||Event|
|Around June 10||Visit the small town of Itako and its Suigo Itako Ayame Gardens during the Iris Festival||Itako (Ibaraki)||Event|
|Second weekend in June||See the Lion Dance Festival (Tsukiji Shishi Matsuri), which is held at and around the Namiyoke Inari-Jinja Shrine||Tokyo||Event|
|Second weekend in June||Go to the Yokasoi Soran Festival in the alleyways of Odori Park to see energetic traditional dance performances||Sapporo (Hokkaido)||Event|
|June 14||Attend the planting of a rice field by a dozen women and witness traditional songs and dances at the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine||Osaka||Event|
|June 14 and 15||Celebrate Kagura, a sacred shinto music-and-dance ritual held at Yasaka Jinja Shrine||Kyoto||Tradition|
|June 15||Commemorate the birth of Kukai, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, during the Aoba Matsuri||Okuno-in Temple in Koya-san or Chishaku-in Temple in Kyoto||Tradition|
|Two weekdays in June||Discover the latest trends in Japanese homewares at the Tokyo Lifestyle Expo, which is held at the Tokyo Big Sight||Tokyo||Event|
|A weekend around June 15 in even-numbered years||Attend the Sanno Matsuri, one of the three largest festivals in the capital city; it takes place near the Imperial Palace and the Hie and Yasukuni Shrines||Tokyo||Event|
|Around the last weekend in June||Attend this popular festival in which yukata come alive in the evening as part of a parade between the city’s castle and its train station||Himeji||Event|
|All month long||Contempler les hortensias en fleurs dans les parcs publics et les jardins des temples et sanctuaires||Partout au Japon (notamment Kamakura)||Visite|
|All month long||Visit the Moss Garden at Saiho-ji Temple||Kyoto||Visit|
|All month long||Stroll under the covered arcades (shotengai) when it rains||Everywhere in Japan (including Nakano in Tokyo and Teramachi in Kyoto)||Shopping|
|All month long||Enjoy watching cormorant fishing (Ukai) in the evening on the Nagaragawa River||Gifu||Tradition|
|All month long||Taste a very refreshing cold coffee or matcha latte||Everywhere in Japan||Food|
Travel packing tips
To endure the changing weather of June, bring a range of light, waterproof, and loose clothes. Indeed, the June rains do not lower the temperatures, which only increase as summer approaches.
Those who are sensitive to heat and humidity should wear wide cotton pants or shorts, along with tee shirts made from sporty materials that let in air and that dry quickly. It may be useful to include socks or stockings for those who have poor circulation. For shoes, as with clothes, select a pair that can handle rain.
Skinny jeans are not necessarily a good solution because they can do not stretch and can even compress as a result of the hot and humid weather. Similarly, thick jackets and trench coats can be uncomfortable.
It is important to stay well-hydrated during the day, as it is easy to sweat profusely. Carrying a small bottle of water is a good way to remember to drink regularly.
We recommend buying a cheap umbrella in Japan rather than carrying one in a suitcase.