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6 6 月, 2024

Exploring Japan in June: A Traveler’s Guide to Embracing the Rainy Season

Exploring Japan in June: A Traveler’s Guide to Embracing the Rainy Season

June in Japan is affectionately known as “minazuki” or “the month of water,” marking the arrival of the rainy season—a period when much of the country is draped in frequent showers. This seasonal phenomenon progresses northward, making its presence felt differently across regions. For those keen to sidestep the rain, consider Hokkaido, which remains largely untouched by the seasonal downpours.

Regional Rainfall: What to Expect

The onset of rain varies significantly across Japan. While Okinawa begins experiencing showers as early as May, the Tohoku region sees the rainy season kick off around mid-June. Despite the increased likelihood of rain, it’s not an everyday occurrence, but it’s frequent enough to influence travel plans.

Mt Iwaki, Hirosaki,Aomori Prefecture,Japan.

Cultural Enrichment on Rainy Days

Rainy days provide the perfect backdrop for indoor explorations. Japan’s rich tapestry of cultural offerings, from the dramatic flair of Kabuki theater in Ginza’s Kabukiza to the serene corridors of museums and art galleries, beckons. In Ginza, after enjoying a kabuki performance, visitors can explore the area’s extensive department stores and culinary delights.

A group of people walking in front of Kabukiza Theater in Tokyo, Japan on a rainy day.

Natural Beauty in the Wet Season

The term “tsuyu” or “plum rain” speaks to this season’s impact on agriculture and flora. As the rains nourish the rice paddies, they also bring to life the vibrant hydrangeas, particularly spectacular at Meigetsu-in Temple in Kamakura, peaking in mid-June. The seasonal weather thus plays a crucial role in both the agricultural landscape and the natural beauty of rural Japan.

KAMAKURA, JAPAN – JUNE 09: Hydrangea are in full bloom at the mein approach of the Meigetsu-in Temple on June 9, 2016 in Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Diverse Experiences Across the Archipelago

While Hokkaido enjoys minimal rainfall, enhancing its appeal in June with events like the Yosakoi Soran Festival, the southern islands of Kyushu and Shikoku experience heavier downpours. Travelers can plan accordingly, perhaps choosing to explore the northern refuges during this wetter month.

Japanese dancers clad in traditional clothes perform in Yosakoi Soran Festival, a competitive dancing event, in Sapporo in Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido on June 11, 2023. (Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)

Indoor Adventures: Aquariums and More

Japan’s advanced aquarium culture offers another splendid retreat from the rain. From the renowned Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa to the architectural marvel atop Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City, these aquatic worlds offer a mesmerizing escape. Not to be overlooked, Aquamarine Fukushima in Iwaki City stands as a testament to resilience, having reopened just four months post-tsunami in 2011.

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Category: Japan, Summer, travel

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