Japan is a dream destination for many. Presenting a stark and interesting contrast of culture, along with an almost unfair abundance of natural beauty, Japan is truly a fascinating country. Add to that the presence of (perhaps) the World’s most advanced tourist support infrastructure, you get an ideal holiday destination.
Speaking of holiday destinations, there always seems to be an “ideal” time to visit them, which usually is also the peak tourist season. Meaning, large crowds and expensive everything. For those reading this article, in the case of Japan, June is far from being the peak season. However, the reason is that the rainy season in Japan starts around this time.
So can you still visit Japan in June? Let’s learn a little bit more about the Japanese weather during the month of June to answer this question.
Japan Weather In June
June marks the start of monsoon showers in Japan. The season is mostly associated with regular showers and gloomy days, making it an unpopular season for tourists. With that said, there are certain misconceptions associated with the Japanese rainy season that prevent many travelers from exploring the country’s charm during this off season month.
Firstly, contrary to popular belief, the rainy season in Japan does not bring about continuous showers. While they are extremely probable on most days, there are still a few sunny days that are perfect for exploration. However, even on these days, the humidity levels are on the higher side of the spectrum.
Similarly, another little known fact about the Japanese monsoon is that it is not equally severe in all cities. Sure, major tourist cities like Tokyo and Kyoto do get a considerable amount of rainfall, but there are offbeat cities like Hokkaido and Okinawa.
Finally, as everyone may agree, no trip to Japan is complete without spending at least a couple of days in Tokyo and Kyoto. If you plan on visiting these cities in June, you won’t be disappointed as both these cities have some truly remarkable indoor experiences to keep you intrigued while you wait for the sun to shine.
Why You Should Visit Japan In June
The foremost reason for visiting any place during the off-season is the cheap prices of flights and accommodation options. Moreover, if you are planning to take our advice to visit Hokkaido, June is the perfect time to do so.
During this month, Hokkaido is experiencing its best weather, while the hordes of local tourists are still waiting for their children’s summer holidays to start, making June the best time to visit Hokkaido.
6 Best Festivals To Attend In Japan In June
There are a number of local festivals to look forward to in Japan, during the month of June. Some of these are:
1. Agata Festival
The Agata Festival takes place in Kyoto on the evening of June 5th. The festival lasts overnight and is believed to help the locals drive away evil. It involves a grand parade, along with a ritual called bonten mawashi. In this ritual, parade participants carrying a bonten (an oblong piece of wood with attached pieces of paper) wave it in the darkness. Whoever catches a piece of paper is believed to be blessed with good luck and a powerful charm that drives evil away.
Dates: June 5
2. Rice Planting Festival
Rice is the staple food of Japan and the monsoon season brings about the flooding rainfall required to grow rice. Thus, this time is celebrated in Osaka with the Rice Planting Festival. The 1700 year old festival is celebrated when 12 women plant rice seedlings in the Sumiyoshi Shrine’s paddy field in the presence of folk music and rice planting songs.
Dates: 14 June
3. Enshu Hamakita Hiryu Matsuri
The festival that celebrates fire, water, and sound, the Enshu Hamakita Hiryu Matsuri festival honors the god of Tenyu River in Hamamatsu City. The festival is a true spectacle with a fire festival featuring a flying dragon’s head, kite flying (locally known as Takoage) and several performances of Japanese Drums, locally known as Taiko.
City: Hamamatsu City
Dates: First Weekend Of June
4. Sapporo Festival Of Hokkaido Shrine
A four day festival held in the sunny city of Hokkaido, this festival involves a grand parade near the Hokkaido Shrine. The parade of four palanquins and eight decorated flags begins at Toyohira-koen Station and travels to Odori Park.
Dates: 14-16 June
5. Ittoman Hare
The term “hare” translates to dragon boat racing, a celebratory sport in Japan. While Okinawa hosts several “hare” throughout the year, Itoman Hare is the most revered event. A festival that holds great importance among fishermen in Okinawa, the Ittoman Hare is celebrated to pray for safe sailing and good catches.
Suggested Read: 10 Tempting Water Sports In Japan To Kindle Your Soul
6. Aizen Festival
A festival dedicated to celebrating Aizen Myo-oh, a great Buddhist guardian God, Aizen Festival is one of the three major summer festivals celebrated in Osaka. While the festival is a grand spectacle in itself, it also has a very interesting history attached to it. Throughout the history of Japan, actors, actresses, and prostitutes have worshipped Aizen Myo-oh for charms and popularity. The Geisha parade, called Houkago, is so popular that thousands of locals turn up to watch it.
Dates: 30 June to 2 July
7. Hydrangea Festival
Hydrangea is an exotic Japanese flower that is associated with the arrival of the rainy season in Japan. Since the rains are an important part of many aspects of the Japanese way of life, the blooming of the delightful Hydrangea Flowers is celebrated in the country widely. The most famous Hydrangea Festival is held in Bunkyo, and is known as the Bunkyo Hydrangea Festival.
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Top 5 Places To Visit In Japan In June
Let’s begin by looking at a list of places you can visit in Japan in June:
Okinawa is a famed holiday destination among the Japanese, and for good reason. The expansive beaches boasting views of blue ocean waters. June is the perfect time to visit Okinawa as by this time, the rains have receded from the region and sunny days become regular.
Moreover, since July is the peak tourist season for Okinawa, travelers can avoid the crowds and enjoy cheaper hotel and flight fares by paying Okinawa a visit in June.
As mentioned earlier, Hokkaido is the one rare Japanese city that remains dry throughout the year. Home to some of the biggest summer festivals in the country, Hokkaido is another popular holiday destination among the Japanese. Similar to Okinawa, the peak tourist season for Hokkaido starts in July, so visiting before that can prove to be extremely advantageous.
Suggested Read: 8 Japanese Desserts That Will Get You Swooning!
3. Rishiri And Rebun Islands
Rishiri and Rebun Islands are two small islands off the coast of Okinawa. The islands are home to a collection of remarkable hikes, spellbinding views, and some rare alpine flowers that only start blooming in June.
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4. Sunshine Aquarium, Tokyo
Only because you are visiting the other (more sunny) prefectures of Japan doesn’t mean you can’t have fun during your time in Tokyo. Among the many things to do and see in the marvellous city, Sunshine Aquarium is a must visit. While the aquarium houses some exotic aquatic species, the special thing about it is that it is situated on the tenth floor of a high rise building in Tokyo.
Nagano, a small town close to Tokyo is home to some fantastic hikes and mountain trails that experience relatively less rainfall than neighbouring cities. For adventure lovers, Nagano can prove to be the ideal break from the pouring Tokyo rain.
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3 Best Things To Do In Japan In June
Planning to visit Japan in June? Let’s check out the best things to do during this time.
1. Visit The Digital Arts Museum
Mesmerising digital arts experience of Digital Arts Museum cannot be expressed in words. As they say, you have to see it to believe it. Regardless of the month you’ve chosen for your Japan visit, Digital Arts Museum is a must have on your itinerary.
Timings: Mon to Thurs 11:00–19:00
Fri & Holiday Eve 11:00–21:00
Sun & Holiday 10:00–19:00
Entry Fee: Rs 2100 (approx) for adults and Rs 650 (approx) for children
2. Visit A Japanese Museum
Museums are a popular way to spend some leisurely hours in Japan. Not to forget, museums are also a great way to escape the rain.In Tokyo alone, there are about 100 museums that have the potential to keep you occupied for days on end.
The Samurai Museum, Fire Museum, and the Mori Art Museum are some of the most noteworthy museums in Tokyo.
Where: All over Tokyo
Entry Fee: Variable
3. Experience Authentic Japanese Karaoke
Another popular activity among the locals and the unique karaoke bars in Japan are extremely different from any karaoke bar that you have been to. Top Karaoke bars in Tokyo include the Robot Restaurant, Maid Cafe, and Pachinko.
Where: All over Japan
Entry Fee: Free
As you can see, there is no dearth of things to do or see in Japan in June. The country is filled to the brim with natural, man-made and cultural marvels that are just waiting to delight visiting travelers. With favorable flight and hotel prices, June is perhaps the best month to experience Japan is you are on a tight budget.
Need help with planning your trip to Japan in June 2020? We’ve answered the most common questions to get you started:
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Frequently Asked Questions About Japan In June
A. The peak season in Japan runs throughout the year. From cherry blossom months to Autumn foliage season, Japan has a different charm during different seasons. With that said, the country sees a spike of tourists during the winter months of December and January.
A. The Japanese public transport system is one of the most advanced transport systems on the planet, and extremely easy to navigate. Not to forget, choosing to travel by trains and buses will be much more pocket-friendly than hiring private cabs.
A. The Japanese society is known for its peculiar customs and not being aware about them and not following them can be considered rude. Customs like bowing or shaking hands, table manners, and code of conduct for local attires are very important to the Japanese people, and thus, are worth looking into before you visit their country.
A. The entry to Sunshine Aquarium costs about Rs. 1300 for adults and about Rs. 650 for minors. Please note that these prices are approximate figures determined with the help of currency conversion rates.
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