Why July Is One of the Best Times to Visit Japan

You’ve been dreaming about going on a trip to Japan. Everything you’ve researched about the culture, food, and sights has you ready to hop on a plane. But that little voice in your head questions if July is the best time to go. 

We get it – heading somewhere new is exciting, but you want to ensure you don’t melt in the heat when you visit during summer in Japan. 

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Before you book those tickets, let’s chat about what it’s really like to visit Japan in July. We’ll cover the pros and cons and what you can do to make the most of your trip during the hottest month.

With some prep, you can still have a fantastic time exploring Japan, even when temps are at their highest. Read this travel guide and decide if a July visit suits you!

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What to Expect Weather-Wise in Japan in July

Gorgeous Weather and Natural Scenery

July falls within Japan’s rainy season, but don’t let that deter you.

The rain keeps the temperatures moderate and nourishes the natural scenery. You’ll experience lush green forests, blooming hydrangeas, and fields of sunflowers. The rains usually pass quickly, leaving behind dramatic skies and rainbows.

Pack a light jacket and an umbrella, and enjoy!  

Amazing Summer Festivals

July hosts some of Japan’s most exciting festivals.

In Tokyo, witness the grand Sumida River Fireworks Festival, with nearly 20,000 fireworks lighting the night sky during this time in Japan. Or head to Sapporo for the Yosakoi Soran Festival, where over 150 dance teams perform energetic dances in the streets.

Then there’s the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto, one of Japan’s most prominent festivals featuring elaborate floats, music, and dancing.

Delicious Seasonal Food

Summer is the season for light and refreshing Japanese food and drink.

Cool off with silky Hiyashi Chuka noodles, chilled Tofu, or sweet Kakigori shaved ice. Fresh seafood like fatty tuna, squid, and crab are also at their peak.

You must also try the Japanese summer fruits like muskmelons, peaches, and watermelon, which the Japanese elevate to an art form. 

Smaller Crowds

While July and August are still within the summer holidays for domestic travel, the big crowds of June have passed.

You’ll encounter slightly smaller crowds at major tourist attractions, especially if you visit during the week. The early July weather and festivities are ideal for avoiding the largest crowds. Take advantage and enjoy a more relaxed trip!

July in Japan offers stunning natural scenery, exciting festivals, delicious seasonal food, and smaller crowds. Take advantage of this exquisite time to visit the Land of the Rising Sun.

Top Things to Look Out for in Japan in July

By July, the rainy season will be in full swing all around Japan. You can expect hot and humid weather, with temperatures ranging from 77 to 86 F. Pack light, breathable clothing – you’ll want it!

The rainfall tends to come in short bursts, so don’t let it deter you from visiting. Just be prepared for some occasional showers.  

The Rain

The rain usually lasts for a few hours before clearing up. Bringing an umbrella, rain jacket, and waterproof shoes is a good idea. The rain will keep the temperatures high, so the humidity may sometimes be oppressive. 

Head indoors to shopping areas, museums, or restaurants to escape the heat and dampness. 

Typhoon Season

July also marks the start of Japan’s typhoon season. Typhoons can bring strong winds and rain that lasts for days. There is a chance your travel plans may be disrupted if a storm hits.

Check the local weather forecasts regularly and follow any instructions from city officials regarding typhoons. 

The Flowers

Despite the rain and heat, July is an ideal time to visit national parks to view some of Japan’s gorgeous flowers. You’ll spot colorful lotuses, water lilies, and hydrangeas at parks and gardens. The natural beauty helps offset the dreary weather.

While July’s climate in Japan may be unpleasant for some, the lower crowds, blooming flowers, and cultural events make it an exciting time to visit.

Come prepared for the heat and rain; you’ll find the experience rewarding. The weather conditions add to the adventure of exploring Japan during the summer season!

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Places to Visit in Japan in July

In July, Japan’s rainy season transitions into a hot and humid summer. Although the weather can be unpleasant, July is a great time to experience traditional summer festivals and activities. 

Attend a Summer Festival

Summer festivals, known as matsuri, are held throughout Japan in July. At these lively events, you can see colorful costumes, watch traditional dances, listen to festive music, and sample delicious summer foods.

Some of the biggest summer festivals are Gion Matsuri in Kyoto Prefecture, Tenjin Matsuri in Osaka Prefecture, and Nebuta Matsuri in Aomori Prefecture. The vibrant parades, floats, and fireworks will make braving the heat and crowds worthwhile.

Relax on the Beach  

Japan has over 6,000 miles of coastline, so there are plenty of beaches to enjoy in July.

Head to the famous water destinations of Okinawa, including Emerald Beach and Sunset Beach, to go swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling in crystal-clear turquoise waters.

You may also want to visit the scenic beaches of the Izu Peninsula, a short trip from Tokyo. The laid-back surfer town of Shimoda is an excellent base for beach hopping and other watersports.

Escape the Heat in the Mountains

Escape to the mountains if the summer heat and humidity get too oppressive in the cities.

Central Japan’s mountain resorts, like Nikko, Hakone, and Atami, offer a refreshing retreat with cooler weather, natural scenery, and hot spring resorts. You can go hiking in the morning, soak in an open-air onsen in the afternoon, and dine on fresh seafood in the evening.

Head north to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, for an even more fabulous getaway.

Or, if you want a more popular destination, Mt. Fuji is a real winner. 

A visit to Japan in July may be hot and rainy, but the summer activities, festivals, beaches, and mountain escapes make it a rewarding visit. Don’t let the weather deter you from experiencing all the season has to offer! 

With the right mindset and preparations, you’ll be able to handle the heat and have an unforgettable summer adventure.

Packing Essentials for a July Visit to Japan

When planning your trip to Japan in July, it’s essential to pack wisely to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips and recommendations based on my personal experience:

  1. Lightweight Clothing: July in Japan can be hot and humid, especially if you choose either Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka as your base.

    Opt for lightweight, breathable clothing such as cotton shirts, shorts, and dresses to stay cool during your explorations. Bring a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

  2. Stay Hydrated: With temperatures rising during the summer, staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial.

    Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it at the numerous drinking fountains and vending machines scattered across Japan. Consider bringing electrolyte packets or sports drinks to replenish lost fluids and minerals, especially if you plan on being active outdoors.

  3. Booking Accommodations in Advance: I recommend booking your accommodations well in advance to avoid last-minute stress and potentially higher prices.

    Whether you prefer staying in a traditional ryokan, a modern hotel, or a cozy guesthouse, securing your lodging will give you peace of mind and ensure you have a comfortable place to rest after a day of sightseeing.

  4. Booking Transportation: Japan’s efficient transportation system makes it easy to get around, but during peak travel seasons like July, it’s wise to book your transportation tickets in advance.

    Whether traveling by Shinkansen (bullet train), local trains, or buses, reserving seats early can save you time and hassle, especially if you’re planning to visit popular tourist destinations or attend events and festivals.

By packing lightweight clothing, staying hydrated, and making advance reservations for accommodations and transportation, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your July visit to Japan.

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FAQs – Is It OK to Travel to Japan in July?

Japan’s rainy season typically ends in July, making it a great time to explore some of the beautiful destinations around the country. The summer heat and humidity are in full swing, so be prepared. The chance of rain is lower, and the lush greenery is stunning.

Hokkaido

Head north to the island of Hokkaido, where the temperatures are milder in July.

You can see lavender fields in full bloom, hike through flower-filled hills, and escape the worst of the heat. The port city of Otaru is charming, with Victorian-style buildings, canal-side walks, and fresh seafood.

For natural scenery, check out the Blue Pond in Biei or the rugged coastline of Eastern Hokkaido.

Kyoto 

While Kyoto does get very hot and humid in July, the temples, shrines, and gardens are open for extended hours, some even doing special nighttime illuminations.

The highlight is watching the sunset at Fushimi Inari Shrine, with thousands of orange torii gates. 

The golden Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) and Arashiyama’s bamboo grove are also must-sees. Get there early before the crowds and heat become unbearable. 

Mountains

Head for the hills where temperatures are more pleasant and natural scenery abounds. Famous mountain escapes include the Japan Alps, Mt. Fuji, and the Southern Japan Alps in central Honshu.

You can go hiking, see waterfalls, stay in a mountain lodge, or find a scenic overlook to enjoy the cooler weather. The hiking season starts in July with wildflowers and lush greenery along mountain trails.

Beaches

While not the top beach month, July is an excellent time to enjoy Japan’s coastlines if you don’t mind the heat and humidity.

Check out the white sand beaches of Okinawa or the Izu Peninsula for a resort feel. More rugged beach options include the Sanriku Coast in Tohoku or the volcanic shores of Miyajima Island. Just be aware that jellyfish advisories are common on Japan’s beaches in July.

So, while July isn’t the most comfortable month for traveling in Japan weather-wise, the rain has cleared out, and the country comes alive with vibrant greens and summer events.

With the right precautions and destinations, you can have a fantastic trip and avoid the worst of the heat.

Remember to pack light, breathable clothing, sunscreen, and plenty of sweat-wicking accessories!