Japan In the Summer

In the summer, people usually enjoy cold foods, drinks, and desserts, have more free time, and go to the beach or the pool. The same can be said about people in Japan. However, summer in Japan is very unique in many ways from summer in other countries, so I thought it would be fun to talk about the various traditions and things Japanese people do/eat/enjoy in the summer. So without further ado, let’s get right into it!

夏祭り(natsumatsuri)— This is a festival that many districts, towns, and cities have here in Japan. The word natsumatsuri directly translates to “summer festival”. It consists of many 屋台(yatai), which are little tents that contain food shops, stores that sell goods, and often sections where people can play various games. Games may include 金魚すくい(kingyo sukui), where you try to scoop up goldfish in the water with a fragile paper scooper)、射的 (shateki— target shooting)、and 輪投げ (wanage— ring throwing). Often, later on in the festival, fireworks go up and people dance a traditional Japanese dance called 盆踊り(bonn-odori). Some come with traditional Japanese attire similar to a kimono.

Visitors to a Natsu-matsuri dance a traditonal Japanese dance, Bon-odori.

夏期講習(kakikoushuu) Many kids in Japan go to cram school (塾(juku), even in the summer. There, they study and learn outside of school. Especially in the summertime, kids go to juku to resolve their academic weaknesses and study ahead of time before the new semester. This is on top of the usually bulky pile of summer vacation homework. 

Foods Japanese People Eat in the Summer Japanese people eat a vast array of foods in the summer, which include universal staples like ice cream, watermelon, and shaved ice, as well as Japanese foods such as reimen (pictured bellow), sashimi, and mochi.

扇子(sensu) is a Japanese hand fan, which can be folded in and out. It often has a beautiful piece of artwork on its surface. Sensus are a must in the hot humid summers of Japan!

Best Places In Japan to Visit in the Summer  

Hokkaido is an incredible place to go in the summer. It is beautiful with lots of nature and wildlife. There are a ton of great places to go, especially in the summer, because it’s freezing in the winter. Places include huge flower gardens, oceans, zoos, excellent restaurants, and so much more. My family and I went on a month-long camping trip to Hokkaido three years ago. You can read about my travels and some other juicy content HERE, here, HeRe, hERE, and h e r e.

Nagano is a prefecture sprawling with green forests, mountains, and it is perfect for the summertime because you can enjoy a soothing, cool temperatures. You can learn more about Nagano and my trip there HERE.

Unlike the other two prefectures on this list, Okinawa is a HOT place, being the southernmost prefecture in Japan. However, the sparkling beaches, sprawling palm trees, and many tourist locations make it seem like a Japanese Hawaii and make it all worth it! You can read about my travels to Okinawa in these three posts: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.

Japan is a great place to tour any season of the year, but there are a lot of fun things to do and eat in the summer especially. If you decide to go to Japan in the summer, you won’t regret it (if you can endure the heat in certain regions)! I hope you enjoyed this post. See you all again soon!

Bye, and God bless. 🙂

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