Every season in Japan has its own unique charm. Summer’s no exception. Today we’ll look at everything you need to know when visiting Japan in July. The weather may be getting pretty hot, but so are the festivals, entertainment, and sightseeing spots!
What’s the weather like in July in Tokyo and Japan?
First things first: what should you expect the weather to be like in July in Japan? Depending on the area you are going to be visiting, things may change, but, by and large, July is pretty hot and humid.
One thing to take into consideration is that starting at the beginning of June, until the end of July (again depending on the area of the country) is when the rainy season occurs in Japan.
While Japan’s rainy season is usually not enough to ruin anyone’s vacation, it’s best to come prepared as it might literally rain on your parade.
The rain is usually more frequent in the southern areas of Japan, and less so in the northern ones.
When it comes to Tokyo, the weather in July is mildly hot and humid (compared to Japanese summer standards), and you can expect quite a few days of rain, usually between the second week of June and the third week of July.
In any case, worry not, as the rainy season does not mean it will rain every day. You will still very much be able to thoroughly enjoy your visit.
How to dress in Japan in July?
July is warm in Japan, so be sure to plan and pack accordingly!
・Outerwear: Summer dresses, light cotton shirts, summer skirts
・Footwear: If you are comfortable with open shoes, you are definitely going to be happy you brought them, but don’t forget to bring comfortable shoes for your (likely) very long walking tours.
・Accessories: sunglasses, small towels, sunscreen, umbrella
・Outerwear: polo shirts, light shirts, and buttoned shirts, shorts, light pants
・Footwear: comfortable socks and shoes, and if you are not planning to walk too much on a given day, open shoes
・Accessories: sunglasses, small towel, cold patches, umbrella
What else to pack for Japan in July?
Because of the relatively high chance of rain, make sure you also bring a raincoat or even rain shoes with you. Umbrellas are very easy and cheap to get in Japan, so you won’t need to pack one (unless you have a favorite one you would rather use).
Don’t forget also to bring:
- An extra backpack/day pack: You will likely walk a lot, and you may need to have on you a few things like a shirt change, water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and power bank
- Swimming suit for those who are planning to visit the beach
What to do in Japan in July
Now we’re getting to the fun part. No matter what your interests are, July in Japan has got it.
July Summer Festivals in Japan
Summer is a time of huge cultural festivals, and July is when some of the biggest and most important ones happen.
・Gion Matsuri – July 1-31 (main events July 17 and 24), Kyoto. One of the Three Greatest Festivals of Japan, and the largest one.
・Tenjin Matsuri – July 24-25, Osaka. A millenary festival celebrating Tenman-gu shrine.
・Tanabata Festival – First week of July (July 7 in 2020), Hiratsuka and Kanagawa A celebration of the meeting of two lovers separated by the milky way (There is also a Tanabata festival that takes place in August in Sendai)
・Sumida River Fireworks – Exact date changes, Tokyo. One of the most famous and beautiful fireworks shows in the country.
Summer also marks the beginning of several amazing live music events, indoors and outdoors.
・Fuji Rock Festival – Usually the last week of July, Niigata. THE Japanese live music summer event.
・Corona Sunset Music Festival – Okinawa. A music festival on the beach.
・Kesen Rock Festival – Second weekend of July – Iwate.
Parks and Temples
Some of the main attractions in Japan, and for a good reason, are its parks, and temples. They won’t fail to impress you with their flowers in bloom, and beautiful green trees and grass. Even if you have already visited some places before in different seasons, make sure you do so in July as well.
・Kiyosumi Teien, Kiyosumi
・Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo
・Saihoji (Kokedera) Temple, Kyoto
You enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and that friendly beach vibe? Here are some places for you to try. Note that at many of the beaches around Tokyo and Osaka, unique beach houses are often set up to offer food, drinks, music, and a chance to get into the shade.
The go-to place for beaches in Japan, and there are many to choose from, but just to get you started, some of the most popular include Manza Beach, Okuma Beach, Emerald Beach, Sesoko Beach and Araka Beach. There are also many other beautiful beaches in the outlying islands.
・For those of you who want to stay closer to Tokyo:
- Shirahama beach – Izu
- Enoshima - Kanagawa
- Odaiba - Tokyo
・And for those of you who feel like traveling a little to find a gem:
- Ogasawara Islands – A 24-hour ferry ride from Tokyo (once a week)
- Megijima Island – Kagawa Prefecture
- Shirahama Beach – Shizuoka Prefecture
Hiking in Summer in Japan
July is a perfect time also for hiking, and some of the best places to do it are in and around the following areas.
・Ten-En Hiking course in Kamakura: a trail connecting two temples taking you through beautiful flowers, and perfect for bird watching, for those who are comfortable with a moderate hike.
・Mount Takao: A more leisurely walk with trails leading through the mountains and around.
・Mount Mitake: A beautiful hike with temples hidden amid unspoiled nature and waterfalls. An easy to medium difficulty hike.
・Mount Fuji: The dream hike! Check out a comprehensive guide to hiking Mount Fuji here.
・Hakone: The trails are from easy to challenging, and lead through mountains, beautiful paths, and sightseeing spots.
・Fushimi Inari: A leisurely climb up the steps and path leading to the top of the mountain on which the shrine is erected. Amazing sights over the city of Kyoto.
・Kurama: A moderately strenuous hike that leads to Kurama Temple, located on the top of a steep, wooded mountainside.
・Daigoji Temple: A long and steep trail leading to a major temple in the mountains south of Kyoto
・Minoo Park: Very close to the city center. A broad valley in which to enjoy an easy trek.
・Mount Yoshino: a mountainside immersed in the woods with trails leading through a temple town in Nara Prefecture.
・Rishiri and Rebun in Hokkaido: The trails are part of a vast national park and range from easy to difficult, offering floral landscapes, or volcano hiking.
・Shiretoko: Another national park rich with unspoiled nature.
Special foods and drinks to try in July in Japan
There is so much seasonal food that is great in summer, that you will undoubtedly find something you like.
Shaved ice: Japan is big on shaved ice in many different flavors, and this treat becomes extremely popular in summer, especially during festivals.
・Hiyashi Chuka: A refreshing, flavorful cold ramen with several different toppings.
・Eel: When it comes to eel preparation, Japan is king, and summer is the best time to try some of Japan’s best eel dishes.
・Watermelon: One of the fruits symbolic of summer, you are probably going to want to try it in Japan (be aware that it may be pricier than you expect).
・Beer gardens: Comfortable open spaces in which to enjoy your drinks. In Kyoto, you will also find beer gardens with original maiko and geiko shows (in the area of Kamishichiken).
・Summer drinks and edamame: If you drink alcohol, make sure you enjoy a few summer days or evenings in the company of friends and a few cold Japanese beers, or one of the many other drinks the country has to offer. And one of the most fabulous accompanying dishes for brews is edamame. Try it cold and lightly salted.
If you don’t drink alcohol, edamame will be just as good, and Japan doesn’t slack when it comes to soft drinks either!
Enjoy your July in Japan!
And here you have it! All you need to know to prepare for your trip and get yourself started on that list of things to do in Japan in July! Spoiler alert: there is so much to enjoy that the list will keep growing longer.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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