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June Weather in Japan: What to Expect


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Planning to visit Japan in June? Here are some weather tips you may want to know before you pack your bags.

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The rainy season in Japan

June marks the start of the early summer rainy season, called tsuyu or the baiu (which literally means “plum rain” for when the plums ripen), in most of Japan.

The weather during the first week of June is usually similar to the pleasant, early summer weather conditions in late May. The timing varies each year, but the rainy season typically begins around June 7-8 and lasts through mid-July in areas including Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, and Osaka. It begins around a week earlier in Kyushu, and a week later in northern Japan. The exceptions are Okinawa, where the rainy season starts a month earlier in May and ends by late June, and the northern island of Hokkaido, which is not very affected by the rainy season.

You can find the Japan Meteorological Agency’s average dates for rainy season in different regions of Japan here.

It doesn’t rain every day, but expect overcast skies

Despite the name, it doesn’t rain every day during the rainy season. The average percentage of rainy days in June is around 30-35% in early June and 45% in late June.

But do expect grey, overcast skies and changeable weather, and yes, some rain! While there are some sunny patches, the majority of days tend to be overcast and humid for at least part of the day, even if it doesn’t rain. The temperatures are moderate. Average highs are around 25C (77F) with lows around 19C (66F) in Tokyo, with highs of around 27C (81F) and lows around 20C (68F) in Osaka and Fukuoka.

(Source: Japan Meteorological Agency)

Many outdoor destinations can be quite atmospheric in this weather, such as the temples in Kyoto and Nara, hot spring baths, as well as destinations in nature like the temple mountain of Koyasan, less than two hours from Osaka by train.

Here’s a rainy season haiku poem by the famous Japanese poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) which captures the seasonal mood in June:

The rainfall in June –
the poems I’ve pasted to walls
peel off, but leave traces.

Summary

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Despite its name, it doesn’t rain every day during rainy season. The duration of the season and amount of rain varies each year, and the temperatures are cooler than in July and August. But it’s a good idea to come prepared for rain and overcast weather with light layers, rain gear, and a sunny mood!

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