Rainy Season In Japan By Region And What To Expect

Early in the summer, most of Japan is hit by its rainy season, known as tsuyu which translates to “plum rain” because it coincides with the ripening season for plums.

The impact of chilly northern and warm southern air masses causes the rainy period, which occurs in a reasonably stable severe cold front across the Japanese archipelago for numerous weeks.

Rainy Season In Tokyo

The rainy period in Japan is unlike any other. You may have breathed a sigh of relief as spring arrived in April and May, and the cherry blossoms began to bloom, having avoided Japan’s bone-dry winter air.

The Start and Finish of the Season of Rain

In Japanese, the start of the rainy period is referred to as tsuyu-iri, while the conclusion of the rainy period is referred to as tsuyu-ake. Each year, the exact dates of each occurrence, as well as the duration of the rainy period, vary. The dates for the rainy period in Japan are listed below.

AreaBeginning of Rainy SeasonEnd of Rainy Season
OkinawaAround May 10Around June 21
Southern Kyushu (Kagoshima, Miyazaki)Around May 30Around July 15
Shikoku (Kochi, Kagawa, Tokushima)Around June 5Around July 17
Kinki (Nara, Hyogo, Wakayama)Around June 6Around July 19
Kanto (Tokyo, Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Chiba, Ibaraki)Around June 7Around July 19
Northern Tohoku (Yamagata, Akita, Iwate, Aomori)Around June 15Around July 28
Rainy Season In Japan Table

Every year, the Japan Meteorological Agency estimates and announces both the start and end dates of the rainy season.

Japan Meteorological Agency Official Website

The rain clouds began to fall in the southern sections of the country such as Okinawa and gradually move north. As a result, the rainy period begins in the south and ends in the north.

As indicated in the table above, the rainy period in the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, normally begins around June 7 and ends around July 19.

Shopping in the rain with umbrellas in Harajuku, Shibuya

the rainy period began five days sooner in Okinawa and 19 days earlier in southern Kyushu in 2021 than it did in previous years. (*As of the 13th of May, 2021) the rainy period may begin a few days earlier or later than the average yearly dates in various areas.

The Season of Rain in Japan. 

The rainy period usually lasts from early June to mid-July. The average rainy season, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, has been from roughly June 7 to July 19 since 1951.

Summer in Japan is heralded by humid days punctuated by the occasional downpour as sometimes more inclement weather systems as if it were an annual rite of passage.

Rainy season at the great buddha of Kamakura

In early spring, two warm bodies of air one from the North Pacific and the other from Southeast Asia – clash with two cooler bodies of air from China and the Sea of Okhotsk.

As June approaches, this unlucky meeting culminates in a period of constantly wet weather for everyone trapped in its path.

The Average Temperature During the Season of Rain

The average temperature in June in Tokyo during the rainy season is 78.8 degrees Fahrenheit, with the lowest being 66.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature during the rainfall can be perplexing, since you may feel warm on a sunny day but cold when it rains. When there are long periods of rain, particularly if it occurs during the day, the air becomes extremely humid.

However a short-sleeved tee is ideal for the day, a light jacket or cardigan should be brought along for the night and if it rains.

Rainy streets in Tokyo

You’re still in luck if nature isn’t your cup of tea. When the glittering city lights of Tokyo are reflected on the wet streets after a rainstorm, they are even more striking and interesting to explore. 

What to Expect During the Season of Rain in Japan

You’re undoubtedly thinking how awful the rainy period will be by now. After all, Japan has a reputation for having some of the world’s most extreme weather. You should expect a lot of rain, as the name suggests.

Thankfully, this isn’t a common daily occurrence. You can also expect a steady supply of gloomy, overcast skies and the occasional gust of strong wind.

The good news is that temperatures are typically pleasant throughout this time, averaging around 77°F. The bad news is that the humidity isn’t as merciful as the temperature.

Though you spend enough time outside, you’ll begin to feel as if you’re swimming on land. Simply put, during this time of year, there is no way to avoid feeling like a soggy, sticky mess walking in highly humid summer days.

How to Deal With the Rainy Period in Japan. 

Those of us who are visiting south of Hokkaido must brace ourselves for the many inconveniences that the rainy period will bring. However, with a little forethought and the correct equipment for the job, you can breeze through the season as the locals do.

Some of the top items to carry in your rainy-day kit are items like: 

  • Umbrella: This most fundamental of defenses should be the first item in any decent rainy season survival pack. Because rain is a typical occurrence in Japan, umbrellas may be purchased in almost any shop. While there are many different kinds and designs to choose from, a compact umbrella is a good choice because it is easy to carry with you at all times. (even some vending machines sell umbrellas)
  • Rain Boots: It’s one thing to have a damp shirt, but there are few things more miserable than going around in soaked shoes all day. So, like a genuine rainy season warrior, come prepared with rain boots or waterproof shoes and bravely traverse puddles.
  • Water-proof bags: When you’re a student or a working professional who needs to bring books or a laptop to class or to the office, you’re probably worried about an unexpected rainfall ruining your valuables. Rather than taking a chance, invest in a waterproof bag or a waterproof cover to preserve your items for more security.
  • Rain jackets or ponchos: As though rain wasn’t bad enough, it can also blow sideways, rendering your umbrella worthless. While it may not be the most trendy option, low-cost versions are available for only a few hundred yen. If remaining dry is much more important than simple fashion, the poncho is the way to go, as it will also keep your jeans and possessions dry.
  • Deodorizing spray: If you’re going to be in a crowded environment consider a cooling spray instead. These sprays, which come in tiny, easy-to-carry cans, provide an instant cooling impact and a refreshing aroma that masks any objectionable body odors when applied to the outside of your garment. Japans humid summers will definatley cause lots of sweating and thus potential body odors.
  • Odor absorbers: What about your accomidations now that we’ve covered keeping you dry? When the humidity inside begins to rise, the terrible stench of mildew and mold will follow. So, before it gets to your towels, sheets, and, worst yet, your clothes, take precautions to keep your living environment dry. Placing moisture absorbers throughout your room is one of the simplest methods to accomplish this.These are often activated charcoal-based and will pull and trap excess moisture from the air. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them simple to place in mold-prone places like closets and shower rooms.

Amazon Japan Moisture Absorbers

Preparing your home for the rainy period in Japan

Let’s look at how you may make your day-to-day life more comfortable now that you have the necessary equipment to weather the storms. Assuming you’ll be taking refuge from the rain indoors, the suffocating humidity will be your main concern.

Most Japanese hotels, homes, and apartments have room air conditioners rather than whole house heat pumps like those in the USA

Moisture absorbers are ideal for closets and tiny bathrooms, but larger living areas will require something a little more robust. For this, we’ll need some common household items that you probably already have on hand.

  • Exhaust fans
  • Set any air conditioner on its dry mode or equivalent

Using a Japanese Air Con (Gaijinpot)

Enjoying the rainy period in Japan

There’s no need to be concerned if the weather does not cooperate with your original vacation plans. Here are some must-see locations and suggestions for how to pass the time during the rainy period.

In Japan, the rainy period is accompanied by the blooming of hydrangeas. You can see its beautiful blossoms in a variety of locations across the country.

Sensoji Temple – Tokyo, Japan

Elegant irises are also in flower at this time, and they appear particularly stunning during the rainy period. Traditional Japanese gardens, as well as gardens at shrines and temples, are full of flowers.

Despite all of the inconveniences that come with the rainy season, one thing is constant: daily life in Japan continues regardless of the weather. You can’t completely avoid it, but with a little planning and forethought, you can make it much more bearable. So, if your holiday to Japan falls inside this timeframe, don’t cancel your flight just yet.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better time to visit gorgeous locations like Kamakura, Nagano, or Wakayama if your vacation to Japan includes them. The extra rain just adds to the lushness of Japan’s famed tree-covered mountains. 

Even if you plan to spend your entire trip in Tokyo, the city has a large number of parks that are transformed into urban oasis during this time of year. The lush green tones will make for some spectacular photographs.

Haneda Airport During The Rainy Season

You’re still in luck if nature isn’t your cup of tea. When the glittering city lights of Tokyo are reflected on the wet streets after a rainstorm, they are even more amazing.

Virtual Tour Of Tokyo In The Rain

My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.