Rainy Season Summer Travel Guide

10 Best Things to Do in Japan in June

If you are going to visit Japan in June, but don’t know what to expect, then this post will show you where to go and experience the best things to make your trip memorable.

June is the start of summer in Japan. It is traditionally called Minazuki (the month of water), meaning it gets more rain than any other month. The rainy season (tsuyu) begins in June, and lasts until mid July. Though, in the southern part of Japan, like in Okinawa and the southern part of Kyushu, the rainy season arrives in May.

In Japan, the only region that is not affected by the rainy season is Hokkaido.  

Those who can deal with the rain, June can be a perfect time of year to visit Japan. The temperatures and weather seem not too hot & humid like in July and August. Average temperature in June is between 25.7 °C and 29.6 °C, except in the northern part of Japan.

Now, let’s see some of the amazing things you can do only in June in Japan.

1. Visit Hydrangeas Spots

Hydrangeas of Mimurotoji. Photo Credit: Mimuroto-temple.

Known as Ajisai in Japanese, Hydrangea is a popular flower in Japan. This flower blooms during the rainy season in June and July. It is often regarded as the symbol of the Japanese rainy season. Hydrangeas come in a variety of colors which include blue, purple, pink and red.

There are many renowned places to see hydrangeas across Japan – Hakusan shrine in Tokyo, Hasedera in Kamakura, Hondoji in Matsudo, Shimoda Park in Shizuoka, Mimurotoji in Kyoto, Hakone Tozan Railway in Hakone to name a few.

The Hakone Tozan Railway is Japan’s oldest mountain railway, and one of the most scenic train rides in the country. Whenever you go to Hakone you should ride the Hakone Tozan Railway to enjoy the scenery at a leisurely speed.

A lot of hydrangeas bloom along the railway around mid-June, offering visitors a memorable ride. While riding on the train, they gaze at those colorful hydrangeas and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Hydrangeas at Hondoji temple. Photo Credit: Gideon Davidson at Flickr.

Anyone interested in spectacular scenery should consider visiting one of those aforementioned places. In fact, there are more hydrangea spots than those, which are worth a visit!

For example, if you go to Kamakura’s Hasedera temple, make sure to stop by Meigetsuin, another must-see hydrangea spot in Japan.

Tokyo itself boasts a number of famous hydrangea festivals. Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri (hydrangea festival) is considered the biggest ajisai festival in the city, attracting thousands of visitors every year in mid June.

Admire the beauty of hydrangea flowers and make sure you plan wisely so you can escape the rain and enjoy the blossoms on a sunny day.

2. Discover Hokkaido

Everyone wants to participate in the Yosakio Soran Festival, Sapporo. Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito.

Hokkaido is a perfect place to visit in Japan in summer. Unlike Tokyo, Kyoto and other parts of Japan, Hokkaido’s summer weather is very pleasant and the rainy season is absent there.

Many different kinds of summer flowers bloom throughout the region. If you come to Hokkaido in June, make sure you visit most of its national parks. There you will have a high chance of exploring Hokkaido’s unspoiled nature.

Visit Shiretoko National Park, a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site is famous for its rich ecosystem, including wildlife and stunning views of mountains, forests, lakes, waterfalls, cliffs and rocks.

Cycling in Biei area is a popular outdoor activity for many nature lovers. Photo Credit: field-north.com.

The peak season for lavender is July in Furano and Biei. This does not mean you will not enjoy views of other flower fields in those areas.

There are plenty of outdoor activities waiting for you, including trekking, cycling, river rafting, kayaking, mountain biking and so on.

Feel the cool summer breeze, and admire the beautiful surroundings while engaging in various outdoor activities. Doing so there is always a high chance you will feel very privileged to experience incredible views of Daisetsuzan Mountain Range.

Hokkaido Jingu Matsuri (Sapporo Festival). Photo Credit: t-konno at Wikimedia Commons.

Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido celebrates its yearly summer festival in June, known as YOSAKIO Soran Festival.

It is an energetic dance festival, where dancers wear colorful costumes and perform flawless dances. You can expect to see many wonderful live performances during the festival.

Held every year in mid-June, another festival in Sapporo you don’t want to miss experiencing is Hokkaido Jingu Festival. Enjoy the parade, featuring portable shrines (mikoshi) and floats, and try the delicious street food from bustling stalls.

You can visit Wakkanai, which works as a perfect getaway to explore two beautiful islands of Hokkaido, known as Rishiri Island and Rebun Island. Both islands can be visited by ferry on a day trip from Wakkanai city.

Landscape of Rebun Island in Summer. Photo Credit: Suicasmo at Wikimedia Commons.

These islands are famous for seeing alpine flowers from June to August, with some very unique varieties that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Both islands also offer trekking, hiking and cycling trails for visitors to enjoy the surroundings.

Please keep in mind, Hokkaido is vast, and summer here is one of the best times to visit its iconic attractions, which can’t be explored in winter.

There are endless discoveries in Hokkaido, make sure you plan wisely based on what you want to see and experience in June.

Want to know more about Hokkaido’s incredible scenic spots? Check this out!

3. Is Okinawa worth a visit in June?

A big fish tank at Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa.

The rainy season begins in Honshu around early June, but in Okinawa the season reaches its peak in June. It ends by around the third week of the month.

June can be unpredictable in Okinawa, though; it is a good time to discover its beautiful sandy beaches, museums, cuisine, and indoor activities.

July is the prime beach season in Okinawa and gets extremely busy from early July as it is considered the best beach holiday destination in Japan. You will enjoy your beach holiday here with fewer crowds in late June.

You can get cheaper accommodation deals and save some money to spend on buying awesome souvenirs.

Beautiful beach in Okinawa. Photo Credit: Takashi Tomooka at Flickr.

Spend some really good time enjoying the beautiful sea creatures at Churaumi Aquarium. Part of Ocean Expo Park, this is the best aquarium in Japan, and one of the best aquariums in the world.

One of the main highlights of this aquarium is the Kuroshio Tank, one of the biggest tanks on earth, which contains a wide variety of species, including the giant whale sharks and manta rays.

No doubt, this place should be at the top of your list for your Okinawa trip if you want to experience the marine life of the Okinawa islands.

In addition, don’t forget to visit Okinawa’s historic sites, such as Shuri Castle, and the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park and Peace Hall. You can’t talk about history in Okinawa without paying homage to these historical landmarks.

4. Admire the view of Mt. Fuji and visit Oishi Park & Yagizaki Park for lavender

Lake Kawaguchiko and Mt. Fuji. Photo Credit: David Hsu at Flickr.

There is really no good time to see Mt. Fuji as long as the day you visit is clear and sunny. It hurts when you fail to see the mountain. Every visitor to Japan dreams of seeing Mt. Fuji at least once in their lifetime. 

June is a great time to see Mount Fuji. July is when the official climbing season starts, but you don’t have to climb the mountain to admire its beautiful shape. Do you?

Stop by some of the most popular Mt. Fuji viewing spots and your job is done. Kawaguchiko area is one of the most popular places in Yamanashi Prefecture, from where you can enjoy incredible views of Mt. Fuji.

Located on the north side of Lake Kawaguchi, Oishi Park is a great sight to behold. Along with Yagizaki Park it hosts Fujikawaguchiko Herb Festival, held from mid June to early July every year. Admire purple lavender flowers with the stunning view of Mt Fuji in the distance.

View of Lavender and Mount Fuji! Photo Credit: General Incorporated Association Fujikawaguchiko Town Tourism Alliance.

Before you reach Oishi Park, you can make a stop at Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway for a different view of the mountain from its observatory, located near the peak of Mount Tenjo.

Besides, take a walk along the north shore of Lake Kawaguchi and see how incredible Mt. Fuji can be seen with the lake in the foreground. Make sure your phone is completely charged.

Take the Omni Bus Red Line from Kawaguchiko station to get to these spots, and you are all set!

If you come to Lake Kawaguchi from Tokyo via Otsuki Station on the Fujikyuko line, don’t forget to get off at Shimoyoshida Station.

From here you take a short walk to Chureito Pagoda in Arakurayama Park for an epic view of Mount Fuji in combination with the five-storied red Pagoda.

5. Visit Japan’s Top Iris Gardens

Beautiful irises in Mizumoto Park, Tokyo. Photo Credit: ELCAN KE-7A at Flickr.com.

In many parts of Japan, iris flowers (shobu) bloom in abundance. For example, Mizumoto Park in Tokyo hosts its yearly iris festival in June, featuring 14,000 irises of 80 different kinds. Japanese irises in this park are quite enjoyable to watch.

In Japan, irises start blooming from early June and you can be spotted until mid-July. Without question this significant Japanese flower marks the start of summer.

If you think the rainy season in Japan has nothing much to offer then you are wrong. In fact, irises and hydrangeas become the most beloved flower in this season, making many parks and gardens across Japan quite popular.

Even though Hokkaido does not get affected by the rainy season, you can still see irises there, especially at Hakko Gakuen Iris Garden in Sapporo city. This is perhaps the most popular iris garden in Hokkaido.

Hakko Gakuen Iris Garden in Sapporo.

Admire rows of beautiful hana shobu (Japanese iris) here, and enjoy lovely summer weather, which is not hot and humid like Tokyo.

Suigo Sawara Ayame Park in Chiba Prefecture is another great place to see irises in Japan. Approximately 1.5 million irises grow here in this botanical garden. There are about 400 species of iris plants you can find that you would like to photograph.

If you are looking for an activity that makes your trip unforgettable, enjoy a boat cruise there. During the iris festival in June, many visitors enjoy the display of vivid irises from the boat.

This article lists Japan’s best iris gardens. Be sure you read that and see their locations.

6. Spend more time on Indoor Activities

Hot spring baths of Dai-ichi Takimotokan, a popular hotel in Hokkaido.

Rain may ruin your outdoor activities. Can you go on a hike when it rains a lot? No, you can’t do that, and it is dangerous. Thankfully, it can’t prevent you from having some good time on indoor activities.

Though we believe taking a pleasant walk in a garden while it rains is a magical experience. As long as you have an umbrella you can do anything! So, make sure you carry an umbrella, and if possible wear a rain coat.

Walking in the rain in spring is also a magical experience in Japan. Take a look at this and you will want to do it!

During the rainy season, people there tend to visit museums, aquariums, theaters, arcades, shopping malls, art galleries, karaoke bars, cafés, VR spots, and many more.

Night view – BICQLO Shinjuku, a collaboration store between Uniqlo and Bic Camera. Photo Credit: IQRemix at Flickr.

If you want to experience some interesting cultural activities that tourists really like to do then attend a Japanese tea ceremony, or participate in a Japanese cooking class.

Many also prefer taking a day trip to an onsen town. It is not a lie that people in Japan experience an onsen bath even in the summer. And doing it in June is much better than doing it in July and August, when the summer is in full swing.

Dai-ichi Takimotokan in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido features one of the best onsen baths in Japan.

When you are in Tokyo during the rainy days, we recommend you some really good places to spend your time, such as MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: teamLab Borderless, teamLab Planets TOKYO, Kabukiza in Ginza for Kabuki performance, Nezu Museum, Tokyo National Museum and National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno Park.

This is absolutely amazing! Photo Credit: © teamLab.

Besides, if you plan on traveling in and around Tokyo with babies and kids, consider visiting these family-friendly sites – Sunshine Aquarium, Kamogawa Sea World, Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa, Studio Ghibli Museum, Nakano Broadway, Saniro Puroland, Tokyo Joypolis, and so on.

In addition, go to JR Shinjuku Station, the busiest train station in Japan, and roam around to experience something joyful. Visit its large shopping malls, and restaurants – you will then realize how time flies so fast.

Tohoku’s largest open-air stadium belongs to Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium in Sendai City. Here you can see a wide range of marine life and live performances of dolphins and sea lions.

Interact with sea creatures and count how many marine animals you have known/seen before that live in those big tanks.

There is a lot to love about Kansai region of Japan. Three great destinations in this part of Japan are Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara.

You will find plenty of indoor activities there, but three museums there are not to be missed, Kyoto National Museum, Nara National Museum, and The National Museum of Art, Osaka.

7. Miyajima – Hiroshima’s most beautiful destination

Itsukushima Shrine and the five-storied pagoda. Photo Credit: Marufish at Flickr.

Hiroshima is a historic place and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. This historic place in the Chugoku region of Japan boasts a number of breathtaking spots including the most iconic Miyajima (Itsukushima), an island where the floating torii gate of Itsukushima is found.

It is hot and humid in Miyajima in July and August, but surprisingly not in June. So it is a great opportunity to discover the island’s stunning old treasures and nature.

Though June can be rainy, you must consider visiting Miyajima because it does not rain every day. Even if it does rain, it will not be raining all day long. Try visiting the island from early to mid June then going there in late-June.

The beauty of the floating torii gate is always appealing no matter what time of year you see it. So is the Five-storied Pagoda (about 27 meters)! These two structures are an important part of Itsukushima Shrine, the shrine on the water, which was originally built in 593 AD.

This mysterious shrine has been the main attraction of this island for decades. At night it is illuminated gorgeously, allowing visitors to see a different view than what they see on day.

It is highly recommended to stay a night on the island. We recommend this hotel, providing great views of the Pagoda and shrine.

The Floating Torii gate, Miyajima Island. Photo Credit: Martin Abegglen at Flickr.

The island has so much to discover except the shrine and its nearby attractions. At the foot of Mt. Misen you will find a Buddhist Temple named Daisho-in Temple, another interesting landmark which is worth exploring.

From the temple’s grounds, there is a hiking trail leading towards the summit of Mount Misen. This trail is much easier than the other two – Momijidani hiking trail and Omoto hiking trail.

If you really want to hike up the mountain on foot, take the Daisho-in hiking trail. Alternatively, the easiest option you have is Miyajima Ropeway, though from its upper station you still need to walk for a while to reach the summit.

The summit offers an observatory, from which you can enjoy spectacular views of the Seto Inland Sea and Hiroshima city.

In addition, don’t forget to spend your time exploring Omoto Shrine, Tahoto Pagoda, Miyajima Public Aquarium, Momijidani Park, and Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street.

When you are in the city of Hiroshima, I highly recommend you to pay a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Shukkei-en Garden, Hiroshima Castle and Mitaki-dera Temple.

8. Celebrate the Summer Festivals of Tokyo

Hie Jinja during the festival in Tokyo. Photo Credit: 江戸村のとくぞう

Tokyo celebrates a number of famous summer festivals in June and July. Moreover, it is actually surprising to know how many incredible attractions can be found in Tokyo. You will always be glad to discover something new there.

Sanno Matsuri is held at Hie Shrine, Tokyo in mid-June in even-numbered years, and is considered one of the three greatest festivals from the Edo period alongside the Kanda Festival and Fukagawa Festival.

During the festival, visitors can watch parades in which portable shrines (mikoshi) are being carried around the city and listen to music.

On the other hand, you can see Tokyo’s biggest mikoshi (portable shrine), weighing nearly four tons, during Torigoe Festival (Torikoe Matsuri) in mid-June every year. This is a 3-day festival, and is the key event on the festival calendar for Torigoe Shrine.

Omikoshi parade of Sanno Matsuri in Tokyo. Photo Credit: Hetarllen Mumriken at Flickr.

Everyone wants to take a look at this huge portable shrine while the main procession takes place in the evening.

On the final day, it is carried through the Asakusa neighborhood surrounded by traditional lanterns on poles, and back to the shrine. Many food stalls can be seen out on the streets surrounding the shrine.

Anyone interested in history and Japanese culture should experience these two summer festivals in mid-June. They are worth checking out.

There are so many places to visit in Tokyo, and it is a place you never tire of visiting. Fussa city is located in the western part of Tokyo, where in June you will see a firefly event at Hotaru Park. It is known as Fussa Hotaru (firefly) Matsuri.

Imagine walking in the park while hundreds of fireflies flying around and lighting up the night with their magical glow! Indeed fireflies look absolutely pretty as they shine in the forest at night. You will see this sort of scenery at Hotaru Park in June.

9. Enjoy Nagoya’s Atsuta Matsuri

Crowds during Atsuta Matsuri, Nagoya. Photo Credit: KKPCW (Kyu3).

Every year on June 5th, Atsuta Festival is held at Atsuta Jingu Shrine, an important Shinto shrine in Japan, located in Nagoya city. The festival includes Shinto rituals, traditional performances, food stalls, and an impressive fireworks display at night.

This 1,900 year old Shinto shrine enshrines the sun Goddess Amaterasu and stores the Sacred Sword Kusanagi of the Emperor, one of the three Imperial regalia.

Throughout the day you will find a number of traditional Japanese art forms, such as Atsuta Kagura (a traditional shinto dance with music), Taiko drumming, Sumo wrestling, Kyudo (archery), Kendo, and other forms of Japanese martial arts.

Among these you would particularly enjoy Atsuta Kagura, the dance performed with Japanese flutes and drums.

Besides, in the morning around 10:00 AM, priests along with the Emperor’s messenger perform a special ceremony dedicated to the gods and goddesses of the shrine.

The five Kento Makiwara, large floats decorated with 365 lanterns, are perhaps the main highlight of this festival. They are lit up in the evening and placed at the three entrances to the shrine.

If you are in Nagoya on June 5th, you must experience this early summer festival. In fact, this is one of the good reasons why you should visit Nagoya in early June. And it is worth checking out!

10. Food to try

Morioka Reimen – a cold noodle dish, famous in Iwate Prefecture.

Kakigori, shaved ice dessert, is a must-try food in summer in Japan. To be honest, there are more to sample along with other traditional dishes.

Japan is a perfect destination for many foodie travelers, and now we will guide you what to eat in Japan during summer.

Japan is home to a huge array of delicious local eats with many restaurants and street vendors. If you ever plan on visiting Japan during the rainy season or summer’s peak months, try Kakigori, Hiyashi Chuka, Somen, Yakitori, Grilled Unagi, Rei Shabu, Morioka Reimen, Mizu Yokan, and of course Ramune, soda that comes in many different flavors.

Hiyashi Chuka. Photo Credit: Kazuho Okui at Flickr.

Everyone likes eating Kakigori! There are many shops that sell it including coffee shops, convenience stores, restaurants, and food stalls during festivals throughout Japan. Finding kakigori is super easy!

Check the menu before you order the right one as there are so many different flavors and syrups to choose from.

Have you tried Hiyashi Chuka? It is a refreshing cold ramen with a number of different fresh toppings. Chuka Soba Mitaka is a great restaurant in Mitaka, Tokyo to sample this; it is tasty and fun, and we absolutely love this place!

If you go to Morioka city in Iwate, make sure to try its famous Morioka Reimen.

This is a list of food locals prefer eating in summer. We recommend you try other Japanese traditional food as well. If you come to Hokkaido at any time of year, be sure to eat Hokkaido Ramen (Miso, Shio, Shoyu), Soup curry and Jingisukan.

The food culture in Hokkaido is very rich, and to prove it to you, we suggest you visit Sapporo in September and explore its famous food festival called Sapporo Autumn Fest!