Summer in Japan: 10 Best Things to Do in 2024

Top Things to Do and Places to Visit in Japan in Summer

Summer is the most exciting time of the year in Japan as it’s holiday season and a lot of events are held across the country. Japanese summer is very hot and humid, but let’s beat the heat with special experiences only available in summer. In this article, I’m going to introduce the best things to do in Japan in summer from traditional summer festivals to cool escapes. Let’s check them out!

1. Watch Fireworks

Fireworks, called Hanabi in Japanese, are a traditional summer event in Japan, and fireworks festivals are held across Japan on weekends during summer. The colourful fireworks lighten up the summer sky and displays an astonishing scenery. At fireworks festivals, there are usually a lot of vendors, selling street food, snacks and toys, and many people attend events wearing yukata, a traditional summer dress. If you are travelling Japan in summer, check the fireworks schedule in advance and don’t miss a chance to experience the traditional Japanese summer night.

From city events to large-scale events, you can find the best must-see fireworks festivals in Japan for this summer!

▶ Best Fireworks in Japan in Summer

▶ Best Fireworks in Tokyo in Summer

2. Join Traditional Summer Festivals

Traditional festivals are one of the most fascinating things about Japan as they are very unique and spectacular, and many festivals are held during summer across the country. Each festival has own history, unique feature and way to celebrate. Watching or joining a traditional summer festival is a wonderful way to learn the culture and tradition of Japan.

From traditional dance festivals to ancient-themed parades, you can check the most celebrated Japanese summer festivals from the following links!

▷ Best Summer Festivals in Japan!

▷ 10 Must-See Summer Festivals in Tokyo

3. Hit the Beach

The official beach season usually starts from early July and runs until end of August across Japan, apart from Okinawa. During summer, beaches get crowded and are lined with beach shacks selling food, dessert and drinks. You can hit the beach and swim, get tanned and relax with cold drinks. Various water activities are also available during summer such as snorkeling, diving, etc. The southern tropical islands, Okinawa is the top beach destination in Japan, boasting the stunning white sand beaches with crystal clear water. There are also great beaches around Tokyo where you can visit easily for a day trip. Check below links to find the best beaches in Japan!

▶ Best Beaches in Okinawa

▶ Best Beaches in Japan (apart from Okinawa)

▶ Best Beaches near Tokyo

4. Attend Music Festivals

Numbers of large-scale outdoor music festivals are held during summer in cities and countrysides in Japan, featuring both local and international acts. Two largest music festivals in Japan are Fuji Rock Festival and Summer Sonic, the former taking place in the countryside of Niigata Prefecture for 3 days and the latter is held in Tokyo and Osaka for 2 days in each venue, and both events featuring world-class acts. From classic rock festivals to EDM dance events, you can check the best music festivals in Japan in summer from the link below!

▶ Best Music Festivals in Japan in Summer

5. Enjoy Chilled Beer in the City

“Beer Garden” is one of unique traditions of Japan, which is beer halls or beer restaurants usually located outdoor and open only in summer time. For city residents in Japan, beer gardens are summer oasis where they can relax and enjoy chilled beer and delicious food, especially after work. If you wish to have a unique dining experience in summer in Japan, beer garden is a great choice. Many types of beer garden is available in Japan today from classic inexpensive eateries to fancy lounge style. Find more information about beer gardens in Tokyo and Osaka from the links below!

Best Beer Gardens in Tokyo

Best Beer Garden in Osaka

6. Challenge Mt Fuji

Mt Fuji is the most famous landmark in Japan and a dream destination for many tourists. Added to UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, it’s been admired as the sacred mountain for many centuries. While we mostly appreciate the majestic mountain with the view from a distance, it is possible to climb it only in a particular time of the year. The official climbing season of Mt Fuji is from early July to early September (depending on routes) when it’s snow free and the weather is mild. It would be an unforgettable experience to climb the Mt Fuji and to be rewarded with the view from the top.

Get more information about climbing Mt Fuji as well as attractions around Mt Fuji from below links!

▶ Mount Fuji Climbing Guide

▶ Best Things to Do around Mt Fuji

7. Taste Japanese Summer

Since Japan is gifted with four distinctive seasons, there are seasonal specialties that can be enjoyed only in some time of the year including scenery, events and food. While travelling in Japan in summer, it is highly recommended to taste some of summer food in Japan. As the weather is severely hot and humid in summer in Japan, many dishes are served cold such as noodles, shaved ice and chilled deserts. Also there are a variety of summer fruits such as watermelon, melon, peach and Japanese pear, which are very tasty and refreshing. Starbucks Japan also releases their summer-limited frappuccino every year.

Best Shaved Ice (Kakigori) in Tokyo

8. Flower Fields

When it comes to flowers in Japan, many people would think of cherry blossoms in spring, but there are many varieties of flowers that flourish beautifully in Japan through the year. The most common summer flowers in Japan are hydrangea in June, lavender in July and sunflower in August. The northernmost prefecture of Japan, Hokkaido is known for the large-scale flower fields with various flowers displaying colourful scenery like a palette. There are also many flower fields around Tokyo where you can enjoy summer flowers. Check the links below for more information about flower fields in Japan.

5 Best Flower Fields to Visit in Hokkaido

7 Must-Visit Flower Festivals around Tokyo in Summer

7 Best Sunflower Fields in Japan

9. Escape for Cool Breeze

Japanese summer is really hot and humid, and to be very honest, it’s not a very comfortable season for travellers. But there are some places in Japan where you can escape from the heat and enjoy cool and dry breeze. The northernmost prefecture, Hokkaido and the northern region of Japan, Tohoku enjoy the cooler and drier climate than the most parts of Japan during summer as well as Nagano and the area around the Northern Japan Alps. The popular summer activities around the area is visiting flower fields and hiking.

Best Places to Hike in Japan

Best Things to Do in Hokkaido

Best Things to Do in Tohoku Region

10. Yukata: Dress like Japanese

Yukata is a traditional Japanese dress, similar to kimono but it’s made with light materials for summer. It is very common to attend fireworks events or traditional summer festivals wearing yukata. If you are looking for some cultural experience in Japan in summer, trying on yukata could be a great choice. Many kimono rental shops in Japan offer yukata during summer, with different designs and patterns. Some shops also offer photoshooting.Unlike kimono, yukata is very light so it is also easy to take home for souvenirs.

Yukata: How to Wear & Where to Buy/Rent

▶ 7 Best Kimono/Yukata Rental in Tokyo

▽Check out this Japan Bucket List of 30 Best Things to Do throughout the year!▽

Have you enjoyed the list? If you are looking for travel info for different seasons in Japan, please check out listed articles, below!

Travelling in Japan in summer?? Please check out the best things to do in popular cities in Japan!

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Written by

"The world is my oyster" A globetrotter 🌎 and hammock lover 🌞 who loves taking adventures to fuel wanderlust. Born and raised in Japan, I have lived and explored countries around the world. As a resident of Japan and based on my travel experience, I'd love to share my knowledge and tips for travelling Japan with my readers. I hope my story will help you plan your trip and have a great time in Japan 🌈