Summer trip in Tokyo, Japan | Good and bad things
Are you planning a trip around Tokyo? In Spring? Summer? Autumn? Winter? Your experience in Tokyo will differ depending on the time of year you visit. Here you find ideas and suggestions about summer travel around Tokyo, including upsides and downsides.
Summer in Tokyo: Good things
Strolling the town in a Yukata dress
Yukata is a traditional summer dress that is like a casual Kimono. The Yukata experience is quite popular among young Japanese and tourists from abroad. You can rent Yukata at a rental shop and stroll the town in an atmosphere.
Yukata rental shops are in tourist spots such as Asakusa, Ginza, and Nihonbashi. You don't need to know how to wear the Yukata. The shop staff will let you know and help. To rent a Yukata, visit a tourist information office and ask a rental shop. You can also search for a shop on the web. Most rental shops will ask you for a booking and to know availability in advance.
Cool evening boat cruises in Tokyo Bay
Special boats for dining/cruising in Tokyo Bay are available during summer. Dining on Yakatabune, a traditional boat cruise, will be an unforgettable travel experience in Japan.
These cruising services require prior booking online or by phone. Remember, Tokyo Bay has two boat terminals; Takeshiba and Hinode. You need to make sure from which terminal to take your boat.
Summer is the season of rock festivals in Japan. Many large-scale music events take place, including FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL, SUMMER SONIC, ROCK IN JAPAN FESTIVAL, RISING SUN ROCK FESTIVAL.
Most of these festivals are held outside of Tokyo, far from a nearby station, so you must take a shuttle bus. For example, the Fuji Rock Festival event site is 40 minutes by shuttle bus from JR Echigo Yuzawa station. It is advisable to visit their official website and read carefully to get the necessary information, transportation, accommodation, as well as how to get a ticket.
Firework (Hanabi) festivals
Firework events are held in the cities of Tokyo prefecture; Sumida-city, Shinjuku-city, Itabashi- city, Katsushika-city, Adachi-city, Edogawa-city, Hachioji city, Kita-city, and Setagaya-city. Each city office organizes these fireworks events, so admission is free. Reserved seats are also offered with fees by prior booking, but seats will be quickly filled.
The firework site will be so crowded that heavy traffic jams occur after the event. In the worst case, you must wait hours for a train. If you want to go to a fireworks event while you are in Tokyo, choose the event site within walking distance from your hotel. It is also advisable to avoid booking a tour early the following day just in case you oversleep and miss your train.
Maccha ice cream, shaved ice with various flavors, peach, and strawberries, to taste on a hot day must be another summer special in Tokyo.
You can get these frozen foods at convenience stores or supermarkets. At a supermarket, you will also find frozen Taiyaki too.
Cold Ramen (Hiyashi Chuka)
Hiyashi Chuka 冷やし中華, a kind of cold ramen, is usually served only during summer. Hiyashi Chuka typically tastes a bit sweet and sour. Hiyashi Chuka with spicy miso sauce is getting popular.
Summer in Tokyo: Bad things
During July, August, and early September, Japan experiences its summer season. With a humid subtropical climate, these months bring about an increase in both temperature and humidity. If you plan to travel to Japan during this period, it is suggested to keep the following in mind.
Be careful of heatstroke. Stay hydrated. In Tokyo, the average summer temperature reaches a high of 31°C (88°F) during the day, while the low dips to around 24°C (75°F). The temperature will peak between noon and 3:00 PM at the highest rise when you must be more careful about heatstroke. In the evening, the heat goes down gradually, but the humidity is still high. Around dawn, the temperature is typically a comfortable 24°C (75°F) in the morning.
On days when the sun is intense, staying in the shade or using a parasol to avoid heat is advisable. Some men indeed feel parasols are for ladies, but the heat wave in Tokyo is turning the mindset now. It is better to use a parasol without hesitation.
Late July to August is the season when many typhoons occur. Check the weather forecast and plan your trip accordingly. If there's an expected typhoon, it is best to change your plans of visiting the sea or mountains, taking a flight, etc.
Recently, disasters due to heavy rain have been increasing. If you are in mountains or rivers, evacuate to a safe place. To learn more, see here for information.
Article on digi-joho Japan:
Be prepared for torrential rain - Guerrilla-gohu and Oh-ame
Mosquitoes are annoying in summer, even in downtown Tokyo. If I go camping, it's essential to bring insect repellent.
It is advisable to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when hiking in the mountains to protect yourself from insect bites that may carry harmful pathogens like ticks. For further information, please refer to this resource.
Article on digi-joho Japan:
Madani ticks you may encounter in the mountains
Stay hydrated with Mugicha and prevent heatstroke.
Mugicha 麦茶, or Barley tea, is a popular drink for rehydration. The ordinary tea in Japan is green tea, but cold barley tea is more common in summer. Personally, summer without barley tea is unthinkable. Barley tea is rich in minerals and caffeine-free. Making the tea with a large kettle and keep it in a fridge has been almost a summer tradition in Japan.