Rainy season is on its way now, predominantly in central and southern Japan albeit in short sharp bursts. Still a great time to dive though and if you’re open to a bit of rain heading to Okinawa towards the end of the month allows some beach opportunities. Just to add a little confusion to the plans though Hokkaido is now enjoying the driest month of the year with warm weather and sunny days making it the best time to see the Cherry Blossom in this area.
As most of Japan is experiencing rainy season during the month of June, Hokkaido and the northernmost regions of the country are the exception: it’s all about long days, clear skies and warm weather (avg temp: 17°C), with Sapporo enjoying its driest month of the year.
Add to this the fact that the cherry blossom is now in its full glory in Hokkaido, and June is shaping up to be the perfect month for visiting Hokkaido and exploring its natural scenery.
June marks the start of rainy season in Honshu and central Japan that continues until mid-July. Rainy season days tend to be overcast, with rain typically falling in intense tropical bursts or short showers. Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima experience their wettest month of the year, so don’t leave your hotel without an umbrella. Incidentally, ‘tsuyu’ (rainy season) literally translates as ‘plum rain’, as the season coincides with the ripening of Japanese plums.
On a positive note, rainy season is the ideal time to appreciate the therapeutic warm waters of a Japanese onsen, such as the hot spring resort of Hakone.
The islands of Shikoku and Kyushu don’t escape the rain that is hitting the rest of Japan during June. It’s the rainiest month of the year in Matsuyama, although the southern regions of Kyushu are wetter, notably Kagoshima which is generally the wettest city in Japan in June!
Rainy season continues across Okinawa, Kerama and the southern Japanese islands during June, although the rainfall eases towards the end of the month and the crowds begin to flock to the beaches. Temperatures remain high with the mercury hitting 29°C on a good day. Warmer sea temperatures make June an excellent month for snorkelling and diving and manta ray sightings, especially around Ishigaki, are common at this time of year.