When you plan on visiting Japan, how will the climate and weather be? In this article I would like to introduce the climate and weather of Japan and the features of each area.
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The climate of Japan is diverse
Japan is an elongated archipelago extending 3000 kilometers north and south. It consists of 4 large islands and about 6,800 small islands. Climate is very different between northernmost Hokkaido and south Okinawa. Winter in Hokkaido is very cold, while Okinawa is relatively mild even in winter. The areas with heavy snowfall in winter is the Japan Sea side of Hokkaido and the Japan Sea side of northern Honshu.
Winter weather : Snow on the Japan Seaside
Like the backbone of the archipelago, mountain ranges are long running. Because of this mountain range, the climate of the Pacific side of the Japanese archipelago and the Japan Sea side are greatly different. Every winter, on the Japan Sea side of the country, many clouds damp from the Sea of Japan come into collision with the mountains. Here, snow falls often. Meanwhile, on the Pacific side, clear weather will continue in winter. If you go to areas west of the mountain range during winter, especially Hokkaido and northern Honshu, you will be able to see snowy landscapes.
Japan's rainy season: Around June
There is a rainy season called "Tsuyu" from mid-June to mid-July with the exception of Hokkaido. A rain front settles over the middle of the western part of Japan. The rain is not heavy like tropical storms. Expect long periods of quiet rainfall during this time. However, recently, due to global warming, there are times with heavy rain.
From this period until around September, the Japanese archipelago is generally high in humidity. In the summer (especially July and August), the maximum temperature of the day often exceeds 30 degrees Celsius. Hokkaido and the highland areas of Nagano prefecture are relatively cool, so these areas are popular as a summer resort.
Autumn is the best season in Japan
From July to the first half of October, violent tropical rainstorms called "typhoons" come into the Japanese archipelago. When the typhoon hits, it will rain heavily. When the typhoon season ends, the entire Japanese archipelago will clear up well. It’s most comfortable in the year from October to November which is why it’s the best season to visit Japan. Many sightseeing spots are crowded with people enjoying good weather on vacation.
For Japanese weather data, please refer to the official website of the Japan Meteorological Agency.
>> Click here for official website of Japan Meteorological Agency
I appreciate you reading to the end.
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Bon KUROSAWA I have long worked as a senior editor for Nihon Keizai Shimbun (NIKKEI) and currently work as an independent web writer. At NIKKEI, I was the editor-in-chief of the media on Japanese culture. Let me introduce a lot of fun and interesting things about Japan. Please refer to this article for more details.