There are some things you should know about visiting Japan during the typhoon season. The Typhoon season in Japan takes place between June to October. July and August are the months most prone to typhoons in Japan.
Typhoon season can affect your Japanese travel plans. There are some disadvantages to visiting Japan during the typhoon season but also some fantastic advantages to visiting Japan during the summer months. Read on to see what nobody tells you about visiting Japan during the typhoon season.
- Attractions may shut unexpectedly during the typhoon season
- The typhoon season in Japan can be a photographer’s dream
- There are fewer crowds in Japan during the typhoon season
- Umbrellas won’t help you during the typhoon season in Japan
- Poor visibility of natural wonders during the typhoon season in Japan
- The typhoon season is a great time to visit a themed café
- Typhoons can leave you stranded
- Temperature vary greatly during the typhoon season
- Typhoon season can be the perfect time to visit an onsen
- The festivals in Japan during the typhoon season
Attractions may shut unexpectedly during the typhoon season
One thing that no one tells you about the typhoon season in Japan is that attractions can unexpectedly close.
Due to the sheer amount of rain which pours down from the sky above in such a short amount of time, flash flooding can occur. This flooding can cause outdoor attractions to unexpectedly close. During a particularly heavy downpour we headed to Ginkakuji, also known as the Silver Pavilion, in Kyoto. Upon arrival we were told that parts of the temple grounds were shut. As we had travelled all the way out to see this temple we decided to still pay and enter. Upon entering it was clear that most of the grounds were out of bounds for visitors due to the slippery steep slopes which had turned to rivers. We were able to see the silver temple, sculpture garden and the moss garden, yet we were not able to go up to the view point.
Whilst we were sad that we could not explore all of the grounds and go up to the view point, our visit to the Silver Pavilion was still worthwhile. We particularly enjoyed seeing the unusual stone cones. The gardens were alive in the downpour as the water droplets covered the fir trees, the hypnotic sounds of the rain falling into the stream rhythmically created a spectacular water dance and there were hardly any other tourists. Just be aware that during the typhoon season in Japan particular attractions or in our case, parts of the grounds, can be shut.
The typhoon season in Japan can be a photographer’s dream
What no one tells you about the typhoon season in Japan is that it can be a photographer’s paradise.
Postcard perfect images tend to feature images taken in the sunshine. Yet the rains of the typhoon season will not spoil your holiday pics. Keen photographers can use the rainy weather in Japan to their advantage.
It can be easier to take crowd-free photos of famous Japanese sights as the crowds are all taking cover elsewhere during the typhoon season. When you get back home, these moody shots can look very artistic in grayscale.
Some of you may not fancy risking your camera to the watery elements or battling with an umbrella to take a photo outside. If you do not fancy getting wet, you can still take pictures of your Japanese surroundings from the comfort of your room or a taxi. Taking images through a rain coated window allows for a different view of a city. Enjoy playing with the different textures.
If you love nature, taking pictures of rain drops on lush vegetation can create incredibly atmospheric shots. Furthermore, little frogs quite like the rain so see what wildlife you can spot enjoying the typhoon season in japan!
Fewer crowds during the typhoon season
One of the best things about the typhoon season is that there are fewer visitors. Tourists flock to Japan during the blossom season to experience sakura. Similarly travellers from around the world visit Japan in autumn for the koyo season. This means that during the summer months there are fewer tourists.
Whilst there are still thousands of people visiting Kyoto, Tokyo and Hiroshima, the rain seemingly keeps people at the key tourist spots meaning lesser known temples are far less crowded. I believe we saw two other people during our rainy visit to the little stone men at Otagi Nebutsu Ji in Kyoto. When we went up to the famous Inari shrine we managed to have many sections completely to ourselves.
Experiencing the tranquility of wonderful Japanese temples without the crowds is one of the main benefits of visiting japan during the rainy season.
Another benefit of the fewer crowds during the typhoon season is that hotel prices are slightly lower! This makes the typhoon season a good time for budget travellers to visit Japan.
Umbrellas won’t help you in a typhoon in Japan
No one tells you that umbrellas are useless during a typhoon. Your hosts will advise you that you need to keep an umbrella with you during the typhoon season in Japan. Most hostels and rykons will provide you with one or you can pop into a local familymart. Bring an umbrella with you in order to be prepared for a potential downpour during the rainy season, they say.
Yet sometimes the winds can be so strong that even an umbrella cannot protect you from the rains! Our little umbrella was no match for the typhoon winds… it completely blew away at one point during our visit to Yasaka Shrine, also known as the Gion shire. We chased after the umbrella but it was too late. By the time we caught the item our little umbrella resembled a piece of modern art rather than a functioning tool. Maybe stick to the old fashioned rain coat instead of an umbrella during the typhoon season in Japan.
Poor visibility of famous natural wonders during the typhoon season
One thing no one sadly tells you about the rainy season is how many famous natural wonders disappear during the typhoon season. The elusive Mount Fuji is known to be hard to see in warm weather. It almost disappears entirely during the rainy typhoon season. June, July and August are the worst months of the year for trying to see the famous mountain. The chances of being able to see Mount Fuji is July is just 6.5%. August tells a similar story the dormant volcano only being visible 22.6% of the month. Essentially do not expect to see mount Fuji during typhoon season in Japan.
There is a handy website called fujigoko with webcams allowing visitors to check the visibility of Mount Fuji before visiting. I would not recommend visiting Hakone if you cannot see the mountain. It is very expensive to get around, you spend your whole day queuing and sitting on transport without seeing what you really wanted to see.
Yet if you like hiking, Mount Fuji is officially open for climbing from the start of July to mid-September. It is said August is the best month for climbing but also the busiest. September is the best month as there are fewer crowds and the month of July is very rainy in Tokyo!
Another famous natural wonder we did not manage to see due to the typhoon season is the Kegon Waterfall. Nikko is home to the famous Kegon Waterfall. Said to be one of Japan’s famous three waterfalls we also did not manage to see the falls due to the poor visibility. Whilst the Kegon Waterfall is said to be spectacular in the summer months due to the plentiful rainfall, be prepared for poor visibility.
Click here to read about Northern Thailand’s most incredible waterfall that we did manage to see in rainy season!
The typhoon season is a great time to try a theme café!
The typhoon season can be the perfect time to visit a themed café. Why battle the winds and rains outside when you could stay in the warmth in one of the many themed cafés!
There are many cafes to try in Tokyo from the mad monster kawaii café, the eclectic robot restaurant to the cute stationary café. So forget the umbrella, grab your camera, order a wacky coffee and up your Instagram game. Just please avoid the animal cafes such as the owl café as they are not ethical. The poor animals do not want to be stuck in a coffee shop forced to be awake for photos when you want them to be. There are plenty of themed cafes across japan which do not include animals.
Typhoons can leave you stranded
Something not many people know about the typhoon season is that you can get stranded on some of the islands during typhoon season. For example, Okinawa is affected by typhoons from June to September. During this time flights and ships can be cancelled. It is recommended to avoid going to beaches when there is a storm warning due to high tides and large waves.
If you are placed on one of these islands as part of the JET programme just be aware that you may be cut off from larger islands for lengthy periods during the Typhoon season.
The temperature varies greatly during the typhoon season
No one tells you that the temperature varies widely during the typhoon season. Whilst you should be fine with mainly packing warm weather clothing it is recommended to bring some layers.
The sudden downpours can be welcoming in the oppressive humidity. It can go from 35 degrees to 25 degrees in minutes showing how the temperature can plummet during the rain. The temperature during rainy season varies of course depending where you are in Japan. During a downpour in Arashiyama we went from sweating to shivering. Therefore, bring an extra jacket with you, even if the weather is quite warm.
The typhoon season can be the perfect time to try an onsen
Nobody tells you that summer is a great time to go to an Onsen! Whilst onsens, natural hot springs, are generally associated with winter, summer is also a perfect time to visit an onsen.
During the typhoon season, there can be repressive heat on rain-free days. Especially on those hot days, onsen is a very pleasurable experience. After a full day of sightseeing in the oppressive humidity of a city head to the outskirts for some fresh air and a cleansing bath. These pools are full of mineral-rich water. A hot soak helps visitors rid themselves of the city dust and sticky pores. Head to the onsens in the mountains or the coast line and enjoy an authentic Japanese experience.
Fantastic festivals during the typhoon season
There are many fantastic festivals that take place during the typhoon months! We were lucky enough to visit 3 festivals despite only being in japan for 14 days! The festivals range from wacky to traditional and most include beautiful fireworks. See if your visit can coincide with one of these festivals and click here for a full list of the August festivals in Japan. Pokémon fans in particular will enjoy the Pikachu outbreak festival!
There are many incredible festivals to visit in Japan during the typhoon season.
Would you like to visit Japan during the typhoon season?
Whilst it does not rain everyday during the typhoon season, hopefully with the help of these tips you will know what to expect when visiting Japan during the summer months. There are a few disadvantages to visiting at this time of year such as the sudden closures, lack of visiability and wet weather. Not to mention the strongest typhoons which cause serious damage to the country. Yet there are also many advantages such as the fewer crowds and the incredible Japanese festivals. Has this guide helped you? Would you like to visit Japan during the typhoon season? Let us know in the comments below.