Best Things to Do in Japan in July

13 Fun Things to Do in Japan in July (2023)

Planning a trip to Japan in the month of July? With small towns and major cities hosting amazing events during the summer months, many consider it the best time to visit. With the rainy season humidity, I’m not sure I’d agree, but I’ve put together this list of the best things to do in Japan in July. 

These are based totally on my personal preferences, of course. Despite the sweltering heat, there are genuinely people who head to the hot springs. I’m not one of them! What’s amazing, though, is that you could do almost anything and still have a good time in Japan so don’t overthink it. 

Heads up — Japan is still figuring things out post-pandemic so the timing of events may differ from when they took place in the past. Be sure to look for detailed information about an event before you go! 

Weather in Japan in July

It’s very, very hot in Japan in July. In fact, many people think summer in Japan is pretty miserable in general. It’s extra rough in July. With high temperatures and high humidity, planning outdoor activities can be rough. Plus, Japan’s rainy season makes it really hard to predict weather conditions. 

If you’re visiting Japan this time of year, there’s always a chance of rain so definitely include an umbrella or poncho on your packing list. Also, while it’s a good idea to look at the weather data and average temperatures for when you’ll be in Japan, the weather patterns are changing. Our weird cherry blossom season is proof of that! 

Tips for Enjoying July in Japan

As I’ve mentioned, July could be the hottest month on record or it could be solid rainy days. Somehow, you’ve got to plan for both! Here are some additional tips for surviving the weather:

  • Early mornings — the sun rises really early in Japan, so get up and out before it gets too hot. 
  • Use an umbrella — rain or shine, Japanese people use umbrellas for protection.
  • Stay hydrated — this is easy since there are so many vending machines and convenience stores!
  • Go inside — There’s no shortage of fun things to do indoors when you visit Japan.
  • Be flexible — it could be all sunshine, it could be a typhoon. Just roll with it!
  • Buy a fan — buy a handheld fan at a discount store like Daiso to stay cool!

Climb Mount Fuji

July marks the official start of the climbing season for Mt. Fuji. If you’re up for a challenging adventure, you can use these sunny days to attempt to hike Japan’s highest peak and witness the breathtaking sunrise from the summit. I won’t be joining you haha!

Experience Tanabata

Celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month, Tanabata Festival is one of the most festivals in Japan. According to legend, star-crossed lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshi, are separated by the Milky Way but are allowed an annual meeting on this date. 

During the romantic festival, people write their wishes on colorful paper strips and hang them on bamboo branches. You can participate in the festivities across Japan and admire the decorations. We had a wonderful time at one of the biggest celebrations, Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival, in Kanagawa. I’d highly recommend checking it out if you’re in town during this time!

Watch a Fireworks Display

Japan is an island nation, so there are many coastal areas where you can enjoy fireworks displays. Search the area where you will be staying for the most accurate information, but this is definitely a popular pastime in Japan in July!

Hang Out at an Amusement Park

There are many, many great amusement parks across Japan. In fact, we’re planning a whole post about them. Whether it’s Universal Studios Japan in Osaka or Fuji-Q Highland at the base of Mount Fuji, you’re bound to have an exciting time.

You may have even noticed that Japan loves Ferris wheels and even standalone roller coasters like Vanish in Yokohama or Thunder Dolphin at Tokyo Dome City. Why not get a few thrills? A word of caution, though. It’s hot and the ride queues are long so either go mid-week (and get there early!) or get an express pass so you can skip the line!

Visit Hokkaido

July is a great time to explore the beautiful island of Hokkaido. Escape the heat and enjoy the pleasant weather, picturesque landscapes, and unique wildlife. It may not get the same attention as big cities like Tokyo and Osaka, but northern Japan has a lot to offer. Visit places like Sapporo, Hakodate, and the stunning Furano flower fields.

Celebrate a Summer Festival

Aside from the Tanabata Festival, there are many ways to see a traditional festival in different areas of Japan. The Japanese word for these celebrations is “matsuri,” so keep that in mind when you’re researching festival dates. 

These lively events feature vibrant parades, fireworks displays, street food stalls, portable shrines, and traditional performances. The Gion Matsuri in Kyoto and the Tenjin Festival in Osaka are highly recommended.

Relax in Okinawa

Head south to Okinawa, Japan’s tropical paradise. With its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rich cultural heritage, Okinawa is a popular destination for relaxation and water activities such as snorkeling and diving.

Cool down in the Japanese Alps

Escape the summer heat by visiting the Japanese Alps, including places like Kamikochi, the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, and the town of Takayama. Enjoy hiking, take in the stunning mountain scenery, and soak in hot springs (again, it’s still too hot for me!).

Explore Kyoto

Visit the historical city of Kyoto, one of Japan’s most popular destinations. Renowned for its numerous temples, gardens, and traditional wooden houses, it’s especially busy in the warmer months. 

Nijo Castle Kyoto Japan cherry blossoms

Take a stroll through the iconic Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, visit Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), and immerse yourself in Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage. Need to de-stress? Be sure to check out some of my favorite places for forest bathing in Kyoto!

Jam Out at the Fuji Rock Festival

I’m not quite ready for something like this. Between the heat, the pandemic, and my OCD/anxiety, a huge crowd and port-a-potties are not high on my wishlist. That said, the Fuji Rock Festival and other outdoor concerts are ridiculously popular in Japan in July. 

Attend a Sumo Tournament

While interest may have waned a bit over time, sumo wrestling is still a big part of Japanese culture. Many look forward to July as it’s one of the months when professional sumo tournaments take place. Watching these traditional Japanese wrestling matches is a unique and exciting cultural experience. If you’re a fan of traditional Japanese sports, don’t miss the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament!

Enjoy Japanese Summer Food & Treats

Take advantage of the seasonal delicacies Japan in in July. Cool down with refreshing dishes like somen (thin noodles served with a dipping sauce), kakigori (shaved ice dessert), and enjoy the abundance of summer fruits and seafood. 

Japan in July summer ice cream vending machine

It’s also an excellent time to enjoy fresh fruits and seasonal offerings at local shops. Just be forewarned — the ice creams, popsicles, and treats found in vending machines and convenience stores are almost irresistible! 

Remember to check the local guidelines and travel restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, as they may affect the availability and accessibility of certain attractions and events. Enjoy your visit to Japan in July!

Similar Posts