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Is Japans Rainy Season Really All That Bad?

rainy

Shibuya, Crossing

Yes it is gloomy, cloudy and downright upsetting at times, but is Japans Rainy Season all that bad?

It runs like clockwork every year, as we head in to June – July the regular sound of falling rain drops patters away at my window most mornings at my urban apartment in downtown Tokyo.  Like most Tokyoities this time of year a umbrella is constantly on hand  or stowed away in a bag and ready to serve in the event of a passing shower. It is really impressive on some days how a area like downtown Shibuya can go from no umbrellas seen to everyone having them up and ready to go in the matter of seconds.  Its actually rather impressive.

The good news is that on most days during the rainy season the rainfall is rather light to moderate. In fact the overall amount of rainfall during the gloomy rainy season is relatively low, Tokyo typically sees its highest precipitation in the month of September during typhoons. High winds and thunderstorms are not very common as well and thus side ways rain and “kasa destroying” squalls are not likely. So for those of you that love to invest in accessories Japans Rainy Season is a great time to sport that new Umbrella.

This type of weather has a lot to do with the nature of the rainy season front. It is a product of the conflicting of two air masses. The retreating siberian air mass and the encroaching Maritime Pacific air mass. In the middle of this conflict we find the rainy season front. I actually made a in-depth video on this synoptic setup in the video below.

Despite the gloominess created by days of clouds the weather is relatively comfortable compared to the post rainy season mugginess of the Tokyo warm summer.  For a Upstate New York ski loving person like myself once the sound of cicadas set in I typically reserve myself to being indoors with the AC on. Thus the cloud cover keeping the sun at bay is not all that bad.

Plus there are plenty of things to do in June and early July in Tokyo and it is one of the cheaper times of year to get around.  I think that is one of the biggest appeals for me, the fact that it is “out of season” to travel around Japan during this time of year.  Thus train tickets/ plane tickets are cheaper, and most destinations that typically feature long lines and crowds are much quieter and in my opinion enjoyable. Despite the occasional drop of rain from the sky.

Lastly Japan during the rainy season is rather beautiful. Hydrangea flowers are blooming everywhere which is always a great site to see. (video below) But for me personally I love the brightness of green leaves this time of year.  I know that is not a common thing people get excited about but for me, it is certainly something I look forward to.

So as we head through June and July I will continue to be asked “when is the rainy season over?”  I usually respond with the correct answer followed by a reminder, that when the front moves north across Japan, that leads to hot weather and typhoons.

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