Preparing for the Summer in Japan | Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020

One of the seasons in Japan is summer, and that will be when the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020 will be held. Here are some things that you should know about the summer in Japan, and how you should prepare for it.

1. Weather

Summer in Tokyo is known to be very hot and humid, with high humidity levels and temperatures in the day going over 30 degrees Celsius, especially in the metropolitan areas. In July and August, the temperature in Tokyo can read highs of 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). Humidity levels are also high during this time, ranging from 75% ~ 85%. Short bouts of rain are also common during the Summer time, thus it is recommended to carry around an umbrella at all times to beat the unpredictable bursts of severe rainfall.

In the recent years, temperatures during Summer have been extremely high and there have been national warnings for people to protect themselves from the heat to avoid heat strokes. As such, it is not recommended to spend long hours outside in the day. Stay indoors or be under the shade from time to time. Keeping yourself hydrated is extremely important as well. Drink a lot of water as short commutes or outdoor activities can dehydrate a person very quickly in such heat.

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2. Clothing

Visitors are recommended to wear thin clothing with breathable fabric, particularly cotton. Short-sleeved shirts, dresses, shorts are some of the more recommended clothing. A hat would also be advisable. Japan, in general, tends to be a lot more conservative than many Western countries. Shorts and tank tops are acceptable to wear around town but if you plan to visit a temple, shrine or even a nice restaurant, it is advisable to dress less casually lest you be denied entry. You can even wear a yukata, a traditional summer robe, that’s more formal than jeans and a t-shirt, but very lightweight and breathable. Many Japanese wear it out during Summer time.

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3. Food

You can find almost any type of food in Tokyo, but some of them are more common and delicious during a certain season. Here are some food that are known to be widely available and extra delicious during the Summer.

  • Somen - Boiled, thin white noodles lightly dipped in a sauce served cold is a very refreshing and relaxing dish that is usually eaten during the Summer season. Another version of this is the Nagashi Somen, which is slid down a bamboo shoot with running cold water, usually an activity found in areas not in the main cities.

  • Watermelon - These are known to be a lot more juicy and delicious. You can find them being sold in abundance in many places. Beware, it’s not just a fruit that is grown and sold in the masses, but as a pricey delicacy.

  • Hiyashi Chuka - A popular Japanese summer dish to have on a hot humid day. It consists of cold ramen noodles, eggs, ham, shrimp, carrot ,cucumber, tomato, sesame sauce and etc. It literally means Chilled Chinese and is the perfect cold ramen noodles.

  • Kakigori - Shaved ice served with different toppings such as red bean and a variety of syrup flavors.

  • Grilled Eel - Unagi, or freshwater eel, is a perfect dish for a lunch in Japan during summer. It is known to give a lot of stamina to weather through the heat.

  • Yakitori - A bite-sized chicken skewer on a wooden stick usually enjoyed with alcoholic beverages. It’s one of the most eaten summer festival foods in Japan.

  • Ramune - A very renowned carbonated soft drink in Japan, from children to adults, many Japanese people enjoy drinking this during the summer. It comes in a variety of flavors such as lemon, banana, bubble gum, blueberry, apple, melon, mango and so on.

  • Grilled Corn - Another fan favorite at festivals. People can be seen munching to the corn on the cob while at festivals.

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4. Festivals

Festivals during the summer (Natsu Matsuri) are some of the biggest attractions in Japan. People dress in Yukata, a traditional summer costume, enjoy the summer street food and dance to the sound of drums. It is the best opportunity to experience the traditional Japanese culture and festive atmosphere. Many people travel to Korea to experience these festivals and to immerse themselves into the culture. If you’re interested, do check out our article on the Top 10 Summer Festivals to check out in Tokyo.

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Don Roelofs