3 Perfect Destinations for June Trips to Japan • Enjoy Early Summer in Japan

June in Japan is warm and a little bit rainy, and with a trip to any of these three spots, you can make the most of your early summer travels!

Enjoying June in Japan

When’s the best time of year to visit Japan? Most locals probably won’t recommend summer, where things start with a bang and a very rainy June before sliding into an extra-humid July and August. But if you don’t mind a little rain, it turns out that June is actually an amazing time to visit Japan! The weather is warm without being stifling, the rain cools things down every once in a while, and the convenience stores on every street corner sell cheap umbrellas in case you get caught in a sudden downpour! All that not to mention the start of traditional summer traditions, and the profusion of pretty flowers that bloom throughout June. If you want to avoid the crazy crowds that overtake Japan in the spring, or if early summer is just the best time for your next overseas vacation, try one of these three Japanese travel destinations in June!

① Kamakura & Enoshima, Kanagawa

Just an hour from Tokyo by train, Kamakura is a seaside town with beaches full of surfers, and Enoshima is an island just off the coast known for its hilltop shrine and neighboring lighthouse. When June rolls around every year, however, many people visit mainly for the area’s beautiful hydrangeas, which bloom largely in shrine and temple gardens on the mainland and the island too. Some of the most famous hydrangea gardens in Kamakura and Enoshima include Hasedera Temple, Meigetsuin Temple, and Enoshima Shrine itself. Of course, many of the area’s other famous attractions are also great to visit in June, including the Great Buddha of Kamakura (aka Kamakura Daibutsu/鎌倉大仏) of Kotoku-in Temple and Enoshima Aquarium!

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② Suburban Kyoto

If you’ve spent any time planning a trip to Japan, you’ve no doubt heard about Kyoto’s awe-inspiring cityscape full of fantastic traditional temples and iconic shrines. What most basic guides to the city won’t tell you about, however, is the ring of mountainous suburbs surrounding the tradition-filled city. June is a perfect time to hike Kyoto’s mountains, like Mt. Kurama, Mt. Daimonji, or Mt. Hiei… at least when the weather cooperates and the forecast looks good. The start of summer also marks the beginning of Kyoto’s riverside “kawadoko” dining season, so you can sip drinks or slurp refreshing somen while relaxing to the rush of river water. (Nagashi somen/流しそうめん or “flowing somen” that you catch to eat is particularly popular!)

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③ Furano, Hokkaido

For everyone whose ideal summer vacation is a little more bucolic, frolicking through the fields of lavender in Hokkaido might be just the thing! International travelers visiting Japan’s northernmost island prefecture are likely to know Hokkaido as a winter destination due to its popular ski resorts (like Niseko) and Sapporo’s famous snow festival. But Japanese people often like to visit in the summer instead, when Hokaido’s comfortable breezy weather offers a tempting escape from the oppressive heat and humidity of cities like Tokyo. When planning a Hokkaido trip in June, a visit to Furano is a no-brainer, thanks to the little town’s glorious fields of fragrant lavender, and unique lavender treats like the lavender ice cream at Farm Tomita!

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Make the Most of a Japanese June

Whether you love the rain of Japan’s rainy season, or you just happen to have vacation time towards the start of summer, June is a unique month to visit Japan, with its own pros and cons. But if you embrace the experience of June travel (and make sure you’re prepared for Japan’s rainy season), you might just be pleasantly surprised by all the unique charms that Japan dishes up at this time of year. Visit one of these three early summer destinations on your next trip to Japan, and make the most of Japan’s seasonal culture in June!


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