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What To Wear In Japan In Summer – The Ultimate CheckList

Travelers keep spreading rumors about not going to Japan in summer. It is unbearable! Too hot, too humid to be able to enjoy. Yes, during wet days, walking 30 minutes in the sun will soon get you drenched in a sweaty and uncomfortable situation. On the other hand, it’s also the time for top festivals, mountain hikes, watching fireworks and enjoying seasonal flavors with a cold beer on a city rooftop. There is just too much temptation to resist! So, if you are considering visiting Japan during this season, forget all the hype about bad weather. Seriously, how bad can it be? We will find out the truth in this article and give you the complete checklist on what to wear in Japan in summer so that you can beat the heat and enjoy a lively summer adventure.

The Truth About Summer Weather In Japan

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Summer in Japan is not only one hot and humid mess but also the season of lush green scenery and good vibes activities at the same time.

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Summer in Japan kicks off from June lasting through August. Temperatures can range approximately between 21°C (70°F) and 32°C (90°F). It can be incredibly humid as this is also when the monsoon rains hit.

However, in general, Japanese summer days are mostly sunny, not blisteringly hot, and rain tends to fall for only a few hours in the afternoon. Summer here maybe does not have the most pleasant weather, but certainly not unbearable. For your consideration, we will look briefly at Japan’s climate information monthly in summer.

Weather in Japan in June

Hello June, and here comes the Tsuyu, or rainy season in Japan. Compared to other summer months, June can be nice. It does not rain every day, still, the weather is usually overcast and dreary. During this time, the average daytime temperature in Tokyo is about 22℃, or 71.6℉.

Weather in Japan in July

The rainy season continues until around the last week of July. Rainfall remains high with an average of twenty rainy days and rain is often sporadic and heavy – making July the wettest months. Rain or shine, July is hot for the most part, and you can feel the summer heat outdoors. In Tokyo, Japan, during July, the average high-temperature is 29.2°C (84.6°F), and the average low-temperature is 21.8°C (71.2°F).

Weather in Japan in August

August, August, August. This month is definitely notorious for being the hottest month in Japan. The average temperatures are similar to July’s but typically are a couple of degrees warmer overall. You’ll also find the same numbers in tropical areas, such as Thailand’s Bangkok.

Notes: The weather also depends on where you go like north or south in Japan. It is calmer in the north part of Japan such as the Hokkaido and Tohoku Region and much hotter in the south like Okinawa and Kyushu Region. The heat can feel more intense in the cities than in rural areas, as well.

What to wear in Japan in summer

Obviously, summer is the hottest period of the year, and it even stays hot at night. Given the incredible humidity, light-weight quick-drying clothing made of cotton is the best bet. You can still put on some layers to create a stylish look. But make sure that your skin can breathe. All following pieces can satisfy these criteria, and we call them must-have items in Japanese summer fashion:

1.     Loose top

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These tops keep things nice and cool without exposing too much skin.

It can be whatever you’d like, t-shirts or blouses. The baggier, the breezier. If you don’t mind some disapproving looks from locals, even crop tops, spaghetti strap tank tops or low cut tops are fine. But were you to follow the crowd, then wearing these types of tops is usually saved for late-night attire.

Even with men? Yes, men’s tank tops are especially uncommon in Japan, so you may turn some heads if you decide to show off your arms. A solution is to keep a light, thin UV-treated shirt or sweater with triple uses. It prevents you from UV rays, from feeling chilly in air-conditioned rooms/ trains. And when you go outside, drape it covering around your shoulders. Still such a chic touch!

2.     Comfortable Pants 

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Japanese is opting for silhouettes, wide, baggy pants that’ are both stylish and practical.

Similar to the oversized blouses and t-shirts, wide-leg full-length pants are very trendy in Japan. They are an excellent summer-friendly option if you’re nervous about showing off tattoos or appearing disrespectful while visiting shrines and temples. Facts: In Japan, tattoos are associated with the mafia, and are banned in many places – even a tiny mark may mean you are refused entry.

Besides, pairing a loose top and comfortable pants will prevent you from sweating and feeling stuffy. Whether this cool outfit is coordinated in light or dark colors, it is surprisingly fashionable.

What about comfortable shorts? Don’t wear shorts that resemble pajamas (sweatpants or basketball shorts) or that are so loose that your underwear peaks through.

3.     Thin outerwear

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Slip around thin outerwear for sun protection or if you feel cold indoors.

You may say “Outerwear appears in the list of what to wear in Japan in summer?”. Yes, it does. As mentioned above, in the summer, air conditioning will be at full blast in indoor venues, making it somewhat chilly. However, the oppressive heat outside makes it hard to regulate body temperature, which can cause you to catch a cold. That’s why we recommend wearing a thin jacket or cardigan. Dressing in layers that are easy to take on and off is a good idea, isn’t it?

4.     Sandals/ Slip-on shoes

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We can’t emphasize enough the need for proper sandals or well broken-in walking shoes in Japan.

Walking shoes are a must when you visit Japan as you’ll be possibly walking all day. Even in well-connected cities like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the fastest, cheapest and best way to explore is by foot, especially in summer when the trains are packed with hot, sweaty commuters. Pack a pair of semi-casual shoes, and leave the flip flops at home! Flip flops are not only uncomfortable to walk in all day but are also indecent in Japanese society. Proper sandals are the preferred choice if you want to wear open-toed shoes. But I wouldn’t suggest bringing these since they don’t support your feet at all. A pair of supportive, light shoes is a much more worthwhile investment.

Because you’ll find yourself stepping in and out of your shoes a lot in Japan, it’s worth it to bring shoes that don’t require lacing up. Visiting temples, homes, inns and even restaurants will require you to take off your shoes. You’ll regret life while you’re sitting down lacing up for five minutes in the doorway while people are trying to get in and out! Facts: if you see “tatami mats” on the floor, that means you should remove your shoes.

5.     Slipper

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Prepare your own slipper if you dislike using a public one

You can not miss a pair of slides on the list of what to wear in Japan in summer. It is not only a good idea if you plan to go to the beach (of which Japan has plenty, and they’re incredible), but they’re also handy because regular shoes are a no-go in the house or the occasional public spaces (mentioned above). Of course, most places that require you to leave your shoes will have public slippers that you can borrow; however, if you’re not too sold on the idea of wearing a pair of old communal slippers, it’s best to bring your own.

6.     Hat

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Typically summer must-have items in anywhere

While Japan doesn’t have a reputation for the harsh sun, sunburn is possible (take it from someone who has experienced it first-hand), so make sure you pack a cap or a sunhat and take it out with you. Bonus points if your hat is packable.

7.     Yukata

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The yukata is loose, easy to wear and comes in an endless selection of fashionable prints.

If you want to fit in with the festival crowd, consider picking up a Yukata: a summery light cotton version of a Kimono worn by both men and women. These days, Yukata is Japan’s most versatile garment loved by locals young and old. It looks sleek and requires minimal upkeep while staying cool, breathable in the hot weather, and easier to wash compared to the traditional silk Kimono. What’s great about this piece of clothing is that it can be as basic or as extravagant as you like and it’s the perfect outfit during summer events like Hanabi (fireworks) festivals or when visiting onsen resorts.

In terms of essentials, Yukata are usually worn with simple underwear, and Koshihimo or ribbons to tie the yukata comfortably. On top of that, you’ll need an Obi or some sort of belt. You’ll want to wear some Geta (wooden sandal) too if you’re leaving the house. Besides, there is no need for Tabi socks or any extra layers. It is as simple as wrapping it around yourself like a bathrobe.

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Yukata is worn with Koshihimo, Obi and Geta. That’s the basics.

The price of a Yukata depends on how much you want to pay for it! The most expensive Yukata can cost up to $1000. On the other hand, it can be also very affordable – Uniqlo sells yukata for about 2,000 to 6,000 yen (US$18-54).

Conclusion

Oh summer, hot hot summer in japan from June to August with heavy rainfall, turns the country into a steam bath. Make sure to bring these above must-have items together with some extra clothes to change into when the first outfit gets sweaty and you’ll be fine.

When deciding what to wear in japan in summer, remember that the Japanese dress code is relatively conservative on the whole. If you plan to make an excursion to a temple or traditional public places, you should avoid wearing sleeveless tops or clothing that reveals certain areas of the body. Otherwise, you can definitely bring along something to cover up.

Lastly, it’s important to note that you should feel comfortable wearing whatever you’d like. You can still have that ‘fashionista’ vibe, dressed in the craziest (but undeniably fun) Harajuku outfits, which is super common to the Japanese younger generation. It is up to you whether to follow the rules or make outlandish fashion statements.

I hope this list helps you to worry less about what to wear in Japan in the summer and spend more time enjoying these wonderful summertime experiences!

About Hayami Mori

Hayami Mori is an awesome travel blogger & photographer. She was born and raised in Tokyo and have been here for nearly 25 years. She loves traveling and always wants to introduce her beautiful Japan to travelers from all over the world. Therefore, her blog is a great source of information for people looking for what to do in Japan as well as provides some tips to make their trips unforgettable.