It might sound odd for the people living in Europe, but summer goes hand in hand with rain in Japan.
Tsuyu, 梅雨, or “rainy season”, literally means “the plum tree’s rain”. It stretches from early June to mid-July, during approximately 6 weeks. It covers mostly the whole archipelago, except for Hokkaido, lucky Northerners… When this period comes, the precipitation is more abundant than any other time in the year, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the rainfall occurs every single day. In fact, several days could pass without a drop.
However, Tsuyu’s other specificities are humidity, raising drastically together with the temperature (70-75% of humidity), and wind, which will be your umbrella’s worst enemy. Be sure to have a strong umbrella in case of a sudden gust.
How to prepare
As mentioned above, a strong umbrella shall accompany every outside excursion. But that’s not all, if you think that carrying a bulky umbrella around is not comfy enough for your trip, you could also consider the famous “transparent waterproof raincoat”, findable in every 100-yen shop! Yet, one must say that it is not the most fashionable outfit.
Teru Teru Bozu, the dolls that scare the rain
This little doll made of cloth and a ball for the head, is a trick traditionally used by Japanese families against the rain. It is supposed to bring back the sunny days, but one can doubt about their efficiency…
Another sign revealing the end of this season, is the cicadas. Usually, when their stridulation becomes audible, it means that Tsuyu is drawing near to an end.
If rain is not a matter for you, take this as an opportunity to visit famous tourist spots, less crowded in this low season.