7 Interesting Features About Weather in Tokyo!

7 Interesting Features About Weather in Tokyo

In considering Tokyo weather, the first thing one observes is just how seasonal it is, so it makes sense to me to discuss our varied weather patterns as they occur, season by season. Many years ago, I proudly asserted to my high school English teacher, as so many Japanese do, that Japan had four seasons. Naturally, she laughed at me. “Most countries away from the equator do!” she replied, much to my surprise and embarrassment. “In fact, Japan has six seasons” she continued. She was joking, of course, but when we think about Tokyo’s weather through the year, the idea of six seasons makes a kind of sense. Here then are her six Tokyo weather seasons. 



 

7 Interesting Features About Weather in Tokyo!

 

1. Winter

I’ll start here, as it’s the season the new year falls in the middle of. Fortunately, the kind of sub-arctic weather that Hokkaido endures don’t fall in Tokyo. Yes, it snows occasionally, but it’s not often prolonged or deep. In fact, for most of the winter, Tokyo skies are blue and the temperature quite mild in the sun. Only at night does the temperature drop appreciably, so roads and sidewalks can be icy in the mornings. Most of us get by with a couple of sweaters, a pair of boots and a thick jacket, but harsher winters might demand more substantial cover.

 

2. Spring

Many argue this is the best season, when Tokyo’s weather takes on a balmier character, blue skies and gently warming breezes stirring hope and renewal in our hearts and in the trees. From the end of March to early May, Tokyo’s parks, temples and shrines are shrouded in a riot of soft pink… cherry blossom season! Gone now is the heavier garb of winter, though long sleeves are still advisable in the shade. But what you really must have at this time of year is a camera.

 

3. The Rainy Season

Okay, this is actually the first part of summer, the tsuyu (or plum rain) that coincides with the ripening of plums. Apart from that fact, Tokyo’s rainy season is utterly forgettable… miserable, in fact. From the beginning of June to mid July, it seems to rain almost non-stop as the temperature steadily rises, and along with it the humidity. Short sleeves and umbrellas are the order of the day during this time… and mosquito repellent, if you don’t want to be itchy as well as miserable.

 

4. Summer Itself

Once the rains have ended, Tokyo weather enters a stage of blistering heat. Some people actually enjoy bronzing themselves, or risking melanomas in the parks or down by the bay. Others prefer to take their weekends on higher ground, away from Tokyo weather, where the air is cooler. Areas like Nagano, Hakone and Karuizawa are just a few hours away by car, less on the train. But the worst thing about summer is that the cloying humidity persists until well into August, especially at night when it actually seems to get hotter. Also, your war against mosquitos will still be raging, and you’ll kill to get your hands on the last air conditioner or electric fan in the store. As for apparel, you need to get as near to the naked state as decency permits.

 

5. Typhoon Season

Sandwiched between summer and autumn is a short period of increased typhoons coming up from the Pacific. History buffs will know that the kamikaze, or divine wind, was what thwarted Kublai Khan’s invasion of Japan, so it’s a good thing, right? Wrong! Typhoons are a destructive force that do great damage to property, cause disastrous landslides, floods and loss of life. They can also feature lightening storms, which present their own set of dangers. Luckily, Tokyo rarely experiences major typhoons, but every so often we get hit. All you can do is secure items on your balcony, lay in some snacks and a few video rentals and ride it out!

 

6. Autumn

After the horror of summer and the wildness of the typhoons, Autumn arrives like a blessing. Tokyo’s weather is mild again, skies are blue and the air has that slight chill that tells you the year is steadily drawing to a close. Long sleeves and light jackets will gradually give way to winter clothing, but at least those pesky mosquitos will have disappeared. This is a good time to get out that camera again and head off to the parks, temples, shrines and countryside, now ablaze with the red and gold of turning leaves.

 

7. The Four Seasons

Far fewer people these days seriously believe that Japan is unique in having four seasons, however distinct or otherwise they may be, but we all acknowledge their importance in our lives. My old English teacher may have laughed at my erroneous assertion, but even she would have to agree that Japanese people feel a great affinity with nature. We surround ourselves with it, even in a city like Tokyo, so our weather, climate, seasons – call it what you will – is just an extension of that relationship.

 

Conclusion

We Tokyoites have learned to trust what the weather men say, because their forecasts are usually spot on. There’s a certain predictability about Tokyo weather that we find comforting, and which may surprise some foreign visitors whose native weather is less easily anticipated. But if nothing else, this predicability can indicate to tourists when are the best times to visit Tokyo and avoid a disappointing stay.

 

7 Interesting Features About Weather in Tokyo!

1. Winter
2. Spring
3. The Rainy Season
4. Summer Itself
5. Typhoon Season
6. Autumn
7. The Four Seasons