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Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/16 21:46
I am planning in my upcoming trip for Japan this summer. As I want to visit Hokkaido and hiking mt Fuji as well as see some festivals I plan to arrive in Japan around 15-16th of July, leaving somewhere between 5th to 10th of August, before the Obon week.

What can I expect of the crowds from school summer vacation? I leavned school holiday start at 21th of July. Will it increase hotel rates and mean overcrowded trains?

I plan to hike mt Fuji on a weekday, as the weekends would be too packed to hold a steady climbing pace I think, though I want to try it toward the end of July since they say the weather is possibly more stable by then.

How would that work out?
by Morone (guest)  

Re: Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/17 13:27
I think you should consider the raining season and humidity in Japan during the summer.
Climbing Mt. Fuji during this period is not easy task.
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/17 17:52
Oh, alright. Well, since Mt Fuji is only open during summer, when would be a better time to climb? I suspect mid August is too packed, and then comes the peak of typhoon season I heard, hence I would try to go in mid or late July. I would probably go hiking toward the end of July probably.
by Morone (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/17 23:35

Usually the worst of the rainy season is over by mid July and if you have some flexibility on days, just don't plan your climb during the worst weather.

Though I want to be clear, people still do go climbing even in terrible weather in Japan, they might be tourists who have no choice. But people do still slog through. I went to Kamikochi in late June which is 100% during the rainy season, and while I was there it pretty much just rained and we were freezing cold. There were quite a few foreigners who were camping on the mountains and doing actual climbing.

Depending on where you are from the heat and humidity of Japan's Summer is unpleasant but it's not that big a deal for everyone. Last Summer happened to be particularly brutal at times. it was 33/34 C some of my days in Tokyo in June, so you just need to stay hydrated and sometimes go inside for some a/c. Certain times of day and certain locations did "feel" hotter, but you go to Japan when you need to go. It's just like how the Japanese travel during Obon because that is when they get off.

The bright side about travel in the Summer is a lot of foreign tourists tend to avoid it if they can.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/18 07:28
Regarding school holidays and crowdedness of trains, actually as in Japan the adults donft take long vacation itfs not like in EU that it gets crowded. Probably it can be problematic at things like Disney park but Japan as such is fine.

As PP said July/August in Japan is very hot. Except in Hokkaido where itfs a nice summer temperature. I am not very heat resistant, and thus can hardly spend more that 15 min in a row outside in July and August. Also the problem isnft so much the temperature but the humidity. 34C in Madrid is a perfectly nice temperature, 34 C and nearly 100% humidity is torture for me. But it is YOU who are going so you need to be aware. Hokkaido will be fine though and the northern part of Honshu.
Regarding Fuji come well prepared. Itfs a high mountain although it might be hot at the bottom you need to bring sufficient layers against the cold.

Rainy season should not be a problem for the period you plan to go.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/18 08:02
Thank you!

Well in fact I have been to Japan twice during rainy season. The second time I went to Hokkaido about a week as well as somehigher elevations like Koya and Hakone. I dont remeber what the weather was like though as it was several years ago.

Regarding mt Fuji I know it is not a walk in the park and is planning accordingly for bringing suitable clothing. Since there is a need to stay in a hut on the way up, there is not too much flexibility as it seems most huts need three weeks notice to cancel. Maybe there are exceptions.

But I get the idea that during school holidays there will be a lot lf students around travelling. I will try to avoid Obon though it would have been nice to see some summertime festivals. It seems many hiking destinations are not "open" until summer though. But I mostly think of seeing central and north Japan as I have been to west Japan many times already.
by Morone (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/18 12:08

In certain respects, Obon has fewer people in the cities since people tend to go to the countryside for it. I've only been to Japan once in August and it was an awful long time ago, before the huge upswing in foreign residents and foreign tourists. I remember it being hot and humid, but several years before that I'd gone to Disneyworld in August and that was even worse. *shrugs* I'm from the Northeast in the USA and we have very varied weather. We're getting 20+ cms of snow on Saturday into Sunday and then temperatures are dropping to -20 C. In the Summer it will be 32 C in my house because we don't have central air and even warmer outside. (and yes, it is super humid here too, not quite as bad as Japan, but definitely much more humid than Spain.) So if you're from an environment like that you just sort of get used to it. You just really need to make sure you stay hydrated and acclimate.

I think it can be harder for Europeans. My sister in law lives in Wales now and her temperatures don't have the same extremes as ours.

I think if it rains people slog through in the rain, but I think the chances of constant rain are lower if you plan for late July. We were just in Japan for 2.5 weeks during rainy season in 2018, and I only really remember it raining 4 of those days. (1 day in Osaka, 1 day in Kyoto, and the 2 Kamikochi days.) So even during rainy season it's not like there is constant rain.

And yeah there are a lot of areas only really open in the Summer. (I'm looking at you Gas-san!) You just sort of need to be willing to roll with the possible bad weather.

by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/18 12:31
2018 "rainy season" was finished by the end of June. I toured for five weeks with guests and we planned our trip to avoid the rain starting in the south and working north - we had five slightly damp days across 35 days. It doesn't rain across the whole country - it (the weather system) can be quite localised.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/18 20:35
I was looking at some pictures from last summer visit, I went in late June, leaving 16th of July.

I don't remember much rain except while in Koya and Hakone where there were heavy winds. But I do remember the temperature was quite hot even in Hokkaido and Tohoku.

We actually had quite hot temperatures here this summer, having nearly 29 *C inside because of the heat. I don't think we had that humidity though.

Again, I will probably not spend all the time in the cities, more in the countryside and possibly higher elevations.
by Marone (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/18 22:31
We were there June 19-July 5 in 2018 and pretty similar dates in 2017 and 2016. I have a kid in school. By the time we got to Tokyo on June 30, the rain was done for the trip, but I know right after we left around the 7th or 8th Chugoku, Kansai and parts of Chubu were inundated. So I think of after that storm as the end of rainy season.

If you're mostly there to hike, I think it should work out still. If you have the time and money, Kamikochi really looks like it has some lovely options and generally is much cooler than surrounding cities. It was between 12-13 in Kamikochi and we were all bundled up but Matsumoto was closer to 29 or higher.

Personally, I would look any places that are actually closed off in the Winter since those tend to be a higher elevation.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/18 23:43
You won't get the impression that there are a lot of "students" traveling in summer compared to October when there will be huge school trips for students of all ages from all over Japan. But "kids" do increase during summer vacation time, and room rates do get slightly higher than the off-season rates. Family-friendly spots will be pretty packed. But places for adults and young adults aren't as packed, especially during weekdays, since it's too hot.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Japan during summer vacation 2019/1/19 00:55
I noticed the flight rates are quite increased during summer, apparently since its high sesason.

Again, it would be nice to see some summer festivals but I suppose that means a lot of people as well. I remember seeing a lot of foreign tourist in Hokkaido though. I would probably want to see other areas than Sapporo, possibly Rishiri island or so. Or like someone mentioned, Gassan.

Due to family situation I have mostly travelled at spring or autumn, meaning many hiking areas are off season.
by Marone (guest) rate this post as useful

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