A Guide to Japan - May and June

Apr. 19 Thurs by Jennifer Things to Know

Updated 3/02/20

May and June generally marks the time just before summer when the weather is still nice and not too hot. There are holidays and events going on during these two months, and with so many activities, it's generally a fun time to go! It's also a little bit less busy now that cherry blossom season has ended, with the exception of holidays, so prices can be a bit cheaper.

May 2017


May is one of the best times to visit Japan as it is perfect for those who would like to spend their time doing outdoor activities in Japan. May is said to be the last of the spring season, and it brings pleasant weather. There may be some rainfall, but the general weather is warm and comfortable. If you're not a fan of rainy days, May is probably your last chance to get good weather in Japan before rainy season officially hits. Highs are in the 70s and the average temperature is around the mid 60s range. You would definitely want to pack a jacket, but the overall month is beautiful. 

June is the start of rainy season. Rain in Japan tends to be heavy, however it's usually not rainy day after day. The clear days are a really nice temperature for sightseeing and the like. For those who don't mind a bit of rain, June is still a great time to travel as the rain and heat is not too severe. Temperatures and humidity tend to rise a bit starting from June, but it's honestly not too bad and definitely tolerable. Average temperatures are in their 70s, although it ranges from the lows to the highs. On average, there are a good amount of relatively clear days, and many activities are still available. One of the perks of the rain is that the area becomes lush and beautiful with green everywhere! For those who cannot stand any rain, Hokkaido is a great option as there are generally clear skies for most of the month.

*Weather is ever-changing and not guaranteed. Information is based on past weather patterns. HIS International Tours holds no liability should you choose to book your trip during these months.


There is a lot going on in May and June as there are many holidays and festivals. In addition, people love traveling for the scenery and flower blooms which are particularily beautiful in May! There are so many things going down in May and June beyond this list, but here are some of the most popular highlights.



Apr 29 - May 5 | Golden Week
Golden Week is one of the busier times during May. During Golden Week, many locals also travel domestically and internationally, so be prepared for trains and flights getting more crowded than usual!
The following dates are all a part of Golden Week. Golden Week is an extremely lively and busy time in Japan with numerous festivals and events going on during the following holidays:

On April 29th is Showa no hi (Showa Day) the birthday of the late emperor of Japan, Emperor Showa. May 3rd is Kenpo Kinenbi (Constitution Day) and is a day to celebrate the ratification of the Japanese Constitution in 1947. May 4th is Midori no hi (Greenery Day) and is a day to celebrate the environment and the beauty of nature, a bit like Earth Day in the US. May 5th is Kodomo no hi (Children's Day). This is one of the better-known holidays even with visitors and tourists due to the popular decoration that is hung up during this day, the colorful carp streamers. This holiday is also known as Boy's Day. It's a beautiful day to witness due to the brightly colored streamers hanging in many places.

May 3-4 | Hakata Dontaku Festival | Fukuoka
The Hakata Dontaku Festival is one of the most popular events during the month of May. Brightly colored vehicles and people in costumes parade along the town, and it is quite a sight to see. It has been said that over two million people turn up to watch the parade.

May 7-13 | Kanda Matsuri | Tokyo
This event is one you don't want to miss as it is one of Tokyo's biggest festivals and it only occurs every two years, on the odd years. This eight-day festival has a lot that goes on including grand parades on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday usually holds the main procession, with a parade through the streets of Japan. On Sunday, the Mikoshi Parades are held, in which portable shrines are walked along the streets to bless the local residents. 

May 10-24 | Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament | Tokyo
The Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament is part of the Sumo Hatsu Basho, and happens every summer in May. In one of the main sumo tournaments, tickets must be bought in advance to attend the match. As sumo is a huge, highly-respected, spectator sport among the Japanese people and also a popular interest for foreigners, tickets tend to go fast, especially for the matches between the better-known sumo wrestlers.

May 14 | Aoi Matsuri | Kyoto
One of Kyoto's most famous festivals, the Aoi Matsuri (Kamo Matsuri) is a festival showcasing the history of Kyoto through parade. People in the parade are dressed up as people from the Heian Period. The festival is a long occurring tradition, most likely stemming from the 6th century when Kyoto was struck by natural disasters, and the Emperor made a day of praying and making offerings to the gods. Since then the festival is strongly associated with the shrines, and many of the rituals and things they do during the festival involve the shrines. 

May 14-17 | Sanja Festival | Tokyo
The Sanja Festival is one of the largest festivals in Tokyo and has a reputation for getting a bit loud. It tends to be very crowded, with people being jammed into the space around the Senso-ji temple. It's a very lively occasion, with many floats and people, and it's definitely an experience you will remember.



Early June (Official Dates TBA) | Yosakoi Soran Festival | Sapporo
Started in 1992, the Yosako Soran Festival in Sapporo is a popular event filled with dancing. The event originally featured 10 teams of dancers, but now attracts 30,000 dancers on top of 200 million visitors! People can watch parades of dancers as well as dancers up on the stage.

June 6-7 | Torigoe Matsuri | Asakusa, Tokyo
The Torigoe Matsuri is an annual festival in Tokyo known for being loud, lively, and intense. The main event that most people look forward to is when the largest omikoshi, a portable shrine, is carried and paraded through the street. Occasionally fights break out over who gets to carry the omikoshi due to it being considered good luck to carry it. If you do decide to come to see the events, please note that crowds get thick so do be careful!

June 1 | Tonami Yotaka Matsuri | Toyama
The Yotaka Matsuri is a Paper Lantern Parade, where huge floats made up of paper lanterns, are crashed into each other. A little bit dangerous, loud, and lively, the festival may be very interesting to check out for those who enjoy these types of events.

June 13 | Otaue Rice-planting Festival | Osaka
The Otaue Matsuri is a tradition in Osaka to commemorate the planting of rice seedlings during summer. This festival is done more as a ritual, and is a celebration of one of Japan's most important crops, rice. 

June 7-17 | Sanno Matsuri | Tokyo
Another major festival in Tokyo, the Sanno Matsuri only takes place during even-numbered years. The festival involves many different aspects, but the most famous and popular event is the parade that makes a full cycle from the Hie Shrine through Tokyo and back. 

June 22-24 | Himeji Yukata Festival | Himeji
The Himeji Yukata Festival takes place every year around Osakabe Shrine in Himeji City. During the event, many people celebrate the traditional garment of yukata and dress up in colorful yukatas of all designs! Many food stalls are available, as well as stalls for trinkets, games, and more! Yukata parades, fashion shows, and more are also held to showcase the garments, and for foreign visitors, it's a great sight to learn a bit more about an aspect of Japanese culture!


*Disclaimer: Dates for 2020 events are not released for many of the events and are approximate dates. Dates will be updated closer to the month as more dates become available. All dates are subject to change without notice. Events may be canceled or postponed based on weather conditions and other factors. HIS is not responsible for any changes in the dates or itineraries of these events. We always recommend double-checking for the latest information online. 


Here are some optional tours you can also book during May and June while visiting Japan!

Month of May:

May is the last month before the rainy season begins. There are usually many events still going on in May and many things to do and see in Japan. Flower blooms are a popular sight to go see all over Japan in May!

Month of June:

June is the start of the rainy season in Japan. Despite the rain, there is still loads to do. Especially in the cities, nightlife still goes on at full speed. During the day there are plenty of indoor activities to do. Enjoy some hot ramen or a hot spring bath on those rainy days! But even for those who enjoy spending time outdoors, the rain and temperature aren't so bad as to stop you from having a good time in June. Hokkaido is also an option as the weather stays nice in June.

Hokkaido tours Geisha Experiences


Read our other monthly guides here:

January and February: Coming soon
March and April: HERE
May and June: HERE
July and August: HERE
September and October: HERE
November and December: Coming Soon

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