Japan, with its wonderful natural landscape, picture-perfect temples, and lip-smacking cuisine, is a dream come true for every traveler. Even if you’ve visited the country before, it packs plenty of tourist attractions to surprise you on subsequent trips.
While the onset of spring transforms Japan into a picturesque cherry blossom haven, the winter months turn it into a snowy wonderland that’s suitable for skiing. The summer season, on the other hand, is associated with a plethora of cultural festivals that offer a unique insight into the island nation’s heritage and history.
Despite being a year-round destination, many tourists are skeptical about visiting Japan, particularly during the typhoon season. In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into Japan’s typhoon season and find out whether it’s safe for tourists to visit during this time. Let’s get started.
When is Typhoon Season in Japan?
Typhoons are tropical cyclones that form in the equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean and move towards Asia. Japan experiences typhoon season every year during monsoon, i.e. between May and October. The season reaches its peak in the months of August and September.
If you visit Japan during the typhoon season, you can expect strong winds and torrential rainfall. Some islands, particularly those located in the southern regions (such as Okinawa), are more prone to the catastrophic effects of these storms. The northern islands, such as Hokkaido, remain fairly unscathed throughout the typhoon season.
Should You Visit Japan During Typhoon Season?
If you’re visiting Japan for the first time, it’s only natural to wonder whether it’s safe to visit the country during the typhoon season? What if the storm causes extensive structural damage and leaves you stranded on an island? Worse still, what if the area you’re staying in gets flooded due to heavy rainfall?
As it turns out, Japan experiences nearly 30 typhoons every year. Yet only a couple of those storms make it to the main islands. Most typhoons make landfall in the southern islands. Also, because of Japan’s extensive history of natural disasters, the country’s infrastructure has been designed to withstand structural damage.
Most buildings and roads are built to endure strong winds, rainfall, tremors, and even snow. Likewise, the coastline is protected to prevent potential storm surges during typhoon season. Also, the government and local authorities have implemented various measures, including safety drills and siren systems, to prepare residents for natural disasters and emergencies.
This means you don’t have to worry about being caught up in a storm, even if you visit Japan during the typhoon season. At the worst, you’re going to end up canceling your sightseeing plans and spending most of your time indoors. But with Japan’s impressive array of museums and themed cafes, you’ve got no reason to complain.
The best part about visiting Japan during this time is that most tourist attractions are going to sparsely crowded. It’s the best time to click gorgeous photographs of renowned monuments. Also, the rain and wind add a layer of mystery to the landscape, providing you with plenty of photo ops for your Instagram feed.
Safety Tips for Japan’s Typhoon Season
While there’s no harm in visiting Japan during the typhoon season, you shouldn’t do away with basic safety precautions. Start by using a weather intelligence platform, such as ClimaCell, to get accurate and timely updates about inclement weather in your area.
You can even choose a specific location from the list of countries in Japanese (written in Japanese). Watch out for any alerts about impending storms and rainfall. Also, check when and where a storm is going to make landfall. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the local news channels as well.
Next, you need to use your common sense and prioritize safety, irrespective of where you’re traveling in Japan. Stay away from the coastline as soon as the authorities issue an alert for a storm. Also, check for road closures and find out whether the public transportation system is operating.
It makes sense to plan indoor activities or find safe areas for outdoor excursions. Also, don’t forget to carry an umbrella, raincoat, poncho, and a pair of waterproof shoes whenever you’re venturing outdoors.
It’s a good idea to keep typhoon resources, such as the Japanese safety manuals, handy whenever you’re going out for a day trip or excursion. Find the locations of the nearest shelters and carry an extra set of clothes with you. Lastly, don’t hesitate to seek advice from your hosts whenever you’re unsure about what to do.
While typhoons are a fairly common occurrence in Japan, most tourists won’t feel the repercussions of these storms. But if you’re planning a trip to Japan between May and October, it’s a good idea to prepare for inclement weather. Check the weather forecast and accordingly plan your itinerary. Also, avoid areas that are prone to flash flooding.
We hope our tips will prepare you for successful travel to Japan during the typhoon season.