The World of Info

Climate and Weather

Cities in JAPAN

Kyoto Osaka Tokyo

Climate and Weather

Japan BaiuJapan BaiuPhoto: Public domain

Due to the length of the country and the mountain ranges, the climate differs from region to region during the four seasons, which are clearly distinguishable, just like in Europe. For example, in Ura-Nihon, west of the mountains, there is a lot of snow in winter, but in August it is often tropically warm.

The climate in Japan is determined by the monsoon circulation of East Asia and the maritime location, which means that there are no extreme temperatures. The summer monsoon provides the most rainfall, except on the island of Honshu, where most rainfall occurs in winter. Most rain falls from mid-June to mid-July ("baiu" or plum rain) and in September ("shurin"). The rainiest regions are in the south of Kyushu along the Pacific Ocean. On average, the whole of Japan falls on average 1778 mm per year. In most of the country, an average of at least 1016 mm falls per year. The driest place is East Hokkaido with about 940 mm per year; the wettest place is the Kii peninsula in Central Honshu with more than 4000 mm per year. During the tropical cyclones, the typhoons, mainly occur in September and October when a lot of rain can fall in a short time.

In winter there are large temperature differences in the south and north and in the east and west. In the north, the temperature drops below freezing in winter and in Hokkaido even to –7 ° C, with the snow several meters thick. Along the east coast, the temperature is moderated by the Kuro-Shio, a warm Gulf Stream. On the southern island of Kyushu, the temperature does not drop below + 7°C in January. On Okinawa it remains an average of 16°C in winter.

Depending on the latitude, it is generally quite warm in the summer.


Hokkaido: generally cool and rainy with short warm summers and long cold winters. Year-round rainfall, but drier than in the rest of Japan.

Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu: these islands have a temperate, rainy climate, with precipitation especially in summer and autumn on the east coast and in summer and winter on the west coast. Temperatures vary greatly according to latitude: from cold to mild in winter and from warm to very warm in summer.

Okinawa: has a subtropical climate with very hot humid summers and fairly warm winters. Lots of rain all year round, but especially in summer.


Lonely Planet

Reader's Digest

Kamachi, N. / Culture and customs of Japan
Greenwood Press

Scott, D. / Japan
Van Reemst

Shelley, R. / Japan
Times Books

Somerwil, J. / Japan

Stefoff, R. / Japan
Chelsea House Publishers

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info