Summer is the perfect time to break free and embark on a memorable adventure with your family, friends, or loved ones. Japan offers a plethora of summer events like swimming, camping, and fireworks that are just waiting for you to dive into. With more time off during this season, you can venture a bit farther than usual or savor every moment at a single destination.

But with so many options, it’s natural to wonder about the top summer spots in Japan and how to make the most of your summer vacation. Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best summer destinations in Japan.

Choosing Which of These 29 Best Summer Destinations in Japan to Visit

Let’s start by delving into how to select the perfect domestic travel destination for your summer getaway. We’ve outlined some key factors specific to summer vacations, so use these as your compass to uncover your ideal destination.

1. Sea or Mountains? Tailor Your Destination to Your Summer Goals

Best Summer Destinations in Japan: Sea or Mountains

When planning your summer escape, consider the type of experience you crave. Summer isn’t just about beaches and mountains; there’s a whole array of options to explore.

If you’re longing for the classic summer vibe, coastal destinations are a winner. Look beyond mere beaches and seek out spots where water sports rule the waves. For ocean enthusiasts, the secluded islands of Ishigakijima and Hachijojima beckon with their resort-like landscapes. These havens offer a plethora of surfing and diving opportunities, providing the ultimate refuge from the blazing sun.

If you’re in search of cool relief from the summer heat, opt for highlands and cooler locales like Nasu. Perched at an altitude of around 1,000 meters, Nasu maintains a comfortable average temperature of about 25 degrees Celsius in August. Here, you can relax, indulge in local cuisine, explore the Hunter Mountain Shiobara resort, or even try your hand at horseback riding.

For an all-encompassing summer adventure, explore the various summer resorts scattered across Japan. Besides the ever-popular Hokkaido, destinations like Kyoto and Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture are renowned for their summer getaways. And let’s not forget the tropical paradise of Okinawa Prefecture, blessed with balmy temperatures cooled by ocean breezes, offering a climate distinct from Japan’s mainland.

2. Nature Lovers Rejoice: Embrace Outdoor Activities

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Nature Lovers Rejoice

If you’re a nature enthusiast craving outdoor adventures like hiking, trekking, and camping, Japan has a treasure trove of nature-rich destinations. Places like Yakushima Island, where diverse flora and fauna flourish, boast awe-inspiring scenery at every turn.

In areas with heavy tourist traffic, mountain paths are well-kept, making them ideal for novice mountain climbers and trekkers alike. Remember to check the itinerary and weather forecast for your outdoor activities.

3. Fireworks and Festivals: Plan Your Summer Evenings

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Fireworks and Festivals

Once you’ve settled on your destination and activities, don’t forget to delve into local event details. Spectacular fireworks displays and lively festivals can elevate your trip to new heights.

Some events are unique to specific regions, such as Niigata’s Nagaoka Matsuri Grand Fireworks Festival with its rich historical significance or Aomori’s traditional Nebuta Festival. Many of these festivities span multiple days, so plan your visit accordingly to fully immerse yourself in the local culture.

4. Traveling with Kids or Pets: Ensure a Stress-Free Vacation

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Traveling with Kids or Pets

Consider your travel companions when planning your trip. If you’re bringing along furry friends or little ones, research the facilities and regulations of your chosen destination to guarantee a smooth and enjoyable experience.

For pet owners, seek out destinations where your four-legged pals can join in the fun. Check the regulations at various tourist spots, including beaches and mountains, to find places where both you and your pets can create cherished memories together.

Travelling with young children? Pay attention to amenities like diaper-changing facilities, personal belonging guidelines, and locker availability. Some places may have age restrictions, so plan accordingly to maximise your family’s enjoyment.

Flip Japan Guides Ultimate List of the 29 Best Summer Destinations in Japan

1. Sapporo:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Sapporo

Immerse yourself in the summertime ambiance of beer gardens in Odori Park, enjoy fireworks displays, and cool off at Moerenuma Park or Ishikari Beach.

2. Okinawa Main Island:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Okinawa Main Island

Discover the magic of Churaumi Aquarium, Okinawa World, and the Blue Cave, all perfect for couples. Luxurious resort hotels and private pool accommodations are abundant.

3. Tokyo Disney Resort:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Tokyo Disney Resort

Credits: Disney

Embark on a magical journey through Disneyland and DisneySea, featuring rides, shows, and gourmet dining for both kids and adults.

4. Amami Oshima Island:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Amami Oshima Island

Explore beautiful beaches, witness stunning sunsets at Ohama Seaside Park, and don’t miss Amami’s Heart Rock at low tide. Nearby Kakeroma Island also offers breathtaking scenery.

5. Fukuoka City:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Fukuoka City

Delight in fashionable cafes, boutique shopping, and delectable ramen and motsunabe dishes. In this vibrant city, you can also experience the unique atmosphere of yatai (food stalls).

6. Universal City Walk:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Universal City Walk

Credits: LG_Kay

Adjacent to Universal Studios Japan, this entertainment shopping facility boasts American-style architecture and hosts various events throughout the year.

7. Ise-Shima:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Ise-Shima

Credits: Visit Iseshima

Visit the renowned Ise Jingu Shrine and savor Ise-Shima Gourmet. Explore stunning beaches, enjoy ocean camping, and take in the breathtaking views from an observatory overlooking Ago Bay.

8. Nagashima Resort:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Nagashima Resort

Credits: The Kansai Guide

With over 50 attractions, this amusement park offers family-friendly fun. Nearby, Nagashima Hot Springs and Jazz Dream Nagashima await. Of course, don’t miss out on Nabana-no-sato’s natural beauty.

9. Miyako Island:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Miyako Islands

Credits: Visit Okinawa

Enjoy swimming and marine sports at Maehama Beach and Painagama Beach. Drive along a scenic ocean road and savor the tropical climate and sea breeze.

10. Ishigaki Island:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Ishigaki Island

Discover city life, dine at restaurants, and relax in resort hotels. Venture into the island’s tropical wilderness with glass boat rides at Kabira Bay and trekking in the rainforest.

11. Izu Peninsula:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Izu Peninsula

Experience nature’s beauty, including Joren Waterfall, Mt. Daruma, and Baird Brewery Gardens. Enjoy the countryside views while escaping the summer heat of Tokyo.

12. Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Revel in vast countryside views and abundant flowers in the summer. Encounter regional animals and be prepared for the plateau’s lower temperatures and lingering snow.

13. Kamakura:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Kamakura

A beloved summer seaside destination with ocean views and the iconic Daibutsu statue. Stroll through Hokokuji Temple’s bamboo grove for tranquility and cooling shade.

14. Kanazawa:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Kanazawa

Immerse yourself in traditional summer matsuri (festivals), including the Hyakumangoku Festival, featuring dances, taiko drum performances, and historical re-enactments.

15. Wakayama:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Wakayama

Explore white sandy beaches and over 600 kilometres of coastline, perfect for marine sports like snorkeling and scuba diving. Then, savor seasonal dishes featuring freshly caught fish.

16. Karuizawa:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Karuizawa

Escape to the mountainous Nagano prefecture, where you can relish lower temperatures, green landscapes, and numerous resorts. Ideal for those who prefer woodlands over beaches.

17. Kobe:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Kobe

Experience a European port town ambiance with seaside views and cooling winds. Enjoy a variety of entertainment options, including theme parks, arcades, and restaurants.

18. Hakodate:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Hakodate

Head north for cooler temperatures, hovering around 20 degrees Celsius during the summer months. Witness the blooming hydrangeas and savor seasonal dishes showcasing fresh fruits, vegetables, and locally caught fish.

19. Nasu:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Nasu

Located just north of Tokyo, Nasu is easily accessible by Shinkansen and offers a wealth of landmarks and hidden gems. Take a serene canal ride along the Uzuma River, enjoy rejuvenating onsen experiences, and explore the mountainous caverns and valleys, providing ample opportunities for solitude amidst stunning lakes and forests.

20. Sendai City:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Sendai

Plan your visit in August to experience the traditional Tanabata festival. During the festival, decorations adorn the city, and locals don Yukata to watch fireworks after sunset. It’s an ideal way to dive into Japan’s vibrant matsuri culture.

21. Kyoto:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Kyoto

Experience Kyoto’s diverse summer temperatures, with some areas exceeding 30 degrees Celsius while others remain cooler due to their mountainous locations. The Mitarashi Festival at Shimogamo Shrine is a local favorite, steeped in history and offering a unique foot bath experience at Mitarashi-no-Mori.

22. Nagoya:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Nagoya

If you’re seeking a romantic retreat, don’t miss the Minato Matsuri in Nagoya Port every third Monday of July. This event attracts a massive crowd of 400,000 for its mesmerising fireworks display. Just outside Nagoya, Long Island Park Seaside Resort provides exclusive summer fun, including a giant Pikachu for the kids.

23. Huis Ten Bosch:

Credits: Huis Ten Bosch Official Website

Japan’s largest theme park, Huis Ten Bosch, replicates a European city. With an array of attractions from animal petting areas to disco nights, horse-drawn carriage tours, roller coasters, and more, it’s perfect for kids and adults alike.

24. Osaka City:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Osaka City

July and August fall within the firework festival season in Osaka, with the Tenjin festival drawing 1.3 million spectators annually. But if you’re looking for more than just festivals, visit Osaka Aquarium, Abeno Harukas for city views, or Minoh Falls for a picturesque waterfall experience. Just remember, it’s considerably warmer here than in some other destinations, so dress comfortably.

25. Yakushima:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Yakushima

Despite heavy rainfall in the summer, Yakushima provides a refreshing escape from the sun. Rainbows are a common sight, and the lush greenery creates a peaceful atmosphere. In this stunning natural destination, you can also find Shiratani Unsuikyo, the inspiration behind Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, making it a must-visit for Ghibli fans.

26. Yoron Island:

Where to go on holidays in summer in Japan Yoron Island

Located in the far south of Japan, Yoron boasts secluded white sandy beaches with fewer visitors compared to other beach destinations. The island’s distance from major cities means a quieter getaway. Don’t let the travel time deter you; the experience is well worth it.

Embarking on a Japanese Summer Adventure

There’s absolutely no shortage of places to visit in Japan during the summertime. While the hot weather in Tokyo and other big cities might seem daunting, as you’ve discovered from this article, there are numerous alternatives where the temperature is significantly lower, along with many beaches where the heat enhances the scenery.

Summer in Japan also offers something that is barely present during the rest of the year: matsuri! It would be a real shame to deprive yourself of this wonderful cultural experience, as their grandeur and liveliness are unlike anything seen in the West. If you find yourself in Japan this summer, you have endless options for things to do, and with these holiday destinations, you will certainly never be bored!