I arrived in Tokyo in the middle of August to, what I would later learn, was a fairly typical summer. The cicadas chirped unbelievably loud, the air was heavy and regardless of what you did, you simply couldn’t get cool. Any assumptions I had about the Japanese climate were thoroughly stripped away the moment I stepped off my plane. Seriously, people live in this and tolerate it?

But the beautiful thing about arriving towards the end of summer is the death heat doesn’t last overly long, which meant I had time to forget what it was like for about 10 months until the summer rolled in again… and hit me right in the face.

Tokyo in the Summer – Don’t Even Try!

Cool Temperature in Tokyo:

It was May and I had just gotten back from a trip to Thailand where I basked in its tropical heat and felt the daily rains arrive, almost like clockwork, at 3pm. Coming back to Tokyo, I welcomed the cooler, more stable temperatures and marvelled at how green everything was. This was compounded even more by the June weather that traditionally is a rainy month – and this year was no exception. So after a relatively warm May and a rainy but still cool June, I naively thought maybe this year’s summer wouldn’t be so bad and that maybe the previous year was just a fluke? Ha.

Heat Temperature Began in Tokyo:

I can’t quite pinpoint the moment when the heat surge began, but it seemed as though it just decided one day to crank up the oven to death. I’m talking 40C and higher – and near that at night too – where the air is so thick you feel like you’re trapped in a curtain of sticky heat that is impossible to escape from.

Your natural reaction to this kind of heat is to find relief and to try not to feel gross all the time, but in reality you just have to get used to this and know everyone else feels this way too. Cold showers at least twice a day become normal and it’s never a bad idea to bring a change of clothes, particularly if you’re in a line of work that mandates you wear a suit and tie everyday. Crazy, right? Just be thankful you likely work in a fully air conditioned building but be prepared to be heat slapped in the face as soon as you step outside.


There’s really no such thing as the beach near Tokyo and if there was, you can believe that it would be jam packed and absolutely gross. All you can really do is stay inside and avoid doing anything too physical outside unless – because in addition to being really hot, the air quality isn’t the best either.


I love Tokyo and would get back there the first chance I got, but if I had it my way, it would not be in the summer. No, two summers was enough for me. While summer travel to many places is liberating and full of life, summer time in Tokyo just isn’t worth it!

By Mike

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