Today, we focus on the four seasons in Japanese and related vocabulary. If you’ve seen a Japanese movie or Japanese anime series before, you probably noticed that there are quite a few scenes that portray the season.
This lesson is important if you want to know more about the Japanese season before you book your ticket. We’ve also included words and phrases that are helpful when you want to communicate with locals on your next visit. Along with their English meaning, they are also written in Japanese and kanji, so it’s best to know about the Japanese alphabet too!
- 1 What are the seasons in Japan?
- 2 “Seasons” in Japanese
- 3 What Each Season is like in Japan and Related Vocabulary
- 4 “Weather” in Japanese
- 5 When is the best season in Japan?
- 6 Wrap Up
What are the seasons in Japan?
Just like in other countries, there are four seasons in Japan, namely, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Perhaps many consider the most popular season in Japan would be the spring season of dazzling cherry blossoms. Though the following summer season is also enchanting for its numerous summer festivals and fireworks.
Then, strikingly colorful autumn leaves come after with a surprise. The winter season offers you various winter sports activities or the spectacular view of the snow monsters in the snowy mountains.
“Seasons” in Japanese
The word for “seasons” in Japanese is きせつ (kisetsu | 季節). Japan is regarded as one of the world’s finest four-season places to visit. Each season in Japan has its own attraction, and we’ll talk about how each of them is unique. “Four seasons” in Japanese is しき (shiki | 四季).
- Spring: 春/はる/haru
- Summer: 夏/なつ/natsu
- Autumn: 秋/あき/aki
- Winter: 冬/ふゆ/fuyu
- Spring to winter: 春夏秋冬/しゅんかしゅうとう/shun-ka-shuu-tou
Here are some example sentences that are related to the four seasons in Japanese:
|Japan has four seasons.||日本には四季があります。||にほんにはしきがあります。||nihon ni wa shiki ga arimasu.|
|Which do you like better, spring or autumn?||春と秋のどちらが好きですか。||はるとあきとどちらがすきですか。||haru to aki to dochira ga suki desu ka?|
If you’ve traveled to Japan, what’s your favorite season? Post your comment in the box below.
What Each Season is like in Japan and Related Vocabulary
Let us now learn about the four seasons in Japan. As we mentioned above, each season has its own attraction. So, what are some exciting ways to spend each season? Let’s find out!
“Spring” in Japanese
The Japanese word for “spring” is はる (haru | 春). Usually, spring in Japan starts from late March to May, and a wide range of flowers blossoms during the spring season. The flowery spring season is a symbol of a brand-new start in Japan.
The city of Tokyo might be the best place to visit for cherry blossom viewing, but Kyoto is just as beautiful. It takes about 2 hours from Tokyo to Kyoto by bullet train.
What’s typical during the spring season in Japan?
People gather to view picturesque flowers blooming while students go back to school and freshman enrolls in schools and companies. Cherry blossom is well-known, but Hitachi Seaside Park‘s sky blue nemophila and Kawachi Wisteria Garden‘s beautiful wisteria tunnels are also a must-see in Japan. Here’s a table with words related to spring:
|cherry blossom trees||桜||さくら||sakura|
|illuminated cherry blossoms at night||夜桜||よざくら||yozakura|
|the traditional custom of enjoying Sakura||花見、お花見||はなみ、おはなみ||hanami, ohanami|
|a type of Wagashi wrapped in a pickled cherry blossom leaf||桜餅||さくらもち||sakura mochi|
|entrance ceremonies||入園式、入学式、入社式||にゅうえんしき、にゅうがくしき、にゅうしゃしき||nyuuen shiki, nyuugaku shiki, nyuusya shiki|
“Summer” in Japanese
The word for “summer” in Japanese is なつ (natsu | 夏). Japanese summer begins with a rainy period called Tsuyu, and hot and humid summer lasts from June to August. From July on, typhoons sometimes come close to Japan with severe rains and winds.
However, Tsuyu first ends in the southern islands and later in the northern region. Then starting in late July, the summer and fireworks festival season begins all over Japan.
The sound of cicadas is one of the most commonly seen summer features in Japan. How do you find the sound of cicadas? Post your comments below.
Summer festivals in Japan
If you’re touring in Japan during summer, don’t miss the chance to witness the colorful and energetic festivals. Aomori’s Nebuta, Tokushima City’s Awa Odori, and Omagari’s National Fireworks Festival are popular with tourists.
As part of the Japanese culture, you may see people wearing the traditional yukata and kimono when they go to summer festivals. Kimonos are made from silk and are usually worn for formal events. Yukatas are generally made from cotton or polyester, and it’s also known as Japanese festival clothing. Here are some words that are related to summer:
|the sea or the beach||海||うみ||umi|
|summer festivals||夏祭り||なつまつり||natsu maturi|
|the early summer rainy season||梅雨||つゆ||tsuyu|
|a summer Kimono||浴衣||ゆかた||yukata|
|a family reunion period coming from Buddism and Confucianism||お盆||おぼん||obon|
“Autumn” in Japanese
The word for “autumn” in Japanese is called あき (aki | 秋). Autumn or fall in Japan is from September to November, and it’s often said to be one of the best seasons to travel to Japan for its stunning scenery and food.
What are the key features of autumn?
Japanese people often refer to autumn as a season of appetite, arts, sports, and excursions. Indeed, the autumn season has a wide range of ingredients and seasonal dishes one can only taste during this season. Plus, the stunning view when the leaves of the trees change to vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow.
If you have a sweet tooth, do not miss Japanese sweets with chestnuts and persimmons. They are eye-catching and incredibly delicious. Below are some autumn-related words.
|the traditional event of enjoying the autumn moon||月見、お月見||つきみ、おつきみ||tsukimi|
|a traditional rite for children||七五三||しちごさん||Shichi-Go-San|
|seasonal autumn food||秋の味覚||あきのみかく||aki no mikaku|
|Pacific saury, the fish available in fall||秋刀魚||さんま||sanma|
“Winter” in Japanese
The Japanese word for “winter” is ふゆ (fuyu | 冬). Japanese winter generally lasts from December to February, and the temperatures and the climate vary from place to place. In winter, the southern region and the Pacific Ocean side mostly have mild and sunny days, but the northern and Sea of Japan side have cold and snowy days.
Popular events during winter months in Japan
From Sapporo Snow Festival to Nagasaki’s Lantern Festival, there are numerous snow and winter festivals in Japan. No need to mention that the winter season is also a perfect period to bathe in hot springs to warm yourself up or enjoy snow sports. Japanese also love to go skiing, so you might want to check out some ski resorts. Here’s a list of winter-related words:
|table style heating furniture||炬燵||こたつ||kotatsu|
|bell ringing on New Year's Eve||除夜の鐘||じょやのかね||joya no kane|
|New Year's Eve||大晦日||おおみそか||oomisoka|
|the new year's holiday||正月、お正月||しょうがつ、おしょうがつ||shogatsu, oshogatsu|
|new year's greeting cards||年賀状||ねんがじょう||nengajou|
|new year's monetary gifts for children||お年玉||おとしだま||otoshidama|
“Weather” in Japanese
The word for “weather” in Japanese is てんき (tenki | 天気). This is one of the most useful discussion starters and an important topic in everyday life. Because there are several words related to Japanese weather, knowing how to talk about it in Japanese will improve both your vocabulary and communication skills in Japanese.
Below we’ve included some Japanese adjectives describing the weather:
|windy||風が強い||かぜがつよい||kaze ga tsuyoi|
|snowing||雪が降って||ゆきがふって||yuki ga futte|
|raining||雨が降って||あめがふって||ame ga futte|
When is the best season in Japan?
In Japan, each season has very characteristic sceneries and is rich in colors. I believe you won’t run out of things to do even if you stay for more than a week. The country offers a wide range of things to see and to do throughout the year, so whenever you have time to visit Japan is the best time!
And if you can, blog about your trip to Japan and share the country’s beauty with your loved ones! I’m sure there will be a lot to share.
Awesome! You’ve stayed till the end of today’s lesson about the four seasons in Japan. Time to speak to your Japanese friends and chat about what you’ve learned!
If you’re still up to knowing more about Japanese, how about learning some Japanese greetings?
がんばっ てください (Ganbatte kudasai!)! ^^