Seasons in Japanese – Things to know before your next visit

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.four landscapes with the colors of the different seasons -- blue, pink, orange, and green

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!

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.

A sunny beach landscape with people enjoying the summer


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
autumn leaves紅葉こうようkouyou
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
bell-ring crickets鈴虫すずむしsuzumushi

“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.

Winter landscape with a penguin

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:

snow monsters樹氷じゅひょうjuhyou
table style heating furniture炬燵こたつkotatsu
hot springs温泉おんせんonsen
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:

cloudy曇りくもり kumori
cold 寒いさむい samui
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
typhoon 台風 たいふうtaifuu
lightning かみなりkaminari

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.

Wrap Up

Awesome! You’ve stayed till the end of today’s lesson about the four seasons in Japan. How do you think the Japanese seasons influence their daily lives and traditions? Seasons are a universal language, and in learning about Japan’s, we gain not only language skills but also a deeper connection to the country’s rich culture and nature.

Now, time to speak to your Japanese friends and chat about what you’ve learned! If you’re still up to know more about Japanese, how about learning some Japanese greetings next?

がんばっ てください (ganbatte kudasai!)! ^^

    2 replies to "Seasons in Japanese – Things to know before your next visit"

    • Ala

      How poetically beautiful Nara is in autumn, the feeling is unforgettable

      • 90 Day Japanese

        Cool, thanks for your comment! ^^ If you want to find more great content on learning Japanese, you can visit the 90 Day Japanese Blog. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel for video lessons. You’ll get updated when our latest videos become available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.