News On Japan

Okinawa and Amami Enter Rainy Season 11 Days Late

NAHA, May 21 (News On Japan) - With Okinawa and Amami entering the rainy season 11 days later than usual, the question is: What does the weather forecast for Japan's summer hold?

On May 21, Tokyo experienced its hottest day of the year with temperatures reaching 28.9°C, comparable to early July, resulting in a humid day. Due to the influence of the seasonal rain front, Miyakojima City recorded the heaviest rainfall ever observed, with 100 millimeters of rain in one hour, causing flooding in some areas.

Inoue Takahiro, anchor: 'We need to brace for the summer heat. Even in late May, temperatures across the country have exceeded 30 degrees. On the 21st, temperatures especially rose on the Pacific side.'

Hirose Shun, weather forecaster: 'On the 21st, the Japan Meteorological Agency announced that Okinawa and Amami have likely entered the rainy season.'

Although these announcements are sometimes revised in September, the definition of the rainy season is based on an increase in cloudy or rainy days compared to adjacent periods. Therefore, the exact position of the rain front is not strictly included in the definition, and forecasts may change with subsequent corrections.

Inoue, anchor: 'The rainy season in Okinawa and Amami is 11 days later than usual. In Miyakojima City, it rained 100 millimeters per hour early on the 21st, setting a record.'

Looking at the weekly forecast for Tokyo, the weather is expected to become unsettled around May 27th. This may signal the beginning of the rainy season.

Hirose: 'This is likely to be the "pre-rainy season." Before the main rainy season, there are periods of unsettled weather known as the "pre-rainy season." It is expected that the pre-rainy season will start around May 27th, with the official announcement of the rainy season likely in early June after a brief improvement in the weather.'

Inoue: 'From a layperson's perspective, it might seem appropriate to call it the rainy season when rain marks appear around the 27th, but professionals might have a different view.'

Former Japanese swimming representative Takeshi Matsuda: 'We should almost consider it the rainy season. Until recently, the sunlight was strong but the humidity was low, making it dry. Now, the humidity has suddenly increased.'

Inoue: 'The rainy season in Kanto-Koshin usually starts from early to mid-June. In recent years, it started around June 11 in 2020, June 14 in 2021, June 6 in 2022, and June 8 in 2023.'

Hirose: 'Typically, the rainy season in Kanto-Koshin starts around June 7. However, it was announced as early as May 27 in 2011. According to the forecast, there is a possibility that the rainy season will start after June this year.'

Japan Meteorological Agency's 3-Month Forecast: Concerns Over Heavy Rain This Year

Inoue: 'The newly released three-month precipitation forecast indicates:

- June: Precipitation is expected to be average or above average from Okinawa to the Pacific side of western Japan.

- July: Precipitation is expected to be average or above average from western Japan to the Pacific side of eastern Japan.

- August: Precipitation is expected to be average nationwide.

Hirose: 'Since April, the forecast has changed, indicating that areas likely to receive rain in July have expanded. This year's El Nino phenomenon contributes to moist air flowing into the rainy season, increasing the risk of heavy rain. Consequently, the likelihood of heavy rain has risen significantly. Typically, during unsettled weather, temperatures do not rise much. However, due to the record warm winter, the sea has warmed like a hot water bottle, making it likely that temperatures will remain high regardless of the weather. Therefore, there is also concern about extreme heat following the rainy season.'

Inoue: 'The warmed sea, full of steam, can particularly affect Kyushu if there is a typhoon. However, this year, it is expected to impact a wider area. What kind of rainy season can we expect this year?'

'Last year, there was little rain in the Kanto region during the rainy season, but this year, there are greater concerns about heavy rain, including the possibility of linear precipitation bands causing heavy rainfall.'

Hirose: 'Most of the torrential rains during the rainy season are caused by linear precipitation bands. When moist air flows in, there is concern about the occurrence of linear precipitation bands. Therefore, I hope everyone will be especially vigilant about rain information this year.'

Chiaki Horan, anchor: 'Every year, heavy rain during the rainy season often overlaps with linear precipitation bands, leading to water damage. This is concerning.'

Matsuda: 'I think it is necessary to prepare for water and landslide disasters now.'

Source: TBS

News On Japan

The long-standing seniority-based system in Japanese companies is being phased out. Many have considered it natural to rise with age, but there have been times when people desired recognition based on ability. With this deeply ingrained system now under review, will the decision by a major bank change Japan's corporate culture?

In a significant ruling regarding the estate of businessman 'Kishu Don Juan,' the court declared on Friday the will, which states that his 1.3 billion yen estate be donated entirely to the city, to be valid. Relatives had contested the will's validity, but the court dismissed their claims.

A controversy has erupted over the sale of high-priced premium seats at the Gion Festival. Yasaka Shrine's chief priest has expressed concern over the decision to sell premium seats for 150,000 yen each, stating, "This is not a show."

The Tokyo gubernatorial election was officially announced on June 20th, with a record 56 candidates running. However, the allocated poster spaces only accommodate 48 candidates, leaving some without a place to display their posters. As a workaround, clear file folders are being used, causing confusion at polling sites.

A rare 63-leaf clover, cultivated in the garden of Takaharu Watanabe in Nasushiobara City, Tochigi Prefecture, has been officially recognized by Guinness World Records this month.



A traditional ceremony to banish evil and pray for good fortune, known as the 'Bamboo Cutting Ceremony,' was held on June 20 at Kurama Temple in Kyoto's Sakyo Ward. During the event, men dressed as warrior monks struck down green bamboo, symbolizing a giant serpent, with mountain swords.

Ibaraki Prefecture's Hokota Beach, renowned for its breathtaking scenery and good surf, has canceled its opening this year due to the disappearance of the sandy beach.

Discover the hidden gems of Japan through exclusive behind-the-scenes tours that offer unprecedented access to popular attractions. From exploring the backstage of aquariums to delving into the depths of giant underground temples, these tours provide a unique perspective on some of Japan's most fascinating sites.

The “Yume no Ohashi” bridge in Fuji City, a scenic spot famed for its breathtaking views of Mount Fuji, has recently become a hotspot for foreign tourists. However, the surge in visitors has led to various issues, prompting local authorities to take action.

Automaker Honda has launched a domestic travel service using its small business jet, the HondaJet.

Himeji Castle, a popular tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage site, is currently considering a significant increase in admission fees for foreign visitors. The admission fee for adults is presently 1,000 yen, but the mayor of Himeji City has proposed raising the fee to 30 dollars for foreign tourists, a move that has sparked considerable debate.

Kyoto experienced another sweltering day on Monday, marking a full week of temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. In the midst of this relentless heat, we sought out some cooler locations, and what we found were breathtaking views.

The iconic 381 Series Yakumo express train, introduced during the Japan National Railways (JNR) era, made its final scheduled run on June 15, with a special event in Izumo City to commemorate the train's retirement.