Shibazakura festival

We have to face up to the truth on this one – in summer, Japan can be a very hot and sticky place to be.

However, as Japan as a whole stretches over 1,800 miles, the climate in the south is very different from that in the north. Throughout the year, you’ll be able to find temperate spots to suit your travel tastes.

On the island of Hokkaido, you can escape from the summer humidity and relax in wondrously natural surroundings, feasting on fresh seafood and staying at some of Japan’s most amazing ryokans.

Visit the lavender fields of Furano and Biei to see the stunning purple carpets spread out in front of you. Or go to East Hokkaido for a nature or bird watching tour at the Shiretoko National Park, where brown bears roam freely, fishing for salmon in local rivers.

With the temperate weather, you’ll also be able to make the most of Japanese hot springs, so visit Noboribetsu – where the volcanic activity of ‘Hell Valley’ looks like scenes from another universe, or Asahidake to dig your very own!

No visit to Hokkaido is complete without a stop off in the capital – so take a trip to Sapporo and munch on the deliciously salty Sapporo ramen, washed down with a Sapporo beer!

In other areas of Japan, the temperatures are likely to be very hot, with 100% humidity frequent in many areas on the mainland. If you are very pale skinned or sensitive to the sun, it’s wise to be careful. You’ll often sea people in Japan holding ‘sun umbrellas’ to guard themselves from harmful rays, or wearing long gloves so they are not exposed to potential sun damage through the windows of their cars.