Summer is upon us and we have now entered the rainy season. However, as I’m currently sitting in blazing sunshine and 30 degree Celsius heat (my boss still stubbornly refuses to turn on the air conditioners), one could be forgiven for thinking that summer is already here.
I still have about six weeks or so to wait before I can take some time off at the end of July. With August being the peak season for holiday makers in Japan, if you do want to get out of the city for a few days — you should probably start making those plans now.
One question I’m often asked by friends who are new to Japan is: “Where can I go to get out of the city that won’t break the bank?”
Well, here are five places places to consider visiting to get out of the metropolitan heat and into some of the — both literally and figuratively — cooler spots across Japan this summer.
*NB:** Prices are based on travel in late-July to mid-August. They are approximate and accurate at the time of writing. Be sure to check airline websites and hotel homepages for the latest deals.*
Fukuoka offers an escape from Tokyo, but is still a fairly large city. So, if you’re an urbanite, it won’t be too big a shock to you. Although the temperature is a couple of degrees warmer than Tokyo on average, the lower humidity and smog levels will make it feel a little cooler.
Being located on the southern island of Kyushu, Fukuoka is also an easy day trip to some of Japan’s finest onsen retreats. Kumamoto — approximately 90 minutes by train from Fukuoka — has some excellent ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) offering not only excellent bathing facilities, but also some excellent hiking and historical places to visit.
- **Flight time from Tokyo:** 2 hours, 15 minutes.
- **Price:** From ¥20,000, round trip (Peach and Vanilla Air both have prices in that range, depending on the day and how much you book in advance).
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