With June coming to a close and the summer solstice passing, the official summer in Japan is just getting started! Since Japan has four seasons, the terms that are often used during each period are very different and the summer season, of course, is no exception.
If it is your first time in Japan and its summer season, you are most likely not yet familiar with the words that are often used and heard. But don’t worry, because this post will help you to learn these key words and their meanings so that you can use them yourselves with confidence. So here are 5 words to remember during summer in Japan!
Natsu is the Japanese word for summer and is written with this kanji: 夏. Chances are you’ve already encountered this word a couple of times, especially if you watch Japanese dramas and anime. Aside from the word natsu, the word manatsu 真夏 is also used in Japan when the season reaches it mid peak in which manatsu means mid-summer.
Atsui (暑い) is a Japanese word which means hot and is something that you’ll often hear in the summer. Atsui is a simple word to use and with just this single word, you already have a complete context already. For example, when someone says atsui, it already implies that the weather is hot. One thing you should be careful of though is not to confuse the word atsui (暑い) and atsui (熱い). While both words are pronounced and mean “hot”, the former is used to describe the weather while the latter to describe objects and feel.
Betabeta is a Japanese onomatopoeia word which means sticky. The word can be used in a range of forms like for food but during the summer, the word betabeta describes the sticky feeling of sweat on the body.
Tsuyu (梅雨), or also read as baiu, is made up of the kanji characters for ume (plum) and ame (rain). Tsuyu means rainy season, and it is often associated with the summer season in Japan. Tsuyu usually starts around the first or second week of June in Tokyo but this differs from every region in Japan. You should look out for this when you watch the news every morning to find out if the tsuyu period in your area is coming.
And the last word to remember for the summer is shigaisen. Shigaisen (紫外線) is the Japanese word for ultraviolet rays and is an important word to take note of. The ultraviolet rays during summer are something to be aware of and in order to take precautions, you can buy items at stores with the word shigaisen. Depending on where you live, some news programs also give advisories on the measure of ultraviolet rays for the day.
These are some of the helpful words you should remember for the summer season in Japan. Now if you come across them on your visit, you’ll already know what they mean. Have a great summer!