How to Say the Seasons in Japanese

Japan takes great pride in its seasons, each with its own characteristics. If you plan to visit Japan for travel, knowing how to say the names of the seasons in Japanese may be very useful. Let’s take a look at the four seasons in Japanese and their characteristics.

The Seasons in Japanese

  • Spring: 春 (Haru)
  • Summer: 夏 (Natsu)
  • Fall: 秋 (Aki) 
  • Winter: 冬 (Fuyu)

Spring: 春 (Haru)

A river with cherry blossoms in bloom next to it, with Mt. Fuji in the background.

The word for “spring” in Japanese is 春 (haru). 

Spring in Japan is mild, with slightly colder mornings and warmer evenings. The most famous view associated with Japanese spring is the blooming of the cherry blossoms, which can be seen throughout the country in late March and early April. 

A common activity during this season is called 花見 (hanami), or “flower viewing;” groups and families will spread out blankets underneath the cherry blossom trees and enjoy food and drink while taking in the scene of the beautiful pink blossoms. Other flowers are also common during spring, such as 梅 (ume) or Japanese plum blossoms.

Summer: 夏 (Natsu)

Fireworks display in the air at a event in Japan.

Next is the word for summer in Japanese, which is 夏 (natsu). 

Japan experiences very hot and humid summers due to the ocean currents nearby and the air currents from Southeast Asia. Summer also brings a very heavy rainy season, called 梅雨 (tsuyu), and the start of the typhoon season. 

However, many people enjoy visits to the beach, grilling, and the famous 夏祭り (natsu-matsuri), or Summer Festival. During these festivals, fireworks are launched in the evening, and you can enjoy special foods and events there.

Fall: 秋 (Aki)

A Japanese monument in the background with the different colored fall leaves on trees all around.

The word for Fall or Autumn in Japanese is 秋 (aki). 

Fall in Japan experiences a mild climate similar to spring, though hotter temperatures can continue into October, especially in the southern regions. 

In late October through November, many regions of Japan see their forests burst into deep fall colors, known in Japanese as 紅葉 (momiji/kouyou). Tourists and locals will visit mountains and go hiking to see the beautiful reds and oranges coming from the local maple trees. Kyoto especially has famous scenery for fall colors.

Winter: 冬 (Fuyu)

Old Japanese Houses in Toyama in Winter with their "V" shaped roofs.

Lastly, the name for winter in Japanese is 冬 (fuyu). 

While much of Japan experiences a milder winter with little to no snowfall, the Touhoku region to the north of Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido are often blanketed in white for three or four months straight. 

Visiting hot springs, called 温泉 (onsen), is a popular activity during this season, and Sapporo’s 雪まつり (yuki-matsuri), or “Snow Festival,” draws in visitors from all over the world thanks to its snow sculptures of famous scenes, celebrities, and characters.

Conclusion

The sights and experiences of Japan’s seasons are a highlight for anyone who visits the country. Knowing the names of the seasons in Japanese can help your journey in learning the language and make your next visit more enjoyable. If you are planning a trip to Japan in the future, be sure to consider the season in which you’ll visit for its unique characteristics!

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