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Summer is quickly approaching, and many of you out there are already planning or have already planned out your summer vacations. Some of you might be planning to go to Japan during this summer. Regardless of the length of the trip, how short or long it might be, these are the things I would like you to try during this summer in Japan. No specific orders below, but if you have a chance to try, try one of these during your stay.
夏祭り （なつまつり、Natsu matsuri）- summer festival
This is one of the things you don’t want to miss, that is “Natsu matsuri 夏祭り、なつまつり(summer festival)” . There are many of them throughout the country during summer. Each local city has its own festival, some are small but others are huge in scale. There are many local foods you can try at the festival as well, some host a grand parade that you can enjoy watching “OMikoshi (おみこし、portable shrine like the one in the picture above) in various shapes.
花火大会 （はなびたいかい、Hanabi Taikai）-Fireworks
Another event you should check out while in Japan, is “Hanabi Taikai 花火大会、はなび たいかい(Fireworks festival)” You have to see in person to enjoy the moment, pictures will not do it. In Japan, most of the fireworks festival last for 2 hours in average and that the whole time, you can enjoy the fireworks. Obviously, you don’t want to miss the last 5 to 10 minutes of it!
海水浴 （かいすいよく、Kaisuiyoku) – going to the beach
Even though Japan might not be known for beaches, in the hot humid summer weather, you will still enjoy going to the beach. If you get a chance, check out the beaches in Okinawa, southern island of Japan, by far, that is my favorite place to visit during summer.
Going to the beach is one thing, but you would also enjoy going to mountain as well. During the summer, inside the mountain is much cooler, and why not enjoy some of the nature as well. By the mountain, you will find the most peaceful countryside that you can enjoy strolling.
かき氷（かきごおり、kakigo-ri) -Shaved ice
If you are in Japan during summer, you have to try the shaved ice at least once. My favorite is the one just like the above picture, with green tea(maccha) syrup, beans, and mochi.
冷やし中華（ひやしちゅうか、Hiyashi chuka) -Cold noodles
During summer, you will find many cold dishes everywhere, such as cold udons, cold sobas, and cold noodles, such as the one above. If you don’t have much appetite for a big meal, you might want to try something like this since it is much more refreshing.
Catching fireflies is such a cool experience. As a child, I often went to catch them with my family. If you have kids, they will enjoy them for sure. You can easily catch them at night using inspect nets.
No matter what part of Japan you might be visiting, these are the places and food you can try. The best part of going to Japan is that each local area has their own version of this, especially when it comes to food.