Helping Dragon will be posting a weekly (tourism related) blog of what has been happening in Japan, mainly Hokkaido.
This is in hopes to help you to plan your trip here, as well as to keep a record of our experiences to develop better content in the future.
This year has been difficult for us because of Covid-19, but we will be doing our best to making Japan an easier place to visit for everyone.
HD Drone trip around Hokkaido Postponed
As announced before, we had planned to do a car/drone trip around Hokkaido, but we decided to postpone it to September.
These are the main reasons:
- The number of Covid-19 cases is rising again
- The busy obon period / summer vacation crowd
- Weather conditions
Rising cases of Covid 19
Although it is controlled compared to other countries, the cases of Covid 19 has risen to the highest daily cases recently across Japan.
This might be due to summer vacation.
According to a survey by the government, the age range of the new patients is mainly the younger generations, 20’s continued by the 30’s.
As the number of new patients topped and began to decrease in late May, people have started to go out again and the second wave is here.
Indoor events, hospitals, and karaoke bars has been the main places that created clusters of new patients.
Many provinces including Hokkaido, have been announcing alert to spending time outside, and suggest staying at home.
Although the drone car trip will be in the suburbs, we still thought it would be better for us to postpone it to when the summer vacation period is over in September.
The busy Obon period
Another event that is coming up to keep in mind for us is the Obon Period.
The Obon period is a special period in which families gather to their home to remember their ancestors.
The obon period is usually the 2nd-3rd week of August, and flights, shinkansen, and all other transportation will be fully booked.
The Japanese government has already announced that they will not ask the citizens for self-restraint going back to their family homes.
It shows how obon period is important for us.
But unfortunately, this will result in a boost in the number of new cases of the virus.
During obon, one big event that is held to”remember our ancestors” is matsuri, or traditional festivals that are held across Japan.
In a matsuri, people wear traditional clothing and go to food stands, game arcades, and enjoy performances.
Matsuri is an event people look forward to, and this means crowd!
Hanabi=Fireworks usually comes with the matsuri period, and it is our summer main activity that many people go to.
*Many matsuri festivals are beginning to announce cancelation for the event of 2020.
The Weather of Hokkaido doesn’t seem to be very good in August
We had clear blue skies in Hokkaido during July when the rest of Japan had the monsoon rainy period.
But now seems to be the reverse in August.
While Hokkaido is having a cloudy/rainy month, all the other parts of Japan is having a relatively sunny August.
Looking at yearly past data of weather, this seems to be the ordinary case, especially during mid August.
The Good thing is we don’t have the heatwave like in the mainland
In Hokkaido, 2020 might become a relatively cool summer. It is probably the only region in Japan where we could live without air conditioning.
Just a fan would do, and the temperature will be below 30°C.
August is extremely hot in the mainland Japan.
The temperature could get to high 30’s with very sticky humidity.
When my friend from Tokyo visited Hokkaido last year, I remember the family was just very happy that they could escape the hot weather.
This shows how different the temperature is in Hokkaido and the mainland.
Matsuri festivals and fireworks are something that is very traditional and will give you a unique experience, but please be very careful of the temperature.
Best option to visit during August: Okinawa
Lastly, we want to share you this video of Yoron Island in Kagoshima prefecture.
It is like our Hawaii, and near Yoron is a set of beautiful resort islands of Okinawa.
To enjoy the summer beach, Yoron and the Okinawa islands might be one summer to consider.
We hope the information will help!
Have a nice weekend, and see you again next Friday!!