Few visitors to Japan can imagine how extreme the climate variation is in the country. Japan’s climate is based on a number of very important factors: first, its location near the great Asian continent; second, its considerable length from northeast to southwest; one third of its range of altitudes from sea level to over 3000 m, and the fourth, major ocean currents.

Due to its location off the Asian continent, Japan is dominated, especially in winter by the freezing masses of air that flow from the continent and bring extreme weather conditions that one would not otherwise expect at this latitude. Japan’s great length, combined with its range of altitudes, means that there is considerable climatic variation from north to south, such as subarctic in the north and subtropical in the south, and from sea level to the summit of the Mountain.

Count them to you: after a hot, dry spring, there is a prolonged rainy season, followed by a hot and humid summer, a dramatic typhoon season, and a box of colorful paint in the fall; finally, there is a long and very cold winter, especially in the north. In Okinawa, winter is barely cooler than summer and only lasts about a month.

In most of Japan, the real winter lasts from December to February, but in Hokkaido to the north it extends at least from November to March and the snowpack remains heavy for much of April and into May in the mountains. While the northern island of Hokkaido and the northern highlands of Honshu experience a significantly more boreal climate with low temperatures and deep snowfall, the island of Kyushu and the chain of islands between Kyushu and Taiwan have winters cold to mild. and long hot and humid summers.

Autumn brings a riot of color, with blushing rowan trees contrasting with Japanese Scots pine; During the harsh winters, the storm pushed ice packs along the coast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk near Abashiri. With the frigid arctic air blowing across Siberia, the prevailing winter winds come from the northwest, while the prevailing summer winds come from the tropical southeastern Pacific, the Japanese archipelago is therefore experiencing strong seasonal and subarctic variations. and subtropical climates.

Japan benefits from two major currents and several other minor currents. Other branches of this current affect the west coast of Japan. In addition to the global annual climate calendar, Japan can be divided into climatic zones, each of which is characterized by a particular type of climate.

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