Weather in Japanese: 36 Useful Words for Describing Temperature, Seasons and More

Weather makes a great ice-breaker—even in Japanese, where it’s called 天気 (tenki)

Awkward silence? Mention the storm coming in.

Not sure what to say on the phone to your relative who lives far away? Compare the temperature.

Weather is definitely a great way to start talking to people, so here are some vocabulary words for weather in Japanese!


  • And One More Thing...
  • 1. (くも) — clouds

    clouds against a blue sky

    In the early summer, sightseeing events that involve being above the clouds are very popular in Japan.

    (わたし は はーとがた の くも を みた。)
    I saw heart shapes in the clouds.

    2. 天気 (てんき) — weather

    (そと の てんき は おそろしい。)
    The weather outside is frightful.

    3. 天気予報 (てんき よほう) — weather forecast

    (きょう の てんき よほう を ききました か?)
    Have you heard the weather forecast for today?

    4. (にじ) — rainbow

    In ancient Japan, rainbows were believed to be ethereal bridges that ancestors took to return to Earth.

    (あれ は にじゅう の にじ だ!)
    It’s a double rainbow!

    5. (あめ) — rain

    The 雨 kanji sort of looks like rain under an umbrella, doesn’t it?

    (わたし は あめ の かおり が だいすき です。)
    I love the smell of rain.

    6. 酸性雨 (さんせい う) — acid rain

    Although acid rain isn’t as much of a problem today thanks to effective legislation, it’s still an issue in China and the surrounding areas, including Japan.

    (さんせいう に ちゅうい して ください。)
    Please be wary of the acid rain.

    7. (ひょう) — hail

    hail falling

    (いぜん、にほん で ひじょう に はげしい ひょう の あらし が はっせい しました。)
    There was once a very intense hail storm in Japan.

    8. (かみなり) — thunder

    (しんとう に は かみなり の かみ が います。)
    There is a god of thunder in the Shinto religion.

    9. 雷雨 (らいう) — thunderstorm

    It makes sense that 雷雨 simply consists of the characters for “thunder” and “rain” put together.

    (わたし の いぬ は らいう を こわがります。)
    My dog is afraid of thunderstorms.

    10. 落雷 (らくらい) — lightning

    (らくらい は まれ です。)
    Lightning strikes are rare.

    11. (あらし) — storm

    dark stormy sky

    ( あした は あらし の はず だ。 )
    We are due for a storm tomorrow. 

    12. 暴風 (ぼうふう) — hurricane

    暴 essentially means “violent” and 風 means “wind.”

    (ぼうふう は うみ から きます。)
    Hurricanes come from the ocean.

    13. 洪水 (こうずい) — flood

    (はいすい が ふ じゅうぶん だと、こうずい の げんいん に なる。)
    The drainage is insufficient and causes floods.

    14. 台風 (たいふう) — typhoon

    (たいふう が にほん を おそった。)
    A typhoon has struck Japan.

    15. 津波 (つなみ) — tsunami

    The Great Sendai Earthquake and tsunami in 2011 was one of the biggest natural disasters that Japan has ever experienced.

    (にほん は つなみ の えいきょう を うけ やすい。)
    Japan is susceptible to tsunamis.

    16. 大雪 (おおゆき) — blizzard


    (かのじょ は おおゆき で たちおうじょう した。)
    She was stuck in the blizzard.

    17. (みぞれ) — sleet

    (はげしい みぞれ が なんにちかん も つづいた。)
    The heavy sleet lasted for days.

    18. (こおり) — ice

    (ほどう に は こおり が あります。)
    There is ice on the sidewalk.

    19. (ゆき) — snow

    It rarely snows in Japan’s major cities, but you can travel to super snowy rural destinations in Japan during the winter months.

    (ゆき は やわらかい です。)
    The snow is soft.

    20. 気温 (きおん) — temperature

    (きょうと の きおん を しって います か?)
    Do you know the temperature in Kyoto?

    21. (きり) — fog

    (きり で まえ が みえない。)
    I cannot see through the fog.

    22. (かぜ) — wind

    flower pollen blowing away in the wind

    The Shinto religion has a Japanese god of wind who’s depicted as a horrifying green lizard-wizard-demon who wears a leopard skin.

    (かぜ が きもち いい です。)
    The wind is pleasant.

    23. 強風 (きょうふう) — intense wind

    (わたしたち は この きょうふう に ふきとばされて しまう。)
    This intense wind will blow us away.

    24. 季節 (きせつ) — season

    (きせつ は へんか して います。)
    The season is changing.

    25. (はる) — spring

    Japanese cherry blossom festivals always take place in spring around April.

    (はる の におい が する!)
    Spring is in the air!

    26. (なつ) — summer

    (なつ は とても あつい です。)
    Summer is very hot.

    27. (あき) — fall

    autumn garden in japan with colorful umbrellas

    (わたし は あき の いろ が だいすき です。)
    I love the colors of fall.

    28. (ふゆ) — winter

    While it might not seem like a good idea to visit an island in the winter, Japan actually has a ton of great things to see during this cold time of year.

    (ふゆ に ゆき が ふる と いいな。)
    I hope there will be a white winter.

    29. 暖かい (あたたかい) — warm

    (わたし は あたたかい きこう の ほう が すきだ。)
    I prefer a warm climate.

    30. 寒い (さむい) — cold

    (わたし の いえ は とても さむい です。)
    My house is so cold.

    31. 暑い (あつい) — hot

    The hottest it’s ever been in Japan was 106 degrees in July 2018.

    (わたしたち は あつい なつ を すごしました。)
    We have had a hot summer.

    32. 晴れ (はれ) — sunny

    trees against a sunny sky

    ( あした は はれ でしょう。 )
    It will be sunny tomorrow.

    33. 晴天 (せいてん) — clear skies

    (せいてん の なか、たこあげ を する の は さいこうだ。)
    Clear skies are best for kite-flying.

    34. 曇り (くもり) — cloudy

    (わたし は くもり の ひ が だいすき です。)
    I love cloudy days.

    35. 冷たい (つめたい) — icy/stingy

    man wearing a hat and mask because of cold weather

    (つめたい くうき が かお を つきさした。)
    Icy air stung my face.

    36. 蒸し暑い (むしあつい) — humid/balmy

    (かれ は むしあつい ひ に さんぽ に いきました。)
    He went for a walk on a balmy day.


    Get a load of all those weather words! Most of these words are relatively simple to remember, so it won’t be that hard to study them and use them in the future. Use the FluentU program to get even more context on weather vocabulary, through native Japanese videos.

    FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

    You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

    P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

      FluentU Ad

    We hope your studies are fruitful and your afternoon is 晴れ (sunny)!

    And One More Thing...

    If you love learning Japanese with authentic materials, then I should also tell you more about FluentU.

    FluentU naturally and gradually eases you into learning Japanese language and culture. You'll learn real Japanese as it's spoken in real life.

    FluentU has a broad range of contemporary videos as you'll see below:


    FluentU makes these native Japanese videos approachable through interactive transcripts. Tap on any word to look it up instantly.


    All definitions have multiple examples, and they're written for Japanese learners like you. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.


    And FluentU has a learn mode which turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples.


    The best part? FluentU keeps track of your vocabulary, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You'll have a 100% personalized experience.

    Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

    Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

    We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe