Western Pacific Ocean Large land mass of Asia to the north and West (narrow Sea of Japan) Largest body of deep ocean to the east and south
Climate It is important to remember that the arc of the main islands that make up Japan stretches from 46 o north as far south as 30 o north (16 o is the difference between Glasgow and Southern Italy) . In reality when all of the smaller islands are included Japan stretches for 25 o latitude. This in itself will lead to a variety of climates within the country. Japan belongs to the temperate zone with four distinct seasons, but its climate varies from cool temperate in the north to subtropical in the south. The climate is also affected by the seasonal winds that blow from the continent to the ocean in winters and vice versa in summers. Two primary factors influence Japan's climate: a location near the Asian continent and the existence of major ocean currents.
HIGH PRESSURE SYTEMS form over Asian land mass Oceans in tropics relatively warm – LOW PRESSURE SYSTEMS Seasonal winds in Winter months bring cool air from the NORTH WEST Winds pick up moisture as they pass over the still relatively warm SEA OF JAPAN
ASIAN LAND MASS warms in summer months – LOW PRESSURE SYSTEMS Oceans in tropics now relatively cool – HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEMS Seasonal winds in Summer months bring warm moist air from the South and East
Climate of Niigata Climate of Tokyo Peak rainfall in winter months in Niigata Peak rainfall in summer months in Tokyo
In summer months prevailing winds from the south and east lead to greater amounts of relief rainfall in Tokyo In winter months prevailing winds from the northwest lead to greater amounts of relief rainfall in Niigata Remember the winds may be cool and dry as they leave the Asian land mass but the quickly pick up moisture from the warm Sea of Japan