In Japan, June typhoons are a rare event. The waters as far north as Japan are only beginning to heat up during this month and so typhoons/cyclones tend not to venture towards Japan until late July-August-early September. Even then, most storms are drawn towards either the Philippines to the south or west towards Taiwan and China. Typhoon Guchol was the first to make landfall in Japan for eight years in June. Unusually high pressure for this time of year forced the typhoon northwards instead of westwards according to the Japan Weather Association. Wind speed was recorded at 193 kilometres (about 130 miles) per hour as the storm tore into the Japanese archipelago. Usually tropical storms in the area first hit the southern Okinawan and Yaeyama island chains before hitting the first of the big islands in Kyushu. From there they move north covering Honshu and Shikoku before finally hitting Hokkaido. Due to a long time spent over land, which sucks energy from the storm, and by the cooling waters the further north it went, storms tend to lose momentum towards the north of the country. Guchol, on the other hand, made landfall on the Kii peninsula, which contains Osaka, Wakayama, Nara and Mie prefectures. Previous to that its outer tendrils had brushed the other islands bring wind and rain, but little damage. The area is well known for a range of sacred temples such as Ise in Mie prefecture, the Yoshino area of southern Nara and Koyasan of Wakayama. As the structures are made of wood and are bound by ingenious design rather than using nails and screws, it is possible the storm caused extensive damage to these cultural assets. It is not known yet, however, how much damage was caused. The Kii peninsula itself is sparsely populated, but just beyond in Osaka to the northwest, Kyoto and Nara to the north and especially Nagoya to the northeast, lies the largest urban conurbation outside of the Greater Tokyo area. Understandably, there was a warning for 150,000 people to flee their homes. This was probably aimed at coastal dwellers who would feel the full force of the cyclone as it hit just 100km (65 miles) off the city of Shionomisaki in Wakayama prefecture. While much of the Japan coast has been fortified using tetrapods, supposedly to protect coastal communities from high waves and concrete cladding to solidify hillsides, the Meteorological Agency in Japan still advised people to be wary of mudslides, high waves and flash flooding. These exact problems were encountered in the Philippines when the store hit the island nation. Known locally as hurricane Butchoy, Guchol only grazed the country, but still caused extensive damage on Monday night. 27 people are feared dead, 19 of which were in a capsized boat in the southwest of the country near Palawan. Otherwise three major highways were hit with mudslides connecting areas such as Baguio and Nueva Vizcaya. From Shionomisaki, the storm moved northeast towards the city of Nagoya and then up towards Tokyo and the Tohoku area still recovering from the March 2011 tsunami. The first casualties of the typhoon in Japan were around 500 flights which were either cancelled or rerouted to avoid the storm. As the storm moved along Japan at approximately 22km an hour, the winds were strong enough for the storm to be designated a category 3 storm. Later, 10,000 people were advised to evacuate the city of Ishinomaki north of Tokyo. The city was devastated by the tsunami a year ago, and is still recovering. Damage was done to a number of construction sites in the Japanese capital, while there may have been landslides in rural areas. The storm left one person dead and 44 injured as it made its way north through the country. Yamamoto Kentaro, 53, died when the winds caused the building he was in to collapse in Numazu, Shizuoka prefecture. In Yamanashi Prefecture, a 16 year old girl has been reported missing. A felled tree at the Inokashira Park Zoo in Tokyo ripped a hole in one of the enclosure fences allowing the inmates to escape. Luckily for local residents the 30 squirrels are not thought to be dangerous. As always with storms, the majority of damage was done to buildings and vehicles lashed by the wind and rain. Such storms show how important it is got get property and vehicle insurance, even if it is temporary car insurance with storm coverage. Japan is now waiting to see how the storm Talim develops. It formed off the coast of southeast China on Sunday and is expected to follow in Guchol’s path. The additional wind and especially the additional rainfall it will bring with it, may overload already stretched water systems and hillsides. Talim is expected to hit Japan on Friday, so the damage done will be known over the weekend. The good news for Japan, though, is that Talim is expected to weaken into a tropical storm before it makes landfall, meaning the country is only facing one June typhoon, well, so far anyway. —— Evelyn Pearce is a freelance writer from London, England. In her twenties she spent most of her time travelling through Asia and now looks to stay closer to home and have a smaller impact on the environment when she gets away.