How many seasons are there in Japan?

Whenever I ask any of my Japanese friends how many seasons there are in this country, they always tell me four. Shiki (四季), the four seasons, are magical aspects of Japan that you won’t quite experience anywhere else—or so they say, but is it correct?

“What about tsuyu (梅雨), the rainy season,” I ask.  “What’s that?”

“Umm..... Summer??”

“Summer, huh? You know, I find tsuyu to be so uniquely different that it deserves to be called a season all by itself.”

Except for Hokkaido and Okinawa, I suppose I’m really asking about Honshu.

“Okay, I guess, there are five seasons then.”

What do you think?