When is the best time to visit Japan?

Last Updated On December 02, 2022

Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the best times to visit Japan. This is when Japan is at its most brilliant, with delicate cherry blossoms and bright red leaves contrasting with the scenery. Keep in mind that it can potentially be very crowded at this time.

Tokyo, Japan, white sakura tree, sakura japan, sakura season

Photo by Yu Kato on Unsplash

Summer months (June to August) provide perfect weather for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, but only in the Japanese Alps and Hokkaido's untamed national parks. The weather is hot and humid elsewhere. The rainy season lasts from late May through the middle of June or July.

Travel to northern Japan in winter for a very unique experience (December to February). It's snowing, but people are brightening the days with a variety of festivals and festivities.

It's also a good idea to consider Japan's national holidays. Shogatsu (Japanese New Year), Obon (mid-August or mid-July, depending on location), and Golden Week (April 29 to May 5) are all popular times for inhabitants.

Weather in Japan

The weather in Japan changes significantly depending on where you go. The main (and largest) island, Honshu, generally has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Summers are hot and humid, while winters are bitterly cold and snowy. Of course, as previously said, it matters whether you want to spend your summers in Hokkaido or the tropical rainforest environment of Okinawa.

Spring (March - May)

Spring is arguably Japan's favorite season, with its beautiful weather and flowering trees. After a long, chilly winter, the country springs back to life, with events and entertainment everywhere. Spring, with the commencement of the new school and business year and the world-famous cherry blossom festivals, bestows Japan with a freshness that brings the country's beauty to its peak.

The spring is marked by calm, pleasant days and cool evenings. While rain is expected, most showers are brief and will pass fast. The low humidity makes it ideal for outdoor activities.

Summer (June - September)

Early summer is the off-season for domestic travel, making it ideal for those seeking a more tranquil Japan. While it is frequently humid, especially in June and July, warm temperatures allow you to wear comfortable summer attire day and night. Hundreds of spectacular events abound in Japan during the late summer, particularly in August, with most of them free to attend.

Because of the humidity, summer is arguably the most despised season in Japan. This is particularly noticeable in June and July when Tsuyu dominates Japan's rainy season. Despite the name, there aren't many more rainy days than in spring, but it's strong and heavy when it does rain.

Autum (September - December)

Autumn is the leading competitor for the best time to visit Japan after spring. Autumn is a welcome respite from the sweltering heat of summer, gently transitioning towards winter with milder days every week. Autumn also marks the start of the off-season for overseas travel, so tourist attractions are less congested.

Autumn weather might vary greatly depending on the month, so keep your summer clothes available, but don't forget your jacket! By October, Sapporo will have average lows of 7° C (45°F), and Sendai will have average lows of 11° C (52°F), so dress warmly.

Winter (December - March)

There is no better time for skiers than winter, with Hokkaido's ski slopes available even in December. While temperatures are frigid, cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto prefer bright, dry, and sunny days, which make travel easier. During the winter, foreign and local tourists slow, allowing you to traverse the country in relative peace.

Average lows in the south in January are a frigid 5°C (41°F), whereas Tokyo is a brisk 1°C (33°F), which is cold but not intolerable. However, major ski resorts Niigata and Nagano will often drop below freezing, while Sapporo will experience bone-chilling cold with an average low of -8°C (17°F).