Sakura, cherry blossom park in spring tokyo

Traveling to Japan – Best Time to Visit Japan

This post was last updated on February 1st, 2020 at 06:09 pm


Whether you are walking in Tokyo, visiting the temples of Kyoto or want to see one of the beautiful rice fields, it is useful to know in advance what the weather conditions are like in Japan. Good preparation makes your trip (even) more enjoyable and the weather in Japan is certainly one of them. A visit to Mount Fuji in the rain is no fun, but a day in Tokyo in 35 degrees is also a challenge! Escaping from every rain shower is impossible, but you can prepare for it! That is why we will tell you everything you need to know about the best time to visit Japan.

 

Best Time to Visit Japan

The best travel time always depends on your own wishes. At the end of March, the country starts to wake up from the winter. The best travel time to Japan is, therefore, spring and autumn. The well-known sakura (cherry blossoms) bloom during this period. All of Japan and its residents are in the “hanami”, also called flower viewing mode. The country is then under the spell of this beautiful phenomenon of Mother Nature.

 

TIP – The best time to visit Japan is in the spring and fall, followed by the summer months.

 

Image: Beautiful scenery with blooming cherry blossoms (Sakura) in Tokyo
Beautiful scenery with blooming cherry blossoms (Sakura) in Tokyo

 

Summer Months in Japan

The temperature starts to rise after the months of March and May. The summer is, therefore, the same as in, for example, the United States or the United Kingdom. And in our opinion, summer actually belongs to the best travel time in Japan. In July, August and September it starts to get warmer, but there will also a bit more rainfall.

 

Certainly on the islands Amami and Okinawa. Traveling in these months is therefore easy to do if you don’t mind a light shower here and there. Incidentally, the summer months are a great time to visit Japan because “Natsu Matsuri” is celebrated in different cities.

 

Natsu Matsuri are summer festivals where you can watch beautiful fireworks!

 

TIP – The warm months, without rain, last approximately until June.

 

Cherry Blossoms near a Temple in Japan
Beautiful cherry blossoms near a traditional temple in Japan

 

The Seasons of Japan

You can divide the best months to travel into different seasons. The high season, the mid-season and the low season. This is largely due to the weather, but not always. The month of April is certainly not the hottest month, but it is one of the busiest due to the blooming cherry blossoms.

 

High Season 

Cherry Blossoms in front of Temple

Months: April, May, and August

The high season in Japan is not the summer, but these months. Prices are rising around the Golden Week (early May) and New Year. The reason these months are considered high season is because of the cherry blossoms that bloom from March to early April and the colors of autumn in November.

 

Shoulder Season 

Japanese Mid Season Autumn Colors

Months: June and July, Sep. up to and including Dec

In the summer months, you have the warmest temperatures. Unfortunately, you also have more rain in June and July. Of course, it doesn’t rain all day, which makes these months great travel months. September to December are a little cooler with less rain and clear skies.

 

Low Season

Japanese Low Season Snowfall

Months: January to March

The winters in Japan are pretty chilly, so it’s better to skip these months. The big advantage is that it is very quiet and especially cheap in these months. Take snow and temperatures below zero into account. A lot of accommodations will also be closed. It is a good time for winter sports enthusiasts.

 

Weather in Japan in the Winter

The winter weather (November to March) differs greatly between the western coast of Japan and the coast of the Pacific (the east). The west coast suffers from cold winds and heavy snow, while the east coast tends to have dry and clear winter days.

 

The country can be confronted with regular snowfall in the mountains. This provides ideal conditions for skiing and snowboarding.

 

TIP – In the winter you have great skiing and snowboarding options and the onsens (hot springs) are extra soothing!

 

Weather in Japan in the Summer

June, July and August are the hottest months in Japan. However, these months also form the rainy season (tsuyu). This can turn hot summer days into swampy conditions. Warm and moist. If you don’t like tropical conditions, head to the cooler hills or the northern side of the country.

 

TIP – In the summer there are colorful festivals all over the country. Hiking in the Japanese Alps (Kamikochi) and exploring the beautiful coastal areas will give you unforgettable experiences.

 

Top view of Ishigaki seascape

The summer is a great time to visit all the beautiful beaches and islands in Japan

 

Weather in Japan in Spring and Autumn

These months are the best time to visit Japan. Despite frequent rain showers, spring is one of the most pleasant times to visit Japan. The famous cherry blossoms bloom from the warm Kyūshū in March to the colder Hokkaidō in May.

 

Typhoons and more rain plague the country from September prior to fall. This runs through to October and the end of November. This is the most spectacular season of Japan when the maple trees turn into warm colors of red, yellow and orange.

 

Weather table for camping in Japan

 

Sakura – Cherry blossom

One of the best known natural phenomena in Japan is Sakura, also known as the blossoming of cherry blossoms. During this period, the entire country appears to be turning pink. The trees provide a beautiful landscape. It is, therefore, a popular travel time.

 

The blossom blooms best in the month (end) of April and May. That is also one of the busiest periods in Japan. Below is an overview of when and where you can find them.

 

Sakura Time and Place

Source; http://www.jnto.go.jp/sakura/eng/index.php

 

Continue your journey through beautiful Japan! Read more about the best highlights, read the Travel Information page or search for cheap airline tickets to Japan. Are you going backpacking through Japan or would you rather go on a trip with a travel organization? You can read it all on our website.

 

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