When is the best time to visit Japan?

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The info on this page is based on historical averages and might not reflect current conditions. Check with local authorities for the latest travel advice.

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The best time to visit Japan is from late March to early April, and from September to November. During the spring, the country is covered in swaths of cherry blossom trees, while autumn takes on a new palette as tranquil gardens and parks turn shades of red, orange, and gold. Along with the beautiful foliage, the weather is mild during these periods and pleasant for strolling around the sights.

In major cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, your best bet for immersing yourself in the pink tint of sakura season is the start of April. It’s not an exact science, but generally the milder the climate, the earlier the blossoms open – bear this in mind when planning your trip. Along with exploring Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, public bathhouses (sento) and hot-spring baths (onsen) are some of the most therapeutic ways to immerse yourself in the local culture. Japan is also renowned for its flavorful cuisine, so be sure to fill your plate with sushi, udon noodles, and tofu between soaking up the sights.

Monthly weather and travel tips for Japan

Japan in January is relatively chilly with temperatures dropping to around 50ºF and many parts of the country getting snow. But between winter festivals, hot springs, and skiing, there are plenty of ways to keep warm. Thinner crowds combined with consistently impressive sights make it well worth braving the crisp weather in big cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, but bear in mind that a lot of businesses close during the New Year period. If you’re determined to leave your coat and umbrella at home, the Okinawa Islands in the southwest enjoy semi-tropical weather year-round, with temperatures of up to 65ºF.

The Shōgatsu (New Year) festival kicks off on January 1 when everyone unites to wish good health and prosperity to one another. Head to a snow art festival to see beautiful ice sculptures of mythological creatures that are illuminated at night. Since January is the coldest month of the year, many also take to the slopes to enjoy skiing or snowboarding, with Hakuba and Niseko being two of the most popular resorts.

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Events in Japan in January

Coming of Age Day

January 10, 2022

January 3 Bank Holiday

January 3, 2022

January 2 Bank Holiday

January 2, 2022

New Year's Day

January 1, 2022

As the cold snap continues into February, ski season reaches its peak as blankets of thick, powdery snow are met with more sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures than January. Although the weather is usually sunny and dry, you should pack plenty of warm clothes to cope with the cooler temperatures, which average out at around 50ºF during the day and 35°F in the evening. There are smaller crowds this time of year, making it a great time to explore the main sights with shorter lines.

February’s highlights include Sapporo’s annual snow festival, which attracts two million visitors with its ice sculpting competition, a skating rink, and snow slides for kids. Towards the end of the month, plum blossoms begin appearing to signal the start of spring. Head to famous viewing points like Kairaku-en in Mito or Tokyo’s Hanegi Park along with many other gardens and shrines to appreciate the vibrant shades of these colorful trees.

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Events in Japan in February

Emperor's Birthday

February 23, 2022

National Foundation Day

February 11, 2022

Valentine's Day

February 14, 2022

March’s main draw is undoubtedly the tradition of “hanami,” which literally means “to look at flowers.” It won’t take you long to see what all the fuss is about, with the sakura trees blooming in parks, along streets, and riversides. The cherry blossom colors begin to peek through at the beginning of March as the reddish hues spread from south to north. Expect a full-on pink parade as the month draws to a close. It's worth checking the cherry blossom forecasts ahead of time if you want to see the country at its most colorful. These will be available between January and February, and will be updated weekly throughout the season.

Anime is a big deal in Japan, so if you’re in Tokyo at this time, check out AnimeJapan – the world’s largest festival dedicated to this popular animation style. Daytime temperatures average out at a pleasant 55ºF, meaning it’s one of the most enjoyable times to visit the country. If you’re going to be out the whole day, you should pack a relatively warm coat or sweater to wrap up in during the evenings when it gets a bit fresher.

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Events in Japan in March

Spring Equinox

March 21, 2022

March Equinox

March 21, 2022

Dolls' Festival/Girls' Festival

March 3, 2022

A surge of warm weather throughout the country makes April the ideal time to visit any part of Japan. Cherry blossom season hits its stride in cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, and southern Okinawa’s beach resorts are open for business. While temperatures average out at 66ºF during the day, you’ll still want to wear something warmer in the evening when it can get quite chilly.

Die-hard winter sports enthusiasts can still hit the slopes at some resorts, like Niseko, which offers spring skiing. If you’re looking to appreciate the beauty of cherry blossom season in full swing, Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto offer some of the best hanami (blossom viewing) as flushes of pink cover streets, parks, and shrines. However, there are thousands of spots across the country to observe sakura (cherry trees) in bloom. Keep in mind that crowds will swell during Golden Week (April 29 to early May) when many Japanese holidays take place.

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Events in Japan in April

Shōwa Day

April 29, 2022

As Golden Week festivities spill over into the first week of May, cherry blossoms are at their pinkish peak in the northern region of Hokkaido and average temperatures creep up to a pleasant 73ºF. Many Japanese people take the week off work, so expect public transit and parks to be packed.

Once the crowds have dispersed, you can enjoy a relatively roomy exploration around main cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto while enjoying the t-shirt weather. With ski season officially over, hiking is the best way to keep active, with Hokkaido’s mountains and various national parks being the best spots for a scenic stroll. Tokyo is filled with festivals during May, including the wild weekend-long Sanja Matsuri where around 100 portable shrines are paraded through the streets. The end of the month sees the hugely popular Roppongi Art Night put on its weekend of outdoor installations and live performances, turning the area into one big open-air gallery.

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Events in Japan in May

Children's Day

May 5, 2022

Greenery Day

May 4, 2022

Constitution Memorial Day

May 3, 2022

By late June, the rainy season (“tsuyu”) affects most of Japan, so packing a waterproof coat and umbrella is essential. The northernmost islands of Hokkaido are the one part of Japan that escapes the showers, enjoying sunny weather for most of the month. Down south it’ll be pretty hot and humid, with rain falling in sporadic tropical downpours and temperatures around 80ºF.

Despite the wet weather in central and southern Japan, there’s still plenty to see and do in the big cities. It’s an ideal time to make use of the traditional hot springs known as onsen, where you can soak in geothermally heated waters rich in minerals. There are also plenty of free festivals going on across the country, such as Hyakumangoku Matsuri in Kanazawa, where you can observe traditional 16th-century costumes and folk dancing.

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Events in Japan in June

June Solstice

June 21, 2021

By July, sunny days are frequent in the north and south, making it perfect for mountain excursions or snorkeling around the Okinawa Islands. Honshu and central Japan are wetter regions as the rainy season continues. Although it can get very hot and humid in most parts of the country, you can find cooler weather in northern regions like Hokkaido where temperatures average out at 70ºF.

Climbing season officially begins in July, when adventurous types tackle Mount Fuji – the country’s highest peak at 12,400 feet. If you’re around on the last weekend of July, you can catch some of the biggest musical acts at Fuji Rock Festival. It’s also the time for popular summer festivals like Gion Matsuri in Kyoto and Tenjin Matsuri in Osaka, as well as hundreds of “hanabi taikai” (fireworks shows) to be held across the country.

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Events in Japan in July

Sea Day

July 19, 2021

Star Festival

July 7, 2021

A combination of hot, humid weather, school vacations, and the start of typhoon season means a visit in August can be quite hectic and crowded. Temperatures range between 73º and 90ºF, so pack plenty of breathable, lightweight clothing. The beaches in Ishikari just outside Sapporo are very popular this time of year and have lower humidity than other parts of Japan thanks to the island’s higher altitude.

Due to the sticky and unpleasant weather, it's best to avoid central cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, but they still host some spectacular fireworks festivals that are worth checking out if you’re in town. Climbing season is still in full swing, so excursions up to Mount Fuji are still very popular at this time. But expect busy trails during Obon week – one of Japan’s three main holiday seasons.

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Events in Japan in August

Mountain Day

August 11, 2021

Nagasaki Memorial Day

August 9, 2021

Hiroshima Memorial Day

August 6, 2021

Harsh weather conditions and limited travel options make September a month to avoid for travelers visiting Japan. Although the weather is generally less hot and humid, peak typhoon season will kick in, usually hitting the coasts of Okinawa, Kyushu, and Shikoku with hard rain and high winds. With this in mind, always carry an umbrella and check weather forecasts before you head out.

In the north you can experience the first signs of autumn creeping through in Hokkaido’s National Parks, as the leaves turn beautiful shades of red and orange. If you’re in Osaka in the third weekend of September, then you’ll witness one of its most energetic festivals – Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri, while full moon gatherings known as “tsukimi” take place all over the country.

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Events in Japan in September

Autumn Equinox

September 23, 2021

Respect for the Aged Day

September 20, 2021

September Equinox

September 23, 2021

October is one of the best times to visit Japan, as typhoon season and rainy weather give way to pretty autumn scenery, warm days, and mild evenings. Head to Hokkaido’s National Parks to make the most of the season’s glorious shades of red, orange, and gold, with O-numa Quasi National Park offering some of the most colorful foliage. Average temperatures range between 57º and 72ºF across all regions, so there’s no need to layer up while exploring.

The pleasant weather brings a big haul of festivities to all corners of the country, including the Matsue Suitōro festival of water and light, Tokyo’s annual performing arts festival (Festival/Tokyo), and Yokohama Oktoberfest. Halloween is also a big deal in Japan, so expect to see thousands of creative costumes around squares and parks on October 31. Events include flash mobs, street parties, and even zombie runs.

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Events in Japan in October

Sports Day

October 11, 2021

Health and Sports Day

October 11, 2021

The sunny weather and wonderfully photogenic autumnal scenery make November one of the best months to visit Japan. Things start to get a little cooler at this time of year, so be sure to pack some extra layers for the chillier evenings, particularly if you’re visiting the northernmost island of Hokkaido, which drops to around 46ºF. The warmest weather can be found in the southern Okinawa Islands, with an average temperature of 72°F.

Mid-November hosts the traditional festival of Shichi-Go-San (“7-5-3”), where girls of seven and three and five-year-old boys don colorful kimonos and receive blessings at Shinto shrines. You can also catch the last sumo wrestling tournament of the year at Fukuoka as the Kyushu Basho event wows crowds at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center. Kyoto is also worth a visit this time of year, with its temples and gardens full of picture-perfect scenery.

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Events in Japan in November

Labor Thanksgiving Day

November 23, 2021

Culture Day

November 3, 2021

7-5-3 Day

November 15, 2021

The winter chill is well underway by this time of the year, ushering in the first snowfall, festive illuminations, and the start of the ski season in Hokkaido. Average temperatures range between 39º and 54ºF, and the days are shorter with sun setting in Tokyo around 4:30pm. On the southwest islands, you can still enjoy mild weather reaching 68ºF. The beaches will be all but empty, though the water may be too cold for dipping anything more than your toe.

Many shrines hold New Year’s Eve events on December 31, and eating buckwheat noodles is a tasty tradition known as “toshikoshi soba” – said to bring luck and longevity to those with the longest noodles. At midnight, temple bells around the country ring out 108 times as part of Joya-no-kane, an annual purifying ritual. Despite the fun festivities, this period is one of the three major travel seasons in Japan, so many businesses may be closed or have limited hours. Expect public transit to be more crowded as well.

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Events in Japan in December

December 31 Bank Holiday

December 31, 2021

Christmas

December 25, 2021

December Solstice

December 22, 2021

Weather and temperature in Japan

Although Japan’s climates and weather patterns vary a lot across its regions, the spring season between March and May is always a safe bet for exploring this amazing country. To give you an idea of how the season pans out weather-wise, Tokyo’s average temperature is around 55ºF in March, steadily climbs up to 65ºF in April, and 73ºF in May. If you’re visiting at the start of the season, it’s best to pack something a bit warmer for the cooler evenings.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Tokyo High 49°F 49°F 57°F 65°F 75°F 78°F 85°F 88°F 81°F 72°F 62°F 52°F
Low 36°F 37°F 44°F 52°F 62°F 67°F 75°F 78°F 71°F 61°F 51°F 41°F
Rainfall 21 days 20 days 21 days 17 days 17 days 19 days 20 days 18 days 19 days 17 days 18 days 21 days
Osaka High 48°F 48°F 57°F 66°F 76°F 81°F 88°F 91°F 83°F 74°F 62°F 51°F
Low 37°F 37°F 43°F 51°F 61°F 69°F 76°F 78°F 70°F 61°F 51°F 40°F
Rainfall 21 days 20 days 21 days 17 days 17 days 19 days 20 days 18 days 19 days 17 days 18 days 21 days
Kyoto High 46°F 47°F 57°F 67°F 77°F 81°F 89°F 91°F 83°F 74°F 62°F 50°F
Low 35°F 35°F 41°F 49°F 58°F 67°F 75°F 77°F 69°F 59°F 48°F 38°F
Rainfall 21 days 20 days 21 days 17 days 17 days 19 days 20 days 18 days 19 days 17 days 18 days 21 days
Yokohama High 49°F 49°F 57°F 65°F 74°F 77°F 85°F 88°F 81°F 72°F 62°F 53°F
Low 36°F 37°F 44°F 52°F 61°F 67°F 74°F 77°F 70°F 61°F 51°F 41°F
Rainfall 21 days 20 days 21 days 17 days 17 days 19 days 20 days 18 days 19 days 17 days 18 days 21 days

Weather data provided by Forecast.io

Cost of stay in Japan

Want to travel smart? Here you can check out the average cost of accommodations per night in Japan.

    0 39 78 117 156
  • $43 Jan
  • $44 Feb
  • $50 Mar
  • $46 Apr
  • $50 May
  • $44 Jun
  • $58 Jul
  • $61 Aug
  • $60 Sept
  • $63 Oct
  • $70 Nov
  • $63 Dec
    0 39 78 117 156
  • $21 Jan
  • $24 Feb
  • $33 Mar
  • $24 Apr
  • $29 May
  • $16 Jun
  • $22 Jul
  • $28 Aug
  • $27 Sept
  • $24 Oct
  • $31 Nov
  • $44 Dec
    0 39 78 117 156
  • $12 Jan
  • $13 Feb
  • $17 Mar
  • $14 Apr
  • $18 May
  • $11 Jun
  • $17 Jul
  • $21 Aug
  • $21 Sept
  • $18 Oct
  • $24 Nov
  • $19 Dec
    0 39 78 117 156
  • $140 Jan
  • $109 Feb
  • $151 Mar
  • $126 Apr
  • $175 May
  • $101 Jun
  • $146 Jul
  • $180 Aug
  • $171 Sept
  • $155 Oct
  • $181 Nov
  • $179 Dec
    0 39 78 117 156
  • $60 Jan
  • $66 Feb
  • $75 Mar
  • $78 Apr
  • $95 May
  • $76 Jun
  • $101 Jul
  • $124 Aug
  • $101 Sept
  • $105 Oct
  • $113 Nov
  • $85 Dec

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