japan-overview-banner-image

Japan

When is the best time to visit Japan

Japan’s climate can be distilled down into four distinct seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter), and each seasonal change is not only seen throughout the national parks, mountains, coast and lakes, but also celebrated through a wealth of festivities. Late spring (March to May) and late autumn (September to November) are generally the best times to visit Japan, when country is at its most beautiful thanks to the budding of cherry blossom and stunning autumnal colours. The weather is also great at this time with mild temperatures. What’s more, the delicate cherry blossom of spring and vivid hues of autumn leaves are visually stunning. The colder months, December to February, are less appealing to most visitors which can make traveling at these times cheaper. As well as being less crowded and costing less, many of Japan’s highlights are even better in the winter months.
Speak to someone who’s
been there
Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our
Japan specialists on:
+84 865 815 200
or click below
Make an Enquiry

Month by Month Guide To Travel in Japan

Visit Japan in January

Much of Japan becomes a winter wonderland in January whilst the weather is usually cool, dry and sunny during January and sites are much less crowded than later in the year. A blanket of the white stuff hits world-class ski resorts making it the perfect time to hit the slopes, and walking around temples and traditional villages is like stepping inside a Christmas card. For any ski aficionados and photographers, the snow, Mount Fuji landscape and hot springs in the mainland make January a very tempting option. Likewise if warm weather isn’t your style anyway then the crisp weather in Kyoto and Tokyo make it a great time for some sightseeing with lighter crowds and some iconic views.
when-is-the-best-time-to-visit-japan-january

Visit Japan in February

February is the coldest month and the peak of Japan's ski season. Across the country days are generally cool, dry and sunny and with tourist numbers at their lowest, February is one of the best times to have sightseeing spots to yourself, alongside the ice queen sculptures of the Sapporo Snow Festival. If skiing isn’t your thing though the warm water baths of the onsens and hot water springs in the mountains are sure to entice the most hesitant visitors, alongside the benefit of visiting before the arrival of the Cherry blossom season and its crowds.
When is the best time to visit Japan - February

Visit Japan in March

With beginning of fresh spring climates, this is a great time to be travelling through Japan. There's excitement in the air – the sakura (cherry blossom) is on its way! All locations can be easily visited so if you're looking for the perfect moth to visit they don't get much better than this! Towards the end of March, the weather is significantly milder and hanami (cherry blossom festivals) begin to emerge in the south of the country including Okinawa and parts of Kyushu, which is celebrated by the Japanese with picnics in local parks. As this season is a popular time to visit Japan, the country gets very busy towards the end of the month and early March is generally a bit cheaper.
When is the best time to visit Japan - March (2)

Visit Japan in April

The month that everyone talks about, and for good reason - swathes of pink sakura (cherry blossom) burst into life across parks and gardens in April, so this month is arguably considered the best time of year to visit Japan. With the beach resorts opening up in southern Okinawa and the continuation of blooming cherry trees in locations such as Kyoto and Tokyo, this is a fantastic month to be in Japan and even spring skiing enthusiasts have options in Hokkaido. Although the weather is much milder, it is advisable to pack jumpers for cooler evenings and if you travel during this time you have to expect everywhere to be very crowded, and hotel rates escalate too.
When is the best time to visit Japan - April (2)

Visit Japan in May

Golden Week Holiday in Japan falls at the beginning of May, so book ahead and expect more crowds and higher prices. However, mid to late May is one of the best times to travel and visiting Japan at this time does have its rewards: it's pleasantly warm and sunny in most places and the fresh green in the mountains is stunning. Spring and cherry blossom only reach the northern provinces of Hokkaido by this month, making it a flavour time for trekking; and although there will be moments of rain on land, diving in the Okinawa Islands is opening up as a great option. It is a very good time to either experience the geisha dances in Kyoto and sumo tournament in Tokyo or walk and hike in the Kumano Kodo or Japanese Alps.
When is the best time to visit Japan - May

Visit Japan in June

Early June is lovely, though by the end of the month, the rainy season sets in, predominantly in central and southern Japan. While the skies may be overcast, showers are short and sharp, it is still a great time to dive though and if you’re open to a bit of rain, heading to Okinawa towards the end of the month allows some beach opportunities. Hokkaido is now enjoying the driest month of the year with warm weather and sunny days, making it an excellent place for walking and hiking. As mountain snow melts, this means that the trees and plants are at their most vibrant, and Japan’s gardens are particularly beautiful whilst hiking in the Japan Alps is recommended and exploring Kyoto's moss garden at Saiho-ji Temple is an unforgettable experience.
When is the best time to visit Japan - June

Visit Japan in July

When the rainy season generally ends across most of Japan, suddenly it’s a hot and humid summer – the season for numerous festivals and hanabi taikai (fireworks shows). Sunny days continue in the north and south with elegant mountainous landscapes on show in Furano and beach locations with snorkelling and surfing options available in the south and Okinawa. The middle locations aren’t quite though, therefore, it is advisable to head to Hokkaidō or the Japan Alps to escape the heat. For adventurous types, July presents unmissable opportunities as climbing season does begin and Mount Fuji is calling for those who want to listen.
when-is-the-best-time-to-visit-japan-july

Visit Japan in August

In the height of summer, Japan can get very hot and humid across the country - particularly in the cities - so it's a great time to explore Japan’s rural side. Festivals continue across Japan during August and this is a busy domestic travel period as it is the school holidays. As the islands and mainland are seeing a rise in temperatures and the heat wave continues, school holidays mean beaches and cooler mountain areas like Japanese Alps and Hokkaido get crowded. Many Japanese return to their home towns (or take a holiday) around Obon Festival, so transit is hectic and shops may close. However, the lower numbers and right itinerary can still work well during the summer season.
When is the best time to visit Japan - August

Visit Japan in September

Although September remains hot, humidity comes down a notch towards the end of the month and this is generally a great time to travel in Japan as the domestic crowds associated with August have usually dissipated by September. However, there are bouts of heavy rain across Honshu as a result of typhoon season in Okinawa. In late September, the Koyo (autumn leaves season) starts to change colour in Hokkaido, a process which makes its way south over the next few weeks. September being the hottest and wettest month of the year in some parts meaning that the south-west areas of Hiroshima and Osaka are without doubt the best of the limited bunch.
When is the best time to visit Japan - September

Visit Japan in October

This is the start of the autumn season for mainland Japan and brings striking red and gold hues to the landscape, making October a very pleasant time of year to be in Japan. Temperatures in Tokyo and Kyoto reach the comfortable mid-twenties; lovely for ambling around the sights. Koyo (autumn leaves season) also puts on a spectacular show in Hokkaido and higher elevations on Honshu whilst those visiting Kamikochi will be rewarded with wonderful hiking and photograph opportunities. In the south, typhoon season is also ending and Okinawa Islands are now making the country generally warm and sunny with spectacular landscapes.
When is the best time to visit Japan - October

Visit Japan in November

November is one of the best times to visit Japan. Expect crisp, dry weather with cooler evenings, and photograph opportunities aplenty as vivid bursts of autumn colours envelop the landscapes in and around Tokyo and Kyoto. November is also a relatively dry month across the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu, with temperatures similar to those on Honshu (avg temp: 12-13°C). Temperatures in Fukuoka can be slightly warmer than Matsuyama. Sumo comes to town as Fukuoka plays host to the last tournament of the year – the Kyushu Basho – in mid-November. Typhoon is over across the country and the other key places of interests are also in their prime, so unless you’re looking for skiing in Hokkaido region, this is one of the best months to go.
When is the best time to visit Japan - November

Visit Japan in December

December is cold across most of Japan. Staying at ryokan properties can be cold, as they don’t have much in the way of heating, but outdoor onsens (hot springs) can be really special experiences during the winter months, yet surrounded by snow. Southern Okinawa islands and beaches see some of the mildest temperatures, making December a great season to be visiting here also. End of year, celebrations are plentiful, year-end parties fill city bars and restaurants, commercial strips are decorated with seasonal illuminations and streets sparkle with festive lights, especially in the cities where Christmas lights abound. It also gets busier as the school holidays start, and some attractions close in the run up to the New Year. Many businesses shut down from 29 or 30 December to between 3 and 6 January.
When is the best time to visit Japan - December

Events & Festivals

  • 01

    (January) Shōgatsu - Japanese New Year is officially on 1 to 3 January, and families come together to eat and drink to health and happiness whilst many businesses and attractions close the whole first week, and transport is busy. Hatsu-mōde is the ritual first shrine visit of the new year.
  • 02

    (February) Sapporo Snow Festival or Sapporo Yuki Matsuri takes place at the beginning of February. Essentially an epic celebration of winter, it attracts over 2 million visitors who partake in snow related games as well as marvelling at the spectacular snow and ice sculptures.
  • 03

    (March) Hina Matsuri, also known as Girl’s Day, takes place on 3rd March and is, as the name suggests, all about the females of the family. Traditional o-hina-sama (princess) dolls in traditional royal dress are displayed throughout the home and public spaces, families enjoy special meals and gifts are given to the girls.
  • 04

    (April/October) The Takayama Matsuri, known as one of Japan’s top four most beautiful festivals, is held twice a year in the old town of Takayama: in April (14th-15th) to welcome in Spring, and an Autumn festival in October (9th-10th). Large festival floats and a ‘mikoshi’ shrine are paraded through the streets.
  • 05

    Golden Week (29th April – 5th May) is one of Japan’s busiest holidays thanks to four national holidays taking place within the space of seven days. This is a national holiday and one of the busiest weeks of the year for domestic travellers.
  • 06

    (May) Sanja Matsuri is the grandest Tokyo festival of all. This annual three-day event, held over the third weekend of May, attracts around 1.5 million spectators to Asakusa. The highlight is the rowdy parade of mikoshi (portable shrines) carried by men and women in traditional dress.
  • 07

    (July) Gion Matsuri, the festival of Yasaka Shrine, is the most famous festival in Japan. It takes place over the entire month of July, when huge, elaborate floats are pulled through the streets. Three evenings prior, locals stroll through street markets dressed in beautiful yukata (light cotton kimonos).
  • 08

    (July) Held in Osaka on 24 and 25 July, the Tenjin Festival (天神祭, Tenjin Matsuri) is one of the country's biggest festivals. On the second day, processions of mikoshi (portable shrines) and people in traditional attire parade through the streets, ending up in hundreds of boats on the river.
  • 09

    (August) Nebuta Matsuri: Over several days in early August, enormous, illuminated floats are paraded through the streets of Aomori, Towadako and Yokohama in Northern Honshū accompanied by thousands of rowdy, chanting dancers. The festival concludes on the 7th when the floats are loaded onto boats and set out to sea against a backdrop of fireworks.
  • 9.1

    Observed in mid-August during 3 days, Obon is a Buddhist festival that honours the dead, when their spirits are said to return to the earth. Graves are swept, offerings are made and lanterns are floated down rivers, lakes or the sea to help guide spirits on their journey.

Japan Climate Guide

Destination
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
6ºC
84mm
8ºC
88mm
12ºC
144mm
18ºC
189mm
23ºC
187mm
26ºC
282mm
30ºC
297mm
31ºC
250mm
27ºC
286mm
21ºC
151mm
15ºC
99mm
9ºC
84mm
9ºC
75mm
10ºC
75mm
14ºC
102mm
19ºC
142mm
23ºC
147mm
26ºC
256mm
30ºC
267mm
31ºC
168mm
27ºC
202mm
22ºC
90mm
17ºC
78mm
12ºC
63mm
-2ºC
117mm
-1ºC
79mm
2ºC
74mm
8ºC
83mm
14ºC
85mm
18ºC
97mm
22ºC
128mm
24ºC
135mm
20ºC
152mm
14ºC
114mm
6ºC
110mm
0ºC
106mm
6ºC
164mm
7ºC
179mm
10ºC
239mm
13ºC
285mm
16ºC
399mm
19ºC
602mm
22ºC
417mm
22ºC
379mm
21ºC
329mm
17ºC
211mm
13ºC
187mm
9ºC
137mm
9ºC
47mm
10ºC
62mm
13ºC
101mm
18ºC
122mm
22ºC
139mm
25ºC
185mm
28ºC
132mm
30ºC
148mm
26ºC
185mm
21ºC
174mm
16ºC
90mm
11ºC
50mm
2ºC
112mm
3ºC
93mm
8ºC
120mm
15ºC
138mm
21ºC
137mm
24ºC
240mm
28ºC
242mm
29ºC
177mm
24ºC
233mm
18ºC
147mm
12ºC
98mm
5ºC
103mm
8ºC
67mm
9ºC
72mm
12ºC
105mm
18ºC
132mm
23ºC
132mm
26ºC
198mm
30ºC
169mm
32ºC
108mm
27ºC
184mm
22ºC
126mm
16ºC
86mm
11ºC
65mm
8ºC
64mm
9ºC
65mm
12ºC
106mm
19ºC
144mm
23ºC
146mm
26ºC
218mm
30ºC
189mm
32ºC
140mm
28ºC
186mm
22ºC
136mm
16ºC
85mm
11ºC
58mm
Month

Jan
6ºC
84mm

Feb
8ºC
88mm

Mar
12ºC
144mm

Apr
18ºC
189mm

May
23ºC
187mm

Jun
26ºC
282mm

Jul
30ºC
297mm

Aug
31ºC
250mm

Sep
27ºC
286mm

Oct
21ºC
151mm

Nov
15ºC
99mm

Dec
9ºC
84mm
Month

Jan
9ºC
75mm

Feb
10ºC
75mm

Mar
14ºC
102mm

Apr
19ºC
142mm

May
23ºC
147mm

Jun
26ºC
256mm

Jul
30ºC
267mm

Aug
31ºC
168mm

Sep
27ºC
202mm

Oct
22ºC
90mm

Nov
17ºC
78mm

Dec
12ºC
63mm
Month

Jan
-2ºC
117mm

Feb
-1ºC
79mm

Mar
2ºC
74mm

Apr
8ºC
83mm

May
14ºC
85mm

Jun
18ºC
97mm

Jul
22ºC
128mm

Aug
24ºC
135mm

Sep
20ºC
152mm

Oct
14ºC
114mm

Nov
6ºC
110mm

Dec
0ºC
106mm
Month

Jan
6ºC
164mm

Feb
7ºC
179mm

Mar
10ºC
239mm

Apr
13ºC
285mm

May
16ºC
399mm

Jun
19ºC
602mm

Jul
22ºC
417mm

Aug
22ºC
379mm

Sep
21ºC
329mm

Oct
17ºC
211mm

Nov
13ºC
187mm

Dec
9ºC
137mm
Month

Jan
9ºC
47mm

Feb
10ºC
62mm

Mar
13ºC
101mm

Apr
18ºC
122mm

May
22ºC
139mm

Jun
25ºC
185mm

Jul
28ºC
132mm

Aug
30ºC
148mm

Sep
26ºC
185mm

Oct
21ºC
174mm

Nov
16ºC
90mm

Dec
11ºC
50mm
Month

Jan
2ºC
112mm

Feb
3ºC
93mm

Mar
8ºC
120mm

Apr
15ºC
138mm

May
21ºC
137mm

Jun
24ºC
240mm

Jul
28ºC
242mm

Aug
29ºC
177mm

Sep
24ºC
233mm

Oct
18ºC
147mm

Nov
12ºC
98mm

Dec
5ºC
103mm
Month

Jan
8ºC
67mm

Feb
9ºC
72mm

Mar
12ºC
105mm

Apr
18ºC
132mm

May
23ºC
132mm

Jun
26ºC
198mm

Jul
30ºC
169mm

Aug
32ºC
108mm

Sep
27ºC
184mm

Oct
22ºC
126mm

Nov
16ºC
86mm

Dec
11ºC
65mm
Month

Jan
8ºC
64mm

Feb
9ºC
65mm

Mar
12ºC
106mm

Apr
19ºC
144mm

May
23ºC
146mm

Jun
26ºC
218mm

Jul
30ºC
189mm

Aug
32ºC
140mm

Sep
28ºC
186mm

Oct
22ºC
136mm

Nov
16ºC
85mm

Dec
11ºC
58mm

Suggested Itineraries

Spring in Tohoku: The Cherry Blossoms Path

Tokyo - Fukushima - Yamagata - Kakunodate - Iwate - Aomori & Towadako
Classic Japan Tour

Tokyo - Hakone & Mount Fuji - Takayama - Shirakawago - Miyajima Island - Hiroshima - Kyoto
Japan Alps Explorer

Tokyo - Matsumoto - Kamikochi - Tsumago - Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa - Kyoto
Japan Snow Monkey Explorer

Tokyo - Yamanouchi - Matsumoto - Tsumago - Kyoto - Hiroshima - Miyajima Island - Osaka
Japan World Heritages Sites

Tokyo - Nikko - Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa - Kyoto - Nara - Wakayama & Mount Koya - Miyajima Island - Hiroshima - Osaka
Southern Japan Adventure Tour

Osaka - Takamatsu - Naoshima - Iya Valley - Matsuyama - Okayama & Kurashiki - Kumamoto - Aso - Beppu - Kagoshima - Yakushima Island - Nagasaki - Fukuoka
Japan Food Tour

Tokyo - Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa - Kyoto - Wakayama & Mount Koya - Osaka
view all itineraries

Travel Guides for Exploring Japan

A glance at flower town Kamakura

Have you ever been to Kamakura? Nestled between the mountains and the sea, this charming coastal town is an ancient city in Kanagawa Prefecture that was originally a small fishing village.

Jul 20, 2019
A stopover in Chiba (Japan)

Many foreign travelers visit Chiba Prefecture, because Narita Airport, Japan's busiest international airport, is located there.

Jul 23, 2019
Japan Tour: Nagoya Travel guide

If you are planning a trip to Japan and are looking to cross out most of the bucket list, then base yourself in Nagoya.

Jul 23, 2019
view all travel guides

Holiday Types

At Asia Senses Travel we’re adventurers at heart. Our journeys are all about discovering new places and cultures while creating unforgettable memories through physical activity and breathtaking scenery.