When is the best time to visit Japan?

Travel advisory

The information on this page is based on historical averages and may not reflect current conditions. Please check with local authorities for the latest travel advice.

Read more

The best time to visit Japan is from late March to early April and from September to November. During spring, the country is covered in swathes of cherry blossom trees, while autumn chooses a new palette as tranquil gardens and parks turn a shade of red, orange and gold. As well as 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 at the start of April. It’s not an exact science but generally, the milder the climate, the earlier the blossoms open – so bear this in mind when planning your trip. As well as exploring Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, public bathhouses (sento) and hot-spring baths (onsen) are one of the most therapeutic ways to immerse yourself in the local culture. Japan is also renowned for its flavourful 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 a relatively chilly affair with temperatures dropping to around 10°C and many parts of the country experiencing snowfall. But between winter festivals, hot springs and skiing, there are plenty of ways to keep warm. Lower 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 over the New Year period. If you’re adamant about leaving your coat and umbrella at home, the Okinawa Islands in the southwest enjoy semi-tropical weather all year round, with temperatures of up to 18°C.

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

7°C

High

1°C

Low

21 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in January

Coming of Age Day

10 January 2022

January 3 Bank Holiday

3 January 2022

January 2 Bank Holiday

2 January 2022

New Year's Day

1 January 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 10°C during the day and 2°C in the evening. There are limited crowds at this time of year, making it a great time to explore the main sights with shorter queues.

February’s highlights include Sapporo’s annual snow festival, attracting 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 to appear 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 colourful trees.

8°C

High

1°C

Low

19 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in February

Emperor's Birthday

23 February 2022

National Foundation Day

11 February 2022

Valentine's Day

14 February 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 popping up in parks, along streets and riversides. The cherry blossom colours begin to peek through at the beginning of March as the reddish hues spread from south to north, but 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 colourful. 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, it’s worth checking out AnimeJapan – the world’s largest festival devoted to this popular animation style. Daytime temperatures average out at an agreeable 13°C, 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 jumper to wrap up in during the evenings when it gets a bit fresher.

12°C

High

5°C

Low

20 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in March

Spring Equinox

21 March 2022

March Equinox

21 March 2022

Dolls' Festival/Girls' Festival

3 March 2022

A surge of warmer weather throughout the country means April is 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 to 19°C 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 in some resorts, like Niseko which caters for spring skiing. If you’re keen 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. Beware that crowds will swell during Golden Week (29th April to early May) when a number of Japanese holidays take place.

18°C

High

10°C

Low

16 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in April

Shōwa Day

29 April 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 23°C. Many Japanese people take the week off work so expect public transport and parks to be busy.

Once the crowds have dispersed, you can enjoy a relatively roomy exploration around main cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto and enjoy the t-shirt worthy weather. With ski season officially over, hiking is the best way to keep active, with Hokkaido’s mountains and various national parks 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 tail 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.

23°C

High

15°C

Low

16 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in May

Children's Day

5 May 2022

Greenery Day

4 May 2022

Constitution Memorial Day

3 May 2022

By late June, the rainy season (‘tsuyu’) affects most of Japan so packing a waterproof coat and umbrella is strongly advised. The northernmost islands of Hokkaido are the one part of Japan which escape the showers, enjoying sunny weather for most of the month. Down south it will be fairly hot and humid, with rain falling in sporadic tropical downpours and temperatures around 26°C.

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.

26°C

High

19°C

Low

18 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in June

June Solstice

21 June 2022

By July, sunny days are frequent in the north and south, making it perfect for mountain excursions or snorkelling around the Okinawa Islands. Honshu and central Japan are a soggier affair 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 the northern regions like Hokkaido where temperatures average out to 21°C.

Climbing season officially begins in July, when adventurous types tackle Mount Fuji – the country’s highest peak at 3,776 metres. If you’re around on the last weekend of July, you can catch some of the biggest music acts at Fuji Rock Festival. It’s also the time for popular summer festivals like Gion Matsuri in Kyoto, Tenjin Matsuri in Osaka and hundreds of ‘hanabi taikai’ (fireworks shows) held across the country.

30°C

High

23°C

Low

19 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in July

Sea Day

18 July 2022

Star Festival

7 July 2022

A combination of hot, humid weather, school holidays and the start of typhoon season means a visit in August can be quite hectic and overcrowded. Temperatures range between 35°C and 23°C, so be sure to pack plenty of breathable lightweight clothing. The beaches in Ishikari, just outside Sapporo, are very popular this time of year and experience 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 which 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.

31°C

High

25°C

Low

18 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in August

Mountain Day

11 August 2021

Hiroshima Memorial Day

6 August 2021

Nagasaki Memorial Day

9 August 2021

Harsh weather conditions and limited travel options make September a month to avoid for travellers visiting Japan. Although the weather is generally less hot and humid, peak typhoon season will be occurring and usually hits 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.

27°C

High

20°C

Low

18 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in September

Autumn Equinox

23 September 2021

Respect for the Aged Day

20 September 2021

September Equinox

23 September 2021

October is one of the best times to visit Japan as typhoon season and rainy weather make way for 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 colourful foliage. Average temperatures range between 22°C and 14°C across all regions, so there’s no need to layer up while you’re 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 come 31 October. Events include flash mobs, street parties and even zombie runs.

22°C

High

15°C

Low

17 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in October

Health and Sports Day

11 October 2021

Sports Day

11 October 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 to cope with cooler evenings, particularly if you’re visiting the northernmost island of Hokkaido which drops to around 8°C. The warmest weather can be found in the southern Okinawa Islands, with an average temperature of 22°C.

Mid-November sees the traditional festival of Shichi-Go-San (‘7-5-3’) take place where girls aged seven and three and boys aged five don colourful 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 around this time as its temples and gardens are filled with postcard-perfect scenery.

16°C

High

9°C

Low

17 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in November

Labor Thanksgiving Day

23 November 2021

Culture Day

3 November 2021

7-5-3 Day

15 November 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 12°C and 4°C and days are shorter with sunset in Tokyo taking place around 16:30. On the southwest islands, you can still enjoy mild weather reaching 20°C and beaches will be all but empty, but the water may be too cold for more than dipping your toe in.

Many shrines hold New Year’s Eve events on 31 December, 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, it’s worth bearing in mind that this period is one of the three major travel seasons in Japan, so many businesses may be closed or open for limited hours. Expect transport to be more crowded as well.

9°C

High

3°C

Low

20 days

Rainfall

Events in Japan in December

December 31 Bank Holiday

31 December 2021

Christmas

25 December 2021

December Solstice

22 December 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 to explore this enchanting country. To give you an idea of how the season pans out weather-wise, Tokyo’s average temperature is around 13°C in March, steadily climbing up to 18.5°C in April and 23°C 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 9°C 9°C 14°C 18°C 24°C 25°C 30°C 31°C 27°C 22°C 17°C 11°C
Low 2°C 3°C 7°C 11°C 17°C 20°C 24°C 25°C 22°C 16°C 11°C 5°C
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 9°C 9°C 14°C 19°C 25°C 27°C 31°C 33°C 28°C 23°C 17°C 11°C
Low 3°C 3°C 6°C 11°C 16°C 20°C 25°C 26°C 21°C 16°C 10°C 5°C
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 8°C 8°C 14°C 19°C 25°C 27°C 32°C 33°C 28°C 23°C 16°C 10°C
Low 1°C 2°C 5°C 9°C 15°C 20°C 24°C 25°C 20°C 15°C 9°C 3°C
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 9°C 9°C 14°C 18°C 23°C 25°C 29°C 31°C 27°C 22°C 17°C 12°C
Low 2°C 3°C 7°C 11°C 16°C 19°C 23°C 25°C 21°C 16°C 11°C 5°C
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 accommodation per night in Japan.

    0 39 78 117 156
  • US$42 Jan
  • US$43 Feb
  • US$49 Mar
  • US$45 Apr
  • US$50 May
  • US$41 Jun
  • US$50 Jul
  • US$60 Aug
  • US$59 Sept
  • US$62 Oct
  • US$69 Nov
  • US$62 Dec
    0 39 78 117 156
  • US$21 Jan
  • US$24 Feb
  • US$32 Mar
  • US$24 Apr
  • US$29 May
  • US$20 Jun
  • US$27 Jul
  • US$28 Aug
  • US$26 Sept
  • US$24 Oct
  • US$31 Nov
  • US$43 Dec
    0 39 78 117 156
  • US$12 Jan
  • US$13 Feb
  • US$17 Mar
  • US$14 Apr
  • US$18 May
  • US$12 Jun
  • US$18 Jul
  • US$21 Aug
  • US$21 Sept
  • US$18 Oct
  • US$23 Nov
  • US$19 Dec
    0 39 78 117 156
  • US$139 Jan
  • US$108 Feb
  • US$149 Mar
  • US$124 Apr
  • US$173 May
  • US$109 Jun
  • US$146 Jul
  • US$178 Aug
  • US$169 Sept
  • US$153 Oct
  • US$179 Nov
  • US$177 Dec
    0 39 78 117 156
  • US$59 Jan
  • US$65 Feb
  • US$74 Mar
  • US$77 Apr
  • US$94 May
  • US$76 Jun
  • US$91 Jul
  • US$123 Aug
  • US$99 Sept
  • US$104 Oct
  • US$112 Nov
  • US$84 Dec

The best places to visit in Japan

Check out some of the most popular cities, places to visit and things to do in Japan!

What other travellers say about their holiday in Japan

More inspiration for your Japan trip

gogless