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When is the best time to visit Japan?

Summer, winter, autumn or spring are all a good idea when it comes to visiting Japan.

Updated

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Japan is the kind of country you can enjoy all year round. Which month you decide on comes down to where you’re going and what you want to do.

Here’s a breakdown to ensure your decision perfectly matches your interests.

Best time to visit Japan

March to May and September to October.

Why?

For cool, dry weather, the best times to wander the streets and gaze upon Japan’s plethora of temples without the heavy crowds are during spring and autumn.

Avoid April, however, as this is peak season due to the country’s famous cherry blossoms.


Overview

Japan’s has four distinct seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn. Over winter the temperatures can dip to 0℃, making it ideal for winter sports though not so much for sightseeing.

Summers are plagued with a four-week-long period of rain between June and August so are best avoided unless you’re in town for a summer festival or to comb the resort town of Okinawa, which reaches temperatures of 28–31℃ during this time. The north generally experiences cooler temperatures than the south.

Peak periods in Japan include April due to cherry blossom season, June and August due to the summer holiday period, and December to March due to snow season.

If you’re seeking to avoid the crowds, it’s best to avoid these months and activities.


Weather and prices

Best time to visit Japan, weatherwise: September to April. These are Japan’s autumn, winter and spring periods and are when the country experiences comfortable, dry temperatures.

Cheapest time to visit Japan: Flights and hotels are cheapest in late summer between July and August but are still reasonable in the less rainy months of September and October.


Best time to visit Japan for...

  • Cherry blossoms: While cherry blossoms can bloom as early as January, the best time to catch them is early April. This is also one of Japan’s peak months.
  • Hiking and climbing Mount Fuji: Due to the nature of the climb, Mount Fuji is only open to hikers from 1 July to early September yearly. Conditions are most stable between late July and early August.
  • Scuba diving in Okinawa: The resort town of Okinawa hides some of the world’s best diving spots with high visibility and all manner of marine life, such as hammerheads and manta rays. Peak season in Okinawa is summer from June to August, however the weather stays pleasant up until November.
  • Snow sports: Snow season in Japan is from mid-December to mid-April. Shoulder season is in late-November to mid-December and mid to the end of April.
  • For festivals: The summer months of June and August are when cities come to life with festivals of fireworks, floats and music. But be warned that summer brings with it high humidity and rainfall in many areas.

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