When to Travel to Japan | japan-guide.com

When to Travel to Japan | japan-guide.com


One of the first things that come to mind
when planning a trip to Japan is: When is the best time to travel there? Stretching over 3000 kilometers from north
to south, the islands of Japan span multiple climate zones and offer beautiful natural
sights across the country throughout the year: from floating ice in the seas off Hokkaido
up north, to jungles in the southern islands of Okinawa, and a wide range in between. With beautiful cherry blossoms each spring,
fireworks during the heat of summer, fall foliage in autumn and snow festivals during
winter, Japan loves celebrating each of its four distinct seasons, not to mention the
plethora of festivals that take place year-round. With so much worthwhile to experience across
the calendar, here is a general month-by-month overview to help you decide “When to travel
to Japan”. January January is generally a pleasant month to visit
Japan thanks to sunny, dry weather along the Pacific coast and lots of powder snow along
the Sea of Japan coast. However, days are short and vegetation is
barren. The most prominent holiday in January is New
Year, when many people make the year’s first visit to a shrine or temple. Two inconveniences with the New Year holiday
are that many shops, restaurants and tourist attractions close for one or a few days, and
that there is a big increase in traffic, which can be frustrating. However, the rest of the month comes with
relatively small crowds or tourists. February Temperatures and weather conditions in February
are very similar to those in January, and travel activity remains relatively low throughout
the month, making it quite a pleasant month to visit the country. This month also marks the peak of the wintersport
season, offering large volumes of high-quality powder snow in the mountains along the Sea
of Japan coast and in northern Japan. The season starts in the higher mountains
in November and lasts in many resorts until early May. However, the best conditions for skiing are
found from January to early March. Aside from winter sports, February also brings
about many majestic winter scenes in places such as the Shirakawago farm houses, snow
monsters in Zao, the drift ice off Hokkaido of course the internationally famous Snow
Festival in Sapporo which is held for one week each year in Hokkaido’s capital city. March In March the areas in the north are still
cold, but we see the first signs of spring in the southern half of the country, with
plum blossoms offering nice natural spectacles. By the end of the month, the renowned cherry
blossom season usually has started in warmer parts of the main islands, such as southern
Shikoku and Kyushu.. One inconvenience is that domestic travel
tends to increase in the second half of the month, mostly due to spring school holidays. April April is one of the best months to travel
in Japan. Temperatures are comfortable throughout the
country, it is relatively sunny and it is the peak of the famous cherry blossoms. In the average year the blossoms move from
the south to the north during the entire month. There cherry blossoms come with an increase
in domestic travel, and some popular sightseeing spots get flooded with crowds of domestic
and foreign tourists. May May is another favorite month to travel in
Japan. Temperatures hover around 20 degrees throughout
most of Honshu and vegetation has started to develop as well. One of Japan’s most popular holidays, known
as Golden Week, takes place from late April to early May. It is a collection of four national holidays
during a week, which causes a very high increase in domestic travellers. If you are travelling during Golden Week,
we recommend booking your accommodations and making train reservations well in advance
to ensure yourself of a stress-free trip. The rest of the month though is one of the
best to travel, with lush vegetation and nice temperatures in most parts of the country. June The weather in June gets heavily affected
by the rainy season. Temperatures continue to increase but the
percentage of sunny days starts to decrease as many days are either cloudy or rainy. Hokkaido up north gets less affected by the
rainy season and other places such as Hakone or Mount Koya can be very atmospheric and
scenic to visit on a rainy day. The rainy season in Okinawa down south usually
lasts from early May to late June July Once the rainy season ends around mid July,
weather conditions are very hot and humid. The humidity level is so high it can make
you sweat even by just standing outside. If you are looking to escape the heat, Hokkaido
is again a very nice destination to enjoy some cooler temperatures and a drier atmosphere. July to September is the best time for beach
holidays in Okinawa. July also marks the opening of the Mt Fuji
climbing season, which lasts until the beginning of September. August August is the hottest and most humid month
which can make sightseeing very tiring. On the other hand, a great thing about summer
in Japan is its high number of festivals and fireworks. They usually attract large crowds of people
wearing traditional yukata and make for a great opportunity to mingle with the locals. It is important to note that due to the school
holidays from late July to end of August, there is a considerable increase in domestic
travel activity. It gets especially intense in mid August during
the week of Obon, a nationwide annual Buddhist event when people visit their home town to
commemorate their ancestors. September September sees a fair amount of rainy and
cloudy days, while temperatures and humidity levels remain high. Alongside August it is also the peak of the
typhoon season, with an average of around one per month hitting the main islands. Typhoons cause heavy rain and strong winds
in wide parts or in all of Japan for one or two days. A positive thing is that they are often followed
by very sunny weather. Popular sightseeing spots are less crowded
in September, as August crowds have mostly disappeared. October Thanks to generally comfortable weather conditions,
October is one of the most pleasant months to travel in Japan. Autumn colors have started appearing in Japan’s
northern regions and higher elevations. November With mild and pleasant weather conditions
throughout the month, November is one of the best months to travel in Japan. The autumn colors are at their peak in many
regions of the country, offering spectacular sceneries of vivid red orange and yellow colors. Except around popular autumn leaf spots, the
travel activity is generally rather low. December Winter is starting in December with temperatures
falling to cooler levels and vegetation turning barren. Generally dry and sunny weather conditions
along the Pacific coast and low domestic travel activity make it a good month to visit Japan. Throughout the season, illuminations of various
shapes and sizes are held in many cities. Do keep in mind that in winter the sun only
shines for around 10 hours each day and scenic landscapes may not look their best due to
the barren state of vegetation. At the end of the month, travel activity sharply
increases due to the New Year holidays. Hopefully this video has given you some helpful
insight into where to visit in Japan depending on the time of year. For more information or to watch another video,
click the links on the screen now, or head over to Japan-Guide.com, your comprehensive
up-to-date travel guide, first hand from Japan. Thanks for watching, be sure to subscribe
and click the notification bell for more videos about Japan. Happy travels.

54 thoughts on “When to Travel to Japan | japan-guide.com

  1. Very helpful indeed. To me, it looks like mid May, and November, are the best times, even though, I would like to go in April and December too.
    Arigatou gozaimasu. πŸ˜€

  2. I wonder if there are many people who climb Mt Fuji outside of the climbing season? Are the stations open outside the season, like March or April,, for example?

    Good video!

  3. We love January as the weather is perfect in Tokyo and areas south. We have gone before in the summer and fall and the heat and humidity was just too much for us to handle.

  4. went to japan in august and holy hell the heat was intense. even in the shade i still sweated and soaked my cloths. i kid you not it looked like someone poured a bucket of water on me at the end of the day.

  5. Going for my second trip to Japan during October-November this year with a group of friends. I'm so excited to see the beautiful autumn colours!

  6. My first time was in Fall 2015 (three weeks in November). Next year I had the chance to go in Spring 2016 (last week of March & two weeks in April). Third time was in Winter 2017 (mid-December 1017 to mid-January 2018). And finally, last year once again in Spring 2019 (three weeks in April). I avoid summer for the heat

  7. This was such a helpful video, thank you! It would cool to see a video highlighting holidays/special festivals that occur each month.

  8. My first trip was in October 2018 for 2 weeks, I will be going again in October 2020 for 3+ weeks! I will be using the 21 day JR pass and riding the shinkansen a few times! Nice breakdown of the months japan-guide!

  9. Love your channel πŸ™‚ You have inspired me to make my own similar channel. I could use the initial support in subscribers. Thanks again for the motivation!!!!

  10. Looks like I picked a great time to go. Already booked for the first 2 weeks of October! 251 days…. Not like I am counting or anything.

  11. Well I'm going to Japan next March 8th to 22nd 2020 with my younger brother so I don't want to miss sakura somewhere around 19th to 27th of March

  12. So useful especially for my friends who will be traveling to Japan for the first time. They keep asking me when is the best time to visit 😁

    Thank you Japan Guide

  13. im travelling to osaka and tokyo on 18th-19th march this year , can suggest me best place to see the cherry blossom ?

  14. I'm flying off to Japan (Kyoto) in the cherry blossom season. Planning my itinerary now. Your website has a lot of information about Kyoto that will help me!

  15. have been there march/april and november and could only approve this recommendations, cherry blossom and autumn colours are both stunning.
    Next trip i plan is around early july, because i wanna climb mt. fuji.

  16. Last year I went to Japan two times, in January and October. The weather was very pleasant in January with good visibility for miles. However, it was cold outdoors and hot indoors so I had to wear / remove my winter wear very often, which itself was additional baggage. Days were short and the sun was always shining at a low angle. Due to the prolonged summer season last year the typhoon season arrived in Japan late during October and it was raining every day when I was there. On one day, the rope-way I had planned to ride on was cancelled due to bad weather. Autumn foliage was far and few, with better chances at higher altitudes. This year I plan to visit Japan in April and November. Hope all goes well.

  17. Hi! Thank you for your video, it was helpful as always! Next year, I will have my second trip to Japan by the oder: Osaka -> Nara -> Kyoto -> Yokohama -> Tokyo. I follow all of your autumn report about the leaves changing color throughout several years and I noticed that the leaves in Kyoto tend to change very late in November and Tokyo in early December, so I will start my trip at 22 November in the Kansai region and then move to Tokyo by December, is it good enough to see the leaves changing color in all the spots? I see that the forest come to there peak and overpeak very fast so I kinda worry :'(

  18. Travelling to Kyushu in November! Hope to catch the autumn foliage there! It'll be my first time travelling to japan during Autumn too! Already experienced Spring season 3 times.

  19. I went in late march which is a perfect time to see the cherry blussom, having snow around Nikko/Nagano and having a spring like weather in Miyazaki to surf.

  20. Booked my upcoming trip during golden week without knowing it was happening. Lord help me. Oh well. any tips will be appreciated. iv booked all my hotels and getting train tickets soon. but still. a little intimidated about the whole getting around and seeing the sights. Such a bummer.

  21. I'm headed to my third trip to Japan in March, the last two years I've gone in the Fall! I'll be moving there in the Summer, so I'm really excited. This is a wonderful and informative video. Thanks a ton for taking the time to put it together. Japan has some beautiful scenery.

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