Best Time to Visit Japan

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 21/02/2024

Japan is a large archipelago that stretches from subarctic to subtropical latitudes. It has different climates and landscapes to explore. From the snowy mountains and volcanoes of Hokkaido and northern Honshu to the temperate forests and megacities of central Honshu to the tropical islands and coral reefs of Okinawa and the Ryukyus, Japan has something for every traveller.

Japan has four distinct seasons, with spring and autumn being the most pleasant and colourful times to visit.

Summer is hot and humid, especially on the Pacific side, and often brings heavy rains and typhoons. Winter is cold and dry, except on the Sea of Japan, where snowfall is abundant. Let us dig deeper and find the best time to visit Japan from India.

Best Month to Visit Japan

To decide on the best period to visit Japan, you need to understand the weather in different months in this country.

January in Japan

January is cold and dry, with occasional snowfall in some areas. The average condition is about 5°C (41°F), but it can drop below freezing in northern and mountainous regions, such as Hokkaido and Nagano. On the other hand, southern islands like Okinawa enjoy mild and sunny weather, with temperatures around 20°C (68°F).

Things to do in January:

Watch snow monkeys relaxing in hot springs at the Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano. This park is home to a group of Japanese macaques.

Explore the historic village of Shirakawa Go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with traditional houses with thatched roofs.

Try the seasonal delicacy of Ichigo Daifuku, a sweet treat made of fresh strawberries, red bean paste, and mochi.

February in Japan

February is the last winter month in Japan and one of the coldest and driest months of the year.

Northern Japan is usually snowy, with average temperatures below freezing. In central Japan, February is chilly and sometimes rainy, with average temperatures around 10°C. February is mild and sunny in southern Japan, such as Okinawa and Kyushu.

Things to do in February:

Attend the Yokote Kamakura Festival in Yokote, Akita, where people make igloo-like snow huts and decorate them with candles and lanterns.

Enjoy Otaru Snow Light Path Festival:** This romantic festival in Otaru, Hokkaido, where the streets and canals are decorated with snow candles and lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere.

Go skiing and snowboarding at Niseko, Hakuba, Shiga Kogen, Zao, and Furano ski resorts.

March in Japan

March is a transitional period between winter and spring, with warmer and sunnier days gradually increasing.

In the north, March is still cold and snowy, with average highs of 4°C and lows of -3°C. March is mild and pleasant in Tokyo and Kyoto, with average highs of 14°C and lows of 4°C. In Okinawa and Kyushu, March is warm and humid.

Things to do in March:

Attend Omizutori or Water-Drawing Festival. It is a Buddhist ceremony held at Todaiji Temple in Nara for over 1250 years.

Experience Hina Matsuri or Doll Festival. It is a traditional celebration for girls on March 3rd.

April in Japan

In April, most of Japan experiences mild and pleasant weather, with an average daytime temperature of 19°C (67°F) and an average nighttime temperature of 10°C (50°F).

However, Nemuro in Hokkaido has an average daytime temperature of 5°C (41°F) and an average nighttime temperature of 1°C (34°F). The precipitation levels also vary across Japan, ranging from moderate to heavy.

The precipitation levels also range from moderate to heavy. The northern regions tend to be drier, with an average rainfall of 62 mm in Kafuka. In contrast, the southern and central areas tend to be wetter, with an average rainfall of 230 mm in Shizuoka.

Things to do in April:

Attend the Inuyama Festival in Aichi Prefecture, held annually on the first Saturday and Sunday of April. The festival's highlight is the procession of 13 giant floats, some over 300 years old.

Enjoy the Miyako Odori Dance Festival in Kyoto. It is a performance by Kyoto's geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha).

Attend the Takayama Spring Festival, held on April 14 and 15 annually.

May in Japan

May is a pleasant month to visit Japan, as spring brings mild temperatures, sunny days, and colourful flowers. However, some areas may also experience heavy rainfall, especially in the second half of the month.

The average temperature range in Japan in May is 15–23°C (58–73°F), but it can be colder in the northern provinces and warmer in the southern islands like Okinawa.

Things to do in May:

See the wisteria blooms at Tochigi’s Ashikaga Flower Park or Tokyo’s Kameido Tenjin Shrine.

Experience the Sanja Matsuri festival in Tokyo.

Visit the Aoi Matsuri in Kyoto.

June in Japan

June marks summer in Japan, but it is also the beginning of the rainy season, which lasts from early May in Okinawa to early July in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka1. The average temperature in June is 25.7 °C in Tokyo, 27 °C in Kyoto, and 28 °C in Osaka.

The average rainfall in June is 173 mm in Tokyo, 221 mm in Kyoto, and 221 mm in Osaka. The rainy season is characterised by frequent showers and cloudy days, not constant rain.

Things to do in June:

Watch the Yosakoi Soran festival that combines the traditional Yosakoi dance from Kochi with the Soran Bushi, a folk song from Hokkaido.

Enjoy the firefly festivals at the Hotaru no Yado in Nagano.

Witness the famous rice planting of Japan.

July in Japan

The average temperature range in July is 23-29°C (73-84°F), but it can vary depending on the elevation. Hokkaido has a moderate temperature of 19-26°C (66.2-78.8°F), while Okinawa has a warm temperature of 27-32°C (80.6-89.6°F).

In July, some areas of Japan receive over 400 mm of rain, while others receive less than 100 mm.

Things to do in July:

Watch fireworks by the Sumida River.

Celebrate Tenjin Matsuri, a festival honouring the deity of learning and art, Sugawara no Michizane.

Go hiking in Kamikochi, a valley in the Japanese Alps offering breathtaking views.

August in Japan

In August, Japan experiences the peak of summer, with high temperatures and humidity levels across the country. The average temperature range is 24–31°C (74–88°F), but it can differ depending on the region and elevation.

For example, Nemuro in Hokkaido has a pleasant average of 19°C (66°F), while Moriguchi in Osaka has a hot average of 34°C (93°F). August is also the end of the rainy season, meaning less precipitation than June and July, but occasional showers and thunderstorms still exist.

Things to do in August:

Experience the Spirit of Obon, a Buddhist festival that honours the spirits of the ancestors, who are believed to return to their families during this time.

Dance the night away at Tokushima Awa Odori, a traditional dance where dancers and musicians perform in coordinated costumes and movements.

Jam at Fuji Rock and Music Festivals held at the end of July or early August at the Naeba Ski Resort.

September in Japan

In September, Japan experiences the transition from summer to autumn. The average daytime temperature ranges from 18°C in Nemuro, Hokkaido, to 30°C in Moriguchi, Osaka.

The average nighttime temperature drops to 15°C in Nemuro and 21°C in Moriguchi. The precipitation levels are high to heavy in most areas. In Japan, September is known as the peak month for typhoons, which can cause powerful winds and intense rainfall in certain regions.

Things to do in September:

Celebrate Silver Week, a series of public holidays that fall around the third week of September.

Watch a sumo tournament.

Experience a tea ceremony.

October in Japan

October is the autumn month in Japan. The summer heat and humidity subside this month, and the autumn colours appear. Some areas may experience heavy rainfall, typhoons, or cold snaps.

The average highest temperatures in October range from 12°C in Kamikawa, a mountainous area in Hokkaido, to 28°C in Ogasawara, a subtropical island chain south of Tokyo.

Things to do in October:

Experience Mount Fuji, which is best seen in October when the visibility is high, and the weather is mild.

Watch the Yabusame Festival in Kamakura. The highlight of this event is skilled archers on horseback shooting arrows at targets along a 250-metre course.

Celebrate Halloween in Tokyo.

November in Japan

In November, the north is colder than the south, and the west is wetter than the east. The average temperature in November is 4°C (39°F) in Hokkaido, 11°C (52°F) in Niigata, 14°C (57°F) in Osaka, and 23°C (74°F) in Ishigaki.

November is a wonderful month to enjoy the autumn foliage, which turns red and yellow in different areas from late September to early December. The sea is warm enough for swimming on the small southern islands but cool on the main islands.

Things to do in November:

Visit the Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages) in Kyoto on November 3rd. This is one of the three largest festivals in Kyoto.

Go through the Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mt Fuji. This dense and mysterious forest is also known as the Suicide Forest.

Participate in the Momiji-gari (Maple Leaf Hunting) in various locations, such as Arashiyama, Nikko, and Hakone.

December in Japan

In December, temperatures drop dramatically in the northernmost regions, and snowfall is common. On the main island, the weather is generally cold and dry, with occasional snow in the mountains.

On the southernmost island, the weather is mild and humid, with more rainfall than in other regions.

Things to do in December:

Enjoy the charm of the Chichibu Night Festival, one of Japan’s top three float festivals. It is held annually from December 2nd to 3rd at the Chichibu Shrine in Saitama Prefecture.

Try out ice skating at one of the many outdoor rinks in Japan.

Visit Kyoto to see its attractions, such as the Kinkakuji Temple, the Fushimi Inari Shrine, or the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.

Best Season to Visit Japan

Peak Season in Japan

The peak season in Japan is the spring (March to May) and the autumn (September to November). This is the best time to go to Japan for cherry blossoms.

Shoulder Season in Japan

The shoulder season in Japan is the winter (December to February) and the early summer (June to July). The weather this time is colder or hotter, and nature is less colourful but still attractive, with the snow and the flowers.

Off-Season in Japan

The late summer (August) and the early autumn (September) are the off-season and the cheapest time to visit Japan. The weather is hot and humid, and nature is affected by the typhoons and the rain.

Conclusion

Japan is a wonderful country with something to offer for every traveller, regardless of the season. Depending on your interests, budget, and tolerance, you may find some seasons more suitable for your trip than others.

However, before arranging a trip, be sure you have travel insurance cover. Overseas travel insurance protects your holiday by providing coverage for trip cancellation, longer stays because of an unexpected scenario, and payment for medical expenditures for conditions that arise during your trip.

To find the best and most economical travel insurance in Japan, explore our customisable Tata AIG travel insurance policy, which provides you wide coverage for a range of unexpected events when you are away from your home land. .

FAQS

When is the cherry blossom season in Japan?

The peak bloom is usually around early April in Tokyo and Kyoto.

When is the best time to see autumn foliage in Japan?

The best time to see autumn foliage in Japan is from late October to early December.

When is the best time to visit Japan for skiing and snowboarding?

The perfect time to visit Japan for skiing and snowboarding is from December to March when the snow is abundant and powdery.

What is the best time to visit Tokyo?

The ideal time to visit this place is between March and April.

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