Best Time to Travel to Japan

Before traveling to Japan, some important things to consider are the ideal temperature and the activities you want to do while visiting because some things only happen during certain times of the year. 

Every season has its benefit in Japan, with beautiful sights to see and events to attend, that celebrate its rich heritage. With every wonderful season also comes possible drawbacks.

Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are the ideal times to visit Japan (September to November). This is when Japan is at its most colorful, with delicate cherry blossoms and translucent green foliage. Keep in mind that it may be quite overcrowded at these times of the year.

Before visiting Japan, consider the average temperature in this gorgeous country. Although Japan remains beautiful year-round, you may notice the rise and fall in temperature have a dramatic effect on your trip plans.

Springtime in Japan 

March

March is the beginning of the Spring season which makes it the most important month of Spring. As the Sakura begin to bloom, viewing (Hanami) parties and various activities kick off the start of Japan’s colorful spring season.

cherry trees in full bloom during Hanami along Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park, a park near Ueno Station, central Tokyo

The average high during March in Tokyo, Japan: 55°F

The average low during March in Tokyo, Japan: 41°F

Notable events during March in Japan include: 

  • Hanami
  • Todai-ji Shunie
  • Kirishima Nanohana Flower Walk
  • Water-Drawing Ceremony

Among these few events are plenty of others. March is full of endless opportunities, most of which revolve around fresh and fragrant flowers. 

April

Bundle up, break out the checkered blanket and pack a picnic before heading to the park to view the blossoming flowers. Nothing is more beautiful than springtime in Japan. The pink flowers and universal beauty are a true sight to behold.

Fuji Matsuri is a major event every spring at the Kameido Tenjin Shrine in the Koto Ward of Tokyo

The average high during April in Tokyo, Japan: 64°F

The average low during April in Tokyo, Japan: 52°F

Notable events during April in Japan include: 

  • Hanami
  • Fuji-Matsuri Festival
  • Bunkyo Azalea Festival
  • Nikko Yayoi Festival
  • Golden Week
  • Visit Kamogawa River

The general purpose of April is to celebrate Spring! While the flowers bloom and the floral smell lingers in the air, this is the perfect time to travel through Japan’s floral shrines. 

May 

As the flowers bloom, it is a genuinely perfect time to view the flowers of May’s countryside. There is one fantastic event after another, including the world-famous Golden Week, a multi-celebration, week-long event, including The Emporer’s Birthday, Children’s Day, and Greenery Day.

Koinobori flying during childrens day during golden week

The average high during May in Tokyo, Japan: 73°F

The average low during May in Tokyo, Japan: 59°F

Notable events during May in Japan include: 

  • Hanami
  • Fuji-Matsuri or “Wisteria” Festival
  • Hinode Matsuri “Sunrise” Festival
  • Honobansho
  • Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri “Azalea” Festival
  • Golden Week

As summer approaches at the end of May, temperatures will rise. Take advantage of these rising temperatures and enjoy the outdoors as seasons continue to change.

Summertime in Japan

June 

Put on the sunscreen and pack your towel as you head to the beach because summertime is perfect for swimming at one of the many Japanese lakes and beaches, like Okinawa or Zushi beaches.   

Hikers viewing the morning sunrise at the summit of mount Fuji

The average high during June in Tokyo, Japan: 77°F

The average low during June in Tokyo, Japan: 66°F

Notable activities to participate in during June in Japan include: 

  • Annual Summer Sake Tasting
  • Hiking Mt. Fuji
  • Visiting Beaches like Okinawa, Kamakura or Zushi
  • Snorkeling at Nikobuchi Waterfall, Oki Island Beach, Motosu or Minami Izu
  • Rock Jumping at Nogami

The main benefit to summertime in Japan is the overall lack of rainfall. This lack of rainfall allows you to participate in many outdoor activities like hiking and swimming. 

July 

July is a lovely time to visit Japan because of the perfect temperatures to enjoy the warm waters and great outdoors. With many festivals celebrating the beautiful sunshine, taking a stroll down the street is fantastic.

Gion Matsuri Festival

The average high during July in Tokyo, Japan: 84°F

The average low during July in Tokyo, Japan: 73°F

Notable activities to participate in during July in Japan include: 

  • Tokyo Idol Fest
  • Swimming at Tannowa Tokimeki Beach
  • Gion Matsuri Festival

July in Japan is full of exciting festivals which celebrate the richness of Japanese culture. From music festivals to hiking up Mt. Fuji, there are endless things to do in Japan during summertime. 

August

As the last month of Summer, August is your final chance to enjoy summer activities like swimming and surfboarding. After August, water temperatures will begin to drop rapidly until they soon become unswimmable without proper gear. 

The average high during August in Tokyo, Japan: 88°F

The average low during August in Tokyo, Japan: 75°F

The water temperature reaches its warmest in August, at a high of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Notable activities to participate in during August in Japan include: 

  • Tokyo Idol Fest
  • Summer Festival
  • Swimming at Senjojiki Beach or Lake Suwa
  • Rock Jumping Nogami 
  • Fireworks Displays

Make the most of traveling to Japan in August by packing cool, breathable clothing. The warm temperature and humidity requires thin clothing, and the lack of rain results in hot days and humid nights.

Autumn in Japan                                                                         

September

By September, the snowcaps have officially melted from the top of Mount Fuji. The snowless mountain tops make for a unique view.

Dragon festival Kyoto

The average high during September in Tokyo, Japan: 81°F

The average low during September in Tokyo, Japan: 70°F

Notable activities to participate in during September in Japan include: 

  • The Japanese Clover Festival 
  • Swimming at Zushi Beach
  • Nozawa Onsen Autumn Lantern Festival
  • Dragon Festival in Kyoto

October

October is a month of changing weather. By the beginning of October, the weather is dropping a noticeable amount.

 Octoberfest Yokohama-city kanagawa prefecture

The average high during October in Tokyo, Japan: 72°F

The average low during October in Tokyo, Japan: 59°F

  • Goryo Jinja Shrine Autumn Festival
  • Tetsudo Festival
  • Jiyugaoka Megami Matsuri
  • Yokohama Akarenga Oktoberfest
  • Akkeshi Oyster Festival Hokkaido
  • Minato Kobe Marine Fireworks Festival Kobe

At the end of October, you will be breaking out your sweaters. The colorful, changing leaves complement the colorful rooftops of the ancient Japanese shrines.

November

Sweater weather is at its peak by the time November rolls around. The chilly, sixty-degree weather makes this month a delightful time for sweaters, vests, and wool socks.

Autumn colors in Japan

The average high during November in Tokyo, Japan: 63°F

The average low during November in Tokyo, Japan: 50°F

Notable activities to participate in during September in Japan include: 

  • View Nazeni Shrine
  • Culture Day in Japan
  • Arashiyama Momiji Festival Kyoto
  • Asakusa Tori-no-ichi Fair Tokyo

By the end of November, leaves will have fallen from trees, and the weather will have gotten chilly. 

Wintertime in Japan

December 

The start of winter is a time for celebration. December is a great time for traveling to Japan and experiencing the raw culture of this beautiful country.

Christmas illumination light show in Tokyo

The average high during December in Tokyo, Japan: 54°F

The average low during December in Tokyo, Japan: 41°F

Notable activities to participate in during December in Japan include: 

  • Visiting Hakuba Happo-One Snow Resort
  • Kasuga Wakamiya Onmatsuri Festival
  • Tokyo Christmas Market 
  • View Kitano Tenmagu Shrine

With Mt. Fuji blanketed in snow, you truly see the renowned beauty of Japan. 

January

By January, there is plenty of snow to go skiing in Japan’s beautiful mountains. With your ski pass and snow gear, take a visit to one of the many ski resorts and spend your day skiing, sledding, or snowboarding.

The average high during January in Tokyo, Japan: 50°F

The average low during January in Tokyo, Japan: 36°F

Notable activities to participate in during January in Japan include: 

  • Celebrate Japanese New Year
  • Celebrate Coming of Age Day
  • Restaurant Kamakura Village
  • Jigokundani Snow Monkey Park
  • Kifune Festival

People from around the world admire Japan for its natural beauty. Taking a visit to the mountains during wintertime can be a lovely experience. Viewing the snow-capped Mt. Fuji can be an incredible experience.

February 

February might be the last month of winter, but that does not mean its without activities. Many people do not know that February is one of the most lively months in Japan.

Saporro snow festival

The average high during February in Tokyo, Japan: 50°F

The average low during February in Tokyo, Japan: 36°F

Notable activities to participate in during February in Japan include: 

  • Sapporo Snow Festival
  • Kifune Shrine

As the people of Japan prepare for the beginning of Spring, many people take part in regular spring-welcoming celebrations. 

Final Thoughts

Every season brings different opportunities in Japan. Depending on the adventure you want to have, you may enjoy visiting Japan in a specific season or month. 

There are many other wonderful experiences in Japan, like partaking in the gorgeous view of the snow-covered Mt. Fuji during winter or trying unique, seasonal dishes. It does not matter the purpose or reason for travel. There is a season and event for everyone.

Temperatures vary from month to month. If that is not much of a concern for you, then worry not. You can have a great time visiting Japan no matter when you visit. Japan is a country rich in culture. The time you have while vising Japan is solely preferential.

MT Lee
My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.