Skip to content
Please select your location:
Autumn in Kyoto

When is the best time to visit Japan?

The best time to visit Japan is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). This is when Japan is at its most vibrant, with delicate cherry blossom or bright red leaves adding contrast to the scenery. Remember, it can also be very crowded at this time.

The summer months (June to August) offer ideal conditions for hikers and lovers of the outdoors, but only in the mountains of the Japanese Alps and Hokkaido’s wild national parks. Elsewhere, the weather is hot and humid. Rainy season occurs from the end of May until the middle of June or July.

For a very different experience, head to the north of Japan in winter (December to February). It’s snowy, but the people brighten the dark days with a variety of festivals and events.

It’s a good idea to take Japan’s national holidays into account, too. Shogatsu (Japanese New Year), Obon (in mid-August or mid-July, depending on the area), and the Golden Week (between April 29 and May 5) are busy times for residents.

Speak to someone
who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Rory

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Japan specialists on 1 800 817 744

My favourite time of year to travel to Japan is in May after the cherry blossom season and Golden Week crowds die down. The weather warms up and the heat is dry and the countryside of Japan becomes lush with beautiful green foliage. Not only that, but this is the only time of year to view the wisteria flowers in full bloom in Japan. One of the largest festivals and parades in Tokyo, Sanja Matsuri, happens around this time of the year as well (May 16-21). Over a hundred shrines are paraded through the streets of Asakusa alongside geisha and other people dressed in traditional costume.

Alice, Japan Specialist

Japan Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Hiroshima 9°C 56mm 10°C 68mm 13°C 109mm 18°C 158mm 23°C 150mm 26°C 252mm 30°C 237mm 32°C 116mm 28°C 192mm 23°C 105mm 17°C 72mm 12°C 48mm
Kanazawa 6°C 292mm 7°C 193mm 11°C 159mm 17°C 148mm 22°C 149mm 25°C 204mm 29°C 246mm 31°C 173mm 27°C 249mm 21°C 192mm 15°C 235mm 10°C 305mm
Kyoto 8°C 76mm 9°C 81mm 12°C 118mm 19°C 146mm 24°C 159mm 27°C 240mm 31°C 242mm 32°C 179mm 28°C 208mm 22°C 123mm 16°C 86mm 11°C 67mm
Miyajima Island 7°C 66mm 8°C 82mm 12°C 122mm 17°C 170mm 21°C 169mm 25°C 278mm 29°C 259mm 30°C 133mm 26°C 211mm 21°C 109mm 16°C 75mm 10°C 53mm
Okinawa 19°C 109mm 19°C 115mm 21°C 142mm 24°C 168mm 26°C 245mm 29°C 286mm 31°C 192mm 31°C 264mm 30°C 170mm 27°C 142mm 24°C 132mm 21°C 115mm
Osaka 9°C 68mm 9°C 73mm 13°C 105mm 19°C 132mm 23°C 131mm 27°C 197mm 31°C 168mm 32°C 110mm 28°C 185mm 22°C 127mm 17°C 87mm 12°C 66mm
Tokyo 10°C 47mm 10°C 62mm 13°C 101mm 19°C 122mm 23°C 138mm 25°C 184mm 29°C 132mm 31°C 147mm 27°C 185mm 21°C 174mm 16°C 90mm 12°C 50mm
Tsumago 4°C 63mm 6°C 74mm 10°C 127mm 16°C 163mm 21°C 166mm 24°C 268mm 27°C 251mm 29°C 214mm 24°C 244mm 18°C 149mm 13°C 86mm 7°C 63mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in Japan

Shirakawago in the snow

Visiting Japan in February

February is the peak of the ski season in northern Japan. Across the country days are generally cool, dry and sunny and many attractions are less busy than at other times of the year.

Events & Festivals

  • For one week in early February, Sapporo is overrun with enormous ice and snow sculptures, built in the central Odori Park as part of the Sapporo Snow Festival.

Why travel with Audley?

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring Japan