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During spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) Japan is at its most vibrant, this is the best time to travel if you want to see the delicate cherry blossom or bright red leaves which add contrast to the scenery. For hikers and lovers of the outdoors, the summer months offer ideal conditions in the mountains of the Japanese Alps and Hokkaido’s wild national parks, although elsewhere the weather is hot and humid. For a very different experience, in winter (December to February) the people of the snowy north brighten the dark days with a host of festivals and events. Okinawa can be visited all year round but, for the best weather, the best time to visit is May and October.

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Month-by-month guide to traveling in Japan

Winter Onsen

Visiting Japan in January

The weather is usually cool, dry and sunny during January and sites are much less crowded than later in the year. In northern Japan there is heavy snowfall making conditions good for skiing.




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Japan Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Hiroshima 48°F 2" 50°F 3" 55°F 4" 64°F 6" 73°F 6" 79°F 10" 86°F 9" 90°F 5" 82°F 8" 73°F 4" 63°F 3" 54°F 2"
Kanazawa 43°F 11" 45°F 8" 52°F 6" 63°F 6" 72°F 6" 77°F 8" 84°F 10" 88°F 7" 81°F 10" 70°F 8" 59°F 9" 50°F 12"
Kyoto 46°F 3" 48°F 3" 54°F 5" 66°F 6" 75°F 6" 81°F 9" 88°F 10" 90°F 7" 82°F 8" 72°F 5" 61°F 3" 52°F 3"
Miyajima Island 45°F 3" 46°F 3" 54°F 5" 63°F 7" 70°F 7" 77°F 11" 84°F 10" 86°F 5" 79°F 8" 70°F 4" 61°F 3" 50°F 2"
Okinawa 66°F 4" 66°F 5" 70°F 6" 75°F 7" 79°F 10" 84°F 11" 88°F 8" 88°F 10" 86°F 7" 81°F 6" 75°F 5" 70°F 5"
Osaka 48°F 3" 48°F 3" 55°F 4" 66°F 5" 73°F 5" 81°F 8" 88°F 7" 90°F 4" 82°F 7" 72°F 5" 63°F 3" 54°F 3"
Tokyo 50°F 2" 50°F 2" 55°F 4" 66°F 5" 73°F 5" 77°F 7" 84°F 5" 88°F 6" 81°F 7" 70°F 7" 61°F 4" 54°F 2"
Tsumago 39°F 2" 43°F 3" 50°F 5" 61°F 6" 70°F 7" 75°F 11" 81°F 10" 84°F 8" 75°F 10" 64°F 6" 55°F 3" 45°F 2"

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring Japan

Sushi rolls
Japan
Hida Folk Village

My favorite 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