Japan Weather - The Best Time to Visit Japan

Winter, spring, and autumn are all ideal seasons for traveling to Japan. In winter, from December to February, you may enjoy the stunning snow landscapes and skiing in snow-covered Hokkaido or soak in an onsen to experience the charm of this snowy country. In spring, from March to May, cherry blossoms bloom, making it the most beautiful and lively season in Japan. Autumn, in October and November, is crisp and cool, with numerous maples and zelkova trees creating breathtaking autumn foliage. Admire the fiery red leaves and the splendid scenery, making your travels truly unforgettable.

Even in the hot summer of August, the beaches of Okinawa in southern Japan are filled with beach lovers. Additionally, August is when the Obon Festival, one of Japan's most significant celebrations, takes place. You can admire splendid fireworks displays along riverbanks across the country and join in various summer festival celebrations. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of big cities during the hot summer, head to the mountains for a refreshing hike in the greenery and cool breeze. However, it is advisable to avoid the peak of typhoon season in September. After that, the blue sky and crisp air will beckon you. 

Overall, Japan offers countless highlights and must-visit places throughout the year. This climate guide will be helpful as you plan your trip to Japan.

Weather Guide for Japan

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Miyajima Island45°F3"46°F3"54°F5"63°F7"70°F7"77°F11"84°F10"86°F5"79°F8"70°F4"61°F3"50°F2"

Month-by-month Guide to Traveling in Japan

Visiting Japan in January

Beginning with the New Year holidays, January is one of the colder months on the calendar. A spike in travel during the holiday season can make it difficult to book tickets and accomodations early in the month. However, it is a good time for visiting Japan, as the weather is usually sunny and dry, sightseeing spots are not very crowded (except possibly around Chinese New Year). Only in northern Japan and along the Sea of Japan coast, there is lots of snowfall, and conditions are good for winter sports. In January, the country transforms into a winter wonderland, offering a unique and unforgettable experience to those who venture out into its icy landscapes.



Visiting Japan in February

The weather of February in Japan is the coldest moth but is perfect for sightseers. The temperatures varies enormously throughout the country, with warm temperatures in Okinawa's islands in the south of Japan, very cold temperatures and heavy snow in Hokkaido which is in the north of Japan. For any snowscapes lover, whether it's skiing at renowned snow resorts in mountain areas, visiting the enchanting Sapporo Snow Festival, or relaxing in warm hot springs, traveling to Japan in February is definitely a good idea.



Visiting Japan in March

With the winter cold eases in March, people fill parks and gardens to celebrate the arrival of spring and cherry blossoms. March is a great time to be travelling through Japan. This month, Southern Japan will be filled with the aroma of the blooming cherry blossoms. However, the northern part is still cold and you can still enjoy the hot spring in early March. There are plenty of events, from traditional festivals to sumo tournaments, animal adventures to anime conventions. At Sumida Park Cherry Blossom Festival, you can walk along the riverbank and enjoy blossoms with Tokyo Skytree in the background.



Visiting Japan in April

As the pleasant spring arrive, Japan comes alive with colourful cherry blossoms and warm sunshine, April is a best time to visit Japan. Cherry blossoms are in full bloom and signaling it's time to flock to parks across the country for picnics under the flowers; the slightly cooler cities like Kanazawa and Takayama, tend to enjoy blooms until later in April. Every year, most of Japanese look for a beautiful places to set up hanami with a nice picnic and enjoy food and drinks under the sakura trees.



Visiting Japan in May

May is the last month of spring in Japan, the temperatures throughout the country are comfortably mild, but the northernmost island of Hokkaido remains cool. This season offers a delightful blend of pleasant weather, amazing natural beauty and various cultural festivities, making it perfect for hiking travel. But for cultural and big-city highlights, you may visit Tokyo and Kyoto, if the weather of outdoors gets a bit hot, especially in the end of May, there are many indoor activities in these places to explore, such as museums, arts galleries, and Japanese restaurants.



Visiting Japan in June

June is the start of summer in Japan. After the cherry blossoms of spring, it is the month during which everything turns green, from temple parks and botanical gardens to nature reserves. From the beginning of June, the rainy season comes to the predominantly in central and southern Japan. But this is a perfect time to admire the natural beauties of Hokkaido in the north and the stunning beaches of Okinawa in the south. The hiking trails of Hokkaido beckon travelers during June, here, the average maximum is 22°C, and June is also an ideal time to sock in the therapeutic warm waters of a Japanese onsen, such as the hot spring resort of Hakone.



Visiting Japan in July

Generally, July is hot and humid throughout Japan, but the weather may different depending on the area you are travelling. The frequency of rainfall will be higher in southern and central Japan compared to northern area. Furano has the elegant mountainous landscapes, while beach area with snorkelling and surfing options are available in the south and Okinawa. The middle locations aren't quite as enticing with soggy days in the end of July, but it's the beginning of climbing and hiking season on Japan's iconic Mt. Fuji.



Visiting Japan in August

August is the peak of summer in Japan, with high temperatures across the country. Many places in Japan are likely to be busy in this month, so it will be hard to avoid crowds at popular attractions. If you'd like to escape the crowds and heat, check out the northern Japan and mountain areas. Japan Alps are a popular hiking destination, walking through the cool shady forests and tranquil lakes makes you feel great. But if you're a sun worshipper, let's go to Okinawa to enjoy its beautiful white sand beaches, snorkeling, and water sports. August is also packed with festivals and fireworks, you'll also have a chance to see some of Japan's biggest summer events, such as the Obon Festival, Aomori Nebuta, and Awa Odori.



Visiting Japan in September

During September in Japan, summer vibes still linger in the air and temperatures are cooler than August. But in some regions of Japan might be experience patches of bad weather and typhoons in early September. Later in the month, it becomes comfortably cool and marks the beginning of autumn. The skies clearing of the haze and humidity that makes the Fuji area a wonderful destination. The Fuji Five Lakes and Hakone areas offers stunning volcanic views with climbing and boating. Visitors can enjoy outdoor hiking in scenic trails, such as the famous Nakasendo Way and the pilgrim trails of Kumano Kodō. And beyond that, September makes it an ideal time to explore the beautiful scenery in Kyoto, Nikko, Nara and Hiroshima.



Visiting Japan in October

October marks a delightful season in Japan and is one of the most pleasant months for travelling, with comfortable weather and far fewer crowds than in spring or summer. Crisp, sunny days, cool evenings, and vibrant maple leaves make it one of the best seasons to visit Japan, whether you're interested in cities and culture or nature and outdoors, whether wandering the shopping districts of Tokyo or exploring the cultural charms of Kyoto, many places and harvest festivals are worth to discover in Japan in October. Cooler temperatures also lend themselves well to onsen bathing, and exploring Japan's National Parks. Some of the best include the Towada-Hachimantai National Park and Oze National Park.



Visiting Japan in November

November in Japan is a pleasant season with surprising burst of fall foliage. Cool temperatures and less rainfall create great conditions for travelling to see vivid red and gold maple leaves when the fall colors typically peak, it is the best times for experiencing Japan's beautiful natural landscapes, or soaking in an open-air onsen bath. November is a great time to visit the picturesque spots like Tokyo, Kyoto, Nikko, Nara and Fuji area. It is also a good time for visiting the Japan Alps. Takayama is a bit cooler than other major cities in Honshu, and the autumn leaves change color earlier in the month in the mountains. You may also enjoy seasonal harvest festivals, Japanese traditional foods during this wonderful season.



Visiting Japan in December

If you can handle a bit of cold weather, and love exploring with fewer tourists around, December is a great time to visit Japan. Winter in Japan offers amazing foods and cozy izakayas, soothing hot springs and beautiful snow-covered landscapes. Culturally and naturally beautiful places like Kyoto are especially picturesque in December. Hokkaido is especially known for its winter scenery. Don't miss the Sapporo Snow Festival there. Or you may go to Otaru to see the thousands of lanterns lining in the streets and canal during the Snow Light Path Festival. It is also a great time to experience the onsen traditions in Japan. Specific onsen towns will be the great destinations because you can soak in a variety of natural onsen baths in cold winter season. Early reservations are recommended if you plan to stay at onsen destinations.