When is the Greatest Time to Go to Japan?


Many vacationers assume, considerably justifiably, that they know the very best time to go to Japan. “It’s cherry blossom season, clearly,” I personally as soon as stated, albeit after my first journey to the nation, when seeing sakura was actually the one Japan expertise I had beneath my belt.

Alternatively, spring is unquestionably not the most affordable time to go to Japan—and that’s only one motive you would possibly come throughout one of many nation’s different well-defined seasons. Throughout one autumn journey to Kyoto, I even went as far as to declare fall coloration (koyo) viewing a extra stunning spectacle that hanami, although in hindsight I feel this would possibly’ve been a hasty assertion.

To make sure, I received’t spend the following few paragraphs making an attempt to crown a single finest month to go to Japan. Relatively, I’ll relay experiences I’ve had in Japan all year long so that you just would possibly come to your personal conclusion.

Why When You Go to Japan Issues

Whether or not or not you’re searching for the most affordable time to fly to Japan, the time of yr you go to in Japan is likely one of the greatest influencers of your on-the-ground expertise. Furthermore, Japan’s seasonal spectacles would possibly really affect your alternative of locations, whether or not you flock to the Kansai area to chase cherry blossoms, or skip Shikoku in summer time to keep away from the torrents of the tsuyu monsoon or the sweltering warmth that follows it.

Certainly, you possibly can work backward from this idea, and decide the very best time to go to Japan based mostly on the place you need to go, or what you need to do. July, for instance, is the one month you possibly can realistically see lavender in Hokkaido. If you wish to eat tempura-fried maple leaves within the small city of Minoh simply north of Osaka, however, you’ll must plan your journey to coincide with Japan’s autumn season.

Journey in All Japan’s Seasons

Sakura in Spring

Though the very best time to go to Japan for cherry blossoms varies relying on the place within the nation you need to see them, it all the time falls in the course of the spring season. Effectively, aside from Okinawa sakura, which is a subject maybe finest left for an additional put up.


Which isn’t to say that the spring season in Japan is all flowers and vacationers in kimono. Spring is likely to be essentially the most stunning time to go to Japan, nevertheless it’s additionally the most costly—and never simply when the cherry blossoms are blooming. Golden Week in late April and early Might is the busiest home journey interval in Japan, outlined by hovering costs and plummeting availability of lodges.

The Scorching Summer season

Only a few folks would record summer time as the very best time of yr to go to Japan—and that’s not stunning. Many of the nation is soaked by the rains of the tsuyu monsoon, and shortly thereafter baked by warmth that appears to be getting hotter ever yr.


After all, there are some benefits to touring in the course of the Japan summer time months. Aside from the matsuri (competition) intervals and the nationwide Obon vacation, crowds are typically comparatively mild, which implies that if you happen to occur to get fortunate on the climate entrance, you’ll get pleasure from probably the most stress-free Japan journeys you possibly can take. That is even the case in fashionable locations like Kyoto and Hiroshima, which may be insufferable throughout peak occasions.

Autumn’s Blazing Magnificence

I’ve taken a number of journeys in the course of the Japan autumn months, and positively discover this to be considered one of my favourite journey intervals. Whether or not I’m traipsing amid temples within the Kansai area, strolling alongside the Nakasendo and even in the midst of an enormous metropolis like Tokyo, autumn colours in Japan are at the very least as stunning as cherry blossoms.


So too are the crowds in November and December large. If there’s one argument in opposition to autumn being the very best time to journey to Japan, it’s that many prime points of interest will likely be so swamped as to be totally impassable, and lots of the finest locations to remain in Japan will likely be booked out weeks and even months upfront.

The Wintriest Wonderland

Should you learn any of my dispatches from the Japan winter season journey I simply took, then you already know my emotions on the topic. Specifically, that winter is probably essentially the most underrated time to go to Japan, to say nothing of what number of locations within the nation are totally magical right now.


To make sure, if you happen to can stand the Japan winter climate (which may be bitterly chilly, particularly as you stroll amid the “snow monsters” of Zao Onsen), many locations and experiences are at their finest throughout this time of yr. This consists of the snow monkeys of Jigokudani close to Nagano, and the picturesque farm city of Shirakawa-go.

Evergreen Japan Experiences

Should you don’t need to let the very best time to go to Japan (or once you assume that to be) stress you out as you intend your journey, there may be one other option to circumvent. Specifically, by selecting locations and experiences which might be accessible at a number of factors in the course of the yr, as opposed to people who are finest seen throughout specific months or seasons.

As a basic rule, I discover that many of the issues to do in Japan in Might (which feels extra like summer time than spring in many of the nation) are “evergreen” yr spherical. Whether or not it’s metropolis experiences in Tokyo and Osaka, un-crowded historic excursions to Kyoto or Kanazawa and even hikes and treks in Wakayama prefecture and the Japanese Alps, some experiences are neither climate nor time dependent.

The identical may be stated for indoor experiences, from culinary adventures, to museums, to procuring itineraries. Your resolution about when to go to Japan is normally crucial, nevertheless it doesn’t all the time should be!

Different FAQ Concerning the Greatest Time to Go to Japan

What’s the finest month to go to Japan?

Personally, I discover “shoulder” months like Might and October glorious months to go to Japan. Though Might lacks the cherry blossoms of April, it additionally lacks the crowds and costs; the climate is improbable and the brand new inexperienced of spring is electrically stunning. October, in the meantime is just too early for autumn coloration in a lot of the nation, however this additionally liberates you to discover locations for his or her deserves, somewhat than merely chasing reds and oranges.

What’s the least expensive month to journey to Japan?

Japan is rarely particularly low-cost, except the yen is having a weak second because it’s finished for many of the 2020s thus far. Nevertheless, avoiding peak months like April and November (and, if you happen to plan to ski in Hokkaido, January and February) will help you escape the worst worth gouging that may befall vacationers in Japan.

Which month is the most well-liked time for guests to Japan?

The most well-liked occasions for guests to Japan are the final week of March and the primary week of April, when cherry blossoms attain full bloom in many of the nation. Secondarily, the final two weeks of November (aka the height of fall colours in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka) are a particularly fashionable time to go to Japan.

The Backside Line

There’s no common reply to the query of the very best time to go to Japan. Alternatively, when you’re clear about what you need and anticipate out of your journey to Japan, and knowledgeable about what visiting the nation throughout totally different seasons can give you, you possibly can reply this query by yourself phrases. Japan’s well-known spring sakura season is wonderful, for instance—it positively lives as much as the hype—nevertheless it merely isn’t the only option for everybody. Need me that can assist you determine when to go to Japan, and to create a personalised journey to Japan for you? Take into account commissioning a customized Japan itinerary!



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