When Is The Best Time To Travel To Japan?

Japan, also known as “The land of the rising sun” is an island country located in the eastern part of Asia. The country has four distinct seasons which is a source of pride and joy for Japanese people. Spring and autumn seasons are generally believed to be the best time to travel to Japan.

Wonderful temple views things to do in Japan

But there are many factors when you are deciding to travel to Japan.

Japan is one of the few technologically advanced countries which has culture and history dating back thousands of years. Because of that, the country is now a unique mix of tradition, culture, and technology.

This unique condition made Japan into an appealing travel destination and attracted a lot of tourists from around the world.

Along with other traits, Japan is also very organized and the people there are very well behaved. You’ll find only a few countries which run in such orderly fashion along with the politeness of the people there.

Most of the travel-related problems that the tourists face are also non-existent there.

Now that we know how alluring Japan is like a tourist spot, we just need one more question answered and that is – When is the best time to travel to Japan?

Although we’ve roughly answered the question at the beginning, we need some explanation to convince you as a tourist.

What is the Weather Like in Japan?

The country of Japan has four seasons and each season gives it a new transformation.

If you want to fully enjoy your tour in Japan then you need to know about the weather in Japan and carefully consider every factor related to it.

Describing the overall weather of Japan is a bit difficult because a different part of Japan shows different characteristics. As Japan an island country, it has 6852 islands.

The 5 main islands of Japan are –

  1. Hokkaido – Second largest island located at the northern end of Japan
  2. Honshu – Largest and most populous island located in the north of Japan
  3. Shikoku – Second smallest major island located in the southern part of Japan
  4. Kyushu – Third largest island located further south of Japan
  5. Okinawa – Smallest and least populated of the five major islands in the southwest of Japan.

Each of these main islands has slightly different weather due to geographical locations. Let’s start with the winter season in Japan.

Japan Weather in December

December is the start of the winter season in Japan. Japan’s winter weather usually depends on the region you are traveling to. But usually, it’s good for traveling due to the dry weather condition.

Temperature in Hokkaido can drop down to 2º C or 35.6º F.

Honshu has the driest weather in December. Tokyo, the capital of Japan is located on this major island. In Tokyo, the temperature should be around 12º C or 54º F and at night it can drop to 5º C or 41º F. Typically the temperature is 8 – 9°C on average.

Shikoku & Kyushu is located further south of Japan. But despite that, both of these major islands have similar weather to Honshu with an average temperature of 8-9° C or 46-48° F in December and the driest month of the year.

Okinawa Islands has the gentle-most temperature in December. On average the temperature is around 20º C or 68º F.

The only problem in December is its short days and barren state of plants and trees.

Japan Weather in January

Under normal circumstances, January is the coldest month of the year in Japan.

Cold weather and warm spirits things to do in Japan

The average Temperature in Hokkaido is around -3º C or 26.6º F due to heavy snowfall.

Honshu has an average temperature of 4 – 5º C or 39 – 41º F on a sunny day.

Shikoku & Kyushu has an average temperature of 4 – 5° C with the coldest and darkest month of the year.

Okinawa Islands enjoys a mild temperature of 18º C or 64.4º F.

January also has the problem of short days and barren plants like December.

Weather in Japan in February

February is the month that ends the winter season in Japan.

On Average, Temperature in Hokkaido is around at (-7) – 0º or 19 – 32º F with the perfect powered snow for winter skiing.

Honshu has the second coldest month of the year with an average temperature of 5 – 7º C or 41 – 44.6º F. Tokyo is slightly cooler and light snow.

Shikoku & Kyushu can have 5 – 12.22º C or 41 – 54º F of temperature. Some of the parts have a lower temperature but Fukuoka and Nagasaki are a bit warmer. Matsuyama has a similar temperature to Tokyo.

Okinawa Islands have a blissful warm temperature of 17º C or 62.6º F.

Just like January and December, February also has short days and barren plants.

Japan Weather in March

With the start of spring, March brings life and joy in the nature of Japan.

Hokkaido has an average temperature of 1º C or 33.8º F. It rains frequently with the occasional snowfall.

At the beginning of the month, the temperature remains like the winter season, but after a few days, it rises to a more spring-like temperature with an average of 10° C or 50° F.

Shikoku & Kyushu set the mood for spring.

The average temperature of the Okinawa Islands is about 20° C or 68° F and spring blossoms at the end of the month.

While at the end of March, many parts of Japan enjoy the start of their seasonal cherry blossom, north Japan still has conditions for winter sports.

Japan Weather in April

Most regions of Japan enjoy cherry blossoms during the spring of April. This is the reason many considers April to be the best time to travel to Japan.

The lower grounds on Hokkaido starts to melt with the average temperature of 8° C or 46.4° F and bright sunny days.

Although evenings of Honshu still feels chilly, Spring starts at full power with an average temperature of 15° C or 59° F.

For Shikoku & Kyushu, it’s dry and sunny in April with the temperature rising to 19° C or 66.2° F.

The average temperature of the Okinawa Islands rises to 21° C or 69.8° F.

While at the end of March, many parts of Japan enjoy the start of their seasonal cherry blossom, north Japan still has conditions for winter sports.

Japan Weather in May

Spring finally arrives in the Hokkaido and northern part of Japan! The temperature of dry and sunny days is comfortable with an average of 13° C or 55.4° F. At the end of the month, cherry blossom finally decides to show its face in Hokkaido.

Honshu have sunny and warm weather during May with occasional rainfall. The average temperature is 19 – 20° C or 66.2 – 68° F.

Sunny and dry weather is enjoyed throughout Shikoku & Kyushu in May with an average temperature of 19° C.

On Okinawa islands, the temperature rises on average 23° C or 73.4° F, and tropical rain also visit this region.

Japan Weather in June

June is the start of the rainy season in Japan.

Hokkaido and the northern part of Japan do not have a rainy season. It only has low rainfalls occasionally. Most of the time it’s the clear and sunny skies with an average temperature of 17° C or 62.6° F.

Rainy seasons start for Honshu and the central part of Japan which lasts until mid of July. It’s the wettest month of the year for this region.

Shikoku & Kyushu also face the most rainfall of the year during this month.

Okinawa and southern parts of Japan also face heavy rainfall which decreases and the end of June. At the end of the month. The temperature can rise to 29° C or 84.2° F.

Weather in Japan in July

The rainy season ends after the first half of July.

Hokkaido and the northern part of Japan don’t have anything to do with the rainy season as usual. July brings the signal of the hottest time of the year in this region with an average temperature of 21° C or 69.8° F.

Honshu is always drenched in rain at the start of July. Although the rain disappears at the end of the month, it becomes very hot and humidity increases with an average temperature of 27° C or 80.6° F.

Shikoku & Kyushu also have a soggy start at the beginning of July. But in the middle of the month, the average temperature rises to 27° C and the weather becomes hot and humid just like Honshu at the end of July.

Even if most other parts of Japan are experiencing rainy season, Okinawa and southern Japan have a time of high temperature with an average of 29° C in July.

Weather in Japan in August

In August, Japan is too hot for you!

It’s the hottest month of the year in Hokkaido with an average temperature of 23° C of 73.4° F. But the island has a higher altitude and because of that, the humidity of the northern region is much more bearable than other parts of Japan.

Honshu experience the hottest month of the year during August with the temperature rising to 35° C of 95° F. Sometimes the temperature might even rise higher. The humidity is also very high this month.

Just like any other part of Japan, Shikoku & Kyushu also faces the hottest time of the year the possibility of emerging typhoons.

Okinawa has an average temperature of 29° C or 84.2° F with a hot and humid temperature. Okinawa islands along with the northernmost parts of Japan are at the risk of being hit by powerful storms as it is the peak time for typhoons in august.

Weather in Japan in September

With the intense heat and typhoons, it may appear that traveling to Japan is not so appealing in September.

Hokkaido escapes the effects of typhoons although there might be light rain. Hokkaido experiences the time of autumn color during this month. The temperature on average is pretty high with an average of 20° C or 68° F.

The temperature of Honshu is very high in September with an average of 23 – 25° C or 73.4 – 77° F. Typhoons that hit the southern part of Japan cause intense rainfall. Tokyo experiences the soggiest time of the year.

Shikoku & Kyushu has a high temperature this month with an average of 245° C or 75.25° F. The possibility of typhoons remains in September.

For Okinawa islands typhoon continues at its peak. September is the wettest month for the southern part of Japan. With the temperature rising to 30° C or 86° F, Okinawa is the hottest place in Japan during this month.

Japan Weather October

In October, the weather is warm but not too hot with less rain and less humidity. So ideally this should be a great time to visit Japan.

Autumn is showing its magic across Hokkaido with everything it got in October. This is considered one of the best months of the year in this region with a dry and sunny day and an average temperature of 16° C or 60.8° F.

Honshu experiences a little bit cooler and drier time during October with an average temperature of 22° C 71.6° F.

With the arrival of Autumn Shikoku & Kyushu enjoys an average of 22° C temperature with warm evenings.

Okinawa islands and the southern part of Japan is peaceful in October since the peek time of typhoons has already passed. With an average temperature of 25° C or 77° F the days are sunny and warm. Although seawater starts to cool off, it’s still good enough for swimming and diving.

Japan Weather November

November is one of the best time to travel to Japan.

The temperature of Hokkaido drops down with an average of 8° C or 46.4° F. The chilly air is signaling that winter is coming in Japan! The first snowfall of the year often happens in November.

November brings a relatively dry time of the month in Honshu with an average temperature of 12 – 13° C or 53 – 55.4° F. Since Hiroshima gets more sunlight than Tokyo, it’s slightly warmer. November is the time that brings color and joy to Honshu and other central parts of Japan like Tokyo.

Shikoku & Kyushu also enjoys relatively dry weather in November with an average temperature like Honshu.

Typhoon season is fully over and so Okinawa along with southern parts of Japan are pretty much safe in November. The weather is dry and warm with an average temperature of 22° C or 71.6° F. The seawater is cold so it’s wiser not to go for a swim without a wetsuit.

When is the best time to travel to Japan?

With the seasonal discussion from above, we can finally conclude this topic and make a solid decision about the best time to travel to Japan.

Winter Season in Japan (December – February)

If you are into snowboarding and other snow sports, then the winter season is definitely the best time for you to visit Japan. Although many of the tourist attractions close down for the New Year holidays ski season starts in December.

If you time it right, you may enjoy Christmas and New Years’ in Japan during winter.

The snowy landscapes, hot springs, and Mount Fuji is also very alluring especially if you are a photographer.

Spring Season in Japan (March – May)

If you decide to travel to Japan, you can enjoy Japan’s famous cherry blossom. The mid-spring or April is said to be the best time to visit Japan because cherry blossom is in full swing at that time. The start of Golden Week also happens in late April.

May is also a very good choice for traveling to Japan due to the flourishment of nature and the comfortable temperature.

Autumn Season in Japan (September – November)

During the autumn season, while October is considered a great time to travel to Japan, November is one of the best time to visit Japan.

The typhoon is all over and the sun shines brightly with mild temperature. The true color of autumn shows all over Japan.

What else do you need?

If you are a photographer or a nature lover then this is the time for you to shine.

Final Thoughts

Life is stressful and traveling is a great way for reducing our stress. While getting rid of our stress we don’t need any more stress to add up. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider many things when you are traveling.

If we just pay attention to a few things, we can reduce many hassles and make the travel experience much more enjoyable.

The best time to travel to Japan is dependent on the time and region you want to visit. We tried to briefly explain this in an easy way.

Hope you’ll have a nice trip to Japan this year.

Thank you and happy traveling.

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