When to travel

The tables below list average daytime high and nighttime low temperatures and average percentages of sunny and rainy days for selected cities. A rainy day is defined as a day on which at least 1 mm of rain falls, while a sunny day is a day on which the sun shines at least 40% of the daytime.

(Source: Japan Meteorological Agency )

New Year is one of Japan's three major travel seasons with intensive domestic and international travel activity. Many shops, restaurants and attractions are closed for at least one day between December 29 and January 4. Read more about visiting Japan during New Year .

The remainder of January is a good time for visiting Japan, as the weather is usually sunny and dry and 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 . The downside of a visit in winter are the relatively short days (sunset is around 5pm in Tokyo) and the vegetation's barren state.

Like January, February is a good time for visiting Japan as the weather is usually sunny and dry and sightseeing spots are not very crowded (except possibly around Chinese New Year). The downside of a visit in winter are the relatively short days (sunset is around 5:30pm in Tokyo) and the vegetation's barren state.

Northern Japan and the Sea of Japan coast receive lots of snowfall . At the peak of winter, February tends to be the best time for winter sports and viewing winter sceneries, such as the drift ice off Hokkaido and the snow-covered farm houses of Shirakawago .

Early flowering plants and trees, such as plum trees , deliver the first signs of spring, while the weather is getting noticeably milder. Towards the end of March the cherry blossom season starts in certain regions, while in northern Japan conditions are still good for winter sports . Domestic travel activity increases in the second half of March due to spring school holidays.

Besides autumn, April is often considered the best time to visit Japan because the cherry blossom are in bloom and the weather is pleasantly mild. Domestic travel activity is increased in early April due to spring school holidays, in late April due to the start of the Golden Week and during most of the rest of the month due the cherry blossom season.

Golden Week , one of Japan's busiest travel seasons, takes place in the end of April and beginning of May and can be the cause of various travel-related concerns.

However, the remainder of May is one of the best times for visiting Japan, as the vegetation has become lush, the temperatures are still comfortable and tourists spots tend to be relatively uncrowded. In Hokkaido , the progress of spring is delayed by about one month compared to Tokyo . At the other end of the country, in Okinawa , the rainy season (tsuyu) typically lasts from early May to mid June.

From the beginning of June, the rainy season (tsuyu) visits most parts of Japan except Hokkaido . While it does not rain every day, the weather tends to be overcast and dreary. The duration and intensity of the rainy season can vary quite strongly from year to year.

Hot spring resorts like Hakone and the wooded temple mountain Koyasan are some places that can be quite attractive in rainy weather. Hokkaido is an attractive destination in June as it is least affected by the rainy season. Also, the weather in Okinawa takes a dramatic turn to the better after the end of the rainy season there in late June.

The rainy season (tsuyu) typically ends in the first half of July. It is hot and humid in most of Japan, and just standing outdoors can make you sweat. The conditions are more comfortable in higher elevations and in Hokkaido , a highly popular destination among outdoor lovers during the summer months.

Many local festivals and fireworks are held. Mount Fuji is opened for climbing . Cormorant fishing can be observed. It is also a very good time of the year for beach holidays in Okinawa . With the summer school holidays from late July through August, domestic travel activity increases considerably.

August is hot and humid in most of Japan. The conditions are more comfortable in higher elevations and in Hokkaido , a highly popular destination among outdoor lovers during the summer months. Many local festivals and fireworks are held in August. Travel activity is high during the entire month due to summer school holidays, but it is especially intensive during the Obon week in mid August.

The typhoon season reaches its peak in August and September. Typhoons usually hit the coasts of Okinawa , Kyushu and Shikoku and cause strong rain and wind in wide parts or all of Japan for about two days. Luckily, typhoons are often followed by very good weather. The weather in September can still be hot and humid, but tourist spots have become less crowded.

October is one of the most pleasant months for traveling in Japan as the weather remains warm, but is not hot and humid anymore. Trees begin turning colors in the northern regions and higher elevations.

November is one of the best times to visit Japan, as the weather is relatively dry and mild, and the autumn colors are spectacular in many parts of the country. Travel activity tends to be low except around popular autumn leaf spots .

December is a good month for traveling thanks to generally dry weather conditions. Domestic travel activity remains low during the first half of December until the beginning of winter school holidays towards the end of the month. The downsides of a visit in winter are the relatively short days (sunset is around 4:30pm in Tokyo) and the barren state of the vegetation. From around December 29 some tourist attractions close down for the New Year holidays . The ski season gets fully underway in December.

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japan travel weather


When to go to Japan

When is the best time to visit Japan?

The best time to visit Japan is spring (March & April) or autumn (October & November), when days are sunny and dry. During the summer months (May to September), the cities are hot and humid, with heavy rainfall occurring across the country in June & July, except for Hokkaido. In winter, days are cool and crisp, with heavy snowfall in Hokkaido and the Japanese Alps. 

Japan weather & when to go

Pick a month below.

Weather seasons are becoming less predictable but peak visitor months remain more certain.

Unfollow the herd - avoid the peak months to enjoy fewer crowds, better availability, often lusher countryside and help to spread the economic benefits of tourism.

Weather overview

Japan is a year round destination , with four distinct seasons that offer something for everyone. 

Skiers and snowboarders in search of the perfect powder stash are drawn to Japan’s mountain regions during winter, which also attract hikers during the summer months. 

Further south, the beaches of the southern islands are also busy during summer thanks to high sea and air temperatures.

In spring and autumn, pleasant temperatures combine with the natural beauty of ‘sakura’ (cherry blossom season) and ‘koyo’ (autumn leaf viewing) to make these seasons an especially popular time to visit Japan.   

Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Takayama

Weather conditions and temperatures vary across Japan's main island of Honshu.

Northern Honshu and the Japanese Alps experience cooler temperatures (avg temp: 0°C) and heavy snowfall during the winter months, whilst the southern and western regions have milder winters (avg temp: 4 - 5°C) but are prone to hot and humid summers, especially in the main cities of Tokyo , Kyoto and Osaka with temperatures pushing the mercury up to 35°C on some days. 

June is the wettest month of the year across Honshu, with tropical showers occurring until early July.

In terms of temperature and weather conditions, spring and autumn are typically the most pleasant times of the year to visit Honshu. During April, the cherry blossom advances from Hiroshima, in the south, to the higher altitudes of Takayama and the Japan Alps by the end of the month; and conversely, the autumn colours work their way down from the mountains in early October to Kyoto and southern regions by late November.

Okinawa Islands

Okinawa and Japan's southernmost islands enjoy a subtropical climate throughout the year, with temperatures that never dip below double figures, in fact rarely dropping under 20°C. 

During the winter months Okinawa experiences the country’s mildest temperatures, although sea temperatures are chilly and only the hardy venture into the water. 

Come March, spring is definitely in the air, heralding the arrival of the famous cherry blossom, with Okinawa and the southern islands the first place to catch this much anticipated season. Although the months of May & June see tropical rain, it comes in the form of short, sharp bursts and conditions are good for diving. 

Summer days are typified by high temperatures and maximum sunshine, making it a popular time to visit the region's beaches, although as summer progresses there's more chance of typhoon, with August and September being peak typhoon season. 

Typhoon season passes as autumn progresses and autumn days are warm and dry. 

Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido is cooler than the rest of the country with temperatures reaching as low as -8° during the winter months and peaking at 25°C during summer.

Weather conditions in the winter are affected by the island's proximity to Siberia, with cold winds that bring significant snowfall - essentially perfect conditions for winter sports.

The snow begins to melt as spring arrives in the north and bright sunny days make spring an ideal time for hiking and exploring the island's National Parks. The famous cherry blossom finally makes an appearance in May. 

As the rest of Japan experiences humidity and rain during the summer months, Hokkaido enjoys pleasantly warm and sunny days, and so the hiking season continues.

The island also avoids the typhoons that pound the southern islands during Autumn months when days are typically crisp and dry, and by mid-September Hokkaido is the first place in the country to experience the famous autumn colours.  

Shikoku & Kyushu

Located just off the southern tip of Honshu, the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu enjoy similar temperatures to the southern Honshu regions of Kyoto and Hiroshima , ranging from 5°C during winter to just over 30°C in the summer months. 

Winters tend to be fairly mild and by the beginning of April the cherry blossom advances through the islands, making its way northwards. 

Spring and summer are an enjoyable time to visit Shikoku and Kyushu when temperatures are pleasant and days are generally sunny, although tropical rainfall can be experienced in June and there is a chance of typhoons as the summer turns into autumn (August – September).

Once the typhoon season has passed, autumnal days return to dry skies and comfortable temperatures.  

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When is the best time to visit Japan?

David McElhinney

Mar 26, 2024 • 8 min read

japan travel weather

Find out more about Japan's distinct seasons and when is the best time for you to visit © anek.soowannaphoom / Shutterstock

Japan may be small, but with its captivating blend of tradition and modernity – and bustling cities and stunning countryside – it offers a mighty experience to visitors. No matter when you choose to visit, you'll be on a trip of a lifetime in Japan .

In spring, the blossoming of the sakura (cherry blossom trees) creates a beautiful natural display that transforms the country into a vision in pink, luring travelers from all over the globe. Fall ushers in the resplendent koyo (autumn foliage) season, while summer opens the two-month window for summiting Mt Fuji. Winter is a great time for skiers, as Japan’s slopes are dusted with some of the finest powder on the planet. 

Whether you’re looking to dive into the crowded streets of downtown Tokyo or find zen-like peace amongst tree-cloaked mountains, there’s a season that’s right for you in Japan.

Here’s a guide to choosing the perfect time to visit Japan.

Cherry blossom trees in bloom with people taking photos at dusk

April and May is the time for cherry blossoms and art

The cherry blossom season from April to May is the peak travel period in Japan. Locals and tourists flock to parks, gardens, tree-lined brooks and castle moats to partake in hanami , the annual ritual of observing the spring blossom. Picnicking under a canopy of cherry blossoms is a top bucket-list experience, and popular seasonal foods range from cherry blossom-flavored desserts and pastries to burger buns and noodles infused with earthy cherry notes.

This is a popular time to visit Japan with good reason, but you should also weigh up the undeniable beauty with the drawback of the vast crowds and the increased prices.

The cherry blossoms arrive and depart over a two-week period, dictated by weather patterns and local geography, and the exact timing can be tricky to predict in advance . Along Japan's so-called “Golden Route” – a popular tourist trail running along the east coast in the center of the country – the flowers typically emerge between late March and early April, so April is a fairly reliable month to book a trip.

Save this guide to the best places for cherry blossom viewing in Japan.

As the last petals fall, there is little reprieve for crowd-weary travelers. Golden Week arrives in early May, with warm and sunny weather and a string of national holidays. Hotel and flight prices soar as the crowds surge into Japan's cities, and public transport, city streets, shrines, temples, museums and other tourist attractions are crammed with sightseers. 

In mountainous areas, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting and camping are popular activities, though high-altitude trails may not open until July. 

In the cities, it’s the season for exploring by bike, on parkland strolls or sitting out in rooftop beer gardens – the Omohara Forest on the 6th floor of Omotesando’s Tokyu Plaza mall is a recommended spot for a tipple.

Tokyo’s spring sumo tournament also takes place in May, as well as the explosion of culture that is the Roppongi Art Night.

Summer fireworks over the Sumida river at night in Tokyo Japan

June and July are great for alpine hikes and Tokyo fireworks

June and July are the best months for hiking in the Japanese Alps, and nature enthusiasts flock to the great outdoors. Mountain escapes are perfect for adventurous travelers looking to escape the cities as the summer heat brews. 

Early June is lovely, but by the end of the month, tsuyu (the rainy season) sets in. Many Japanese hikers will call off a day in the mountains at the slightest threat of rain, meaning hiking trails usually escape the mid-summer crowds. For the same reason, June is a good time to take advantage of cheaper hotel and flight prices.

The rainy season passes in July, though the damp weather can linger for the first couple of weeks, bringing gray and gloomy skies. Firework festivals are big business in Japan in July, launching tens of thousands of rockets into the night skies over major cities, while Tanabata, the festival of star-crossed lovers, sees locals don traditional kimono and yukata robes and head out in search of romance.  

Taking a yakatabune (riverboat) tour during the 300-year-old Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival in Tokyo is strongly recommended; it's well worth the high price tag to avoid the gargantuan crowds (which can reach up to one million people).

It gets very hot and humid as July draws to a close; savvy travelers head to cooler Hokkaidō or the Japanese Alps or hit the slopes of Mt Fuji, which opens to hikers in the middle of the month.

August can mean blistering temperatures in Japan

Mid-August is the start of the busy O-Bon (Festival of the Dead) season – the summer counterpart to Golden Week. National holidays, colorful festivals and blistering temperatures (over 38°C/100°F) keep sights crowded and accommodations expensive (and often fully booked). 

Many Japanese return to their hometowns or go on domestic vacations, so transport is hectic, and hotel prices soar. For a slightly calmer experience, head to the Okinawa Islands in the far southwest, where it's peak scuba diving season. The world's largest cosplay festival draws huge crowds to Nagoya City – book well in advance to secure accommodations.

Cooler mountain destinations are also popular in August, and Mt Fuji hosts hundreds of thousands of hikers during the mid-July to mid-September climbing season. Overnight summiteers should book mountain lodges well before starting the ascent. As August gives way to September, there's a brief lull before things pick up again during the fall foliage season.

Japanese family of father and mother in their 40’s and their 7 year old daughter are enjoying autumn foliage at the corridor of Hojo (the living quarters of head priest) of Tofuku-ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan..Tofuku-ji Temple, which was founded in 1236, is the head temple of the Tofuku-ji School of Rinzai Sect of Zen Buddhism

September to November is best for hiking through fall foliage

In September, days are still warm – hot even – but less humid. Though the odd typhoon rolls through at this time of year, major cities are well-equipped to deal with bad weather, and this is generally a great time to travel in Japan.

Coastal towns such as Kamakura and Shimoda on the Izu Peninsula provide the perfect combo of sunny afternoons, beachfront Airbnbs and temperate waters, making this a great time to hit the beach .

In late September, autumn colors start to paint the mountains and the north in vivid tones, and the wave of color moves slowly south across the country. The radiant foliage of deciduous trees, from golden ginkgos to vermillion Momiji trees, lures crowds to ancient gardens and well-worn mountain trails. Jazz music fills the streets of Sendai City and lures devoted fans during the  Jōzenji Street Jazz Festival .

Pleasantly warm days and cool evenings make October an excellent time to be in Japan. Fall foliage brings a blaze of color to the Japanese Alps, providing a stunning backdrop to its myriad mountain trails. Alternatively, stroll idly along Yokohama ’s fetching harbor before draining a few steins at the city’s annual Oktoberfest.

Late November is the most scenic time for hiking through the forests of Mt Takao and Mt Mitake on the outskirts of Tokyo, though early mornings and weekdays are recommended to avoid the weekend crush. The autumn leaves linger much longer than the cherry blossoms, so there’s less urgency among locals to charge up, and it's a quieter experience than the spring melee to view sakura .

In old daimyo (feudal lord) gardens, such as Rikugi-en in Tokyo and Kenroku-en in Kanazawa, the fiery leaves are illuminated after nightfall.

A small Japanese child sits playing in the snow on a ski slope

December to March is the best time for snow and winter festivities

In winter, most sights are uncrowded and accommodation is at its cheapest – except in Japan's ski resorts. Snow bunnies insist that Japan has some of the finest powder on the planet, particularly on the slopes of Hokkaidō in the far north. 

December brings blue skies and cold temperatures across most of Japan. Bonenkai (year-end parties) fill city bars and restaurants, commercial strips are decorated with seasonal illuminations, and small Christmas markets sell mulled wine and festive trinkets.

Stick to the cities for New Year – many Japanese businesses shut down from December 29/30 to between January 3 and 6, but temples get busy. Local celebrations include Toshikoshi Soba, where locals eat soba noodles to usher in the New Year, and Joya-no-kane, the ringing of New Year bells.

Japan comes to life again in the second week of January, after the lull of the New Year holidays. Snow blankets the mountains of Hokkaidō and the country’s northern reaches. Major resorts such as Hokkaidō’s Niseko and Hakuba in Nagano host Olympic-quality slopes and are well set up for non-Japanese-speaking tourists. Be sure to finish off the day with a rejuvenating dip in one of Japan’s many onsens (hot spring bathhouses). 

February is the coldest month of the year, and this is the time to warm your insides with hot sake and steaming bowls of ramen noodles. It's still high season on the ski slopes, but if you prefer admiring the snow to slaloming down it, head to Hokkaidō for the annual Sapporo Snow Festival (Yuki Matsuri) – where enormous, intricately crafted snow and ice sculptures are showcased throughout Sapporo City.

In central and southern parts of Japan,  ume (plum trees) start to blossom. Seek them out in gardens such as the legendary Kairaku-en in Mito.

Winter stumbles to a close in March. The month usually lives up to the old Japanese saying, sankan-shion – three days cold, four days warm. When the haru-ichiban (first spring wind) arrives, you can sense in the air that better days are just around the corner.

Meanwhile, the festival season gets into full swing from the Omizutori Fire Festival at Nara’s Tōdai-ji temple to the curiously translocated "I Love Ireland" Festival and St Patrick’s Day parade in Tokyo in mid-March.

Keep planning your trip to Japan:

Start writing your Japan bucket list with these the top things to do .  Plot your route around the best places to visit .  Find the best value options for getting around in Japan . Do you need a visa? Find out more with our simple to follow guide .  And don't accidentally put your foot in your mouth with this expert's  tips on local etiquette . 

This article was first published Feb 24, 2021 and updated Mar 26, 2024.

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When Is the Best Time to Visit Japan?

Shinjuku's Memory Lane Tokyo

When is the best time to visit Japan?

It depends on what type of trip you’re looking to take. However, spring and autumn tend to be the most beautiful weather-wise. We’d recommend a trip between March and May or September and November. If you’re looking to steer clear of crowds, then a trip in May after Golden Week is for you.

When is the best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms?

Cherry blossom season is one of the most popular times to visit Japan . Crowds of people excitedly welcome spring with the blooming of the beautiful Sakuras, with various festivals popping up across the country to celebrate.

The blooming timeline does depend on what region of Japan you’re in. For example, the bloom time in southern Japan is slightly earlier than the other regions, while the middle of April is the peak month for Tokyo. We recommend checking out the cherry blossom forecast via the Japan Meteorological Corporation if you want more information on the regions you’ll visit.

Need more inspiration? We've rounded up all the best reasons to visit Japan in 2024 after it was voted the best country in the world in our 2023 Readers' Choice Awards .

Boats Tied Up On The Uji Canal In Kyoto City

When is the best time to visit Japan for good weather?

The weather is the most mild and sunny during the spring months between March and May or autumn from September to November. The summer months see higher, humid temperatures with increased rainfall.

What is the cheapest time to go to Japan?

It’s always cheapest to travel during the off-season, which would fall between mid-January and March. The winter months see a decrease in the number of tourists, meaning airlines and hotels are eager to greet visitors.

Aerial Tokyo City View with Tokyo Tower Minato Tokyo Japan.

When is the busiest time to visit Japan?

Cherry blossom season and Golden Week are the busiest times to visit Japan. The Sakura season sees many international tourists arrive, while Golden Week (a collection of four national holidays) at the beginning of May shows increased domestic tourism.

A version of this article originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveller .

japan travel weather


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Climate & Weather Guide: When to Travel to Japan

A guide to Japan's climate and popular visiting times

Ignatius Koh

Japan is a temperate country that has four distinct seasons, each bringing its own merits that make the country an attractive travel destination. Here we provide an overview of the seasonal variations, weather/temperatures to expect on your trip and potential attractions worth visiting at that time of the year:

Winter : December – February

Winter in Japan is characterised by blankets of snow across Japan, especially in the northern regions of Tohoku and Hokkaido. This is the best time to hit ski resorts and participate in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. While the temperature usually does not drop below 0°C in Tokyo, it is frigid in the north and travelers are advised to put on thick coats while visiting.

The winter is also dry and sunny, making it perfect for outdoor activities if the cold is manageable. The daylight hours are short during the season so many illuminations are set up for people to enjoy the early darkness. Note that many shops will close over the New Year holidays from 29 December to 4 January.

Expected winter temperatures in Japan

Top 3 spots to visit in winter.

  • Hakuba , Nagano
  • Sapporo , Hokkaido
  • Zao , Miyagi

Spring : March – May

Plum blossoms usher in spring as the first signs of nature coming alive start to show. This is followed by a splendid sight of the famous cherry blossoms that bloom as early as January in Okinawa, and until as late as May in Hokkaido. During this time, many other flowers are blooming as well and complement Japan’s stunning natural scenery well.

The vibrancy of the country in spring, coupled with the cool weather, makes it one of the most popular times to visit Japan. This peaks during Golden Week , which lasts from late April to early May, where increased domestic traveling may add to the bustle of Japan. Temperatures are a cool 21°C on average so light jackets will be comfortable.

Expected spring temperatures in Japan:

Top 3 spots to visit in spring.

  • Shinjuku Gyoen , Tokyo
  • Hitachi Seaside Park , Ibaraki
  • Fuji Five Lakes , Yamanashi

Summer : June – August

The rainy season in early June signals the start of summer in Japan. Lasting about three to four weeks, this period builds up into a hot and humid weather in July. Beach-goers will head to some of Japan’s best coastal resorts, which can become crowded during this peak season. Many people will also travel up north to escape the heat. Japan’s summer is well known for its numerous festivals, including spectacular fireworks festivals all over the country, best enjoyed in traditional yukatas and kimonos.

Expected summer temperatures in Japan

Top 3 spots to visit in summer.

  • Akita City , Akita
  • Kyoto City , Kyoto
  • Tokushima City , Tokushima

Autumn : September – November

Autumn provides a brief respite after the summer’s heat; temperatures start to fall and Japan once again transforms into a colorful scene. The leaves begin to turn into various hues of red, orange, and yellow to create a burst of colour that enhances most natural attractions in Japan, making autumn another popular time for visiting. However, this is also when typhoons and heavy rain are regular, beginning in August and lasting until September. After that, the country prepares for winter when the last vestiges of Japan’s plants disappear after their stunning show of beauty.

Expected fall temperatures in Japan

Top 3 spots to visit in autumn.

  • Nikko , Tochigi
  • Naruko Gorge , Miyagi
  • Chichibu , Saitama
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By Ignatius Koh

Community writer

Climate & Weather Guide: When to Travel to Japan

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When is the Best Time to Visit Japan in 2024? Here’s When to Go & How to Dress For the Season

When is the best time to visit Japan? When is the best time to visit Tokyo? You have decided you want to travel to Japan - great! But now comes the hard part: planning.

Here's the best time to visit Japan

Pros and cons of traveling in each season in japan, best season to travel in japan, the least crowded time to visit japan, the cheapest time to visit japan, list of annual events and japan national holidays 2024, what to pack for japan, try ‘any wear, anywhere’ to reduce your suitcase space.

Everyone says to visit during cherry blossom season , but is that really the best time to travel? The pictures you’ve seen of cherry blossom festivals look really crowded. From flower viewing in spring , festivals in summer , and skiing in winter , each season is a brand-new Japan! That’s why careful attention needs to be paid to the when, not just the where, when planning your Japan adventure! To help you with your planning, we’ve created the ultimate guide to Japan’s seasons , weather, and trends. Use this information to pick a time confidently and get the Japan you’ve dreamed of!

Calendar of when to expect crowds in Japan

The best times to visit Japan are the spring (March-May) and fall (September-November) seasons , with May and October-November being the optimal months to balance good weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices. The periods between March to May and October to November have the best weather. These times, which line up with spring and most of autumn , are filled with calm days and comfortable temperatures. Nature lovers will appreciate the blooming flowers of spring , including the famed cherry blossoms, along with the equally stunning foliage of late autumn . September-November are recommended as good alternatives to avoid the peak crowds and prices, while still enjoying pleasant weather and scenery. Finally, the winter months can also be a good time to visit, with fewer tourists (except for snow resort areas like Niseko in Hokkaido ) and lower prices, though the weather may be colder, especially in northern regions.

It all depends on you!

Japan is a beautiful country 365 days a year, and you won't regret your trip no matter when you go. However, depending on the season , you may see a very different Japan from the one you imagined. That's why it's essential to create a list of goals for your trip, then compare them against each month to find the Japan you want to see the most.

Pros and cons of traveling in each season in Japan

To help you choose the best time to visit Japan, we've compiled a handy pros and cons list for each season . After you've decided what you'd like to see and do, use this list to select the best time to go!

  • Pros: Excellent skiing conditions in Hokkaido, calm and clear winter weather in major cities, and widespread festive light festivals.
  • Cons: Busy New Year holiday period with potential closures and unpredictable, sometimes harsh winter weather leading to travel disruptions.
  • Read More: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in January , What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in January
  • Pros: Peak ski conditions, vibrant snow and illumination festivals (such as the Sapporo Snow Festival and the Hirosaki Castle Snow Lantern Festival ), and Early-blooming cherry blossoms and plum blossoms can be enjoyed.
  • Cons: Coldest month with sub-freezing temperatures, snow and ice disrupting transport, and potential influx of tourists during Lunar New Year .
  • Read More: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in February , What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in January , Visiting Hokkaido in Winter , Enjoy Early-Blooming Sakura in February
  • Pros: Warmer, calmer weather starts; cherry blossoms bloom from Kyushu to Tokyo in late March.
  • Cons: Crowded cherry blossom spots, especially on weekends; persisting cold, wintry days north of Tokyo.
  • Pros: Pleasant weather with gorgeous skies; blooming Japanese flowers like roses, tulips, wisteria, and rapeseed; late cherry blossoms in northern areas.
  • Cons: Cold weather in Tohoku and Hokkaido; crowded cherry blossom spots in the north; busy travel and accommodation during the Golden Week public holidays .
  • Read More: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in April , What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in April , Visiting Hokkaido in Spring
  • Pros: Continuation of fantastic weather; dazzling wisteria tunnels in bloom; picturesque flooded rice fields; large festivals like Sanja Matsuri kick off.
  • Cons: Golden Week leads to packed travel conditions and fully booked accommodations.
  • Read More: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in May , What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in May , Visiting Hokkaido in Spring , 5 Fun Tours & Activities for Golden Week in Osaka & Kyoto
  • Pros: Quieter tourist spots due to no public holidays; comfortable temperatures; easier travel with fewer people outdoors; mild weather in Hokkaido.
  • Cons: The rainy season brings humidity and heavy downpours; famous landscapes like Mt. Fuji often obscured by clouds .
  • Read More: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in June , What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in June , Visiting Osaka in Summer , 25 Beautiful Traditional Festivals in Japan
  • Pros: Rainy season winding down by late July; vibrant summer festivals like the Gion Festival in Kyoto and the Ise Shrine Fireworks Festival ; colorful decorations for Tanabata, the Star Festival .
  • Cons: Persistent rainy season until mid-July, continuing the issues from June.
  • Read More: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in July , What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in July , Visiting Osaka in Summer , Tokyo Fireworks Guide
  • Pros: Weekly summer festivals featuring parades, fireworks, and concerts like Fuji Rock ; clear skies perfect for beach outings; quieter large cities during Obon.
  • Cons: Intense heat in August; typhoons risks increase , with potential transport disruptions; lots of insects; congested travel during Obon.
  • Read More: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in August , What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in August , Annual Events & Festivals in Japan
  • Pros: Decreasing heat from August; blooming Spider Lilies and cosmos in late September; quieter tourist attractions post-summer holidays; end of peak international tourism season.
  • Cons: Continued summer heat into early September; peak typhoon season brings potential transportation disruptions.
  • Read More: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in September , What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in September
  • Pros: Stunning autumn colors make an appearance in northern Japan; cooler, pleasant October weather; widespread Halloween parties , particularly in Shibuya.
  • Cons: Crowded parks and mountains for autumn leaf viewing; packed streets and trains during Halloween; increased tourism during Chinese holidays and the Mid-Autumn Festival in early October.
  • Read More: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in October , What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in October , Visiting Osaka in Autumn: What to Wear & Must-Visit Attractions , Autumn in Japan -Fall Foliage Forecast
  • Pros: Comfortable cooler weather; low rainfall; vibrant red, yellow, and brown autumn foliage.
  • Cons: Chilly evenings with winter onset in Hokkaido; busy parks due to autumn sightseers.
  • Read More: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in November , What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in November
  • Pros: Start of Japan's ski season with favorable conditions in Hokkaido; beautiful illumination festivals and Christmas markets ; feasible outdoor sightseeing; common clear, sunny days in Tokyo and Osaka.
  • Cons: Return of cold weather across Japan; many ski resorts in Honshu may not have sufficient snow to open early in the season.
  • Read More: Best Things to Do in Tokyo in December , What to Do in Osaka & Kyoto in December , What's Christmas Like in Japan? , What to Do During New Year’s and New Year's Eve

Best season to travel in Japan

Japan has four seasons . Each begets a new set of activities, so you should first consider your objectives, then choose when to go. For example, if you want an outdoor adventure, such as hiking , then the cooler weather of spring and autumn is ideal. If beaches are your thing, then late June and August are perfect! If a ski holiday is on your mind, you should pack your bags for January, February, and March. Plan your activities first, then use this guide to find the season that will suit your needs best!

Visiting Japan in spring

Visiting Japan in spring

Spring weather in Japan Spring brings serene, warm days and cool nights, with common but quickly clearing rain. Low humidity makes outdoor activities enjoyable. In April, Tokyo sees highs around 19°C (66°F) and lows around 10°C (51°F), while cooler Sapporo averages highs of 11°C (53°F) and lows of 3°C (37°F). End of March – Mid-April: Cherry Blossom Season High crowds. The cherry blossom (sakura) season is a spectacular but extremely busy time of year. The beauty of the blossoms draws large crowds, making major tourist sites very crowded. Accommodations, especially in Kyoto, often need to be booked 6 to 8 months in advance. End of April – Around May 10: Golden Week (Japanese Holidays) High crowds. Golden Week is a peak travel period in Japan, as there are few public holidays and many people travel simultaneously. Expect high accommodation rates, with bookings required months ahead, and heavy congestion at popular sights and on transportation networks. After May 10 – End of June: Green Season /Early Summer Low crowds. This off- season period marks a transition from the unpredictable weather of early spring to a pleasant early summer , ideal for enjoying a variety of blooming flowers. Tourist sites are quieter, and accommodation prices are more attractive due to the lack of major holidays. Although occasional early summer rains occur, they are generally mild.

  • In terms of clothes, bring both light clothes, along with a few jackets, sweaters and pants.
  • Be prepared for crowds, even before peak cherry blossom bloom, and try to get most of your sightseeing finished before rush hour, starting at around 6 PM.
  • Hotels in Kyoto get booked out as far as 6-8 months ahead. Reserve your accommodations as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
  • If you’re allergic to pollen , spring may be a bad time to come to Japan.

Recommended spring clothing

Bottom Line In terms of weather, spring is one of the best times to visit Japan. However, choosing another season is recommended for those wanting to avoid crowds.

  • Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast: When & Where To See Sakura in Japan
  • Tokyo Sightseeing Done Right: What to Wear in Spring

Visiting Japan in summer

Visiting Japan in summer

Summer weather in Japan Summer in Japan, particularly during the rainy season in June and July, is often unpopular due to high humidity. Rainfall, though not significantly more than in spring , is heavy. August brings sunny and hot weather, with Tokyo averaging highs of 31°C (88°F) and lows of 24°C (75°F), while Hokkaido enjoys milder temperatures of around 26°C (80°F) on average. July – Mid-August: Summer Season Moderate crowds. Japan's summer is hot and humid but is punctuated by vibrant festivals, which are free to attend, and lively beach resorts and beer garden activities. Early to mid-July might still see some summer rains, but they are generally sporadic. Mid-August / Obon Week High crowds. This period is akin to Golden Week in terms of busyness, with widespread travel across the country. Due to the heavy congestion, it's advisable to avoid traveling during this time. End of August – End of October Low crowds. Post- summer , when everyone returns to work or school, is an excellent time for off- season visits. The weather is warm, around 30°C (86°F), but less humid, making it more comfortable. Typhoons can occur but are typically short-lived, and indoor alternatives like museums and spas provide excellent rainy-day options.

  • You'll need plenty of light, breezy clothes to endure the heat.
  • If you’re planning on mountain climbing or visiting Hokkaido, then pack some jackets and pants.
  • The humidity will make you sweat a lot, so bringing or buying deodorant is also recommended.
  • The summer sun is very glary, especially on concrete streets, so decent sunglasses are necessary.
  • Buy a cheap plastic umbrella at a convenience store if you’re out on a rainy day.
  • Lastly, be careful of crowds at events, especially fireworks shows . Some of the larger ones will overburden trains for hours, and you may get stuck somewhere.

Recommended summer clothing

Bottom Line Despite its reputation, summer is a great season to spend in Japan. Through the huge array of local festivals, it is arguably when the roots of traditional Japan are felt most strongly. For those sensitive to humidity, perhaps wait for another time.

  • Complete Guide to Surviving Japan's Rainy Season
  • 18 Things to Know About Visiting Japan in Summer

Visiting Japan in autumn

Visiting Japan in autumn

Autumn weather in Japan Autumn brings variable weather, requiring both summer attire and jackets. By October, cities like Sapporo and Sendai become chilly, with lows around 7-11°C (45-52°F), while Tokyo maintains a warmer climate, with highs around 22°C (72°F). Beware of typhoons, especially in September, which can disrupt travel and daily activities. November / Fall High crowds. Autumn is a prime time for tourism, driven by the stunning momiji ( autumn leaves), which begin turning in mid-November. This season is very popular, often requiring accommodations to be booked months in advance, and it features cooler, rainier weather.

  • To beat the crowds, avoid foliage hotspots on weekends and public holidays. Aim to visit mid-week instead.
  • If a typhoon is predicted to hit your area, ensure you have accommodation and supplies for that period, and refrain from venturing outside. Keep an eye on the news for landslides or flood warnings, and ask your accommodation staff for information on evacuation points if the weather worsens significantly.

Recommended autumn clothing

Bottom line If you can successfully navigate around typhoons, you'll be rewarded with amazing scenery, fantastic weather, and quiet tourist attractions. Autumn is a strong contender for the best time to visit Japan.

  • Autumn in Japan: Autumn Leaves & Fall Foliage Forecast
  • Visiting Tokyo in Autumn: Travel & Weather Guide

Visiting Japan in winter

Visiting Japan in winter

Winter weather in Japan In January, temperatures drop to around 5°C (41°F) in southern Japan and 1°C (34°F) in Tokyo. Skiing destinations like Niigata and Nagano often see temperatures below freezing, while Sapporo experiences lows around -8°C (18°F). Snowfall is minimal in Tokyo and Osaka but common in regions near the Sea of Japan and in Tohoku, with Yamagata receiving up to 11 meters of snow. December (Until around Christmas) Low crowds. The early winter off- season period offers some of the clearest days, ideal for outdoor activities and viewing autumn leaves or Mt. Fuji. Hotel rates are more reasonable, and there's better availability compared to the peak seasons . December 20 – January 5th: Year-end Holiday Season High crowds. Travel during the year-end holiday season is not recommended due to the influx of both international and domestic travelers and widespread closures of tourist facilities. Accommodations are often fully booked far in advance due to the holiday demand.

  • If you're planning on enjoying cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, or Hiroshima, simple winter clothing, such as sweaters, jackets, and scarves will suffice.
  • However, if you're heading to ski resorts, mountains, or snowy regions, specialized snow boots, puffer jackets, raincoats, and other winter protections are a necessity to survive the harsh conditions.
  • Train delays are common during heavy snowfall, along with heavy traffic on the road. Be prepared for your trip to be affected.
  • Be wary of New Years, known as oshogatsu , which is a public holiday week. While it is common for most Japanese to stay home, shops, restaurants, ski resorts, and other attractions are usually busy, and some may decide to close. Be sure to double-check the places on your itinerary before you go!

Recommended winter clothing

Bottom line While winter is not for everyone, most major cities enjoy mild and consistent weather. However, some prefectures are prone to harsh conditions, and care should be taken before traveling. Crowds will be thin and most attractions quiet outside New Years and public holidays. For skiers, there's no better time!

  • Complete Guide To Visiting Japan In Winter: Weather, What To See & Do
  • Complete Guide to Skiing in Japan: Best Time and Where to Go
  • Fun Things to Do in Winter: 12 Best Destinations to Enjoy Winter in Japan

The least crowded time to visit Japan

  • As seen in the above chart, August to December is low on international tourists, with the quietest month being September. For those looking to beat the crowds, this is the best time!
  • January and February are also scarce on European and North American travelers; however, mostly due to the Chinese New Year and summer holidays, thousands of additional tourists will flock from Asia and Oceania, making it not as ideal.
  • To avoid crowds of local travelers, stay clear of these three periods.
  • March: Very busy due to the good weather and cherry blossoms.
  • Late April/early May: The week-long holiday of Golden Week occurs.
  • Mid-August: The most popular time for Japanese to travel due to the Obon holiday period.

The cheapest time to visit Japan

Airfares to Japan often decrease from September as tourist numbers dwindle and flight prices adjust. Depending on your travel dates, you could find flights for less than US$1,000! For accommodation, winter , excluding ski resorts, is typically the least expensive period. Many hotels offer off-peak specials, including weekday discounts. However, note that hotel rates often increase during public holidays, so check the calendar to prevent unexpected costs.

List of Annual Events and Japan National Holidays

Following are Japan's national holidays . Particularly around the row of holidays in May (known as Golden Week ), you can expect sightseeing areas, attractions, and major cities to be more crowded. If you plan on traveling around these dates, be sure to make hotel , train, and activity reservations in advance to avoid inconvenience. You may also wish to consider booking tables at popular restaurants as well.

  • January 1 - New Year
  • January 2-3 New Year (Obs.)
  • February 12 - National Foundation Day (Obs.)
  • February 23 - Emperor's Birthday
  • March 20 - Spring Equinox
  • April 29 - Showa Day
  • May 3 - Constitution Memorial Day
  • May 4 - Greenery Day
  • May 6 - Children's Day (Obs.)
  • June 15 - Sea Day
  • August 12 - Mountain Day (Obs.)
  • September 16 - Respect for the Aged Day
  • September 23 - Autumn Equinox
  • October 14 - Sports Day
  • November 4 - Culture Day (Obs.)
  • November 23 - Labor Thanksgiving Day
  • February 14 - Valentine's Day: Not a national holiday but celebrated in Japan, women present chocolates to men, including male colleagues, on Valentine's Day.
  • March 3 - Doll's Festival ( Hina Matsuri ): Families with girls observe this day for their happiness and success, displaying special hina dolls at home and participating in community events.
  • March 14 - White Day: This day mirrors Valentine's Day, with men giving chocolates or sweets to women.
  • July/August 7 - Star Festival ( Tanabata ): This festival period, rather than a national holiday, commemorates the meeting of deities Orihime and Hikoboshi. Notable celebrations occur in Hiratsuka in July and Sendai in August.
  • Mid-August - Obon: From around August 13-15, this Buddhist event honors ancestral spirits and is a period for family reunions.
  • November 15 - Seven-Five-Three Day ( Shichi-Go-San ): This day marks a traditional rite of passage where families visit shrines and temples to pray for their children's well-being and growth, according to customs established over 800 years ago.
  • December 25 - Christmas: While not a national holiday in Japan, it brings festive decorations and intimate celebrations, often involving a chicken dinner with loved ones or seeing Christmas illuminations .
  • December 31 - New Year's Eve ( Omisoka ): Despite not being a national holiday, many businesses close early in preparation for New Year celebrations.

japan travel weather

With Japan’s four distinct seasons and subtle climate changes, travelers often question what clothes to pack. But bringing extra clothes “just in case” can make for one crammed suitcase!

japan travel weather

‘Any Wear, Anywhere’ is an innovative service that allows you to rent stylish clothes for all seasons and most sizes, making travel in Japan lighter and more eco-friendly. By using surplus and used garments, this service not only reduces luggage weight but also cuts down on carbon emissions in partnership with Japan Airlines. Enjoy exploring Japan with a lighter load and a clear conscience!

japan travel weather

Using ‘Any Wear, Anywhere’ is easy. Simply access the official website from your PC or smartphone and reserve your wardrobe before traveling to Japan.

japan travel weather

When you arrive in Japan, simply pick up your stylish rental clothes at your hotel . After use, return the clothes to your hotel without the need for cleaning.

japan travel weather

Clothing sizes range from S to XL, in a total of 36 patterns. Clients can choose from a combination of styles (for men or women), season ( spring / autumn , summer / winter ), usage scenario (casual, smart casual, or a mix of both), and number of clothing items included in the set (basic or variety pack). The basic set includes three tops and two bottoms, while the variety set includes five tops and three bottoms, with the option of adding outerwear as needed.

Take a look at these examples of seasonal garments for rent

Next, let’s look at some of the menswear and womenswear rental clothes in three different seasonal styles: spring / autumn , summer , and winter !

japan travel weather

First up is clothing for spring and autumn . In Japan, spring and autumn are both mild with daytime temperatures of around 20°C (68°F). However, it often gets chilly during the evenings and overnight, and there’ll occasionally be an uncharacteristically hot or cold day, making clothing selection particularly tricky at these times of year. ‘Any Wear, Anywhere’ boasts a line-up of shirts and T-shirts that can be easily layered to cope with temperature differences.

japan travel weather

Summer in Japan is hot, humid, and sunny. If you reserve rental clothes during your summer travels, you’ll receive light and airy items such as T-shirts and sleeveless tops to help you stay comfortable while sightseeing under the hot summer sun. Heavy rainstorms and typhoons can be expected between July and September, so short-length pants can alleviate any worries about wet legs and feet in the event of sudden showers.

japan travel weather

Warm clothes are essential for winter in Japan. It can get so cold that the temperature drops below freezing in some areas! The ‘Any Wear, Anywhere’ winter line-up also includes down jackets and other outerwear to protect against the cold. Winter jackets are bulky and take up luggage space, so renting one at your destination makes life so much easier. Popular rental clothing items to wear underneath your jacket include sweaters, long-sleeved tops, and other clothes that’ll help you stay warm. *All accessories belong to the stylist.

No matter when you visit Japan, you'll have a good time! Japan is a country that celebrates each season accordingly, making for year-round fun! However, if you have a specific activity or interest, choosing the best time to visit Japan for you is extremely important. Balancing this with crowds and costs will also help you get the most out of your Japan trip. By reading this guide, you'll have all the information you need to enjoy Japan's wonders to their fullest extent!

japan travel weather

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Autumn in Kyoto

When is the best time to visit Japan?

  • Month-by-month

The best time to visit Japan is during spring (March to May) and fall (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.

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Month-by-month guide for 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.

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.

Cherry Blossom in Kyoto

Visiting Japan in March

The weather starts to get milder in March and blossom on the plum trees marks the beginning of spring. Toward the end of March the cherry blossom begins to emerge in the south of the country, which is celebrated by the Japanese with picnics in local parks. As this season is a popular time to visit Japan, the country gets very busy toward the end of the month.

  • The cherry blossom spreads north through mainland Japan.

Kawaguchi-ko near Mount Fuji in Japan

Visiting Japan in April

This is the peak viewing time for the cherry blossom as the trees start to bloom further north. The blossom during this time is beautiful and provides a magical experience, but if you travel during this time you have to expect everywhere to be very busy, and hotel rates escalate too.

  • Known as one of Japan’s top three most beautiful festivals, the Takayama Matsuri is held in the old town of Takayama where floats and shrines are paraded through the streets.

Temple pond and bridge, Kyoto

Visiting Japan in May

The weather in May is pleasantly warm and usually dry, and the vegetation is green and vibrant. Cherry blossom only reaches the northern parts of Hokkaido by this month, while in Okinawa , May is the rainy season. The first week of May is Golden Week, a national holiday and one of the busiest weeks of the year for domestic travelers.

  • Asakusa in Tokyo is the center for the Sanja Matsuri, held on the third full weekend in May. Colorful floats and shrines, accompanied by musicians and dancers in traditional Edo period costumes parade between Sensoji Temple and Asakusa Shrine.

Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa

Visiting Japan in June

This time of year is hot and humid and there is typically rain in most parts of Japan. This means that the trees and plants are at their most vibrant, and Japan’s gardens are particularly beautiful.

Mount Fuji

Visiting Japan in July

There are numerous festivals held all over Japan in July, making it a lively time to visit. The rainy season generally ends across most of Japan by the end of the first half of the month, but the humidity continues. July is also one of the best months to climb Mount Fuji , a hike which is only possible during the more favorable conditions of the warmer months. This is the peak season for domestic tourism and also sees the highest levels of rain and threat of high winds in Okinawa.

  • Japan’s most famous festival, the Kyoto Matsuri, is held in Kyoto and dates back to the 9th century when it began as a religious ceremony to appease the gods. Enormous floats are marched through the streets throughout the month, although they are most impressive on July 17th.
  • In the 7th lunar month, as part of the Obon Festival to honor the dead, the Awa Odori is held in Tokushima on Shikoku Island. Musicians and dancers flood the streets in vibrant costumes.

Showa Shinzan, Toya, Hokkaido

Visiting Japan in August

Festivals continue across Japan during August and this is a busy domestic travel period as it is the school vacations. The weather is generally hot and humid across the country, with Hokkaido  being cooler and more comfortable.

Sunset over Miyajima

Visiting Japan in September

The domestic crowds associated with August have usually dissipated by September and skies are often clear and blue, although the weather can still be hot and humid. In late September the leaves start to change color in Hokkaido , a process which makes its way south over the next few weeks. Toward the end of September there is a five-day national holiday known as Silver Week, during which prices increase dramatically as the Japanese travel about the country. Silver Week only occurs every few years.

Sagano-Arashiyama bridge

Visiting Japan in October

This is the start of the fall season for mainland Japan and brings striking red and gold hues to the landscape. The weather begins to cool down from the heat of the summer, making October a pleasant time to visit.

Matsumoto Castle, Japan

Visiting Japan in November

This is the peak time to see the colorful leaves in mainland Japan. Traveling around tends to be much quieter during this month, and the weather is pleasantly cool and mild.

Japanese snow monkeys, Yudanaka Onsen

Visiting Japan in December

The weather is cool and typically dry in December, and the country isn’t busy for the first couple of weeks which makes it a good time to visit if you don’t mind the chilly temperatures. Ryokan properties don’t tend to have much in the way of heating so staying here can be cold. However, outdoor onsens can be really special experiences during the winter months, particularly in the north of Japan where you can be bathing in natural thermal hot springs yet surrounded by snow. Towards the end of December it gets busier as the school vacations start, and some attractions close in the run-up to the New Year.

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The Best Time to Visit Japan

japan travel weather

TripSavvy /  Elise Degarmo  

Weather changes, typhoon season, and busy festivals should all be taken into account while deciding when to go to Japan. The best time to visit Japan is during early spring when the short-lived cherry blossoms are blooming but before or after the busy stretch of Golden Week holidays.

Although avoiding lousy weather is usually the goal of vacations, consecutive sunny days draw bigger crowds to East Asia. You'll have to share transportation and attractions during high season. Hotels are already a bit pricey in Tokyo, but they skyrocket during some of Japan's busiest festivals.

The Weather in Japan

With an archipelago of close to 7,000 islands spread north to south in the Pacific, the weather in Japan can differ significantly between regions. Tokyo can be near freezing while people enjoy T-shirt weather just a little south.

Most of Japan enjoys four distinct seasons, with snow in the winter. However, Okinawa and the islands in the south stay warm throughout the year. Northern Japan often receives heavy snowfall that melts quickly in spring. Tokyo itself doesn't ordinarily receive much snow. The megalopolis got a dusting in 1962, and then snow made headlines again in 2014 and 2016. In January 2018, a massive snowstorm caused disruptions in Tokyo.

Rainy Season in Japan

Even when no typhoons are spinning nearby to mix things up, Japan is a relatively wet country with ample rainfall and high humidity.

The rainy season in Japan typically hits in the summer months , around the middle of June to the middle of July. In Tokyo, June is a stormy month. Historically, showers slack off just a bit in late July and August then return with force again in September.

Adding to the meteorological madness is the threat of typhoons. Typically, most typhoons cause trouble for Japan between May and October. As you can imagine, a typhoon in the area completely changes everything weather-related—and not usually for the better.

Dry Season in Japan

A better way to call the time of year most travelers visit Japan would be the "drier" or "less rainy" season. Rainy days are a thing throughout the year, so building too tight of a sunshine-based itinerary could lead to disappointment.

Fortunately, Japan has some exciting ways to spend time indoors during rainy afternoons.

The driest months in Japan are typically December, January, and February. November and March are "shoulder" months between the seasons—often an ideal time to visit any country to avoid peak-season prices and groups.

Typhoon Season in Japan

Typhoon season for the Pacific Ocean runs between May and October, although Mother Nature doesn't always go by the Gregorian calendar. Storms can arrive early or drag on later. August and September are usually the peak of typhoons in Japan.

Even if they don't threaten Japan, big typhoons in the area can cause severe delays and congestion for air traffic. Check the Japan Meteorological Agency website for current warnings before you plan to travel. Your ticket may be refundable if your travel insurance covers trip cancellation due to acts of nature.

Key Events & Festivals in Japan

Visiting Japan when big festivals are in progress is a great way to get in on the fun and see locals enjoying themselves. But on the other hand, you'll have to compete with crowds at popular sites and pay higher prices for accommodation. Either make a point to arrive early and enjoy the festival or avoid the area altogether until regular daily life resumes.

  • Christmas and New Year: Celebrations for Shogatsu (Japanese New Year) can get busy. From the week before Christmas until a few days into January, malls and public transportation are even more crowded. During the holiday season, the Japanese public gets a rare chance to see the inner grounds of the Imperial Palace. This happens on only two days a year: the Emperor's Birthday (December 23) and on January 2.
  • Obon : Temples and shrines get busy in the summer during the three-day Obon festival . Dates for Obon vary, depending upon the place in Japan. Obon, in Tokyo and eastern parts of Japan, is usually observed around July 15. Hachigatsu Bon, an even busier time, is celebrated around August 15. Although Obon, commonly just called Bon, is not an official holiday, many Japanese families take leave to pay homage to ancestors around that time of year.

When to Go to Kyoto

Kyoto is a favorite cultural destination for tourists in Japan . The busy season months here can become very crowded. Spring and fall are the busiest times in Kyoto; October and November are the peak months for tourism. Consider booking your trip to Kyoto in August when rain slacks off a little but crowds haven't surged yet. If cold weather doesn't scare you, January and February are good months to visit Kyoto. You'll certainly want to book accommodation in advance if visiting Kyoto in November.

January is winter across much of the country, although some areas like Okinawa remain semi-tropical year-round. This can be a much quieter time to visit, especially after the rush of the New Years holiday.

Events to check out:

  • Seijin no Hi (Coming-of-Age Day) is celebrated on the second Monday of January. This date is considered the collective birthday for all who have turned 20, the country's age of majority, in the past year. 
  • Shōgatsu is celebrated from January 1 through 3 each year. Many families gather together for meals and other celebrations.

February is generally Japan's coldest month, but if you like to ski, it's among the best times of year to visit. Many times, plum ( ume ) blossoms begin blooming toward the end of the month, signaling that spring is on its way. Temperatures in Tokyo typically average around 45 degrees Fahrenheit, while it can be as cold as 20 degrees up north in Sapporo.

  • More than two million visitors head to Yuki Matsuri in Sapporo. This annual snow festival includes an international snow sculpture contest, ice slides, and more.
  • February 3 marks the first day of spring on the traditional lunar calendar, and it's also celebrated in Japan as a day in which one must ward off evil. People often visit Buddhist temples and ward off the devil, while welcoming fortunes in.

Japan is extremely enjoyable to visit during the spring . Large crowds of people flock to local parks for picnics, parties, and to enjoy hanami —the deliberate viewing of cherry blossom and plum blossom flowers . Families, couples, and even entire offices get in on the fun. The timing of the blooms depends entirely upon the warming weather. The flowers begin in Okinawa and warmer parts of Japan around mid-March, then move north as the weather gets warmer until early May. Forecasters predict the timing as blooms appear from south to north.

  • Tokyo's international anime fair, AnimeJapan, is the world's largest anime festival, held each March.
  • By late March, Japan is in a full-blown cherry blossom craze. While it's hard to predict when exactly the season will fall, the last two weeks of March are typically a safe bet.

A tradition all over Japan, Hanami literally means viewing flowers. Picnic under the beautiful flowing trees in any public park during this special season. Usually lasting for only two weeks in March, the sakura (cherry blossom) schedule changes a bit every year, so it’s hard to nail down exactly when to come.

April gets extremely busy in Japan, as cherry blossoms are usually peaking. But why not join in on the fun? The weather is sunny, crisp, and clear. Beware, though: School holidays and Golden Week, at the end of the month, can cause crowds to swell.

  • Takayama hosts a famous spring festival each year in mid-April. It includes floats lit with lanterns and a festive lion dance.
  • Miyako Odori runs throughout April in Kyoto . This festival showcases geiko dances and music. Buy tickets in advance!

Golden week is the most significant, busiest holiday period of them all in Japan. It's the busiest time to travel in Japan; you'll have fun, but watch out! Golden Week starts up around the end of April and runs into the first week of May. Several consecutive national holidays fall within a seven-day stretch. Many Japanese families tack on a valuable week of vacation away from work, so transportation and accommodation fill up quickly on both ends of the holiday. Public parks will be busy.

  • Golden Week officially begins with Showa Day and concludes with Children's Day. However, many families take additional vacation days before and after. The impact of Golden Week stretches to around 10 to 14 days.
  • Sanja Matsuri is Tokyo's largest festival, bringing more than 1 million visitors to Asakusa. The highlight is an exciting parade of men and women in traditional dress.

Early June in Japan is quite nice, but tsuyu (rainy season) sets in later in the month. While it doesn't rain all day, the gloomy and wet weather is the norm. Despite this, there are still plenty of things to do in the rain: Hot springs and wooded mountain temples are still quite serene, rain or shine. Additionally, hiking season kicks off as the snow melts in the Alps.

  • In June, Osaka is home to a major rice-planting festival that dates back more than 1,700 years. During this celebration, 12 women plant rice seedlings in the paddy at Osaka's Sumiyoshi Shrine.
  • Yosakoi Soran Matsuri is an annual folk dance festival held in Sapporo. The event attracts almost 40,000 dancers from all over the country and even more visitors. Dancers perform all over the streets and throughout city parks.

Luckily, the rainy season in Japan is short-lived, and it's typically over by the end of July. The country is hot and humid this month, but abuzz with events and activities. This is a great time for a beach visit to Okinawa.

  • Mt. Fuji officially opens to climbers on July 1.
  • Gion Matsuri , one of Japan's most popular festivals, is held from July 17 to 24 in Kyoto. Intricate floats are pulled through the streets. This is a busy time to visit, so book well in advance.

August is also hot and humid and can be crowded as many school children, and their families take holidays within the country. Hokkaido is a popular destination in August since the weather is prime for outdoor activities.

  • Obon, in mid-August, spans three days of honoring the dead, whose spirits are said to return to the earth during this time. Graves are swept and presented with offerings, while lanterns are floated down the country's rivers.
  • Many Japanese cities host dramatic displays of fireworks in August. One of the best shows is the Lake Biwa Fireworks festival, held near Kyoto in early August.

September is still warm, but humidity begins to die down. This is the peak of typhoon season though, so Okinawa, Kyushu, and Shikoku are at risks of periods of extremely hard rain and high winds.

  • Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri is an interesting festival held in Osaka each year. Danjiri (festival floats) are released in the streets.
  • Seto is famous for its ceramics and commemorates the craft each year during the second week of September. The eponymous festival features pop-up stalls selling affordable pottery and other handicrafts. Around 500,000 people attend each year.

October is a fantastic month to visit, marked by bright, warm days, with little humidity. Fall foliage peaks in the Japanese Alps during this month.

  • Roppongi Art Night is held each year in mid- to late October. Arts venues stay open all night and host large-scale installations and performances throughout this exciting weekend.
  • Japan loves celebrating Halloween, and it's worth a visit to Tokyo's Shibuya district on October 31, if you want to see thousands of costumed revelers.

November has beautiful weather, with temperatures beginning to fall at higher elevations and further north in the country. Temperatures in Tokyo range from 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees, while Sapporo is as cool as 35 degrees at night.

  • The Ohara Festival, held in the southern prefecture of Kagoshima, features a street parade of more than 20,000 dancers.
  • The Momiji Festival in Kyoto includes five incredible period-decorated boats that are meant to recreate the atmosphere of Japan's Heian court. Re-enactors play traditional instruments and recite noh and kyogen . (P.S. The best views of the event are from the Togetsu-kyo Bridge.)

If you are planning to visit Japan in December , avoid visiting during the last week of the month and the first week of January. While Christmas is not a celebrated national holiday, many people still take time off working during this period, which books up hotels and makes transportation more difficult. Many businesses close over the period leading up to New Year's Day.

  • On December 31, temple bells ring 108 times at midnight as part of Joya-no-kane , an annual purifying ritual.
  • Kyoto celebrates the unique Daikon radish during the Sanpoji Daikon Festival. The vegetable becomes available in late Autumn, but the festival takes place in mid-December. More than 10,000 people eat the hot radish, which is believed to have health benefits.

In March and April, you may be able to catch the cherry blossom season while enjoying crisp and sunny weather.

Japan's rainy season falls over the summer with June and July being the rainiest months. Late July and August tend to be a bit drier, but it gets rainy again in September.

Typhoon season typically lasts between May and October, reaching its peak in August and September.

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japan travel weather

Weather and climate in Japan

Flag - Japan

The climate in detail

The seasons.

  • Hokkaido - Sapporo
  • Honshu - Niigata, Sendai, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Mountains
  • Kyushu - Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kagoshima
  • Other islands - Okinawa

What to pack

Hokkaido, map

Other islands

Climate chart - Okinawa

japan travel weather

  • Location guides
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  • Japan Weather In June: Travel Tips, Where to Go & What to Wear

japan travel weather

Japan’s summer, which lasts from June to August, is often quite hot and humid, with daily temperatures frequently exceeding 30 °C (86 °F), especially in Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, and other major urban areas.

If you’re planning to visit Japan in summer, June is the greatest month for a trip. You won’t have to worry about crowds in the tourist season and can enjoy flights and hotels at affordable prices. Additionally, Japan weather in June is usually more pleasant than the weather in July and August, so June will be the perfect time for you to experience a wonderful summer in Japan.

Japan Weather In June: What’s The Weather Like In June In Japan?

Although temperatures and weather in regions in Japan may differ, in general, you can see warmer weather, with a bit higher temperatures in the southern regions and Okinawa.

Beginning in June, humidity and temperatures tend to go up slightly, but overall, it’s not too terrible and definitely acceptable. Japan weather in June is a bit hot but not too uncomfortable with average temperatures from 19°C to 25°C . The daily June temperature in Tokyo is around 26°C.

japan travel weather

June is also the beginning of the rainy season in Japan. Although it often rains heavily in Japan, it seldom does so continuously. The clear days after rain with nice temperatures are perfect for sightseeing and other activities.

June is still an excellent time for visiting if you don’t mind the occasional rain because the rainfall and temperatures are not too severe.

In Okinawa’s tropical and subtropical islands, the rainy season starts in May and lasts until late June. While Hokkaido doesn’t have a rainy season, the majority of the rest of Japan tends to experience more rain in the middle of June. Even if it doesn’t rain every day, the weather is often cloudy and wet. If you want to stay drier during this month, remember to bring waterproof boots and an umbrella.

June’s weather in specific regions of Japan:

  • Hokkaido (Niseko, Sapporo, Furano)

While June is the rainy season in most areas of Japan, Hokkaido and the northernmost parts of the nation are the exceptions: sunny days, clear sky, and pleasant weather with an average temperature of 17°C, and Sapporo experiences its driest time of the year.

June is suggested to be the ideal month for exploring Hokkaido to enjoy the stunning scenery, especially as the cherry blossom is currently at its most beautiful season in Hokkaido.

japan travel weather

June is suggested to be the ideal month for exploring Hokkaido to enjoy the stunning scenery, especially as the cherry blossom is currently at its most beautiful season in Hokkaido. (Source: Internet)

  • Honshu (Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka)

In Honshu and central Japan, the rainy season begins in June and lasts through mid-July. Days during the rainy season are often cloudy, with rain usually coming in a sudden shower or sometimes intense tropical rainstorms.

Don’t forget an umbrella when leaving the hotel because this is the wettest time of the year in Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima. On the bright side, the rainy season is the best time to enjoy the restorative Japanese hot springs, such as Hakone hot spring resort.

japan travel weather

n Honshu and central Japan, the rainy season begins in June and lasts through mid-July. (Source: Internet)

  • Shikoku and Kyushu (Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Nagasaki)

Except for Hokkaido, June’s rains are hitting various areas of Japan, including the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. Although the southern parts of Kyushu are wetter, especially Kagoshima, which is often the most humid city in Japan in June, Matsuyama is the region that has the rainiest month of the year.

japan travel weather

Except for Hokkaido, June’s rains are hitting various areas of Japan, including the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. (Source: Internet)

  • Okinawa (Kerama, Naha, Okinawa)

June marks the start of the rainy season in Okinawa and the southern Japanese islands. The rainfall decreases at the end of the month and tourists start to flock to the beaches. Although the temperatures can high up to 29 in Okinawa, June is still a great month for diving and swimming because of the warmer sea temperatures and clear weather.

japan travel weather

June marks the start of the rainy season in Okinawa and the southern Japanese islands. (Source: Internet)

Is June A Good Month To Travel To Japan?

In most areas of Japan, June marks the beginning of the rainy season. However, don’t let it prevent you from coming to Japan. Although it’s the rainy season, the weather is not always wet and after rain time, the clear days that are sunny, pleasant, and not too hot will be the perfect time for you to explore Japan.

Summer isn’t typically the peak season. You might be able to benefit from cheaper hotel rates and more available rooms as a greater number of foreign tourists usually flock to Japan during the cherry blossom season or foliage times in autumn.

japan travel weather

In most areas of Japan, June marks the beginning of the rainy season. (Source: Internet)

In the summer months of Japan, many areas of the country have high temperatures and humidity, but June is often cooler than late summer. Instead of July or August, June is a more excellent time to visit Japan if you want to enjoy the greatest summer.

Top Places In Japan To Visit In June

1. hokkaido: perfect for outdoor activities.

Hokkaido is an excellent place to visit if you want to escape the heat and humidity of the southern regions of Japan. The weather is generally warm, and sunny without being hot and humid like in other parts of Japan.

In addition, If you come to Sapporo in June, you can experience the traditional, colorful festival held every year here.

japan travel weather

Hokkaido is an excellent place to visit if you want to escape the heat and humidity of the southern regions of Japan. (Source: Internet)

With cool, bright weather in June, Hokkaido is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You may walk along the romantic, stunning flower fields. National parks are another fantastic option for you to enjoy the natural beauty of Hokkaido.

Also Try the Beer Museum in Sapporo, a wonderful place to discover the oldest and most well-liked beers in Japan.

2. Tokyo: A dynamic city with many options

Compared to other major Japanese cities such as Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo in June is relatively dry.  Being the heart of the country, Tokyo is always at the top of tourists’ destination lists when visiting Japan.

You should visit its theme parks (such as the famous Disney Sea), see Tokyo’s modern skyscrapers and explore the busiest streets.

japan travel weather

Being the heart of the country, Tokyo is always at the top of tourists’ destination lists when visiting Japan. (Source: Internet)

If you have kids, Pokemon Center and Anime museums (Ghibli Museum) will be interesting destinations for you. A firefly night trip in June would be another terrific option for you when coming to Tokyo. The night sky sparkling with fireflies creates a fantastic atmosphere.

3. Kyoto: Japanese traditional cultural experiences

In June, Kyoto is a bit hot and humid. Rains can account for up to 13 days in June with a rainfall of about 200mm. Rain seldom falls all day and often appears in the afternoon.

japan travel weather

In June, Kyoto is a bit hot and humid. (Source: Internet)

You would still have dry days to enjoy its ancient temples, such Fushimi Inari -Taisha Shrine, with its lush June plants. If it’s raining, consider some indoor cultural activities like tea ceremonies, samurai, and kimono fittings.

4. Okinawa Prefecture: Beautiful beaches and deer feeding in Nara

Okinawa is a wonderful destination to visit in late June, with stunning beaches, sunny days, and refreshing ocean swimming.

As the center of Okinawa, Naha’s weather is hot, humid and rainy in June. However, this also can not prevent you from coming to Naha Park on a sunny day after the rain to relax and commune with nature.

In Nara Park, there are numerous deer roaming free. Feeding cute deer in Naha on your Japan trip will be a memorable experience.

japan travel weather

Feeding cute deer in Naha on your Japan trip will be a memorable experience. (Source: Internet)

5. Kanazawa: Ancient town with craft activities

Kanazawa has a similar climate to Tokyo and is accessible by rail from Tokyo in two and a half hours.There, you may find Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan’s top three most stunning gardens.

Kanazawa is an attractive destination for people who love handmade art. You can enjoy wonderful artworks and exquisite crafts there that display ancient Japanese skills including cloth dying, golden leaf crafts, and intricate cord tying.

japan travel weather

Kanazawa is an attractive destination for people who love handmade art. (Source: Internet)

Things To Do In Japan In June

Although most parts of Japan are too wet for comfortable hiking in June, the Japan Alps are still a wonderful place to visit if you want to spend more time on outdoor activities. The tallest mountains in Japan are found in this range, which runs along the middle of Honshu, the “main” island of Japan.

If you prefer sightseeing, the beautiful flower fields in Hokkaido and Tokyo will be the perfect choice for you. In Tokyo, try the Katsushika Shobu Matsuri – the famous Iris flower festival. As for Hokkaido, the nice weather without rain will allow you to visit any flower field.

japan travel weather

If you prefer sightseeing, the beautiful flower fields in Hokkaido and Tokyo will be the perfect choice for you. (Source: Internet)

It’s clear that the rainy season may make outdoor activities a little more challenging, but it certainly can’t ruin your trip. There are a lot of interesting indoor activities you can explore! Here are several suggestions: visiting museums, fantastic aquariums, unique maid cafes, onsen (Japanese hot springs), going to shopping malls, etc.

You can also like: 

  • 5 Best Internet Providers in Tokyo Japan: A Complete Guide
  • Best Ramen In Shinjuku: Must Try When Visiting Tokyo

Clothing For June In Japan

Japan weather in June won’t be too hot but you have to deal with sudden showers. Here is our advice on your clothes when traveling in Japan in June.

  • Clothing: Cotton shirts, light T-shirts, shorts, summer dresses
  • Footwear: If you are happy wearing open shoes, bring them—you’ll be glad you did—but don’t forget to pack a pair of comfy shoes for your (likely) extremely long walking activities.
  • Accessories: towels, sunscreen, sunglasses, and an umbrella

japan travel weather

  • Clothing: Shorts, polo shirts, light pants, light T-shirts
  • Footwear: Comfortable shoes or sneakers for long walking activities
  • Accessories: Sunglasses, a towel, and an umbrella

japan travel weather

If you are planning to go to the beaches, remember to pack swimsuits and hats if necessary.

Costs And Crowds

Because of the rainy season, Japan’s destinations become less busy in June compared to its peak season from March to May. If you come to Japan before the Japanese summer vacation, you might benefit from cheaper flights and more affordable hotel costs, as well as less crowded sightseeing attractions.

japan travel weather

Hokkaido and Okinawa are the exceptions to Japan’s general low tourism season in June. (Source: Internet)

Hokkaido and Okinawa are the exceptions to Japan’s general low tourism season in June. In June, a lot of Japanese people visit these places, either to avoid the heat and take pleasure in the lovely weather in Hokkaido or to explore the stunning chilly beaches in Okinawa. The later part of June—when the rainfall generally decreases—is when Okinawa’s peak season begins. In comparison to most other times of the year, transportation and hotel expenses in these areas tend to go up.

Events In June

Natsu matsuri, or Japanese summer festivals, are celebrated all summer long in many different towns, and cities throughout the country. You can experience Japanese traditional dances with live music, try Japanese costumes and enjoy many unique foods and drinks.

japan travel weather

One of the most famous festivals in Japan in the summer is the Fussa Firefly Festival. (Source: Internet)

One of the most famous festivals in Japan in the summer is the Fussa Firefly Festival. Held in Fussa City, west of Tokyo, this unique event enables you to dance with thousands of surrounding dancing fireflies. What an enchanting and wonderful experience! The night festival is an excellent opportunity to enjoy local food and visit traditional destinations.

In addition, there are many other exciting summer festivals. Find out more on the internet or ask a local specialist for more details.

Summer Foods In June In Japan

What makes Japan’s summer even more enjoyable? Of course, excellent seasonal cuisine! The following list of the best summer foods in Japan is likely to include something you will enjoy, whether you’re staying outdoors, dining out, or just searching for something cold for a hot day.

Pop in a noodle shop for some somen if all you need is a meal that makes you feel refreshed. Somen is served cool and with a bowl of soup for dipping your noodles in.

japan travel weather

Somen is served cool and with a bowl of soup for dipping your noodles in. (Source: Internet)

2. Zaru Udon and Zaru Soba

The noodle dishes Zaru Udon and Zaru Soba are undoubtedly the most iconic of summer in Japan. They are made from a combination of wheat flour and buckwheat flour, respectively, and are cooked before being placed in a bamboo basket called a Zaru. These are available at any soba noodles restaurant in Japan.

japan travel weather

The noodle dishes Zaru Udon and Zaru Soba are undoubtedly the most iconic of summer in Japan. (Source: Internet)

3. Hiyashi Chuka

This classic summer dish is made of boiled and chilled Chinese noodles served with ham, a thin-sliced omelet, cucumber, and other seasonings. The noodles’ extremely silky texture makes them an excellent solution for summer tiredness.

japan travel weather

The noodles’ extremely silky texture makes them an excellent solution for summer tiredness. (Source: Internet)

4. Morioka Reimen

The flexibility and silky texture of Morioka Reimen are its distinguishing features. A traditional dish from Morioka in the Iwate, these cold noodles are served with toppings including cucumber, kimchi, and boiled eggs.

japan travel weather

The flexibility and silky texture of Morioka Reimen are its distinguishing features. (Source: Internet)

Eel, or unagi, is a fantastic dish to boost your energy when visiting Japan in the summer. A salty and sweet sauce drizzled over rice and charcoal-grilled unagi creates a must-try summer dish.

japan travel weather

Eel, or unagi, is a fantastic dish to boost your energy when visiting Japan in the summer. (Source: Internet)

6. Kakigori

Kakigori is a must-try dessert during summer in Japan. Shaved ice gets drizzled with syrup in a variety of tastes, such as melon, strawberry, or Hawaii, and can often be found at festivals.

japan travel weather

Kakigori is a must-try dessert during summer in Japan. ( Source: Internet)

1. What is the average June temperature in Japan?

Japan’s weather in June is hot and humid, with average temperatures ranging from around 19°C to 30°C (66°F to 86°F).

2. Is June a rainy month in Japan?

Yes. The rainy season in the majority of Japanese areas lasts from the beginning of June until the middle of July. In the northern regions, particularly in Hokkaido, the weather will be pleasantly bright and less rainy. On the contrary, the rainy and high-humidity climate is found in the central to southern prefectures.

3. Is Japan better in June or July?

Many regions of the country have high temperatures and humidity, but June is often less unpleasant than late summer. Compared to July, June is a more suitable time to visit Japan if you want to enjoy the greatest summertime here.

4. Is there snow in Japan in June?

The answer is No. Around the time of Christmas, Japan normally experiences its first snowfall, which lasts until the end of March or the beginning of April. Mid January to late February is when the snow season peaks.

5. Is June typhoon season in Japan?

Yes, June can have typhoons but not often. Typhoons can sometimes appear outside of the typical typhoon season, which runs from May to October. Okinawa often suffers more typhoons than the mainland of Japan. Typhoons often occur less frequently in the northern areas of Japan, such as Hokkaido.

6. How hot is Tokyo in June?

A normal day in June in Tokyo can have an average high temperature of 26°C or a low temperature of 18°C. The weather is comparatively warm with the breeze.

7. How rainy is Tokyo in June?

On average, there is a 48% possibility of rain in Tokyo in June. On a typical day, we find 0.6 in (around 15.3 mm) of rainfall. It shows that Tokyo in June has moderate rainfall.

8. Are there cherry blossoms in Japan in June?

The cherry blossom season in Japan typically lasts from late March to early April. However, there are some exceptions. In the north side, particularly in Hokkaido, the cherry blossom may bloom from late May to the beginning of June, while it also opens in early January in Japan’s southern subtropical islands. Therefore, you can absolutely see cherry blossoms if you come to Hokkaido in early June.

9. What is the best time to visit Japan?

The spring season (March to May) and the autumn season (September to November) are the ideal times to visit Japan. Japan is at its most colorful at this time, with stunning cherry blossoms or vibrant red foliage bringing contrast to the surroundings. Keep in mind that at this time, it might also be very crowded.

10. What should you pack when going to Japan in June?

Since the majority of Japan sees its rainy season in June, it is a good idea to pack rain gear and waterproof clothes. For humid days, it is advised that you bring some comfortable, quick-drying clothing. For the chilly evenings in northern Japan, layers of clothes are recommended.

If you want to hike in the mountains or national parks, don’t forget the mosquito repellent. There will be a lot of ultraviolet (UV) rays, so bring enough sunscreen, a hat, and high-quality sunglasses.

Japan weather in June varies depending on the region, but it is generally hot, humid, and rainy. Even so, June is still the most ideal time to experience Japan’s beautiful summer. Plan carefully and prepare the necessary items to have the best summer trip in Japan.


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  • Japan Weather in September 2024, Travel Tips (for First-Timers)

Japan's autumn usually starts from September. The temperature decreases noticeably during the month.

September sees the second (heavier) rainy season (the typhoon season) hit central Japan , bringing highest rainfall months in central and northern Japan and typhoons, mostly in southern Japan.

Because of the wet weather, you'll benefit from the lowest costs and least crowds among the autumn months (September to November) in Japan.

Get more information about average temperatures, rainfall, and tips on where to go and what to wear in Japan in September below...

Weather of Japan's Major Cities in September

5 best places to visit in japan in september, will a typhoon affect my trip in september.

  • Costs and Crowding

What to Pack in September

Japan weather in september: averages.

  • Temperature range: 20–27°C (68–81°F)
  • Rainfall: 200 mm (8 inches)
  • Rainy days: 10
  • Sunny days: 20

Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family 's best-rated service across trusted platforms.

Tokyo and Central Japan: Rainy but Quiet

Hot weather continues in central Japan in early September, but the temperature drops by 5°C (9°F) by the end of September. The daily highs average 28°C (82°F) in major cities, such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima.

You may experience heavy rainfall in September. If you don't mind the risk of potentially rainy days, you're likely to have attractions to yourself, chances to climb Mt. Fuji before it closes in mid-September, and lower costs .

Okinawa and Southern Japan: Typhoon Season Peaks

Okinawa remains hot, peaking at 31°C (87°F) on average. On sunny days, you could still enjoy water activities, such as swimming, diving, and snorkeling, with the added bonus of fewer crowds.

September is the peak season for typhoons. You can expect heavy rainfall, but on the bright side, typhoons only last 2 or 3 days and are often followed by good weather.

Hokkaido and Northern Japan: Autumn Colors Arrive

In September, northern Japan becomes cool, with an average temperature of 18°C (64°F) by the end of the month. Although northern Japan escapes typhoons, you'll still encounter several rainy days, averaging around 170 mm (7 in).

Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, welcomes in colorful autumn foliage first, from late September. With mild weather, hiking in its mountains or national parks is the best way to appreciate it. Daisetsuzan National Park (featuring the highest mountain in Hokkaido) is a popular spot.

Learn more about how long to spend in Japan >>>

As the start of Japan's autumn, September is a good time to explore nature with fewer crowds and still a majority of sunny days. You could admire the first autumn leaves in Hokkaido or zigzag up Mt. Fuji.

Even on rainy days, you would find plenty to enjoy in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya — experiencing their interesting indoor activities, seasonal festivals, and futuristic inventions.

See how to well plan your Japan trip or contact us to customize a private one for you!

1. Hokkaido: Autumn Colors and Drier Experiences

In September, Hokkaido is cool and pleasant, averaging 22°C (72°F). Hokkaido experiences its wettest month with rainfall of 135 mm (5 in). But it is still drier than other cities in Japan.

If possible, visit Hokkaido in the second half of September. Autumn leaves appear from late September. The cooler weather is more comfortable to have a soak in its hot springs.

You could head to Toyako (southwest Hokkaido) for romantic lake-view-hot-spring experiences. The daily firework displays nearby are not to be missed between April and October.

Find out the best itinerary of a Japan trip within 2 weeks and 3 weeks >>>

2. Tokyo: The Epitome of Japan

Tokyo is the standout city of Japan as well as a popular starting point for a family trip or couple's vacation.

September is the wettest month in Tokyo with short intense bursts of rain. But your Tokyo trip won't lose its charm even then, as Tokyo is famous for indoor activities. You could try a special sushi-cooking class, visit digital art museums, and experience animated culture in theme parks (like Ghibli Park) and themed cafes/shops (Pokemon Center).

Tokyo's seasonal events are bonuses as well. Don't miss the annual Grand Sumo Tournament from mid-September. If you like games, the Tokyo Game Show, which is packed with the latest games and high-tech, could be your holiday highlight.

3. Osaka: Exotic Festival & Less-Crowded Super Nintendo World

Osaka is still affected by summer heat in September, with daily temperatures averaging 22–29°C (72–84°F).

If you're a theme park fan, you could enjoy a less-crowded Universal Studios and Super Nintendo World in September. You'll have chances to experience Halloween events inside the Studios from early September.

Looking for an exotic experience in September? Look no further than the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri. You'd watch thrilling team competitions involving maneuvering large wooden portable shrines called danjiri through winding streets.

Suggested reading: How to Plan an Incredible Family Trip to Japan >>>

4. Mt. Fuji: A Breath-Taking Marvel

Considering the weather, climbing Mt. Fuji is only available from July to September. Seize the last chance of the year to climb the iconic Japan mountain.

The mild weather makes it easier to climb without the challenges of the summer heat. Away from summer crowds, it's the perfect time to avoid the long queues.

For a more relaxing way to experience Mt. Fuji, you could see it from a sightseeing cruise, a cable car, or even a serene ryokan (a traditional inn with a hot spring bath).

Check out more activities around Mt. Fuji in our 9-Day Japan Highlights Tour (Tokyo-Hokane-Kyoto) >>>

5. Nagoya: Futuristic Robotics and Formula 1

Being a popular stop between Tokyo and Kyoto, Nagoya is mild and humid in September.

Nagoya is home to samurai and ninja culture, but Nagoya Castle tops the must-see list for a Nagoya trip.

It is also a hub for futuristic inventions and robotics , so your trip would not be complete without SCMAGLEV and Railway Park as well as Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology.

If you seek stimulating moments, check out the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix (April 5th–7th, 2024) . See and hear the ultimate super cars travelling at speeds exceeding 300 kph (180 mph)!

Typhoons usually hit southern Japan more heavily than central and northern Japan. If you mainly visit the central cities (Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka) or Hokkaido, your trip should be less affected.

A typhoon usually lasts one or two days, unless exceptionally strong and damaging. But you're likely to have clear skies and crisp air before/after it.

During a typhoon, flights or trains might be delayed. So, leaving some flexibility is advisable for potential itinerary changes .

Read more about the rainy season in Japan >>>

Costs and Crowding in September

After summer holidays end in August, September tends to be a quieter month, when you can expect smaller crowds at attractions, especially at the world-famous ones.

Similarly, you would also get better prices for flights and hotels. Thus, travelling in September would be more affordable.

Further reading about the best times to visit Japan : for the most comfortable weather, for the lowest crowds...

The weather turns from hot to warm/mild in September, so you could take your summer clothes for daytime activities if you're moving around, but carry something warmer to wear (e.g. a fleece jacket or hoodie) for evenings or if you find yourself getting cool. Warm layers are suggested if you plan to visit cooler North Japan.

As the second rainy season peaks in September in Japan, you're suggested to take rain gear and sandals.

Monthly Weather and Travel Information for Japan

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This is the best time to go to Japan

It depends on what you're looking for.


Japan , a country renowned for its cultural heritage and cutting-edge technology, continues to captivate travelers from all over the world. In 2023, Japan welcomed approximately 25.07 million visitors, according to Statista , highlighting its status as a premier travel destination. However, the best time to visit Japan largely depends on what you seek to experience during your journey. Whether you dream of witnessing the beauty of the cherry blossoms, prefer exploring the sights with fewer crowds, or aim to enjoy a budget-friendly vacation, Japan offers something special in every season.

The best time to go to Japan for good weather

The best time to go to japan for a budget vacation, the best time to go to japan for festivals and events, the best time to go to japan for fewer crowds, book your trip to japan today.

The best time to visit Japan for pleasant weather is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. Japan emerges from the cold winter months with comfortable temperatures and the iconic cherry blossoms, or “sakura,” that attract visitors worldwide. These gorgeous pink flowers create the perfect atmosphere for picnics and strolls in parks like Tokyo’s Shiba Park and Kyoto’s Maruyama Park. 

Autumn offers equally favorable weather with mild temperatures and low humidity. The season is renowned for its beautiful autumn leaves, also known as “koyo,” which paint the Japanese countryside in vibrant reds and oranges. This is the perfect time for outdoor activities, such as hiking in the Japanese Alps or strolling through Kurobe Gorge in Hokuriku Shinetsu. Popular spots like Nikko and the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto are a sight to be seen under the fall foliage.

For a budget vacation, the best time to visit Japan is during the off-peak seasons of late autumn (November) and winter (December to February), excluding the New Year period. Throughout these times, you’ll find more affordable airfare and accommodation, and popular tourist spots are less crowded.

Japan offers numerous free activities that allow you to immerse yourself in the culture without breaking the bank. If you’re heading to Tokyo, you can explore the historic Asakusa district or visit the beautiful Senso-ji Temple. You can also check out the bustling street markets that offer a fun experience at no cost. Ueno Park, also in Tokyo, is another free attraction and is home to museums, a zoo, and plenty of green space. 

For cheaper accommodation, consider staying in hostels, capsule hotels (also known as pod hotels), or budget-friendly guesthouses. Websites like Hostelworld and Booking.com can be very useful when searching for affordable places to stay. Additionally, business hotels, such as those under the Tokoyo Inn or APA Hotel chains, offer comfortable stays at reasonable rates.  

If you’re looking to check out some of Japan’s festivals and events, then the months of March to May and June to August are some of the best times to visit. During these seasons, the country comes alive with traditional and contemporary festivities that offer visitors a glimpse into the rich culture of the country.

In spring, one of the most celebrated festivals is Hanami, which is the cherry blossom viewing season that occurs from late March to early April. Hanami parties, where people sit under blooming sakura trees for picnics, are a quintessential Japanese experience. Kyoto’s Miyako Odori, which is held every April, is another highlight, featuring captivating performances by geisha and maiko.

Summer in Japan is marked by a series of fun festivals. The Gion Matsuri in Kyoto, held throughout July, is one of the country’s most famous festivals. It features grand parades with decked-out floats, traditional music, and fun street celebrations. Another summer event is Awa Odori in Tokushima, which is typically held in mid-August. This dance festival attracts thousands of participants and spectators from around the world.

The best time to visit Japan for fewer crowds is during the shoulder seasons of late autumn (November) and early winter (December, before the New Year rush). During these periods, tourism dips, and you can enjoy a more laid-back travel experience.

In late autumn, you can still enjoy the beautiful fall foliage we mentioned earlier, especially in places like Kyoto’s temples and gardens, which are less crowded compared to peak seasons. The weather during this time is cool and pleasant, which is perfect for exploring historical sights like the Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa or the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto. 

Early winter also offers another window for a quieter visit. You can head to the Japanese Alps for a peaceful experience in towns like Hakone in Kusatsu or explore some of Japan’s winter festivals. The Chichibu Night Festival, which is held in early December, features giant floats decorated with lanterns, as well as traditional music and a fireworks display.

The best time to visit Japan largely depends on what you are looking for out of your travels. No matter when you choose to visit, planning ahead is key. To secure the best deals and ensure availability, especially during popular seasons and festivals, it’s advisable to book international travel and accommodations well in advance.

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Air travel puts the world at your whim. No matter where you want to go — or what you want to experience — it’s a matter of booking a ticket, boarding a plane, and taking to the skies. But longer flights — where you spend hour after hour stuck in a seat — can be more of an endurance test than a comfortable trip.

In that case, upgrading to first class is worth it, and nobody does it better than Emirates. Instead of being locked into a bus-style seat with nowhere to go, you’re coddled in amenities, as if living in a private suite. Is it expensive? Sure. But on an 8,000+ mile flight, you’ll be thanking yourself for making the upgrade.

Travelers often look for ways to streamline their airport experience, especially when it comes to navigating the time-consuming customs and immigration checkpoints. While Global Entry is a popular solution for those willing to pay for expedited processing, there’s a lesser-known, free alternative that offers similar convenience: Mobile Passport Control (MPC).

This app, available to both U.S. and Canadian citizens, simplifies the process by allowing passengers to bypass traditional paper customs declaration forms and avoid long lines in airports and cruise terminals. Originally launched as the Mobile Passport app by Airside Mobile, this service has been rebranded and is now managed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

New York City, with its endless energy and excitement, can sometimes leave you craving a quick escape. Luckily, the city’s prime location offers several options for an exciting weekend retreat. Whether you’re looking to relax on a beach, enjoy scenic hikes, or immerse yourself in a different city setting, there are countless destinations within a few hours’ reach. From the serene shores of the Hamptons to the historic charm of Boston, these are the best weekend getaways from NYC. The Finger Lakes, New York

How to get there: A 4-5 hour drive or a short flight from NYC.

There’s no need to tip in Japan. Here’s what else travelers should know.

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The Land of the Rising Sun has fascinated travelers for centuries, and this summer is no exception. 

Tokyo is among the top five international cities Americans are visiting this summer, according to Expedia and now Google Flights. And with the exchange rate currently so strongly in Americans’ favor, it’s an especially good time to visit if you can take the hot and humid weather .

Before you book your flight, though, there are some things you should know. From cultural customs to customs and immigration, here are 10 things to do when visiting Japan.

1. Learn basic Japanese

Some people, particularly in Tokyo, may speak English, but it’s best to learn a few basic phrases in Japanese like “hello,” “excuse me,” “where is the restroom?” and “thank you.” Free tutorials are available across social media and language apps like Duolingo or Babbel. 

You’ll also want to download a free translation app like Google Translate that can handle both verbal and written translation.

2. Fill out the Visit Japan Web form 

U.S. citizens don’t need a visa to visit Japan for stays under 90 days, but you will need to fill out a Visit Japan Web immigration and customs form . Save time by doing this in advance online instead of at the airport when you arrive.

What to know about Tokyo Disney Resort: Why Disney fans will travel all the way to Japan for its theme parks

3. Get a transit card 

A prepaid Suica or PASMO transit card isn’t just for public transportation. It also can be used to pay for things at vending machines, convenience stores and some shops. 

You can download a digital version through Apple Wallet or get a physical card once you arrive in Japan. Just keep it loaded with as much money as you want to spend.

4. Keep cash on hand

Cash is still king in some places, including food stalls and small shops that may not accept credit cards or digital payments. 

You can withdraw cash for low fees and fair exchange rates from ATMs at Japanese convenience stores like 7-Eleven. A Suica or PASMO card can tide you over until you can get to an ATM.

5. Skip the tip

There’s no tipping culture in Japan. In fact, some servers have been known to follow customers out and return tips like they were accidentally left behind. Instead of tipping at restaurants, offer thanks. 

Before eating, it’s customary to say “ itadakimasu ” like a quick prayer to show appreciation for the food and those who grew it. When you leave, you can say “ gochisousama deshita ” to staff to show gratitude for the meal.

6. Stand aside on escalators

In Tokyo, people stand to the left of escalators and keep the right side open for others walking up or down the moving steps. In Kyoto, like in most U.S. cities, people stand on the right. Don’t worry about trying to remember which side to stand on. It will be immediately clear once you’re there. Just do what everyone else is doing and don’t block foot traffic.

7. Keep the noise down on trains

It’s considered rude to talk on your cellphone or play music or videos out loud on subways and trains. You may hear some small groups of friends chatting, but many commuters keep quietly to themselves.

8. Wear or carry socks

Some places, like temples or restaurants with tatami mats, may require you to remove your shoes. If you’re not wearing socks, you may want to carry a clean pair with you, just in case.

9. Prepare to bare all at onsens

If you’re not comfortable sporting your birthday suit around others, you may want to skip public hot springs. Swimsuits and other garments aren’t allowed in the communal water. Some onsens may also bar tattoos or ask guests to cover them up with a patch. However, there are some tattoo-friendly onsens as well as private onsens available.

Additionally, it’s customary to shower before entering the springs to keep the water clean.

10. You’ll have to wait to open some souvenirs

If you plan to load up on Japanese beauty products, snacks and other consumables to take home, you can buy them tax-free at stores like Don Quixote, but they’ll be sealed in a bag indicating they were purchased without paying tax. You can’t open the bag until you leave Japan. 

Bonus: Eat all the things, including at convenience stores or vending machines

From egg salad sandwiches to fresh onigiri rice balls, there’s so much good, affordable food in Japan. Don’t miss the delicious and cheap treats at Japanese convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Lawson and Family Mart. The same goes for the wide variety of readily available vending machines selling cold and hot drinks, depending on the season. 

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The Best Places to Visit in Japan

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The best places to visit in Japan shouldn’t be limited to Tokyo , Kyoto, and Osaka. While the popular triangle is certainly convenient—and memorable—for visitors, there’s so much more to the Land of the Rising Sun than these three major cities. In fact, Japan’s true beauty lies in the rural destinations that make up the majority of the country, along with secondary and tertiary metropolises that offer a less, shall we say, traveled opportunity to view the culture.

Once you’ve ventured away from the popular trio, you’ll find yourself craving for more. Alluring landscapes that transform with the seasons, small towns embalmed in the past, the healing powers of natural wonders, and highly regional cuisine are just the tip of the iceberg. Where to start? Well, really, anywhere. Randomly point to a town on a map and you’ll probably fall in love. But if that’s too intimidating, here are 10 of the best places to visit in Japan that you probably haven’t heard of yet.

The Nakasendo Trail

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Thanks to the recent FX hit Shōgun , interest in feudal Japan has reached an all-time high. Walk back in time on the Nakasendo Trail, a 17th-century route that samurai once used to travel between Kyoto and present-day Tokyo. Along the route, several well-preserved post towns offer a glimpse back into the Edo Period, and majestic mountain landscapes serve as the backdrop to traditional timber buildings and cobblestone roads. Two of the most popular and picturesque post towns are Magome and Tsumago, but it’s also worth venturing to some of the others like Narai and Kiso-Fukushima. Hiking at least a section of the route is the best way to get a sense of this piece of history. You can visit centuries-old rest stops for tea—or even umeshu (plum wine)—along the way. If you want to take a more leisurely approach, a local train also stops at some of these idyllic villages.

Where to stay:

Opened in 2021, Byaku Narai is the only luxury boutique hotel that’s set directly along the Nakasendo Trail. Spread across four meticulously restored machiya (traditional wood homes) in its namesake town, you’ll find 16 individually designed rooms with sumptuous touches like self-filling tubs or open-air baths, locally made lacquerware, and spacious courtyards with manicured gardens. The on-site Kura restaurant is also not to be missed, with a menu overseen by chef Zaiyu Hasegawa of accolade-decorated Den in Tokyo and dishes that highlight the abundance of the Kiso Valley. If you’re traveling with a larger group and looking for an exclusive-use villa that includes experiences and a private chef, Zenagi , located in a rural area of Nagiso, can accommodate up to 12 guests.

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Hokkaido , Japan’s northernmost island, is well regarded for its exemplary produce, dairy, seafood, and beef. In other words, expect phenomenal food. Sapporo, the isle’s capital, is arguably one of the most underrated major cities in the country. Yes, this is where the popular Japanese premium lager was founded, but there’s more to Sapporo than its beer. Pay a visit to Sapporo Art Park , one of the country’s most extraordinary outdoor institutions for contemporary sculptures, or the Sapporo Snow Festival, an annual weeklong event featuring dozens of snow and ice sculptures, including several large-scale installations. And, it’s worth mentioning again that you’ll have some of your most memorable bites here, from creamy soft serves to succulent king crab. Be prepared for lots of powder in the winter (it’s the second snowiest city in the world), but for those who are smart enough to come during the summer, Hokkaido is a nice break from the rest of Japan’s humid climate; there are several picturesque flower fields near Sapporo that make for gorgeous day trips.

Truth be told, up until recently, Sapporo was sort of a dead zone for hotel lovers. But that started to change in 2020 when Onsen Ryokan Yuen Sapporo opened. A modern take on traditional Japanese inns, the property offers well-appointed rooms, minimalist interiors, and hot spring facilities. This year also saw the arrival of Sapporo Stream Hotel —primely situated in the heart of the city’s entertainment district, Suskino—and Hotel Sosei Sapporo , an M Gallery property that’s part of French hospitality group Accor.

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Sandwiched between Honshu and Shikoku in the Seto Inland Sea are a string of islets known as Japan’s art islands. The most popular—largely thanks to Yayoi Kusama’s yellow Pumpkin —is Naoshima. In addition to the artist’s iconic gourd-shaped sculpture by the water, this is where you’ll also find two of the country’s most prized contemporary art institutions, Benesse House Museum and Chichu Art Museum . There are also several other venues worth visiting, including one dedicated to renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who designed both Benesse House and Chichu, as well as Art House Project, a collection of abandoned homes that have been restored and transformed into installations by various Japanese artists.

While Benesse House doubles as a hotel, one of the hottest hotels in the country right now is Naoshima Ryokan Roka . The relatively new, all-suite ryokan is the first of its kind on the island. Enjoy chic, minimalist digs with open-air baths and the property’s own collection of contemporary art by emerging talents spread throughout the grounds.

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About two and a half hours from Kyoto, Kinosaki is an onsen town famed for its seven tattoo-friendly hot springs (typically, those bearing ink are forbidden from entering these shared facilities due to the association with yakuza). When you arrive, it feels like you’ve been transported back in time: built along a willow-lined river, stone bridges connect the split roads and buildings retain their centuries-old architecture. Visitors are highly encouraged to walk about in a yukata (a casual version of a kimono) and geta (wooden flip-flops) shoes—whether they’re shopping at the various souvenir stores or onsen -hopping. It’s the perfect place to unwind after you’ve had a busy few days exploring some of Japan’s other popular destinations.

Founded in 1860, Nishimuraya Honkan is widely recognized as one of the country’s best traditional ryokans . It boasts 32 archetypal rooms with tatami mat flooring, shoji screens, and futon bedding; in-room kaiseki (a traditional multi-course meal) experiences; and a beautifully manicured garden with a small koi pond. The property offers its own public baths, but if you’re shy and prefer a private option, its sister hotel just down the street has you covered.

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Craving small town energy? Tucked away in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture, Takayama is home to one of Japan’s most meticulously preserved old towns. Known as Sanmachi, the narrow streets are lined with historic wooden buildings dating back to the Edo Period. Once the dwellings of merchants and craftsmen, many have turned into souvenir shops and stalls selling the region’s delicacy, Hida beef (a type of Wagyu), with a few centuries-old sake breweries peppered throughout. While you’re here, head over to Hida no Sato, an open-air museum showcasing dozens of traditional homes that were built in the Edo Period, or make it a launching point for a day trip to Shirakawa-go, a quaint village with wood-beamed gassho-zukuri farmhouses that has been dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Trade traditional accommodations for an overnight stay in a Buddhist temple at Temple Hotel Zenkoji . The five rooms are simple, but offer a surprising mix of old and new: tatami mat flooring and futons meet modern bathrooms complete with a Toto bidet. Slide open the shoji screens to reveal a beautiful garden and rise early for morning meditation with the resident monk.

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If a national park , UNESCO World Heritage Site, mountain landscapes, and serene lake are on your travel list, you can tick them all off with one visit to Nikko. This town is most famous for the ornate and gilded 17th-century Toshogu Shrine built in honor of the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate. But beyond this piece of UNESCO-status history, Nikko offers a scenic escape for those looking for respite from the neon lights of Tokyo. Head further into the national park and you’ll find hot springs, waterfalls, and Lake Chuzenji, Japan’s highest natural lake. Hike along its 15.5-mile circumference or—for something a little more challenging—summit Mount Nantai, a trek that some deem more rewarding than climbing Mount Fuji.

Nikko is an easy day trip from Tokyo , but the Ritz-Carlton, Nikko makes a strong case for staying a night or two. A majority of the sumptuous rooms look out to Lake Chuzenji, and there’s even a lake house-style restaurant. The hotel offers fantastic programming that runs the gamut from outdoor adventures to cultural activities, including zazen sessions with a monk at the nearby temple and hands-on experience with Nikko-bori wood carving. Unwind at the onsen in your free time and enjoy a nightcap at the bar where you’ll find an extensive range of whiskies from all over the country.

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One could argue that every city in Japan is a food destination , but Fukuoka is truly the epitome of a culinary wonderland. For starters, the capital of Kyushu Island is the birthplace of tonkotsu ramen—the unctuous and creamy pork bone-based broth that’s often associated with the noodle dish—and is where ramen stalwarts Ichiran and Ippudo first started. It’s also a go-to spot for high-quality mentaiko (spicy pollock roe), a local delicacy. To top it all off, it’s the only place in Japan that truly has a street food culture thanks to its unique yatai food stalls. These temporary stands pop up in the evenings across the city and serve a variety of comfort foods until well after midnight when they’re broken down and tucked away ahead of sunrise. Unlike typical grab-and-go street food stalls, these have built-in, counter-esque seating so that you can plop down and enjoy your meal with a drink in hand.

When the Ritz-Carlton, Fukuoka opened last year, it marked the arrival of the city’s first true luxury hotel. Set in the vibrant district of Tenjin, a bevy of shops and restaurants are just steps away from comfortable, modern digs.

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Known as one of the country’s most sought-after hot springs destinations, the seaside town of Beppu just southeast of Fukuoka is where you go to relax and soak in mineral-rich waters. What sets Beppu apart from every other onsen town? In addition to having the highest number of onsen sources in Japan, it’s famed for its eight “hells”—distinct-looking hot springs that are too hot to bathe. (Chinoike Jigoku, for example, has a red hue due to the iron oxide–dense mud.) Tour the circuit to see the unmatched geological diversity for yourself and enjoy the unique practice of cooking food over the steam produced by these thermal sites.

Hugging a bluff overlooking the city, ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa affords picture-perfect panoramic vistas from just about every angle of the property. Dip into your en-suite onsen on the balcony and watch as plumes of steam billow up from the ground. If you prefer to be closer to town and the bay, Kai Beppu is in the thick of the action.

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About an hour train ride from Tokyo Station, Atami is an easy day trip or add-on to any Tokyo itinerary. The coastal city on the Izu Peninsula has long been a popular resort destination for those seeking a break from the frenetic city thanks to its abundance of hot springs and a tropical sandy beach. It’s also home to some of the earliest blooming plum trees in Japan, affording visitors the chance to admire delicate pink flowers as soon as January ahead of spring’s busy cherry blossom season . And while most places in Japan limit fireworks to summer, Atami puts on sky-illuminating displays all year round; they’re best viewed from the namesake castle overlooking the city.

While there are plenty of great hotels in Atami, take this overnight opportunity to visit an off-the-beaten-path locale. Just under an hour away, the quaint port city of Numazu is most known for the anime Love Live! Sunshine!! as well as its production of dried Japanese horse mackerel which is sold in a small but lively morning market. It’s also in Numazu that you’ll find Numazu Club , a 1913 teahouse-turned-WWII refuge-turned-restaurant-turned-members club-turned-hotel. It has quite the past and is now a hidden gem ensconced in a verdant garden with a mix of just eight Japanese- and Western-style rooms that feature traditional elements in a modern space. After a busy day, enjoy a meal of upscale Chinese fare in the historic teahouse followed by a relaxing soak in the spa’s open-air bath.


Image may contain Nature Outdoors Scenery Water Waterfront Landscape Mountain Path Boardwalk and Bridge

In case you haven’t noticed by now, hot springs are Japan’s pinnacle of relaxation and wellness. If you, too, have become a fan of these mineral-rich waters, a visit to Noboribetsu is in order. Hokkaido’s most popular onsen town is located between Sapporo and Hakodate, making it an ideal layover between the two cities. The main attraction here is Jigokudani. Literally translating to “hell valley,” the moniker alludes to the hot steam vents that rise from volcanic land. Hiking trails wind through the valley, with the most popular leading up to Oyunuma, a sulfurous pond surrounded by a lush forest with a river that doubles as a foot bath for trekkers. The best time to visit is in autumn, when the fall foliage beautifully contrasts the blue water. (In the winter, many paths may be closed due to snow and treacherously icy conditions.)

Another opportunity for a two-in-one deal, Shiraoi is just five train stops away from Noboribetsu. In this small town, you’ll find Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park , an institution dedicated to educating visitors on Hokkaido’s indigenous people. Just around the corner is Kai Poroto , a recently opened onsen hotel on the banks of its namesake lake. The retreat pays homage to Ainu culture with its cone-shaped bathhouses inspired by its traditional architecture, activities that celebrate the Ainu’s connection with nature, and kaiseki meals inspired by local flavors and techniques.

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Intense heat expected to continue across Japan on Thursday

Temperatures soared across Japan on Wednesday, reaching over 37 degrees Celsius at one location in western Japan. Weather officials say the heatwave is expected to continue on Thursday, with 38 degrees forecast for an area in the Tokai region.

The Meteorological Agency says a high-pressure system brought clear skies to western and eastern Japan and other areas on Wednesday, and hot air flowed into the regions.

The mercury rose to 37.1 degrees at an observation point in Kochi Prefecture's Shimanto City, this year's highest reading in the country.

Miyazaki City had a daytime high of 36.2 degrees, and Tokyo's Nerima Ward observed 34.8 degrees.

The agency says it is expected to be even hotter on Thursday in some areas, mainly in eastern Japan.

Officials forecast 38 degrees for Shizuoka City, and 36 degrees for Saitama Prefecture's Kumagaya City and Yamanashi Prefecture's Kofu City. Central Tokyo and Osaka City are expected to have a high of 33 degrees.

People are advised to exercise caution against heatstroke. Officials are calling on people to use air conditioners when necessary and stay hydrated.


Hurricane Beryl Tracker

By William B. Davis, Madison Dong, Judson Jones, John Keefe, and Bea Malsky

Beryl was a Category 2 hurricane in the Caribbean Sea Thursday morning Mexico Central Time, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory .

The hurricane had sustained wind speeds of 110 miles per hour. Follow our coverage here .

Beryl is the second named storm to form in the Atlantic in 2024.

In late May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that there would be 17 to 25 named storms this year, an above-normal amount.

What does the storm look like from above?

Satellite imagery can help determine the strength, size and cohesion of a storm. The stronger a storm becomes, the more likely an eye will form in the center. When the eye looks symmetrical, that often means the storm is not encountering anything to weaken it.

This season follows an overly active year, with 20 named storms — including an early storm later given the official name of “Unnamed.” It was the eighth year in a row to surpass the average of 14 named storms. Only one hurricane, Idalia, made landfall in the United States.

Typically, the El Niño pattern that was in force last season would have suppressed hurricanes and reduced the number of storms in a season. But in 2023, the warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic blunted El Niño’s usual effect of thwarting storms.

The warm ocean temperatures that fueled last year’s season returned even warmer at the start of this season, raising forecasters’ confidence that there would be more storms this year. The heightened sea surface temperatures could also strengthen storms more rapidly than usual.

To make matters worse, the El Niño pattern present last year is also diminishing, most likely creating a more suitable atmosphere for storms to form and intensify.

Hurricanes need a calm environment to form, and, in the Atlantic, a strong El Niño increases the amount of wind shear — a change in wind speed and/or direction with height — which disrupts a storm's ability to coalesce. Without El Niño this year, clouds are more likely to tower to the tall heights needed to sustain a powerful cyclone.

Sources and notes

Tracking map Source: National Hurricane Center | Notes: The map shows probabilities of at least 5 percent. The forecast is for up to five days, with that time span starting up to three hours before the reported time that the storm reaches its latest location. Wind speed probability data is not available north of 60.25 degrees north latitude.

Wind arrivals table Sources: New York Times analysis of National Hurricane Center data (arrival times); U.S. Census Bureau and Natural Earth (geographic locations); Google (time zones) | Notes: The table shows predicted arrival times of sustained, damaging winds of 58 m.p.h. or more for select cities with a chance of such winds reaching them. If damaging winds reach a location, there is no more than a 10 percent chance that they will arrive before the “earliest reasonable” time and a 50 percent chance they will arrive before the “most likely” time.

Radar map Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Iowa State University | Notes: These mosaics are generated by combining the 130+ individual RADARs that comprise the NEXRAD network.

Storm surge map Source: National Hurricane Center | Notes: Forecasts only include the United States Gulf and Atlantic coasts, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The actual areas that could become flooded may differ from the areas shown on this map. This map accounts for tides, but not waves and not flooding caused by rainfall. The map also includes intertidal areas, which routinely flood during typical high tides.

Satellite map Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration| Notes: Imagery only updates between sunrise and sunset of the latest storm location.

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Why it feels like everyone in the world is heading to Japan right now

Foreign tourists visit Tsukiji Outer Market in Tokyo on June 14.

Japan has never seen so many tourists flood into the country so quickly.

More than 14.5 million people arrived in the country in the first five months of this year, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization’s latest figures. That’s 70% up on the same period last year, and on track to beat 2019’s record 31 million visitors.

The island nation — popular among tourists for its dining, cleanliness and mix of futuristic and traditional experiences — currently feels more like a low-cost travel haven than one of the world’s most advanced economies, thanks to extraordinary currency exchange rates. The yen has been stuck at a three-decade low in recent months, making everything from an omakase sushi lunch to premium A5 wagyu steak much more affordable for foreign visitors.

Here are six ways to unpack Japan’s unprecedented travel boom.

Lasting momentum

Japan welcomed more than 3 million visitors for a third straight month in May, with the majority coming from South Korea, China and Taiwan. More than 1 million Americans made the long-haul trip from the U.S. in the first five months of the year — a 50% jump on the same period in 2019.

Tourist numbers from 19 markets — including all Group of Seven nations — this year broke their records for May. Chinese tourists have lagged their global counterparts since the beginning of the year, although the gap is closing. Japan has proved to be the top pick for Chinese tourists this summer.

Based on a Bloomberg Intelligence analysis, Japan is set to receive a record 34 million visitors this year, beating by a year a government target for exceeding 2019 visitor numbers. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has stuck by a longer-term goal of 60 million inbound visitors a year by 2030.

In contrast, a lack of overseas purchasing power has discouraged Japanese travelers, and the number heading abroad has still only reached about 60% of its pre-COVID-19 peak.

Spending surge

As the number of visitors increases, so too does the amount of cash they’re spending on their travels. The tourist dollar is going that much further thanks to the weak yen, which has slumped to the lowest level since 1986, and people haven’t been afraid of opening their wallets to snap up bargains from hotels and luxury goods to theme park trips.

Tourists spent a record ¥1.75 trillion in the first quarter of the year, and that figure is likely to surge as the number of Chinese visitors rises. They spend twice as much as the average tourist, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.

Hotel prices

Hotel prices in Japan are rising, but they’re still cheaper than their global peers.

The weak yen and the hugely popular cherry blossom season lifted national hotel prices to a near-three decade high in March. The average daily room rate was about ¥20,986 ($136), the highest level since 1997, according to CoStar Group

While Tokyo’s rate was higher, sitting at an average of $177 for the year ending March 2024, the city was a bargain compared to the likes of New York, where the average room cost more than $300 a night, or Singapore, where rates exceeded $250.

Flight demand

More tourists means more transport. Some 37 million flights are scheduled to take off globally this year, according to industry data compiled by BloombergNEF. And 1 million of those are expected to have landed in Japan by the end of 2024. That’s not been all good news for Japan, with the spiraling number of tourists putting a major strain on local transport and infrastructure.

Foreign tourists visit Tsukiji Outer Market in Tokyo on June 14. | REUTERS

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever. By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.


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