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The Best Time to Visit Japan? Decide on The Basis of its Weather Conditions

Dr. Seuss in his book The Cat in the Hat, says, “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” Who wants to sit in the house (or hotel room) when traveling though, right? Travel plans and itinerary going haywire is the worst mood spoiler for any traveler, especially if its our first time visiting a certain place. This is exactly why we look at the best time to visit a place before making the bookings and stepping into new territory.

Despite that, sometimes we may have to visit a place during a not-so-ideal time because of our busy schedules. The same goes for Japan, as it may not have the ideal travel weather all year long. Most globetrotters must be aware of the cherry blossom season being the best time to visit Japan, however do we know what’s the weather in Japan like, all year round?

Here’s a simple guide on the weather conditions of Japan and what one must remember to carry while visiting Japan during particular months or seasons:

1. Winter (December- February)

For outdoor activity enthusiasts, winter is a great time for visiting Japan as most cities host skiing, snowboarding and other snow-related activities.

Besides these winter related sports travelers can also enjoy relaxing in snow-surrounded hot springs and visit winter festivals like the Sapporo Snow Festival.

The weather varies depending on the location of the city, for example, Tokyo enjoys short duration of winters with many sunny days, whereas mountainous regions have long winters with huge amounts of snowfall. It is advised to carry overcoats, jackets, thermals, sweaters and a lot of warm clothes if visiting Japan during these months.

The weather ranges between as low as -1 °C in the northern parts of the country, and mild temperatures averaging around 19°C in cities towards Japan’s southern region.

Also note that one of biggest limitations of traveling during winter to Japan is shorter days. The sunsets happen as early a 5 pm in most regions.

2. Spring (March-May)

This is the season that draws in most number of visitors because spring is the season of cherry blossoms. These flowers are known as sakura in Japan and their full-bloomed beauty in shades of white and pink draw in visitors from all around the world.

Some of the other flowers that the visitors can enjoy watching during this time of the year are tulips, wisteria, plum blossoms and azaleas.

Visitors are advised to wear light outwear such as jackets and coats. The layers can be light too such as, with long sleeve tops and sweaters .

The temperature during this season ranges between 11°C in the north and 24°C in the south during April, and between 17°C in the north and 26°C in the south during May.

3. Summer (June-August)

Besides the pleasant sunshine and warm weather, Japan’s summer also offers a wide variety of folk dancing festivals. Hanabi taikai, Japan’s magical fireworks display also happens in summer.

The hills and valleys of Japan that play host to powder snow in winter, sees the ‘Green Season’ transform them into lush green wonderlands. The temperatures in these mountainous regions during these months remain cool thus making it an ideal time for hiking and many other outdoor adventure activities.

Light clothing like shorts and cotton tops are ideal wear for this season. Visitors may also prefer lodgings with air-conditioned indoors during this time.

The temperature averages between 26°C in the north and 31°C in the south, so hot and humid daytime temperatures can be expected by visitors during this season.

4. Autumn (September-November)

If a cool and calm Japanese trip is what you’re looking at, autumn is the best season for your travels. Venture across the country to find the best viewing spots for the breathtaking patterns of red and orange leaves.

November is the best month to see these autumn leaves in most parts of Japan. The temperature varies between 22°C in the north and 30°C in the south in the beginning of the season. The end of autumn sees the temperatures drop to an average of around 8°C in the north and 24°C in the south.

Lighter outwear like jackets and coats are advised to be the ideal clothing. Layers such as long sleeve tops and sweaters can be helpful during this season too.

With this weather guide on Japan, we hope you can enjoy a trip to Japan anytime of the year!