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Kagoshima skyline, Japan

The best time to visit Japan

Japan at roughly 1,800 miles long is large enough to have quite a varied temperature between the top and bottom. It wouldn’t be unusual for Hokkaido to be sub-zero while people are out at the beach on the more subtropical southern Okinawa.

Information & Highlights

The iconic sight of cherry trees in bloom can be enjoyed every spring across Japan. As with any natural event it is hard to be specific with exact dates, however, normally this spectacle occurs between the months of March and April. The blossom is incredibly fragile so there is generally a two-week window when the trees are in full bloom.

More about Japan’s cherry blossom

The best time to see Mount Fuji is during the autumn and winter months October – February. During the spring and summer, she can be rather shy and is often hidden by spring haze, or rain clouds in the summer. June to August is normally the worst time for sighting, but typhoon season in September can also have poor visibility.

The winter also makes for a better viewing due to the prevalence of snow on the peak. To maximise your change we also recommend you are up early, as mornings are normally clearer.

If you would like to climb Mount Fuji the official season is 1st July to September 14th. It is often crowded during weekends, especially the mid-August Oban holiday.

Explore the best time to visit

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Visiting Japan in January

low season

The weather is generally cool, dry and sunny in many parts of the country. In the north, there is heavy snowfall, making for excellent skiing conditions. Okinawa in the south is semi-tropical throughout the year.

In the first few days of January, “Hatsumode” the first shrine visit is happening. Shrines and temples can be extremely busy, with several receiving millions of visitors in the first couple of days in January. After this busy period, it is a much quieter time to visit.

Visiting Japan in February

low season

Ski season is in full swing in the north. Winter continues to bring some of the coolest but driest conditions to the rest of the country.

Festival - Yuki Matsuri

Setsubun - The day before spring

Visiting Japan in March

high season

The start of the cherry blossom in southern Japan, as the weather warms. A popular time to visit Japan, especially towards the end of the month when the cherry blossom fever grips the nation.

Visiting Japan in April

high season

Perhaps the busiest month, as the cherry blossom spreads northwards across the country. A stunning time, but expect to plan accommodation and excursions well in advance.

Golden Week - Ogata Renkyu

Festival: Takayama Matsuri

Visiting Japan in May

high season

The cherry blossom reaches the far north of the country around Sapporo at this time, and temperatures are generally warm. It is generally dry in most parts, with vegetation vibrant and lush. It is worth avoiding Golden Week, a national holiday during the first week of May.

Festival: Sanja Matsuri

Golden Week - Ogata Renkyu

Visiting Japan in June

high season

Many parts become hot and humid, with the rainy season occurring in Okinawa. A consequence of the rain is that the countryside and most gardens are at their best.

Visiting Japan in July

high season

It can get very hot and humid in many parts of the country at this time, making it the perfect time to escape to the mountains. In particular, this time of year has the best conditions for the hike up Mount Fuji.

Hokkaido's lavender fields

Visiting Japan in August

high season

There are many festivals at this time and locals are on holiday, making it a busy time of year for travel. Much of Japan is hot and humid at this time of year. It is a great time to explore the Sapporo area, with cooler and less humid conditions.

Visiting Japan in September

medium season

September brings a quieter time for travel, with most locals back at work. The temperatures start to cool off a little, but the humidity generally remains.

Visiting Japan in October

medium season

The start of autumn for the majority of Japan, showcasing a wonderful array of autumn colours across the countryside. The more mountainous areas are likely to be at peak colour during October. Travel in the Tohoku region is popular at this time. The weather is still pleasantly warm, with less rain.

Visiting Japan in November

medium season

Across the country, this is the best month to see the beautiful autumn colours. The main tourist areas such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima typically have their peak colours at the end of November and into early December. There are fewer visitors overall, and the temperatures remain mild, especially in the south.

Visiting Japan in December

low season

The first couple of weeks of December are some of the quietest times to travel, and you can enjoy the natural thermal hot springs with snow on the ground.

Japan climate guide

Drag the slider to see monthly temperature and rainfall.

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec
Maximum Temperature (°C)Monthly Rainfall (mm)
Hiroshima
Kanazawa
Kyoto
Miyajima Island
Okinawa
Osaka
Tokyo
Tsumago

Explore Japan

  • Hiroshima
  • Kanazawa
  • Kyoto
  • Miyajima Island
  • Okinawa
  • Osaka
  • Tokyo
  • Tsumago

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Prompt and efficient support from Clare who suggested some activities that we wouldn't have planned but really enjoyed.

Japan

From our very first call to Steppes and speaking to Clare, everything went like clockwork. Clare arranged a fantastic itinerary for our trip to Japan and we were extremely impressed with every aspect of our holiday.

Japan

Ours was rather a last minute holiday for 5 adults wanting slightly different experiences and needing to fit in two Rugby World Cup matches. Steppes absolutely nailed it in terms of helping us put the itinerary together and dealing with last minute changes of plan.

Japan

Japan Holiday Inspiration

Our Japan experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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