Best Time to Visit Japan

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The best time to visit Japan is either spring (March to May) or fall (September to November). Travelers enjoy warm, pleasant weather and minimal rainfall throughout these two temperate seasons.

April is the most popular month to visit Japan for its blooming cherry blossoms. While sakura (blossom-spotting) is an unforgettable experience, you’ll have to contend with thick crowds. Visitors hoping for a more secluded escape may prefer the fall.

Winter (December to February) means ski season in Japan. Snow resorts like Niseko boast some of the world’s best powder, luring avid alpinists from all corners of the globe.

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Quick Facts

High season Spring (March to May)
Low season Summer (July to August)
All seasons Spring (March to May), summer (July to August), fall (September to November), winter (December to February)

Seasonal Overview

Here’s what to expect during each season in Japan.

Spring in Japan — March to May

Nijo Castle with clear sky during summer in Japan.
Spring in Japan is ideal for sightseeing and exploring ancient temples. 

From March to May, spring in Japan sees the snow melt, and the countryside bursts into life. The frigid sub-zero temperatures of winter fade, while the sticky heat of summer is still a long time away.

Japan’s bright pink cherry blossoms bloom in late March and remain vivid until May, making it the best time of the year to visit Japan.

Average temperatures 4°C (40F) to 18°C (60F)
Average rainfall 66 mm
Is spring a good time
to visit Japan?
Yes. Pleasant weather and blooming cherry blossoms make spring the most popular season to visit.


  • Indulging in sakura (cherry blossom-spotting) with the locals in a lush municipal park.
  • Admiring the dazzling parades and floats of the Takayama Matsuri festival (April).

Travel tips:

  • Book early and expect to pay a premium for accommodation near top sakura destinations.
  • Avoid the first week of May, as millions of domestic travelers leave home for Golden Week.

Seasonal guide:
Japan in March
Japan in April
Japan in May

Summer in Japan — June to August

The view of Tokyo city at twilight during summer in Japan.
Escape the heat in Japan during summer by exploring musuems and galleries. 

Hot, humid conditions and high rainfall make summer a challenging time to visit Japan. The heaviest rains subside by around the middle of July, but sweaty weather persists until the end of the season. The northern island of Hokkaido has a more pleasant summertime climate, perfect for travelers seeking to beat the heat.

Fewer international tourists arrive during summer, though July is a popular month for domestic tourists.

Average temperatures 21°C (70F) to 32°C (90F)
Average rainfall 150 mm to 400 mm
Is summer a good
time to visit Japan?
Generally no. High rainfall and hot, sweaty weather make summers rather unpleasant in Japan.


  • Scale the post-worthy Mount Fuji during the peak climbing season in July.
  • Witness an array of action-packed festivals, such as Kyoto Matsuri and the Obon Festival.

Travel tips:

  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Pack an umbrella or raincoat.

Seasonal guide:
Japan in June
Japan in July
Japan in August

Fall in Japan — September to November

The hot spring in Kanawa district, Japan.
Relax in natural hot springs on your trip to Japan.

Fall runs from September to November in Japan, when crisp, clear blue skies hover overhead as the summer monsoons fade. However, expect hot and humid weather to remain until early October.

The trees adopt an ochre-hued tinge in Hokkaido in late September. This fall foliage transformation sweeps over the mainland and southern islands during the next few weeks. Northern ski resorts like Niseko open in the last week of November.

Average temperatures 10°C (50F) to 21°C (70F)
Average rainfall 120 mm to 200 mm
Is fall a good time
to visit Japan?
Yes. Mild weather and stunning fall foliage make this an excellent season to visit.


  • Admire the vibrant golden hues of Japan’s famous fall foliage in parks and woodlands.
  • Enjoy pleasant mild weather throughout the country once the heat subsides in early October.

Travel tips:

  • November is the best time for leaf-peeping in mainland Japan.

Seasonal guide:
Japan in September
Japan in October
Japan in November

Winter in Japan — December to February

A man skiing in the snowy mountains of Japan during winter.
Winter is a great time to visit Japan for snowsports such as skiing. 

December is quiet for travel at the start of the month but gets busy towards the end when school holidays begin. The cooler months of January and February see fewer tourists outside the snow resorts.

The ski season kicks into gear in mid to late December when massive powder dumps fall. Though it varies between resorts, January and February typically offer the best conditions.

Average temperatures -1°C (30F) to 7°C (45F)
Average precipitation approximately 22 mm
Is winter a good time
to visit Japan?
Yes. But only if you don’t mind the cold or plan to ski.


  • Hit adrenaline-pumping powder runs at a world-class Hokkaido ski resort.
  • Bathe in a bubbling outdoor onsen (natural hot spring) surrounded by snow.

Travel tips:

  • Opt for winter clothes like snow boots and warm jackets.

Seasonal guide:
Japan in December
Japan in January
Japan in February

Need more in-depth information to plan your upcoming Japan trip? Read our Japan travel guide. We also cover additional topics like how many days to spend in Japan and offer fully customizable Japan tours.

Average temperature of popular destinations in Japan


Spring Summer Autumn Winter
Rainfall Average temp Rainfall Average temp Rainfall Average temp Rainfall
Kyoto 21°C 180 mm 28°C 174 mm 21°C 141 mm 5°C 50 mm
Osaka 21°C 160 mm 30°C 169 mm 21°C 143 mm 5°C 50 mm
Sapporo 5°C 150 mm 22°C 178 mm 13°C 134 mm 5°C 50 mm
Tokyo 19°C 150 mm 27°C 66 mm 18°C 166 mm 5°C 49 mm
Published by David Lee, updated on November 2, 2023

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