Japan in November: Pleasant Weather and Autumn Colors

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Japan in November is stunning, with autumnal colors draping the nation. Days are cool and pleasant, often with startling blue skies, a perfect setting for Japan’s many nature-related festivals. Away from summer crowds, a trip to Japan in November gives you the chance to see the country from a different perspective.

Japan Weather in November

An Autumnal long shot of Jozankei, Japan.
Hot springs are an ideal solution to the chilly weather in Hokkaido in November.

The average daytime temperature in Japan in November is a mild 15°C. Temperatures can drop in the evening and at night, with the mercury averaging 9°C. In Tokyo, the temperature ranges between an average high of 17°C and as low as 9°C. November is a great time to enjoy the vibrant hues of the fall foliage in Japan. This month also marks the end of the typhoon season in the southern part of Japan, specifically in the Okinawa Islands. Autumn days in this part of the country are mostly warm and dry, with an average temperature of around 22°C. On the other hand, there is a possibility of Hokkaido receiving its first snowfall during November. The weather in northern Japan, where Hokkaido is located, is on a chillier side, averaging at around 8°C.

For a seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time to visit Japan.

Weather in Japan in November - Rainfall and Temperatures

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Daily (°C)8912172124282926201511
Avg Nightly (°C)2251014182223201594
Avg Daily (°F)46.448.253.662.669.875.282.484.278.8685951.8
Avg Nightly (°F)35.635.6415057.264.471.673.4685948.239.2
Avg Rainfall (mm)4358941191321811281471811588444

Why Visit Japan in November

The imaging of fall season in Arashiyama, Japan
Arashiyama is one of the most popular spots in Kyoto to view the red maple leaves in autumn.
Sasebo downtown skyline at night, Nagasaki, Japan.
Watch the city of Nagasaki breathtakingly illuminated during its Kingdom of Lights Festival.

In addition to enjoying a stunning landscape covered with the fiery shades of fall, there are countless things to do and places to visit in Japan in November. Below we have listed a few reasons why you should consider a trip to the country during this time of year.

  • Cultural activities: Culture Day in Japan is celebrated each year on November 3. A national holiday in the country, this day is a chance to appreciate the rich culture, art, and academia of Japanese society.
  • Fall festivals: Many festivals such as the Arashiyama Momiji festival in Kyoto are held in November to celebrate the vibrant colors of Japanese fall.
  • Vibrant temples and shrines: A backdrop of colorful, swirling leaves and clear blue November skies add to the beauty of temples and shrines throughout Japan.
  • Winter illuminations: Although the winter season is yet to kick in, cities and towns across the country start welcoming the cold season with illumination festivals. The most popular of such events in the country is the Sagamiko Illumillion Festival in Kanagawa, with Nagasaki not far behind with its Kingdom of Light Festival.

Where to go and what to do

An inverted image of Mount Fuji.
Mount Fuji is not one volcano but a combination of three volcanoes.

November is a colorful and lively month across Japan, with many cities celebrating autumnal beauty with festivities.

Head to Tokyo which celebrates its Dream Yosacoy Festival in November. Japanese dancers in colorful handmade outfits parade throughout the streets of Tokyo during this event. It started out as a way to celebrate the reconstruction of post-war Japan and is now one of the city’s biggest celebrations, with over 6,000 performers and musicians thronging the streets flanked by food and craft stalls.

To the north of the famous Mount Fuji lies the charming town of Fuji-Kawaguchiko which celebrates the amazing autumnal colors of the region during the Fuji-Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival. This celebration spans most of November and includes many market stalls with vendors selling local crafts alongside plenty of foods and seasonal drinks. It draws in a lot of visitors, too, especially those hoping to see the iconic Mount Fuji set against the scarlet maple trees that line the shores of Lake Kawaguchi.

November in Kyoto kicks off with the amazing Gion Odori dance, which lasts for the first ten days of the month. This is when geishas and maikos (apprentice geishas) from the Gion Higashi district perform elaborate traditional dances. The performances take place in an intimate setting so it is best to book a ticket when they go on sale in September. On the outskirts of Kyoto, the scenic district of Arashiyama celebrates the arrival of autumn with the Arashiyama Momiji Festival. Taking place on the second Sunday of November, this festival honors boat trips that the noblemen of the Heian Period (from eighth to twelfth century) took each fall to enjoy the awesome beauty of native red maple trees.

You might also want to travel to the iconic Shirakawago Village to enjoy the breathtaking colors of fall or head for Fukuoka to attend a sumo grand tournament during your trip to Japan in November. Beat the cold with a trip to an onsen in and around Hakone and the Fuji Five Lakes and make sure that you include Kobe in your itinerary if you want to see winter illuminations.

November in Japan is a colorful month filled with lively festivals and unforgettable displays. To book your customized trip to Japan in November, you can simply speak with one of our travel experts in the country. You can also check out our travel guide on how many days to spend in Japan for more ideas.

Have a look at our trips to Japan in November to get some inspiration.

Other articles:
Japan in October
Japan in December

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