Japan in October: Cool Weather and Autumn Festivities


Taking a trip to Japan in October means streets filled with vibrant performances as the month’s festivals, like the Tokyo Ramen Show and the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival, take hold of the cities. Fiery colors begin to spread across the islands as nature provokes the exquisite rural landscapes towards autumn. October in Japan is a wonderful month, with many exciting events that you will be sure to remember forever.

Japan Weather in October

Okinawa Shisa and the beautiful sea during warm weather in Japan.
Okinawa has a pleasantly warm climate in October which makes for an ideal tropical holiday.

The weather starts to cool down in central Japan in October as the fall settles in, with thermometers averaging 20°C during the day and nights that dip down to 15°C. October in Hokkaido is accentuated by scarlet leaves and autumnal chills, as the temperatures in the capital city Sapporo shift between 16°C in the day and 8°C in the dark. The tropical Okinawa Islands are warmer in October than most of Japan and enjoy a balmy climate of 28°C during the sunniest parts of the day, maintaining a very pleasant temperature of 23°C overnight.

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

Weather in Japan in October - Rainfall and Temperatures

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 October

Scenery of autumn leaves of Oku Saga in Kyoto City in Japan in October.
Japan is picture-perfect in October as autumn takes over the country.
Japanese ramen soup with chicken, egg, chives and sprout.
The Tokyo Ramen Show happens in October where you can enjoy traditional Japanese food.

October is a very vibrant time in Japan, with many long-running festivals that are only improved by the arrival of the phenomenal autumn colors. Read on to see all the best reasons for visiting Japan this month.

  • Better rates: Flying to Japan in October means you’ll pay less for your trip than if you travel in the busy summer or winter periods.
  • Autumnal foliage: Enjoy the slow transformation of Japan’s breathtaking natural landscape as fall embraces the islands. A great place to witness the changing of the seasons is the spectacular northern island of Hokkaido, where autumn arrives sooner.
  • Fairs and festivals: If you want to experience traditional performances, visit Kyoto’s famous Jidai Matsuri. The best native foods can be sampled at the Hokkaido Food Fair.

Where to go and what to do

The pic of Japanese open air hot onsen.
You can head to Hakone to enjoy the hot springs and a perfect view of Mount Fuji.

Nature lovers can best immerse themselves in the shifting autumnal tones of rural Japan by visiting Hokkaido. The hiking trails of Mount Asahi at Daisetsuzan National Park weave through the undisturbed terrain as local fauna scurries through ruby-red leaves. The dazzling fall colors of Japan’s main island, Honshu, stand out against the backdrop of a thousand traditional torii gates around the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Closely packed together, these orange-red Shinto gates lead you on a journey through the leaf-covered hilly trails as they inspire you to contemplate their ancient spiritual significance.

Visit Tokyo as it shows off the best of Japan’s cuisine with two delectable food festivals in October. The Hokkaido Food Fair in Yoyogi Park features a hundred stalls selling countless delicious artisan dishes and drinks from the different regions of Hokkaido. Anyone wishing to try one of Japan’s most convenient dishes, the iconic ramen noodles, should visit the Tokyo Ramen Show that takes place towards the end of October. This event celebrates the rise of ramen as the nation’s favorite instant meal with a large choice of vendors who all sell the noodles with their own special regional twists.

If there is one event in October that truly shines a light on the rich tapestry of Japanese history and culture, it’s the Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages) in Kyoto. Widely considered as one of Japan’s biggest festivals, which occurs each year on October 22nd, the highlight of the day is an epic five-hour-long procession that features over 2,000 performers in hand-crafted traditional regional outfits that march from Kyoto Imperial Palace to the Heian Shrine. In Nagasaki, meanwhile, an immense party atmosphere takes hold of the city earlier in the month to celebrate the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival. The event focuses on elaborately carved and decorated wooden boats that are paraded around the city by representatives from each neighborhood.

As the weather cools down, the natural hot springs dotted around Japan can be very inviting to weary travelers who want a warm spot to sit and relax. Hakone is a famous onsen (hot spring) town near Tokyo that promises a hundred different onsen facilities where you can unwind in the comfortable water with a perfect view over the nearby Mount Fuji.

What to bring

Row of yellow ginkgo tree in autumn in Japan.
Autumn in Japan is nothing short of a fantasy that is bound to make your trip memorable.

Japan still has warm, sunny days in October, so definitely bring some light daytime sightseeing outfits. That being said, the temperatures can drastically drop in the evenings and plenty of warm layers are recommended. The typhoon season may still be ongoing, so you should remember to pack a waterproof coat.

As greens fade to yellows and reds, Japan comes alive under the low October sun. Feel free to chat with our travel experts to get a customized itinerary for your Japan trip.

Check out tours to Japan in October for more information.

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