Japan: Best Time to Visit
Average temperature and weather patterns vary enormously throughout Japan, therefore, the best time to visit is not consistent across the country. Japan’s climate can be broken down into four distinct seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. Late spring (March to May) and late fall (September to November) are generally the best times to visit Japan when there is little rainfall and temperatures are mild. December to February is certainly less crowded but it can be colder. The main influences on Honshu’s climate are the mountains and surrounding warm seas, which bring plenty of rain and snow. Winter weather differs greatly, however, between the western Sea of Japan and the Pacific coasts. The former suffers cold winds and heavy snow while the latter tends towards dry, clear winter days. The end of April and the beginning of May are when Golden Week takes place. It is a time when a number of public holidays and many Japanese locals take vacation. It can be extremely busy during this period and is best avoided if possible. In the spring, temperatures begin to rise and it is before the hot rainy season. Summertime is from June to August when it can be hot and humid in most parts of Japan. However, it is a time when there are many events taking place.
Cherry Blossom Time
In March and April, the country is ablaze with colour with beautiful white and pink cherry blossoms. The further south you go, the earlier the blossoms appear as opposed to further north when they arrive later. The best time to see blossoms in Tokyo or Kyoto would most likely be the last week of March or the first week of April. Note, this can be a very busy time and it is a good idea to reserve accommodation in advance.
October to late November is Japan’s most spectacular season when the maple trees burst into a range of brilliant colours. The leaves turn red, orange and yellow. This can extend into early December. Many fall festivals are held throughout the country to give thanks for the harvest at this time.
|Tokyo||8 C/46 F||17 C/63 F||24 C/75 F||29 C/84 F||20 C/68 F|
|Kyoto||8 C/46 F||19 C/66 F||27 C/81 F||33 C/91 F||22 C/72 F|
|Sapporo||-1 C/30 F||11 C/52 F||22 C/72 F||26 C/79 F||16 C/61 F|
NOTE – All quoted temperatures are daytime average highs unless otherwise stated and can vary.
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