Every visitor to Japan will tell you that the country offers an unforgettable experience. However, what everyone cannot agree on is the best time to visit Japan. This is because this country in East Asia has four seasons which are prominent and different from each other.
Many season-specific holidays, events and festivals take place in Japan. Keep reading if you want to plan your trip to this country around these events!
Best Seasons to Visit Japan
The 12 months in Japan are divided into four distinct seasons. Moreover, the weather and temperature significantly vary from one season to another. Plan your perfect trip to Japan amongst these four seasons:
Time Period: March to May
Temperature Range: 3-26 degrees Celsius
Average Rainfall: 81.28 - 137.16 mm
The spring season in Japan is famous among visitors because this is the season of cherry blossoms. This is why people often call this season the cherry blossom season.
The best time to go to Japan is from March to May. During this time, you will see the trees adorned with beautiful pink flowers. This time is also popular amongst honeymooners because the entire vibe of the country is very romantic during this time of the year.
Below are some unique events that you will be able to attend if you visit Japan during the spring season:
Places to Visit in Japan during Spring Season
1. Visit Jindaiji Daruma Doll Fair in Chofu, Tokyo
2. Attend the Beppu Hattou Onsen Matsuri in Oita Prefecture
3. Watch children’s Kabuki performance at Nagahama Hikiyama Festival in Shiga Prefecture
4. Witness the impressive parades at Ushibuka Haiya Festival in Kumamoto Prefecture
5. Enjoy the historical dance and parade at Hakata Dontaku in Fukuoka Prefecture
6. Participate in the Kanda Matsuri Festival in Kanda Myojin
7. Watch the locals bring massive floats at the Seihaku Festival in Nanao City
8. Attend the Nikko Toshogu Shrine Annual Grand Spring Festival in Tochigi Prefecture
9. Walk around to watch the cherry blossoms in Ueno Sakura Matsuri
10. Witness one of the oldest festivals in Tokyo, the Kurayami Matsuri
Best Season to Visit Japan
Time Period: June to August
Average Temperature: 12-31 degree Celsius
Annual Rainfall: 167.7 mm
The temperatures are high in the southern parts of Japan and moderate in the country's northern and some hilly regions during summer seasons. One can attend and witness the glory of some of the top festivals in this country. However, the temperatures can get a bit too high during this time.
Here are some of the top activities that you can do and festivals and events that you must attend if you are planning to visit from June to August:
Places to Visit & Things to do in Japan during Summer Season
1. Witness the grand processions at Gion Matsuri, Kyoto
2. Enjoy the performances from Danjiri dragon dancers and Taiko drummers at Tenjin Matsuri, Osaka
3. Attend the Tokushima Awa Odori Festival
4. Watch the impressively decorated floats at Aomori Nebuta Matsuri
5. Enjoy the live performances and lively music at Sendai Tanabata Matsuri, Miyagi
6. Take part in the Pole Lantern Festival at Akita Kanto Matsuri
7. Witness the glory of the oldest fireworks festival in Japan, the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival
8. Participate in Kanamara Matsuri to help collect money for a good cause which is for the HIV AIDs patients
9. Celebrate the horse breeding tradition with the locals at Soma Nomaoi Festival, Fukushima
10. Witness the attractions in Sanno Matsuri, one of the most famous festivals in Tokyo during summer
Best Season to Visit Japan
Time Period- September to November
Average Temperature- 1- 30 degrees Celsius
Annual Rainfall- 1016 – 2540 mm
This is another popular season for people to travel to Japan from India. The heat lowers during autumn, and the mercury starts dipping by the end of the season.
Just like people enjoy cherry blossom's vibrant pink and white hues during spring, visitors can enjoy the warm brown hues of autumn. Below are some things that you can do in Japan during the autumn season:
Places to Visit & Things to do in Japan during Autumn Season
1. Go hiking at Mount Takao in Tokyo
2. Enjoy the colours of autumn at Arashiyama, Kyoto
3. Visit the traditional garden at night in Rikugien, Tokyo
4. Go trekking along the Minoo Falls
5. Admire the beauty of Pampas grass at Hakone
6. Take a day trip to Nikko to admire the beauty of the fall season
7. Attend the Meiji Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival at Tokyo
8. Have fun at the Kochia Carnival
9. Watch the sumo matches at Sumo Grand Tournament
10. Participate in the moon viewing festival of Otsukimi that takes place all over Japan
Best Season to Visit Japan
Time Period- December to February
Average Temperature- - 8- 19 degree Celsius
Annual Rainfall- 60mm - 90mm
Winters in Japan are exciting because travellers can enjoy the snowfall. Temperatures can go down below zero degrees Celsius, and visitors can take part in skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports.
Here are some of the top festivals that you can attend and outdoor activities that you can participate in if you are planning your trip to Japan during the winter season:
Places to Visit & Things to do in Japan during Winter Season
1. Enjoy the snow at the Sapporo Snow Festival
2. Submerge yourself in the hot springs of one of the many Onsens in Beppu
3. Go skiing at various ski resorts located in Hokkaido
4. Attend the spectacular Kamakura Festival at Akita Prefecture
5. The Winter Illuminations are some of the best events that take place in Japan in winter
6. Look at the different monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park
7. Go sightseeing at Shirakawago Village, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
8. Eat delicious snow crabs and mochi at Hokkaido
9. Attend the Zao Snow Monster Festival at Yamagata Prefecture
10. Watch the winter show at Asahikawa Winter Festival in Hokkaido
Furthermore, if you wish to explore Tokyo, Japan's capital, the best time to visit Tokyo would be March to April and September to November. The weather will be favourable during these times, and you can attend some of the most popular events in Tokyo like; the Tokyo International Film Festival, Shichi-Go-San Festival, Art Fair and much more.
When to Avoid Visiting Japan?
Time Period: Early June to Mid-July
Temperature Range: 19 degrees to 26 degrees Celsius
Average Rainfall: 100mm
The rainy season in Japan is also commonly known as the Typhoon season. During this season, visiting Japan can be a bit overwhelming as one might see floods and strong winds during this season.
Due to frequent flooding, tourists will find it challenging to visit various places in Japan. Besides excessive rain, the overall weather is humid and hot during this season.
Which Are the Best Months to Visit Japan on a Budget?
According to data found online, flight ticket prices had decreased by 18% during November. However, if you visit Japan during the peak seasons, like cherry blossom season, it would be difficult to find cheap accommodation. Let alone reasonable accommodation. You may not even see any place where you can stay comfortable during your Japan trip during peak seasons. Moreover, you need to book your accommodation and flight tickets a long time before your trip dates.
The rainy season is typhoons, and heavy rainfall often characterises Japan. Still, the country has a unique charm even during these times, which you will not find easily in other seasons.
The rainy season may not be very favourable in Japan for travel, but you will find affordable accommodations and cheaper fight tickets. You will also witness the beautiful hydrangeas blooming all over the country.
What Are the Things to Know Before Visiting Japan?
Here are some things that you must know before travelling to all the best places to visit in Japan:
Book Japan rail passes before you land in Japan. This will help you get cheaper rail tickets whenever you travel from one place to another.
Please print out your hotel or Airbnb address in Kanji so you can show it to the cab driver while commuting from the airport or any other place.
Learn a few phrases in Japanese, as many people do not speak English in this country.
Download the Google Translates App on your smartphone.
Map out all the ATMs near your accommodation because people in Japan do not like using cards and cashless methods for their payments.
Cab prices are high in Japan, so make sure you have downloaded apps like Hyperdia to get discount prices on cabs.
What Are the Tips for Travelling in Japan?
Below are a few tips that will come in handy when you travel to Japan for your next vacation:
Make sure you are wearing the right shoe because Japanese people are very particular in this matter. They have designated shoes for outdoors, indoors and toilets. So never wear your outdoor shoes inside a temple or in somebody's house. Furthermore, while using the bathroom, wear toilet shoes.
If you are visiting Tokyo, select planes that will land at Haneda airport because it will be easier for you to commute to central Tokyo.
Exchange your currency and carry physical cash everywhere because many places in Japan still do not have card-swiping machines and e-payment gateways like Apple Pay or Gpay.
You need to purchase Pasmo or Suica prepaid cards to avail public transport like metro and buses.
Japanese people are very polite and soft-spoken and treat everybody concerned. Make sure you do the same when visiting Japan.
What Phrases Should You Know Before Travelling to Japan?
Since people don't speak English in Japan, you should learn some phrases before you travel to this East Asian country. It will help you in communicating with the locals. Here are some phrases that will come in handy:
Hello (During Morning/Daytime): Kon’nichiwa
Hello (Evening/Nightime): Konbanwa
Good Morning: Ohayou-gozaimasu
Thank You: Arigatou gozaimasu
Excuse Me: Sumimasen
Useful Phrases if You Get Lost
May I ask you a question?: O-tazune shite mo ii desu ka?
Where is….?: wa doko desu ka…?
Where am I/ Where is this place?: Koko wa doko desu ka?
I cannot speak Japanese: Nihongo wa hanasemasen
Phrases to Use While Ordering
Can you please give me the menu card?: Menu o kudasai
I want to order/ I am ready to order: Chumon o onegashimasu
Can you please give me some recommendations?: O-susume no menu wa dore desu ka?
Where is the bathroom?: Toire wa doko desu ka?
Can you please give me some water to drink?: Mizu o onegaishimasu
Please give the bill: O-kaikei o onegaishimasu
Phrase before you start eating your food: Itadakimasu
Useful Phrases to Use at Hotels and Ryokans
I want to check in/ check out: Check-in (Check-out) o onegai-shimasu
I forgot my room keys: Heya ni kagi wo wasuremashita
Please tell me about the guide tours in English: Eigo no tsua wo shokai shite kudasai
Where is the public bath?: Daiyokujou wa doko desu ka?
Now that you know the best time to visit Japan and the phrases you can use to communicate there, you can plan your trip easily. It would also help if you made a detailed plan and the budget you want to spend there. Additionally, buy good travel insurance before visiting Japan. Hope you have an excellent time vacation in this beautiful country.
Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions mentioned in your policy schedule and policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.
The information mentioned here about the countries, visa fees and others is taken from different sources. Digit Insurance is not promoting or recommending anything here. Please verify the same before you book your tickets, apply for a visa, buy a travel policy or make any other decision.
Download International Travel Insurance Policy Wordings
Go Digit General Insurance Limited (formerly known as Oben General Insurance Ltd.) - Registered Office Address - 1 to 6 floors, Ananta One (AR One), Pride Hotel Lane, Narveer Tanaji Wadi, City Survey No.1579, Shivaji Nagar, Pune-411005, Maharashtra | Corporate Office Address - Atlantis, 95, 4th B Cross Road, Koramangala Industrial Layout, 5th Block, Bengaluru-560095, Karnataka | Trade logo of Go Digit General Insurance Ltd. displayed above belongs to Go Digit lnfoworks Services Private Limited and is provided and used by Go Digit General Insurance Ltd. under license.