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Home » Japan: The Ultimate Guide to Exploring the Land of the Rising Sun » Best Time to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossoms, Autumn Foliage, and Cultural Festivals: Japan Weather Guide

Best Time to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossoms, Autumn Foliage, and Cultural Festivals: Japan Weather Guide

Best Time to Visit Japan

  • Cherry Blossoms: Late March to early April.
  • Autumn Foliage: Mid-November to early December.
  • Cultural Festivals: Year-round, with a peak in summer (July-August) and New Year.

Geography facts

  • Location: East Asia, an archipelago between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan.
  • Area: 377,975 km².
  • Landscape: Mountainous terrain, with Mount Fuji being the highest point at 3,776 meters.

Japan is an island nation with diverse geographical features. It has four main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, offering a mix of urban cities, traditional towns, mountains, and coastal areas.

Climate

Japan’s climate varies significantly from north to south. The northern parts experience cold, snowy winters, while the southern regions have subtropical climates. Spring and autumn are generally mild and pleasant throughout the country.

The daily range of reported temperatures (gray bars) and 24-hour highs (red ticks) and lows (blue ticks), placed over the daily average high (faint red line) and low (faint blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. (c) weatherspark.com

Monthly Weather Snapshot

January

  • Cold, especially in Hokkaido with snow for skiing (average -4°C to 1°C, 24°F to 33°F).
  • Mild in southern areas like Okinawa (average 10°C to 19°C, 50°F to 66°F).
  • Ideal for winter sports and onsen visits.

February

  • Still cold and snowy in the north (-3°C to 2°C, 26°F to 35°F).
  • Okinawa remains mild (12°C to 20°C, 53°F to 68°F).
  • Great for Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido.
Winter in Japan (c) ik.imagekit.io

March

  • Cherry blossoms start in southern regions (6°C to 17°C, 42°F to 62°F).
  • Cold in the north (0°C to 8°C, 32°F to 46°F).
  • Popular time for hanami (flower viewing) in Tokyo and Kyoto.

April

  • Peak of cherry blossom season.
  • Pleasant weather nationwide (10°C to 20°C, 50°F to 68°F).
  • Ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

May

  • Comfortable, warm weather (15°C to 25°C, 59°F to 77°F).
  • Golden Week holidays bring festivities.
  • Good for hiking and exploring rural areas.

June

  • Start of the rainy season, especially in Honshu.
  • Warm and humid (18°C to 27°C, 64°F to 80°F).
  • Hydrangea viewing is popular.
The hourly reported temperature, color coded into bands. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight. (c) weatherspark.com

July

  • Hot and humid (20°C to 30°C, 68°F to 86°F).
  • Famous for summer festivals like Gion Matsuri in Kyoto.
  • Best time for climbing Mount Fuji.

August

  • Peak summer heat (22°C to 32°C, 71°F to 89°F).
  • Many cultural festivals and fireworks.
  • Popular for beach vacations and mountain hikes.

September

  • Typhoon season, with varying conditions.
  • Warm but starting to cool (20°C to 28°C, 68°F to 82°F).
  • Good for rice paddy art and rural exploration.

October

  • Autumn foliage begins in the north (15°C to 22°C, 59°F to 71°F).
  • Pleasant weather for outdoor activities.
  • Food festivals showcasing seasonal harvest.
Autumn in Japan (c) s1.1zoom.me

November

  • Best time for autumn leaves, especially in Kyoto and Tokyo (10°C to 17°C, 50°F to 62°F).
  • Cooler, with fewer tourists.
  • Ideal for cultural trips and hot springs.

December

  • Cold, with snow in northern and mountainous areas (2°C to 12°C, 35°F to 53°F).
  • Illuminations and end-of-year festivities.
  • Good for winter sports and New Year’s celebrations.

Japan’s diverse landscapes and climate offer unique experiences throughout the year. Spring and autumn are renowned for their natural beauty and cultural events, while summer and winter provide opportunities for festivals and outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking to explore vibrant cities, serene countryside, or picturesque islands, Japan offers a rich tapestry of experiences across all seasons.

Back to Japans’s Travel Guide

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