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Best & Worst Times to Visit Japan 2023/2024, Best Month

Best & Worst Times to Visit Japan 2023/2024, Best Month

By RitaUpdated Sep. 18, 2023

Japan is a year-round destination with four distinct seasons. Spring (March to May) is the best time (also the peak time) to visit most of Japan for pleasant weather and cherry blossom, typically in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.

The rainy season usually lasts from June to mid-July, when you can find the lowest prices and smaller crowds.

Read on for more about Japan's best/worst times, the rainy season, and monthly weather/travel summaries...

Best Times to Visit Japan

Best times to visit Japan Best times to visit Japan

Generally speaking, the best time to visit Japan is spring, followed by autumn (September to November). With comfortable weather, you could appreciate stunning natural beauty: the iconic cherry blossom in spring and colorful leaves in autumn.

If you're willing to risk possible rainy days and hot weather (around 31°C/86°F), summer (June to August) is a perfect time to have a taste of exotic Japanese festivals and enjoy plenty of firework displays.

Winter (December to February) is ideal for seeing snow monkeys, enjoying a hot spring dip, and going skiing.

Get your family to the heart of Japan's beauty:

The Best Time to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossom: Mainly in April

An emblem of Japan, its stunning cherry blossom, can be best appreciated from late March to early May. Cherry flowers are usually in full bloom in April. If your trip is not scheduled for those months, you could still experience it as early as January in Okinawa and as late as May in Hokkaido.

Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are the most popular cities for admiring the beautiful blossom. To escape the crowds and selfie sticks, take a boat trip along the Meguro River in Tokyo for a different perspective of the flowering trees.

Get more ideas about planning a cherry blossom tour to Japan>>>

Check more details about best time to visit Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka>>>

Cherry Blossom Tour to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka 2024

Best Time for Atmospheric Festivals: July to August

Although festivals occur all year round in Japan, July to August is Japan's festival season. If you're travelling with school-age children, head to Japan during this period to meet locals in traditional clothing, see grand parades, and enjoy dazzling fireworks! 

Learn more family-friendly activities in How to Plan a Japan Summer Trip >>>

Check out the summer bestseller for Japan

Best Time for Lowest Prices and Least Crowding: Mid-January to February

From mid-January to February, the cold and dry winter weather means that most attractions (except for ski resorts) are at their least crowded. With that comes good deals on airfares and hotels.

Cultural and historical cities, like Tokyo and Kyoto, are less affected by the weather. Thus, visiting Japan between mid-January to February could still be very worthwhile, depending on your interests.

Check more details about planning your trip to Japan>>>

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Worst Times to Visit Japan

Considering the weather, the worst time to visit Japan is probably the rainy season (June to Mid-July) and typhoon season (mainly in September).

For families with school-age children, you might have to travel during the rainy season. June is the best time to go if you're planning a summer trip to Japan, especially with your family. You can expect less rainfall and cooler weather in early June.

Meanwhile, these "worst times" bring benefits: lower crowding and reasonable prices. A flexible itinerary and indoor activities would make your trip more comfortable as well. Our 17-day Japan family trip is specially designed for a family summer vacation. 

If crowds are a big problem for you, you'd better avoid cherry blossom season (late March to early May) and public holidays such as Japan's Golden Week (April 29 to May 5) and Obon (mid-August, August 13 to 16 in 2023).

So book at least half a year in advance and prepare for the crowds if you plan to travel during these periods. To beat the crowds, you could also visit Japan early or late in these high seasons. Taking a private tour would make your trip easier and more worry-free at any time, but is especially helpful in the bad weather months.

For a worry-free booking with us, you enjoy 100% refund of any payments made to Asia Highlights prior to 3 weeks before departure (see more on our booking policy). 

China Highlights, Asia Highlights, and Global Highlights collaborate to provide families and couples with personalized and stress-free experiences in diverse destinations.

Rainy Season in Japan: June to Mid-July

Summer Japan Summer Japan

The rainy season usually lasts from June to mid-July in most of Japan (Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo). Owing to Japan's long north-south extent, Okinawa receives rainfall one month earlier, while Hokkaido is less affected by the rainy season.

As it often doesn't rain for long, you can usually enjoy most of the day without much inconvenience, even in the rainy months.

With fewer travelers, you could have the attractions to yourself. You could also escape the rainfall by planning some indoor activities, like sushi-making and tea ceremonies, to do when it's pouring outside.

Check more details about the rainy season in Japan>>>

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Japan Travel Guide by Month

Click the sign of each month to check the travel guide information.

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Japan Weather in January: The Coldest Month

Snow Monkeys are bathing in a hot spring. Snow Monkeys are bathing in a hot spring.

January is the coldest month in Japan, with temperatures averaging 9°C (48°F). The Japanese Alps and Hokkaido average freezing or below, which makes them ideal skiing places with powder snow.

Hot springs and skiing top the bucket list for a Japan winter trip. If you're celebrating New Year in Japan, don't miss the midnight fireworks, join in the midnight countdown, and ring in the new year with a temple bell.

During the New Year holiday, travelling in the major cities (Tokyo and Kyoto) is better than in rural areas. From December 29 to January 3, some attractions, shops, and restaurants might be closed. Read more about best places to celebrate your New Year holiday.

Suggested reading: How to Plan a Japan Winter Trip>>>

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Visit Japan with Asia Highlights

Japan is truly a year-round destination. Contact us to create a customized itinerary based on your interest and time. We'll make the process as fun and effortless as possible, so you can simply relax and savor every moment of your experience. Or get inspiration from the below sample itineraries:

Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)

  • Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
  • Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.

Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.

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