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
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.
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>>>
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 >>>
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>>>
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.
Sharon has been very helpful since the…
Sharon has been very helpful since the beginning coordinating our itinerary in order to accommodate everything we want to see, it been great working with herMore
May, Jul 2023
When I first book I was scared of what…
When I first book I was scared of what to expect, but oh my God! What an amazing experience this has been, from Sharon to all the guides Shawn and Mr. Ho, such amazing people! Their work is excellentMore
Saul Velez, Jul 2023
Albee was very helpful and responsive…
Albee was very helpful and responsive in helping me make plans for their 10 day Japanese tour.More
Bhavini Patel, Jul 2023
Alisa was a perfect tour consultant
Alisa responded to my numerous questions with efficiency and accuracy. She was constantly suggesting options to make the trip more enjoyableMore
Matha Goram, Jul 2023
I highly Recommend Asia Highlights
For our first guide Jun, he was amazing. Very accommodating. Kept in good communication & kept us on time for our activities. Reached out to me the night before to confirm meet times and locations. Our driver for this time was also so kind & driver was always on time. For our second Guide , Ho. He went above and beyond. He stayed in great communication. Stayed later with us on one of the days because we were worried about riding the train back alone but wanted to visit at the shopping center a littler longer, so he stayed with us and made sure we got off on the right stop! During our time with him he took pictures of us and sent them to us! He was very knowledgeable about every place we visited. He was kind and patient with our large group. He made our trip easy & memorable. The driver we had for this timeframe was also kind & always on time! We felt a bond with both guides given to us! If you want an easy going, stress free trip book with “Asia Highlights”!!!More
Jessalynn Flores, Jul 2023
Working to put together a custom trip…
Working to put together a custom trip with Alissa has been a great experienceMore
Marc, Jul 2023
Wonderful Service from Sharon!
Sharon at Asia Highlights has been a HUGE help in planning our trip to Japan later this year. From her initial contact to finalization of the plan, she has been very responsive, professional, patient, and knowledgeable. She was able to quickly propose an amazing itinerary and helped us customize it for our interests. She also made many great recommendations and gave us tips for the trip. I wasn’t familiar with Asia Highlights before I reached out, but after Sharon’s wonderful service, I have full confidence in them. I can’t wait for the trip and I hope it’s as awesome as Sharon’s service!!!More
Ali Tahir, Jul 2023
We had a wonderful time in Japan with guides Moni and Kazuko and with Jan in Singapore. Will always remember this trip!More
Happy Customer, Jun 2023
Just got to say
Just got to say, Monica was great in every way! So sweet and helpful with planning, itineraries, answering questions… would love to meet her in person! Thank you Monica!More
Teri, Jun 2023
Monica is fantastic
Monica is fantastic. She understood our needs, was very responsive and planned a perfect vacation for us. Highly recommend.More
Philip Sheldon, Jun 2023
Me and my son are traveling to Japan
Me and my son are traveling to Japan. Albee is magnificent. Extremely efficient, helpful, trustworthy. I am very happy she is helping us with my son's dreaming trip.More
Ana Letícia Urbanin, Jun 2023
A great way to plan a dream vacation
Due to circumstances, we had to delay our trip to Japan so this review is only about the process of designing the trip. Albee was always available, responsive to our goals, and competent. Based on how involved he was with our family trip, we know we will be back next year and resuming the plan he built. Really impressed with the quality and extent of resources we found through Albee and KimKim.More
KC, May 2023
Yeliz - Asia Highlights
Yeliz was extremely helpful and patient during our Japan trip planning and answered all my various questions. Really looking forward to our upcoming trip to Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and Osaka!More
Cyndie, May 2023
Sharon’s was very patient and helpful…
Sharon’s was very patient and helpful when navigating me through the trip planning process. She helped me plan a very exciting and extravagant trip.More
Jonny Abad, May 2023
Wonderful 10 day trip in Japan!!!
Well planned trip by Alisa . Everything was well scheduled, guides and drivers were excellent!! The cars were extremely comfortable and the hotel she chose for us was beautiful!! Enjoyed planning with her she was very professional and always offered other choices.More
Lianne Stone, May 2023
11 days trip to Japan
I am planning my trip to Japan in November with Sharon's help and she has provided amazing customer service.She is very responsive and put together very quickly an incredible plan for 11 days in Japan. She provided recommendations and made changes based on our interests and budget. She also provided information about visa restrictions and the best way to get tickets for transportation services. Thanks so much Sharon, looking forward to this trip!More
LE, May 2023
Hi Cathy! I just want to thank you for making our Japan trip so much fun & memorable! We loved everything that you had scheduled for us! All the guides and drivers were great & punctual! We love Japan so much that we’re planning to go back next year to different part of Japan! We’ll definitely contact Asia Highlights for our trip again! SereneMore
Serene Storslett, May 2023
Quick, easy and detailed service
Alisa was our advisor from Asia highlights and she prepared for us a wonderful 28 day trip to Japan, taking into consideration our needs and desire not to be traveling everyday and to have a mixture of slow and busy days. We've not yet taken our trip, but very much looking forward to it Thank you Alisa for the quick response and wonderful itineraryMore
Lynette Whittle, Apr 2023
Sharon Huang did an excellent job in planningour 15 day Cherry Blossom Japan tour. Shewas available during our trip to answer our questions and readily agreed to the itinerary changes.Everything was arranged - accommodation,breakfast, guide, car, entrance fees and train tickets. The guides were knowledgeable, and managed the tour very efficiently. The drivers were punctual and very patient. We visited must see places in and near Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. We also got to experience Japanese Tea ceremony, Sushi making, Sake tasting, shopping etc.We highly recommend Asia Highlights for your travel needs.More
Madhu, Apr 2023
I organized a trip to Japan for my
I organized a trip to Japan for my parents who don’t speak English and Alisa was so amazing helping make an itinerary for them. They needed a Spanish guide and she coordinated everything so they wouldn’t have any trouble when they got there. She was so patient changing and adjusting the itinerary to their needs and wants, it’s been a total pleasure working with her and she always responds promptly to any question I have. I definitely recommend this company and if you can ask to work with Alisa.More
Luisa, Apr 2023
Rainy Season in Japan: June to Mid-July
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>>>
Japan Travel Guide by Month
Click the sign of each month to check the travel guide information.
Japan Weather in January: The Coldest Month
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>>>
Japan Weather in February: Good for Winter Activities
The winter weather continues in February: it's still dry, sunny, and cold. The average temperature is similar at 10°C (50°F).
Travelling in February, the Snow Festival in Hokkaido (February 4–11, 2023) is a must. Go skiing, admire elaborate ice sculptures, and then relax in the hot springs...
Japan Weather in March: Arrival of Spring
March signals the arrival of spring in southern Japan (Okinawa) and central Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto), averaging 13°C (55°F). The famous skiing paradise of Hokkaido is still freezing though, with an average temperature of 3°C (37°F).
In late March, flower season begins: cherry blossom, plum flowers, and peach blossom can be seen. Shutterbugs, you should have plenty of photo opportunities in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, and Hiroshima. Check more info about best places to go in March & 10 Days in Japan>>>
Japan Weather in April: Flower Season
Japan's average temperature goes up to 19°C (66°F) in April, so you can indulge in visiting the flowers and shrines in warm and dry weather.
The fully-blooming flowers make Japan romantic and dreamlike. If you're celebrating your anniversary or a second honeymoon, the stunning scenery won't disappoint you.
However, prices reach their highest, and walk-ins are not to be found in April. You're suggested to book your April tour at least half a year before. With us, you enjoy 100% refund of any payments made to Asia Highlights prior to 3 weeks before departure (detail⇒)
Can't decide where to go in April? See our recommendations in Japan weather in April>>>
Suggested reading: How to Plan an Incredible Family Trip to Japan>>>
Japan Weather in May: Sunny and Warm
May is in the tail end of spring, when sunny and warm weather prevails. The average temperature is around 23°C (73°F). You'll have the best chance to enjoy outdoor activities.
The first week of May is in the peak period for domestic travel. Trains, hotels, shops, and restaurants are very busy. Contact us for an early booking!
After the first week, you could discover Japan in a less-crowded springtime. Get to know more details about the weather in Japan in May.
Suggested reading: 8 Days in Japan>>>
Japan Weather in June: Coolest Summer Month
The rainy season hits its peak in Japan in June with moderate/high rainfall of around 200 mm (8 inches). Compared with other areas, northern Japan (Hokkaido) is less affected by the rainy season.
June is the best month for a summer trip to Japan, especially for families with school-age kids. You could avoid large crowds during Japan's school holidays (July and August). Besides, you could enjoy favorable prices on flights and hotels, and the coolest weather in the summer months.
When it rains, the temperature typically ranges from 68-77°F (20-25°C). During this time, it is suitable to wear both long-sleeved and short-sleeved clothing to cater to the varying weather conditions. On non-rainy days, the temperature usually ranges from 77-86°F (25-30°C).
Check more details about weather, costs, and crowds in June in Japan>>>
Suggested reading: 2 Weeks in Japan>>>
Japan Weather in July: Rainy Season Wanes
The summer heat can be felt throughout Japan in July, averaging 26°C (78°F). The heaviest rainfall gradually fades away after mid-July.
If you like mountain hiking, you could climb Mt. Fuji, which is only available from early July to early September.
July is also the time for summer festivals, such as Gion Matsuri, with their magnificent fireworks.
Japan Weather in August: The Hottest but Driest Summer Month
Daily temperatures peak at around 31°C (88°F) in August. Travelling in August, it's best to do outdoor activities in the early mornings and late afternoons.
After touring, a cold bottle of beer (or your choice of beverage) in a private air-conditioned car (as offered in our private tour) will help you cool down.
In August, you can view the impressive fireworks throughout Japan, enjoy the traditional Obon Festival, and see flowers in full bloom in Hokkaido...
Looking for further details about travelling to Japan in August? Check Japan Weather in August>>>
Japan Weather in September: Cooler but Wet
Japan's average temperature in September is cooler by quite a bit at around 26°C (79°F). From late September, autumn begins in Japan. You can expect some autumn foliage in Hokkaido.
High rainfall comes back on the east coast due to the occasional typhoon. If you are travelling in September, keep your itinerary flexible in case of flight delays or cancellations.
Suggested reading: 12 Days in Japan>>>
Japan Weather in October: Drier and Warm
Most areas of Japan are significantly drier than in September and the temperature drops to 22°C (72°F). October is regarded as one of the best times to catch the autumn colors in northern Japan (Hokkaido).
On sunny days, head to the Fuji Five Lakes (Fuji-go-ko) or Hakone areas for the best chances of views of Mt. Fuji.
Get to know more details about travelling in October>>>
Japan Weather in November: Autumn Colors
In November, the weather in Japan is dry and mild. The average temperature throughout the country is 17°C (63°F).
In November, the whole country will explode with colors. An autumn journey is not complete without leaf-viewing outings.
Wear kimonos, stroll the bustling streets, or find a tranquil corner in a century-old temple for cultural photos that match the natural splendor of fall in Japan...
Find out more weather details of popular cities in Japan: Japan Weather in November>>>
Japan Weather in December: Winter Starts
Winter brings cold and dry weather to Japan in December, with an average temperature of 12°C (54°F). Soaking in an onsen (hot spring) is the best thing to do in December.
Christmas and New Year holidays bring Japan into another peak season for travel around the country. Being the holiday season, hotels in Japan are usually fully booked. So, make sure you book a December tour at least 6 months in advance. 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).
Confused about where to go in December? Read more about Japan Weather in December >>>
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.
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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.