In November, the weather in Japan is dry and mild. The average temperature throughout the country is 14°C (57°F), and there is only about 96 mm (4 in) of precipitation. From November, it starts to gradually become chilly, especially in the mornings and evenings.
November is the best month to travel in Japan, and in Honshu especially, because of the pleasant weather and autumn colors. The most charming city to see autumn foliage in is Kyoto, because of its traditional atmosphere.
November Weather: Quick Facts
- The weather in November is cool and dry.
- Average temperature: 14°C (57°F)
- Average rainfall: 96 mm (4 in)
- Clothing: long-sleeved T-shirts, jeans, warm sweaters or jackets for cold mornings and evenings, and winter clothes for Hokkaido
- Highlights: spectacular autumn colors and leaf-viewing parties
Why You Should Visit Japan in November
In November, the weather is either cool or cold everywhere in Japan. It is the best month to witness the spectacular autumn colors, especially in the central and southern parts of the country, like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. Leaf-viewing is a very popular activity during autumn.
November Average Temperature
November Average Rainfall
Hokkaido for Less Busy Tourism
Owing to its high latitude, Hokkaido is cold in November, with average temperatures ranging 0–10°C (32–50°F); there is only 101 mm (4 in) of precipitation. Snowfall starts at the end of November, signifying the beginning of a long winter.
November is off-peak season for tourism in Hokkaido, as the skiing resorts will not yet be open. You can avail good prices for tours and hotels, and explore Hokkaido without being bothered by large crowds.
If you visit Hokkaido in November, you can consider going to Hakodate, which is warmer, or Otaru or Tokachi, which have milder weather. The winter illumination displays (where beautifully designed lights are used to light up the language) across Hokkaido start around the middle of November.
Honshu for Autumn Color
The weather in Honshu is generally cool and dry, with an average temperature of 12°C (53°F) and 64 mm (3 in) of rainfall. The high is 14°C (57°F) and low is 9°C (48°F).
November is the best month to visit Honshu. You can wander through temples and parks strewn with colorful leaves or hike through the mountains to see the autumn colors. While the Japanese Alps are great for longer treks, there are some good places, such as Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park and Nikko, for shorter hikes.
Onsen bathing is a delightful experience in the cool month of November. You can bathe in a hot spring in Hakone or Lake Kawaguchiko, which are both close to Tokyo.
Koyo (autumn colors) in Honshu is popular and impressive. It can get quite crowded, especially from the middle of November, so it is best to plan your trip in advance.
Okinawa with Fewer Crowd and Good Price
Okinawa is warm in November, with an average temperature of 24°C (75°F), and moderate precipitation of 123 mm (4 in). The average high is 25°C (77°F), and the average low is 23°C (73°F).
Beach season usually finishes at the end of October. In November, it is nice to go sightseeing in the city, as it tends to be less crowded and hotels offer good prices. You can visit Shuri Castle, go bird watching in Kume, explore local villages, and visit Nago for the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.
Tokyo Weather and Travel in November
November is cool and pleasant during the day and evening, and quite chilly in the early morning. The average high is 16°C (61°F), and the average low is 8°C (46°F). There are about 11 rainy days, with 128 mm (5 in) of precipitation.
The highlight of traveling to Tokyo in November is the autumn colors, which peak in late November. Popular spots for koyo include Rikugien, Koishikawa Korakuen, Icho Namiki (Ginkgo Avenue), Shinjuku Gyoen, Yoyogi Koen, and the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace.
Rikugien has the most spectacular view, with numerous maple trees. While there, you can enjoy views of the beautiful autumn foliage from the Tsutsuji No Chaya Teahouse and Fujishirotoge viewpoint. There will be illumination displays during November, from sunset until 9 pm.
Winter illuminations start from November. If you attend the winter illuminations in November, you can avoid big crowds. These are the locations with illumination events: Yebisu Garden Place, Roppongi Hills, Meguro River, Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Omotesando.
Clothing: long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, jackets, and other warm clothes, especially for late November
Osaka Weather and Travel in November
November in Osaka is neither cold nor warm, but dry. The average high is 18°C (64°F), and the average low is 10°C (50°F). There are only six rainy days with 70 mm (3 in) of precipitation.
November is a pleasant time to enjoy the autumn foliage in Osaka. Osaka Castle is the most convenient and charming spot to view the colorful foliage in the city. The Osaka Castle Park is particularly appealing, with its maple and gingko trees; it is a picturesque area that is perfect for picnics.
If you want to enjoy the autumn colors in a natural setting, Minoo Park is a good place to spend the day. You can enjoy the autumn colors while on a short hike; you can see magnificent maple trees, the Minoo Waterfall, and a traditional temple along the hiking trail.
The places with the most beautiful autumn colors include Osaka Castle, Minoo Park, Hozenji Temple, and Sumiyoshi Taisha.
Besides autumn foliage viewing, there are many activities that you can do in Osaka in November. For instance, you can learn about Japanese printing in the Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum, watch a puppet show at the National Bunraku Theater, or try local food in Dotonbori.
Clothing: long-sleeved t-shirts, sweaters, and jeans for the day and a jacket or coat for the night.
Kyoto Weather and Travel in November
Kyoto in November is usually cool and sunny. The average high is 17°C (63°F) and the average low is 8°C (46°F). There are eight days of rainfall and 72 mm (3 in) of precipitation.
Kyoto is the best place to enjoy a combination of autumn leaves and historic attractions from mid to late November. Popular places to enjoy autumn colors include Tofukuji Temple, Arashiyama, Kiyomizu-dera, Eikando, Daigoji, and Enkoji.
Tofukuji is the most impressive attraction in Kyoto. It is a classic Zen temple which was founded in 1236. The most popular viewing spot is Tofukuji Tsutenkyo Bridge, which gets extremely crowded from mid to late November. We highly recommended visiting in the morning.
The Kyoto Samurai Experience in November is a good way to feel Zen. Kyoto is the best place to try out a real katana (Japanese sword) and experience the samurai culture. At the Kyoto Samurai & Ninja Museum, you can take sword lessons and watch a samurai show.
Clothing: long-sleeved t-shirts, jeans, sweatshirts, jackets, and warm layers for mornings and evenings
Hakone Weather and Travel in November
Hakone is mild and dry in November. The average high is 15°C (59°F) and the average low is 6°C (42°F). There are about 10 rainy days and 96 mm (4 in) of rainfall.
On a dry and clear day, there is a high chance of being able to spot Mount Fuji from Hakone. There are some nice hotels that offer view of Mount Fuji, such as Green Plaza Hakone, Odakyu Hotel De Yama, and Ryuguden.
If you do not stay overnight in Hakone, you can view Mount Fuji from the shores of Lake Ashi (Ashinoko). There is also the Hakone Ashinoko cruise, from which you can enjoy 360° views from the observation deck.
Hot springs are a good choice for November. Hakone is the most popular place for Japanese onsen and ryokan (traditional Japanese accommodation). There are many types of bathing facilities in Hakone, including onsen with a great view of Mount Fuji at Green Plaza Hakone; onsen with swimsuits at Hakone Kowakien Yunessun; and onsen with private bath at Hakone Kowakien Ten-yu.
Clothing: jackets or sweaters for the day and a warm coat for the night
Takayama Weather and Travel in November
In November, it is cool in Takayama. The average high is 16°C (61°F), and the average low is 7°C (44°F). There is only 71 mm (3 in) of rainfall in November.
November is a good time to visit Takayama; the autumn foliage peaks in early November. The best spots to view the autumn foliage include Hida Folk Village, Higashiyama Walking Course, and Kamikochi.
When you visit Takayama in November, you can take a day trip to Shirakawa-go, which is considered one of the best places in Japan to see the autumn colors. The village is surrounded by trees bearing the colorful leaves, and there are autumn illuminations in private gardens from early November.
Clothing: long-sleeved T-shirts and a warm jacket to wear over your clothes
Events and Festivals in November
November is the best month for traveling through Japan. There are clear skies, cool air, autumn foliage, and the beautiful and colorful autumn festival in November, which recreates the atmosphere of ancient Japan.
Meiji Shrine Autumn Festival (November 1–3)
Meiji Shrine Autumn Festival in Tokyo is a three-day event to celebrate the birth of Emperor Meiji. It is held annually from November 1 to 3 at the Meiji Jingu (Shrine).
During the festival, there are many traditional Japanese performances, including bugaku dance, Noh theater, kyogen (comedy), yabusame (horseback archery), and sumo wrestling. These performances start at 10 a.m. on November 1; it gets crowded, so make sure you arrive early to get a good view.
Arashiyama Momiji Festival (Second Sunday of November)
Arashiyama Momiji Festival takes place on the second Sunday of November around the Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama; it has been happening since 1947. The festival celebrates beauty of the autumn foliage through ancient customs and traditional performances and events. There are traditional dance, music, and art performances such as Noh and kyogen. The highlight of the festival is the re-enactment of the nobles’ cruises in small boats down the Oi River. The best place to watch the show is from the Togetsukyo Bridge.
Visiting Japan with Asia Highlights
November is the most pleasant month in which to travel around Japan. Asia Highlights can help you organize your once-in-a-lifetime Japan trip and share useful traveling tips, including things to do, see, and eat.