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Japan Weather in March 2024, Travel Tips (for First-Timers)

Japan Weather in March 2024, Travel Tips (for First-Timers)

By RitaUpdated May. 18, 2023

March sees the start of spring (March to May) in most Japan, where the average daily temperature gets above 10°C (50°F) and rain increases to moderate levels on 1 in 3 days. The further south you go, the warmer and wetter it gets.

However, in Northern Japan (Hokkaido), spring doesn’t arrive until April and, contrastingly, precipitation decreases through March.

With warmer weather in late March, you could fully enjoy Japan’s celebrated cherry blossom, which is in full bloom in late March in central Japan.

Find out about average temperatures, rainfall, and tips on where to go and what to wear in Japan in March below...

Japan Weather in March: Averages

Japan Weather in March Japan Weather in March
  • Temperature range: 5–13°C (41–56°F)
  • Rainfall: 109 mm (4 inches)
  • Rainy days: 10
  • Sunny days: 20  
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Weather of Japan’s Major Cities in March

Japan City Ave. Min. Temp. Ave. Max. Temp. Average Rainfall/Snowfall
Sapporo -2°C (28°F) 5°C (40°F) 78 mm (3 in) rain/snow
Tokyo 5°C (41°F) 14°C (58°F) 116 mm (5 in)
Kyoto 4°C (40°F) 14°C (57°F) 106 mm (4 in)
Osaka 6°C (43°F) 14°C (58°F) 103 mm (4 in)
Hakone 3°C (37°F) 14°C (57°F) 124 mm (5 in)
Nara 3°C (37°F) 14°C (57°F) 105 mm (4 in)
Hiroshima 5°C (41°F) 15°C (58°F) 118 mm (5 in)
Okinawa 17°C (62°F) 22°C (71°F) 143 mm (6 in)

Hokkaido and Northern Japan: Still Cold Enough for Winter Sports

Drift Ice Walking in Hokkaido Drift Ice Walking in Hokkaido

Northern Japan stays cold (around freezing) in March. You would encounter rain showers or snow occasionally on around 2 in 3 days.

During the cold days of late winter, hot springs offer a warm escape in March. The winter sports season is still very much alive in Japan's more northern reaches (particularly Hokkaido). Compared with earlier in winter (December to February), you could enjoy Hokkaido’s winter activities with warmer weather and fewer crowds.

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Tokyo and Central Japan: Cherry Blossom Season Arrives

Central Japan in March is mild and its daily temperatures are about 10°C (58°F) higher than that in northern Japan. Precipitation increases from light to moderate and you could expect 50% cloudy days.

Japan in March features atmospheric festivals and cherry blossoms. If you prefer to discover Japan at a quieter time, visit it in early March.

After mid-March, the major cities, like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima, reach their busiest time — for cherry blossom tourism.

Walk-ins are not to be found in March! Thus, contact us a year before you go for early-bird bookings that avoid price hikes. Check our best-value cherry blossom trip or we’re ready to tailor-make your own private one!

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Okinawa and Southern Japan: Warmer with Earlier Cherry Blossom

With a sub-tropical climate, southern Japan is the warmest place in March, especially the islands of Okinawa, where daily temperatures peak around 22°C (66°F) and the rainfall is around 150 mm (6 in).

Cherry blossom arrives earlier in southern Japan. The southernmost islands, including Okinawa, even see blossom in February, while blooming cherry flowers from mid-March in other places, like Fukuoka.

Although sea temperatures increase to around 19°C (66°F) around Okinawa, water activities are suitable for the brave only.

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When is the Cherry Blossom Season in Japan?

forecast time of cherry blossom in 2023

March welcomes the cherry blossom season in most areas of Japan. Generally speaking, it starts in late March and lasts until early May, mainly in April. Every late January, Japan’s official website of weather/tourism predicts the flowering time of cherry blossoms.

You can expect to see cherry blossoms in late March in popular cities, such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagoya. Southern cities, like Hiroshima and Fukuoka, see the blossoms a few days earlier.

To celebrate the cherry blossom season, locals dress in kimonos, having picnics under the charming cherry trees, and appreciating the tastefully-lit cherry blossom views at night. Read more information about planning a cherry blossom trip to Japan>>>

Cherry Blossom Tour to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka at US$3,699 Per Person

5 of the Best Places to Visit in Japan in March

5 of the Best Places to Visit in Japan in March 5 of the Best Places to Visit in Japan in March

Considering Japan’s generally cold/cool March weather, southern Japan offers warm escapes. But, for a taste of quintessential Japan, head to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Hiroshima, especially you first-timers. They have the famous spots for cherry blossom parties.

To discover the above five cities’ essentials, you’d need at least 2 weeks. Get some inspiration from our 2-week itineraries and 3-week itineraries.

Too busy to plan a Japan trip? Contact us with what you’d like to do and we’ll tailor-make a private tour for you. Our travel expert would reply to you with a personalized itinerary within 24 hours.

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1. Kyoto: Cherry Blossoms and Cultural Experiences for Big Celebrations

In March, Kyoto has some mild temperatures with an average high temperature of 14°C (57°F). The average precipitation is 106 mm (4 in), falling on 12 days.

If you’re seeking cultural experiences, Kyoto is the best place for you. History buffs are always enchanted by its centuries-old buildings and well-preserved traditions. The fully-blooming cherry blossoms would surely enhance your Kyoto experience.

You’ll also have chances to celebrate Japan’s atmospheric Girls' Day (March 3rd) and the Higashiyama Hanatouro bamboo lantern festival (March 4–13). Strolling together on streets adorned with festive Japanese decorations could also be a romantic experience for you and your partner. 

For a romantic milestone trip, what could be more special than staying in a ryokan with exquisite kaiseki (traditional multi-course cuisine) and private hot springs? In cherry blossom season, you’d better book your ryokan at least a year before.  

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2. Osaka: Cherry Blossoms and Family-Friendly Theme Parks

Cherry blossom in Osaka Castle Cherry blossom in Osaka Castle

With similar weather to Kyoto, Osaka is one of the best places for flower viewing in March. You could admire plum flowers in early March and cherry blossom in late March.

Boasting Universal Studios, Super Nintendo World, and Lego Land, you could immerse yourself in the theme park attractions with fewer crowds in early March. If you’re interested in sumo, don’t miss the Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka (March 12–26, 2023).

If you're travelling with kids, don't miss Osaka. Read more about planning a family trip in Japan>>>

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3. Tokyo: Paradise with Anime and Cherry Blossoms

March in Tokyo is cool, with temperatures peaking at around 14°C (58°F). With moderate rain on only 6 days, you may not see the occasional rain.

If you’re keen on cherry blossoms, visit Tokyo in late March. To appreciate them, you could wander around Ueno Park or take a boat ride on Tokyo’s moats alongside Chidorigafuchi Park.

Home to anime, Tokyo is full of anime shopping centers (like Pokémon Center Mega), anime theme cafés, and anime museums (notably Ghibli Museum/Park). Anime enthusiasts shouldn't miss AnimeJapan in late March, one of the biggest anime events in the country (March 25–28, 2023).

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4. Nara: Feed Deer beneath Cherry Blossom Trees

Ecounter wild deer in Nara Park Ecounter wild deer in Nara Park

Owing to the excellent conditions, you could really enjoy feeding free-roaming deer and celebrating a traditional Omizutori (water-drawing) festival (March 1–14) at Todai-ji Temple in Nara.

Nara is also one of the best places to enjoy breathtaking cherry blossoms. Mt. Yoshino is the best spot in Nara. You could hike among the cherry blossom forests or take a cable car for a panoramic view.

If your time is limited, you could take a quick daytrip to Nara from Kyoto or Osaka with a private transfer, as Nara is quite close to both cities at only around 1 hour away. Contact us to customize your private day trip to Nara!

5. Hiroshima: A Warmer Place That Sees Cherry Blossoms Earlier

Atomic Bomb Dome surrounded by cherry blossoms Atomic Bomb Dome surrounded by cherry blossoms

You can expect a cool breeze and mild temperatures in Hiroshima in March. There is also a 1-in-3-day chance of rain, but it won’t affect your trip as it only comes as light/moderate showers.

With fewer crowds in early March, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park can be appreciated more peacefully. It’s a must to recall the tragedy of the war.

Hiroshima’s parks come alive when the cherry blossom abounds around mid-March. The magical ‘floating torii gate’ is even more attractive with a cherry-bloom backdrop.

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Costs and Crowding in March

Japan has two faces in March: shoulder season before mid-March and peak season after mid-March.

Traveling in early March means lower costs, fewer tourists, unobstructed views of the highlights, and the freedom to peruse sights at your own pace.

When the cherry blossom is blooming from late March, you’ll encounter the highest costs, biggest crowds, and limited accommodations. Booking your Japan trip a year in advance is the best way to secure the best deals.

To escape from the crowds, try to visit must-sees on weekdays or explore somewhere off the beaten path. A private tour can effectively alleviate the inconvenience caused by group tour crowds. Check our handpicked private Japan tours>>>

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What to Pack in March

Japan can still be cold in March, so light winter clothing is perfect for most of Japan.

For cold days, especially in early March, you could pack a coat, down jacket, warm inner layers, sweaters, and thick leg wear. Lightweight trousers, lighter shirts, and light sweatshirts would be more comfortable on sunny days.

Don't forget to bring cold weather accessories such as a hat, gloves, and scarf if you are visiting northern Japan, especially Hokkaido. 

Check more details about the best times to visit Japan: for the most comfortable weather, for the lowest crowds & costs... 

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Monthly Weather and Travel Information for Japan

Learn about the weather in Japan for 12 months and find out the best places to visit each month.

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