When to travel to Japan – Which Season to Choose?
So finally you’ve decided to visit “the land of the rising sun” – Japan
Japan constantly attracts travelers from all over the world with its unique mixture of culture, unforgettable nature and delicious food.
However, now comes the most difficult part – planning!
You need to decide which is the best season to go to Japan and we are here to help!
The first and the most obvious option seems to be spring.
Spring really seems like a nice choice. Let’s take a closer look!
Of course it goes without saying that the Japanese spring is famous for its cherry blossoms.
The start of cherry blossom season depends on the climate of the area. The first sakura trees start to bloom on southern Okinawa as early as January, while on the northern island of Hokkaido, sakura bloom as late as May.
Regarding the most major cities like Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo, sakura viewing (or Hanami) season starts early in April and lasts approximately two weeks.
It’s hard to describe how beautiful the clouds of pink sakura petals floating in the spring wind can be. Spring is the time when nature awakes from the long sleep of winter, so before the sakura festival you also can catch the Ume (Plum) festival in early March or enjoy the wisteria blossom season from late April to early May.
The weather during Japanese spring is considered to be very nice – it’s warm and sunny, which makes spring one of the best seasons to travel to Japan.
However there are a few downsides to consider when deciding whether to visit Japan in spring:
– Pollen allergies
Many people in Japan today suffer from pollen allergies especially during spring time. So don’t be surprised to see dozens of sneezing people with running noses around!
– Most touristic season
Japan is very popular all year round, but the busiest time is still considered to be spring. That means overly-priced accommodation and very crowded tourist spots.
– Golden Week
This is the time you should to try avoid at all costs if you decide to visit Japan in spring! Golden Week is the Japanese national holiday season that runs from end of April to beginning of May. This week of holidays will greet you with extremely busy traffic and totally booked hotels all over the country.
So here we are – Japanese summer has come! Is it a nice time to travel? – let’s check it out!
Summer is quite a popular season for people to take their holidays and go travel the world.
Many students have nice, long summer holidays to spend traveling.
If you choose summer to travel to Japan you can enjoy a great variety of matsuri – Japanese traditional festivals. It’s true that Japan has festivals all year round but summer will be the peak season. Just imagine big festivals with traditional dances, fireworks and food stands full of delicious snacks – they’re a must-go!
Though Japanese summer is very hot, it’s a popular season for hot spring trips!
Japanese people find it relaxing to enjoy onsens in summer – they say that the difference in temperature feels relaxing (it’s hard to believe but the hot springs often feel cooler than the summer air!).
Here are several points you should be aware of should you decide to visit Japan in summer:
Be aware of the weather!
IIt is very hot and humid in Japan in summer. Because of the subtropical climate Japan has it’s own rainy season known as “tsuyu”. It usually occurs in June and we bet you’d prefer to skip it.
We mentioned Japanese summer festivals as a nice attraction, but Obon festival – a holiday in Japan that celebrates our ancestors – is a very big event.
During Obon celebrations it will be intensely crowded and busy, so it’s better to make all your bookings beforehand.
Your choice could be autumn – the second most popular season to visit Japan.
The weather during Japan’s autumn months are usually very mild and sunny. It won’t get as severely hot as in the summer and even in November it won’t be very cold.
Autumn is considered to be on the most beautiful seasons in Japan.
The colors of the leaves change into unbelievably vivid shades of red, yellow and green. Especially famous are the maple trees or Momiji for their bright red coloring.
This is why one of the most well-known Japanese activities during the fall season is Momijigari
or “red leaf hunting”. This is the time when Japanese people and tourists seek out the most
fascinating colors of the Japanese fall.
In discussions about Japanese autumn you may frequently come acorss such words as “Koyo”,
which means colored leaves in general, and as we previously mentioned the word “Momiji”
which is used especially for red maple trees.
When is the best time to experience fall in Japan?
The Koyo season starts in Japan from Hokkaido in September and gradually spreads to the
southern areas. The best viewing time can depend on location so it can be a good idea to check
the special fall foliage prediction map to direct your trip. For example, one of the most popular
momiji spots is Kyoto and the best time to enjoy colored leaves around the Kyoto area is usually
the end of November.
Autumn is also a very nice time to enjoy Japanese onsens or hot springs. During the autumn
season the temperature outside is just perfect for an open air bath. Just imagine yourself
relaxing inside the hot tub with mineral water surrounded by crimson red maple trees…Could it
get any better than that?
However here are some words of caution for you should you decide to visit Japan in autumn:
In general, the conditions will be almost the same as the spring.
– Be aware of tourist numbers, fully booked hotels and pollen allergies!
Winter holidays – a nice time for a trip!
It might come as a surprise, but Japan has many nice ski resorts and a lot of guests from Asia
come to Japan during winter to enjoy skiing. And we can’t forget those hot springs!
What could be better than to sliding into a hot spring bath after a day of skiing or snowboarding?
Japan has many incredibly beautiful temples and shrines all over the country – and the fallen
snow will add so much beauty to the Japanese traditional architecture.
The best season to travel to Japan is…
… any season!
Yes, that’s right!
Japan is an amazing and unique country to visit. We sincerely believe that no matter what time
you decide to travel Japan you will fully enjoy the trip.