Article by – Suraj Kizhakkutte on Jan-16-2021
Japan has unique seasonality & are very distinct from one another. The country is beautiful in all 4 major seasons i.e. Spring, summer, Autumn & Winter. With vegetation and landscapes changing to adapt to the change in seasons, it becomes a traveller’s heaven.1. Spring season
(Typically from March to May)
Sakura or cherry blossoms is a must watch in Japan during spring season. Many people gather under sakura trees for “ohanami” (or Hanami) which means cherry blossom viewing, all over Japan. In modern-day Japan, hanami mostly consists of having an outdoor party beneath the sakura during daytime or at night. There are specific spots in the respective cities and towns wherein people gather as a group for a day out.
- Japanese cherry blossom symbolism
- Hirosaki Castle Park (Hirosaki)
- Shinjuku Gyoen (Tokyo)
- Mitsuike Koen (Yokohama)
- Chureito Pagoda (Fuji Five Lakes)
- Expo 70 Commemorative Park (Osaka)
- Miharu Takizakura (Fukushima)
- Takato Castle Park (Nagano)
- Mount Yoshino (Nara)
- Okayama Korakuen Garden (Okayama)
- Peace Memorial Park (Hiroshima)
- Nishi Park (Fukuoka)
- Philosopher’s Path (Kyoto)
(Typically from June to August)
Once the rainy season called “tsuyu”, which lasts from June to late July is over, the temperature rapidly increases. This is the season for summer festivals and firework displays happening everywhere in Japan. You can enjoy watching festivals or take part in dancing at other festivals as well.
Japan is surrounded by the sea, so you can enjoy swimming in various places. You can swim in the sea near Tokyo, but remote the islands of Okinawa are also recommended to enjoy a relaxing time.
- Shimoda, Izu
- Ishigaki, Okinawa
- Hakuba, Nagano
- Mt. Fuji (Trekking/Sight-seeing)
- Hachijojima, Tokyo Islands
- Karuizawa, Nagano
(Typically from September to November)
As the heat of summer reduces, the air becomes cooler and a perfect time of backpackers and travellers to view the country like never before! Fall leaves viewing spots are plenty across Japan for a scenic and photographic experience of life time. The maple leaves are vibrant in colour known for its deep red hue, while other deciduous trees parade about in shades of yellow, orange, gold, and brown. In some areas, the kusamomiji, or autumn grass, compliments the tree line with its own flaming red colour,
The peak for leaves changing colours is from October to late November. Travellers are recommended to follow the fall foliage calendar to get seasonal forecast of the best time to visit respective tourist spots across the country.
- Eikando Temple (Kyoto)
- Arashiyama (Kyoto)
- Tofukuji Temple (Kyoto)
- Icho Namiki or Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue (Tokyo)
- Ueno Park (Tokyo)
- Rikugi Garden (Tokyo)
- Oze National Park
- Mount Nasu (Tochigi / Fukushima)
- Daisetsuzan National Park
- Fuji Five Lakes
- Kumoba Pond (Karuizawa)
(Typically from December to February)
It is the coldest season of the year, which is perfect for enjoying hot springs. Dipping in a hot spring while relishing in the beautiful winter scenery is exceptionally remarkable. Illumination events are held all over Japan toward the year-end.
Drift ice and snowy landscape representing dazzling winter are not to be missed. Skiing and dog sledding are also an amusing leisurely activity of winter.
- Hakodate (Hokkaido)
- Monkey Onsen (Nagano)
- Ginzan Onsen(Yamagata)
- Kinkakuji (Kyoto)
- Nabana no sato (Mie)
- Shirakawago (Gifu)
- Chichibu three largest icicles(Saitama)
- Drift ice (Okhotsk Sea)
- Metasequoia (Shiga)
- Kenrokuen (Ishikawa)
To Summarize, it is very difficult to baseline the best time to visit Japan, as every season has something or other to offer if chosen the right destination & consider the weather forecast. The average temperature in the city of Tokyo ranges between 36°F (2°C) to 87°F (31°C). Based on the beach pool score (https://weatherspark.com/y/143809/Average-Weather-in-Tokyo-Japan-Year-Round#Sections-BestTime ), the best times of year to visit Tokyo for general outdoor tourist activities are from mid-May to mid-June and from early September to late October, with a peak score in the first week of October.