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Best Time to Visit Japan

When is the best time to visit Japan?
March to April and October to November are definitely the best time to visit Japan. During the two periods, Japan enjoys mild weather with clear sky at most times, which is pleasant for travelling around. In addition, March to April is the best time for appreciating luxuriant oriental cherry blossoms and October to November for colorful autumn leaves.

Best Months
March to April & October to November
Temperature: 9 - 21℃ (48.2 - 69.8℉)
Clothes to Wear: thin sweater, cardigan, hoodie, jacket, jeans
Best Season
Spring & Autumn
Advantages: Mildly cool weather without typhoons or much rain, blooming cherry blossoms, colored fall foliage
Peak Season & Slack Season

Peak Season: mid-March to Early May & October to November

The weather is pretty pleasant with mild temperature, and the sky is clear mostly. Tourists also flow in to see blooming sakura – oriental cherry blossoms or autumn leaves in beautiful colors. Moreover, local people enjoy their Golden Week, the national holiday from late April to early May in Japan, which extends the peak season in spring. In peak travel season, it is crowded in attractions, together with heavy traffic and high travel cost. 

Slack Season: mid-May to June, September & December to February
In slack season, the weather is not so comfortable for travelling around, because of either high or frigid low temperature. After Golden Week till June, the rainy season starts in Japan and the frequent rain may influence the sightseeing a lot. In September, summer heat has not faded, and typhoons may hit the shores. The winter time from December to February is too cold for sightseeing. But it is the peak season in Hokkaido for skiing and other winter activities. There are fewer tourists in slack season, so people can have a leisure time to the full, at a relatively lower travel cost as well.

Shoulder Season: July to August
Although July to August is the hottest period in the year in Japan, it becomes a shoulder season because of the summer vacation. Schools are out, so local parents accompany their kids to travel around to broaden their horizon or have beach funs.

Month Travel Season Temperature
2 - 10℃ (35.6 - 50℉)
2 - 11℃ (35.6 - 51.8℉)
Spring 5 - 14℃ (41 - 57.2℉)
Spring 9 - 20℃ (48.2 - 68℉)
Spring 15 - 24℃ (59 - 75.2℉)
19- 27℃ (66.2 - 80.6℉)
23- 31℃ (73.4 - 87.8℉)
24 - 33℃ (75.2 - 91.4℉)
21 - 29℃ (69.8 - 84.2℉)
15 - 23℃ (59 - 73.4℉)
10 - 18℃ (50 - 64.4℉)
5- 13℃ (41 - 55.4℉)
Best Time to Visit Mount Fuji – April, July to August & November
The climbing trails to the peak are opened from early July to early September, thus, mountaineering is only permitted during the period of two months. In the rest time of the year, tourists could go to the 5th Station on the hillside or enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji at the foot. April and November are the best time to see Mt. Fuji in a mild climate, along with full-bloom cherry blossoms or autumn leaves in the same picture. However, the visibility turns to be the highest in winter months, when one can see Mount Fuji with snow cap the most clearly.
Best Time to  Visit Hokkaido – December to February
Winter months are the best time to go to Hokkaido, the northernmost part in Japan. Although cold, it is prefect to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and more snow sports, as well as snow festivals with majestic snow or ice sculptures.
Winter in Japan
Best Time to  Visit Okinawa and Islands – June to September
June to September, especially July to August, is the peak season and the best time to enjoy beach activities. Sunbathing, surfing, diving, swimming in sea, and more water activities are popular in Okinawa.
New Year
New Year is probably the grandest festival in Japan. Since Christmas, the celebrations are held till mid-January. At middle night of the New Year’s Eve, Japanese ring bell in temples throughout the country, to celebrate the arrival of New Year. People would clean and decorate their homes with New Year decorations, and send greeting cards or wishes to their relatives and friends. They have the first visit to shrine or temple at the beginning of the year, praying to the Gods for blessing.
Golden Week
It is a golden week indeed as Japanese enjoy a one-week or ten-day holiday from late April to early May. People like going for spring outing and sightseeing during the week, making attractions crowded. There are also a few festivals to celebrate in the period, as Golden Week starts from Showa Day (Apr. 29th) and culminates in the consecutive festivals: Constitution Day (May 3rd), Greening Day (May 4th), and Boys’ Day (May 5th). Boys’ Day might be the largest celebration therein, with colorful Koinobori, the carp streamers, hanged here and there.
Summer Fireworks
Fireworks becomes a synonym of summer in Japan, as almost every place hosts firework shows in the season. Apart from fascinating fireworks, the stalls offer various tasteful snacks, small traditional articles, and more. Nagaoka Fireworks Festival in Niigata and National Fireworks Competition in Omagari, Akita are the most wonderful ones in summer. Sumida River Fireworks in Tokyo, Lake Kawaguchi Fireworks under Mt. Fuji, Kobe Port Fireworks, Miyajima Island Fireworks Festival in Hiroshima, Lake Toya Fireworks Show in Hokkaido, etc. are brilliant likewise.