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Home - Travel
When to travel

Visiting Japan can be enjoyable at any time of the year. Due to the country's large north-south extension, weather patterns differ dramatically between regions. Below is an introduction to each month of the year with respect to travel in Japan.

The tables list average daytime high and nighttime low temperatures and average percentages of sunny and rainy days for selected cities. A rainy day is defined as a day on which at least 1 mm of rain falls, while a sunny day is defined as a day on which the sun shines at least 40 percent during daytime.

(Source: Japan Meteorological Agency)

January

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy/Snowy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
-1 C (30 F)
-8 C (18 F)
60%
60%
40%
35%
Tokyo
10 C (50 F)
2 C (36 F)
15%
15%
75%
70%
Takayama
3 C (37 F)
-5 C (23 F)
50%
40%
30%
40%
Osaka
9 C (48 F)
3 C (37 F)
20%
20%
60%
55%
Fukuoka
10 C (50 F)
3 C (37 F)
25%
30%
40%
35%
Naha
19 C (66 F)
14 C (57 F)
35%
35%
35%
30%

New Year is one of Japan's three major travel seasons with intensive domestic and international travel activity. Many shops, restaurants and tourist attractions are closed for at least one day between December 29 and January 4. Read more about visiting Japan during New Year.

The remainder of January is a good time for visiting Japan, as the weather is usually sunny and dry and sightseeing spots are not crowded. Only in northern Japan and along the Sea of Japan coast, there is lots of snowfall, and conditions are good for winter sports. The downside of a visit in winter are the relatively short days (sunset is around 5pm in Tokyo) and the vegetation's barren state.

February

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy/Snowy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
0 C (32 F)
-7 C (19 F)
55%
60%
45%
45%
Tokyo
10 C (50 F)
2 C (36 F)
15%
25%
70%
65%
Takayama
4 C (39 F)
-5 C (23 F)
45%
45%
45%
45%
Osaka
9 C (48 F)
3 C (37 F)
15%
25%
60%
55%
Fukuoka
11 C (52 F)
4 C (39 F)
25%
30%
55%
45%
Naha
19 C (66 F)
14 C (57 F)
35%
40%
30%
35%

Like January, February is a good time for visiting Japan as the weather is usually sunny and dry and sightseeing spots are not crowded. The downside of a visit in winter are the relatively short days (sunset is around 5:30pm in Tokyo) and the vegetation's barren state.

Northern Japan and the Sea of Japan coast receive lots of snowfall. At the peak of winter, February tends to be the best time for winter sports and viewing winter sceneries, such as the drift ice off Hokkaido and the snow covered farm houses of Shirakawago.

March

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy/Snowy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
4 C (39 F)
-4 C (25 F)
50%
40%
55%
50%
Tokyo
13 C (55 F)
5 C (41 F)
25%
35%
60%
55%
Takayama
9 C (48 F)
-2 C (28 F)
45%
45%
55%
50%
Osaka
13 C (55 F)
5 C (41 F)
30%
35%
60%
55%
Fukuoka
14 C (57 F)
6 C (43 F)
35%
35%
50%
50%
Naha
21 C (70 F)
16 C (61 F)
35%
40%
40%
30%

Early flowering plants and trees, such as plum trees, deliver the first signs of spring, while the weather is getting noticeably milder. Towards the end of March the cherry blossom season starts in certain regions, while in northern Japan conditions are still good for winter sports. Domestic travel activity increases in the second half of March due to spring school holidays.

April

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy/Snowy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
11 C (52 F)
3 C (37 F)
30%
30%
55%
50%
Tokyo
18 C (64 F)
11 C (52 F)
35%
35%
55%
55%
Takayama
17 C (63 F)
3 C (37 F)
40%
35%
55%
55%
Osaka
20 C (68 F)
11 C (52 F)
35%
30%
60%
60%
Fukuoka
19 C (66 F)
11 C (52 F)
35%
35%
55%
55%
Naha
24 C (75 F)
19 C (66 F)
40%
35%
35%
45%

Besides November, April is often considered the best time to visit Japan because the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in most regions of the country and the weather is pleasantly mild. Domestic travel activity is increased in early April due to spring school holidays, in late April due to the start of the Golden Week and during most of the rest of the month due the cherry blossom season.

May

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
17 C (63 F)
8 C (46 F)
30%
30%
55%
50%
Tokyo
23 C (73 F)
15 C (59 F)
30%
35%
50%
50%
Takayama
22 C (72 F)
9 C (48 F)
35%
35%
55%
55%
Osaka
24 C (75 F)
15 C (59 F)
35%
30%
60%
60%
Fukuoka
24 C (75 F)
15 C (59 F)
30%
30%
55%
60%
Naha
26 C (79 F)
22 C (72 F)
30%
40%
45%
40%

Golden Week, one of Japan's busiest travel seasons, takes place in the end of April and beginning of May and can be the cause of various travel related concerns.

However, the remainder of May is one of the best times for visiting Japan, as the vegetation has become lush, the temperatures are still comfortable and tourists spots tend to be pleasantly uncrowded. In Hokkaido, the progress of spring is delayed by about one month compared to Tokyo. At the other end of the country, in Okinawa, the rainy season (tsuyu) typically lasts from early May to mid June.

June

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
21 C (70 F)
12 C (54 F)
25%
20%
55%
50%
Tokyo
25 C (77 F)
19 C (66 F)
35%
45%
45%
25%
Takayama
26 C (79 F)
15 C (59 F)
30%
45%
55%
30%
Osaka
27 C (81 F)
20 C (68 F)
30%
45%
55%
35%
Fukuoka
27 C (81 F)
19 C (66 F)
25%
50%
55%
35%
Naha
29 C (84 F)
25 C (77 F)
45%
25%
40%
60%

From the beginning of June, the rainy season (tsuyu) visits most parts of Japan except Hokkaido. While it does not rain every day, the weather tends to be overcast and dreary. The duration and intensity of the rainy season can vary quite strongly from year to year.

Hot spring resorts like Hakone and the wooded temple mountain Koyasan are some places that can be quite attractive in rainy weather. Hokkaido is an attractive destination in June as it is least affected by the rainy season. Also, the weather in Okinawa takes a dramatic turn to the better after the end of the rainy season there in late June.

July

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
25 C (77 F)
17 C (63 F)
25%
25%
40%
45%
Tokyo
29 C (84 F)
23 C (73 F)
35%
30%
30%
40%
Takayama
29 C (84 F)
19 C (66 F)
55%
40%
35%
50%
Osaka
31 C (88 F)
24 C (75 F)
40%
25%
45%
60%
Fukuoka
31 C (88 F)
24 C (75 F)
40%
30%
40%
60%
Naha
31 C (88 F)
26 C (79 F)
25%
30%
80%
80%

The rainy season (tsuyu) typically ends in the first half of July. It is hot and humid in most of Japan, and just standing outdoors can make you sweat. The conditions are more comfortable in higher elevations and in Hokkaido, a highly popular destination among outdoor lovers during the summer months.

Many local festivals and fireworks are held. Mount Fuji is opened for climbing. Cormorant fishing can be observed. It is also a very good time of the year for beach holidays in Okinawa. With the summer school holidays from late July through August, domestic travel activity increases considerably.

August

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
26 C (79 F)
19 C (66 F)
25%
30%
50%
50%
Tokyo
31 C (88 F)
24 C (75 F)
25%
25%
55%
50%
Takayama
31 C (88 F)
20 C (68 F)
35%
35%
60%
60%
Osaka
33 C (91 F)
25 C (77 F)
20%
25%
70%
70%
Fukuoka
32 C (90 F)
25 C (77 F)
25%
30%
65%
60%
Naha
31 C (88 F)
26 C (79 F)
40%
35%
70%
75%

August is hot and humid in most of Japan. The conditions are more comfortable in higher elevations and in Hokkaido, a highly popular destination among outdoor lovers during the summer months. Many local festivals and fireworks are held in August. Travel activity is high during the entire month due to summer school holidays, but is especially intensive during the Obon week in mid August.

September

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
22 C (72 F)
14 C (57 F)
30%
35%
50%
55%
Tokyo
27 C (81 F)
21 C (70 F)
35%
40%
40%
35%
Takayama
26 C (79 F)
16 C (61 F)
40%
40%
45%
45%
Osaka
29 C (84 F)
21 C (70 F)
30%
35%
60%
50%
Fukuoka
28 C (82 F)
21 C (70 F)
35%
30%
55%
55%
Naha
30 C (86 F)
25 C (77 F)
35%
40%
70%
65%

The typhoon season reaches its peak in August and September. Typhoons usually hit the coasts of Okinawa, Kyushu and Shikoku and cause strong rain and wind in wide parts or all of Japan for about two days. Luckily, typhoons are often followed by perfectly clear weather. The weather in September can still be quite hot and humid, but the crowds of August have mostly disappeared.

October

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy/Snowy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
16 C (62 F)
7 C (45 F)
35%
40%
60%
50%
Tokyo
22 C (72 F)
15 C (59 F)
35%
30%
40%
55%
Takayama
20 C (68 F)
9 C (48 F)
35%
30%
45%
55%
Osaka
23 C (73 F)
15 C (59 F)
30%
25%
55%
65%
Fukuoka
23 C (73 F)
15 C (59 F)
20%
20%
60%
65%
Naha
28 C (82 F)
23 C (73 F)
25%
25%
65%
65%

October is one of the most pleasant months for traveling in Japan as the weather remains warm, but is not hot and humid anymore. Trees begin turning colors in the northern regions and higher elevations.

November

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy/Snowy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
8 C (46 F)
1 C (34 F)
45%
45%
40%
35%
Tokyo
17 C (63 F)
10 C (50 F)
25%
20%
55%
60%
Takayama
13 C (55 F)
2 C (36 F)
35%
35%
45%
40%
Osaka
17 C (63 F)
10 C (50 F)
20%
20%
60%
60%
Fukuoka
18 C (64 F)
10 C (50 F)
30%
25%
55%
50%
Naha
24 C (75 F)
20 C (68 F)
25%
30%
55%
45%

November is one of the best times to visit Japan, as the weather is relatively dry and mild, and the autumn colors are spectacular in many parts of the country. Travel activity tends to be low except around popular autumn leaf spots.

December

City
Average
Daytime High
Average
Nighttime Low
Rainy/Snowy Days
early month
late month
Sunny Days
early month
late month
Sapporo
2 C (36 F)
-4 C (25 F)
50%
50%
35%
35%
Tokyo
12 C (54 F)
5 C (41 F)
15%
10%
65%
75%
Takayama
6 C (43 F)
-2 C (28 F)
40%
40%
35%
35%
Osaka
12 C (54 F)
5 C (41 F)
20%
15%
65%
65%
Fukuoka
13 C (55 F)
5 C (41 F)
30%
25%
45%
45%
Naha
21 C (70 F)
16 C (61 F)
25%
30%
45%
40%

December is a good month for traveling thanks to generally dry weather conditions. Domestic travel activity remains low during the first half of December until the beginning of winter school holidays around December 23. The downsides of a visit in winter are the relatively short days (sunset is around 4:30pm in Tokyo) and the barren state of the vegetation. From around December 29 some tourist attractions close down for the New Year holidays. The ski season starts in December.

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