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Visit Japan 2012/11/25 20:27
If a person can afford to visit Japan only once in a lifetime, when is the best time to visit. Sakura April season or Autumn November season? I understand both are equally beautiful. Please advice. Thanks.
by neohks  

Re: Visit Japan 2012/11/25 22:27
In my opinion, it would be in spring. Sakura's fleetingness and ephemeral beauty is poignant on a philosophical level.

But since many agree with me, it gets too crowded.

I've gone twice in the spring one once in fall, apart from living there for two years. Fall is pretty good too!

by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Visit Japan 2012/11/26 02:51
Definitely spring. The sense of new beginnings is incredible. I will never forget walking through Tokyo seeing all the families heading to kindergarden & school entrance ceremonies BTW I thought I could only afford to visit once, I've now been 5 times :)
by Stan Norrell rate this post as useful

Re: Visit Japan in spring 2012/11/26 06:31
Spring time would probably be the best time to visit Japan.
....
But Autumn season is very good as well; you may have to save to go twice
by iwander (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Visit Japan 2012/12/11 23:44
Would be pleased to receive more feedbacks.Thanks to all who have given guidance.
by neohks rate this post as useful

... 2012/12/12 00:14
I prefer Autumn. Spring is really nice too of course, but I like the wider range of colours in Autumn.

I don't think you will be disappointed if you go at either of those times, and to be honest it can get very crowded so a little before Autumn or after the usual spring rush can be nice too, but if I could only go once I would go in late November-early December, and hopefully see the peak especially for Kyoto.

I guess you can read the entries from the past blogs and make your own comparison:-
http://www.japan-guide.com/blog/sakura12/
http://www.japan-guide.com/blog/koyo12/

http://www.japan-guide.com/blog/sakura11/
http://www.japan-guide.com/blog/koyo11/

http://www.japan-guide.com/blog/sakura10/
http://www.japan-guide.com/blog/koyo10/

etc.

Enjoy your trip!

Enjoy your trip!

by GC3 rate this post as useful

Re: Visit Japan 2012/12/12 01:01
I've been twice, once in spring and once in autumn. I prefer spring with the sakura because I get autumn colours here in Canada.
by snooch (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Visit Japan 2012/12/12 11:36
Why not Winter or Summer?

Summer is the season for climbing Mount Fuji and seeing the sunrise (goraikou) from the peak. Also fireworks festivals in Japan.

Winter is the season for snow activities, frozen waterfalls and a greater appreciation for onsens. Less tourist crowds at attractions too.

by simonality rate this post as useful

Re: Visit Japan 2012/12/12 12:54
If a person had a once in a lifetime visit to Japan, I would say late October -November just because the weather is more stable on the sunny side.

Statiscally, sunny days in April average is only 50% with 33% rainy days. November average for sunny days is 66% with only 21% rainy days.

That can make a difference on short term visits.

I agree that spring time has a much more magical feeling but it's difficult to time your visit to the cherry blossom time (they are here and then gone very quickly) so a lot of luck is involved in a spring trip.

by Harry Takeuchi rate this post as useful

Re: Visit Japan 2012/12/12 15:12
Spring and autumn are the most obvious choices but each season has its advantages and disadvantages.

Spring is of course nice for the cherry blossoms but the downside is that it's still cold and most of the other nature is still dead and ugly, because the cherry blossoms are one of the first to bloom (they bloom after the plum blossoms which are actually more vibrant).

Summer is humid and June/July is rainy season, but there are many good about summer as well. There are so many festivals in the summertime and all the nature is pristine and beautiful so if you visit gardens or other outdoor sites, they'll be at their best. There are also flowers blooming which makes things even better.

Autumn is of course nice for the leaves. Unlike spring, autumn also has the advantage that the gardens and nature still look nice because they haven't died yet. Plus, the colored leaves will enhance the nature where there are deciduous trees, assuming that you don't come too early/late to see them. It's also not too hot and not too cold.

Winter is probably the worst for sightseeing, simply because the nature and gardens are all dead and it's cold however, if you go north or to places along the San-in Coast, getting to see temples, shrines, gardens, etc. with snow is a really special treat! It's also considered to be the best time to visit onsen. Even though you cannot climb Mount Fuji, the clearest days tend to be in winter, so it's good for photographing the mountain. Obviously if you have an interest in skiing or other winter sports, that will add to the intrigue of winter. The Sapporo Snow Festival is also held in winter. (to be fair, there are festivals in all seasons at some point, but summer has the most by far and they tend to be larger in scale)

If we just rank seasons, I suppose autumn is my favorite because it has very few downsides but in terms of REAL experiences, it depends on what you do. For example, I cannot say that seeing autumn foliage in Kyoto is necessarily better than going to a major summer matsuri (Nebuta Matsuri, Awa Odori, etc.). I also couldn't say that seeing cherry blossoms is 'more Japanese' than going to a matsuri. All of these are equally authentic experiences and very worthwhile.

These things need to be taken into account. There are many experiences that do not change much regardless of season, so you just have to decide what experiences are most interesting to you.

by Rabbityama rate this post as useful

Re: Visit Japan 2012/12/13 01:04
This depends on your frame of reference. Every season has plusses and minuses - even winter has it's good points - It's the driest time of the year, and often has the cheapest flights. My last trip to Tokyo was in Febuary. The plum blossoms were awesome, and Tokyo was a lot greener than my hometown of Chicago. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2273.html
by ChicagoMike rate this post as useful

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