Japan Weather Month by Month: Best Time to Visit

If you’re preparing your trip to Japan or you’re just curious about the country, you must know that Japan is one of those places where you’ll always be able to find something amazing to see at any time of the year. Some regions are best-known for their winter, others for their summer, but Japan is unique all year round.

Japan’s seasons

So, when should I visit Japan? Japan can be visited at any time of the year, but the weather is better during spring or autumn as temperatures are milder and sunny days are more present. For winter sports fans, winter season in Northern Japan is highly recommended. Summer is also an option, but the rain will be present too.

This means that for each season there’s a different part of Japan to visit. Want to know more about the weather in Japan each month? I’ll try to give you in the next paragraphs the essential information you’ll need to decide when to travel.

Japan in January

RegionCityTemp min
°F / °C
Temp max
°F / °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo19 °F
-7 °C
32 °F
0 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo37 °F
3 °C
48 °F
9 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa53 °F
12 °C
64 °F
18 °C

Weather: I’m not going to lie to you, but January is actually the coldest month of the year in Japan. However, the weather is usually sunny and dry, even if there’s no real dry season in Japan.

What to wear: Get the full winter package! It’s freezing almost everywhere, except if you’re going to the southern islands like Okinawa. So, if you’re not going to Okinawa, pack your warmest clothes like jersey, pants, knit coat, sweater, winter jacket… And most importantly, don’t forget about the accessories. Lined boots, scarf, wool hat, gloves and even earmuffs.

Is January a good time to visit Japan? January is a great month for skiing (specially in the North of Japan) and also to enjoy the hot springs (the famous Japanese onsen). There’s nothing better than an incredible hot bath surrounded by snow. It is also a good month to appreciate Mount Fuji’s landscape.

Here are some interesting things you can see/do in January:

Japan in February

RegionCityTemp min
°F / °C
Temp max
°F / °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo19 °F
-7 °C
34 °F
0 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo39 °F
4 °C
50 °F
10 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa59 °F
15 °C
68 °F
20 °C

Weather: February is pretty much like the month of January. Temperatures increase by two or three degrees, but there’s no great difference when compared to January. It is the perfect month for winter sports as this is the peak season in the Japanese Alps ski resorts.

What to wear: You should pick practically the same thing as for January, unless, of course, you’re going to Okinawa. But let’s assume that you’re going visit the mainland, like almost everybody, and Japan can be pretty cold during winter so be prepared.

Is February a good time to visit Japan? February is an extraordinary month to visit Japan… for Winter’s fans and for sightseeing Winter landscapes. It is also a good month to avoid crowds in the most important tourist spots.

Here are some interesting things you can see/do in February:

  • Go to Sapporo’s Snow Festival
  • Go to the Saidaji Hadaka Matsuri (Naked Man Festival) in Okayama
  • Go to the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival

Japan in March

RegionCityTemp min
°F / °C
Temp max
°F / °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo26 °F
-3 °C
41 °F
5 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo48 °F
9 °C
59 °F
15 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa62 °F
17 °C
71 °F
22 °C

Weather: In March the temperatures start to be OK almost everywhere. Even if it is cold in the north, I guess you can say that it is reasonably cold compared to the previous months. In general, you’ll still have more sunshine than precipitation everywhere, except in Okinawa.

What to wear: You can probably leave all the winter accessories at home, but keep the coat or at least a jumper in your luggage.

Is March a good time to visit Japan? March is one of the best months to visit Japan. Spring is coming and you start to have a relatively pleasant weather. With the arrival of Spring comes also the cherry blossom viewing. Meanwhile, in the north, it is still possible to enjoy the winter sports.

Here are some interesting things you can see/do in March:

  • The Hanatoro Festival in Kyoto
  • The Omizutori event in Nara
  • The beginning of cherry blossom season in the last ten days of the month

Japan in April

RegionCityTemp min
°F / °C
Temp max
°F / °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo35 °F
2 °C
52 °F
11 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo52 °F
11 °C
64 °F
18 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa66 °F
19 °C
75 °F
24 °C

Weather: Even if Japan is not what we can call a sunny country, in April you’ll probably have the best days. In the north, snow starts to melt on the lower grounds, while central Japan watches cherry blossoms at full bloom. Temperatures are pleasant during the day, but the evenings are still a bit cold. In Okinawa, where the temperatures are higher, beach resorts start to open.

What to wear: In April you can start thinking of traveling lightly. At least you won’t need real warm clothes like during the winter. You can easily get away with long sleeved shirts and light jackets. Also, if you plan going outside and explore Japan’s nature, which will be at its best in April, make sure you pack a good pair of sneakers.

Is April a good time to visit Japan? Yes, yes, yes! April is the perfect time to visit Japan. It definitely won’t get better than this. It’s the perfect mix of mild temperatures and the most beautiful landscapes. And as the sun will probably be present, you can simply enjoy a great time.

Here are some interesting things you can see/do in April:

  • Cherry blossom viewing
  • The Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival
  • The Takayama Spring Festival

Japan in May

RegionCityTemp min
°F / °C
Temp max
°F / °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo42 °F
6 °C
59 °F
15 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo57 °F
14 °C
71 °F
22 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa71 °F
22 °C
79 °F
26 °C

Weather: In May the temperatures continue to rise throughout Japan. In the north, the snow is over and there’s plenty of sunshine. It’s the perfect month for outdoor activities and landscape sightseeing. It is generally the sunniest month in the northern regions. In central regions, there’s still more sunshine than precipitation, while in the most southern regions, like Okinawa, the rainy season begins.

What to wear: With the arrival of comfortable temperatures, you can now start to pack some t-shirts and shorts, but you should also prepare some pants, long sleeves and a cardigan, specially if you’re staying in the main islands. And don’t forget a jumper for the evenings. If you’re headed to Okinawa, a rain coat and an umbrella might be a good idea.

Is May a good time to visit Japan? Spring is one of the best times to visit Japan, so yes, May is a good time to visit Japan. During May, you can visit almost every region with enjoyable temperatures, and we all know that temperature is a great argument to choose the best month 😉

Here are some interesting things you can see/do in May:

  • Visit the Ashikaga Flower Park
  • Watch the May sumo tournament in Tokyo
  • Enjoy the Sanja Matsuri (Festival)

Japan in June

RegionCityTemp min
°F/ °C
Temp max
°F/ °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo53 °F
12 °C
68 °F
20 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo68 °F
20 °C
77 °F
25 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa77 °F
25 °C
86 °F
30 °C

Weather: In June, the weather starts to get hot and humid (specially by the end of the month). With summer comes the rain and this concerns almost every region in Japan except the northernmost regions. In Hokkaido island, it is actually the driest month of the year with plenty of sunshine and not as hot as the rest of the country. It’s the perfect region if you want to escape heat and humidity. In Okinawa the rainy season continues, but it starts to calm down by the end of the month so you can enjoy the beach.

What to wear: Pack your summer clothes, the heat has arrived to Japan. It’s time to gather your t-shirts, shorts and swimwear (if you’re going to the beach). And prepare to get wet, unless you’re visiting the northern regions. This is one of the best months to show your beautiful umbrella to everyone. 🙂

Is June a good time to visit Japan? June is a great month to visit indoor places like art galleries, museums, or aquariums (see my previous article of 15 recommended zoos/aquariums in Japan for some ideas). If you want to escape the rain and be outside all the time, you have to go to Hokkaido.

Here are some interesting things you can see/do in June:

  • Visit a Maid Café in Akihabara
  • Try a karaoke
  • Enjoy the Hokkaido Shrine Festival
  • Visit some great aquariums

Japan in July

RegionCityTemp min
°F / °C
Temp max
°F / °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo62 °F
17 °C
75 °F
24 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo73 °F
23 °C
84 °F
29 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa79 °F
26 °C
88 °F
31 °C

Weather: In July, the rainy season ends, but it’s still very hot and humid. Like during June, the only way to escape is to go to the north (Hokkaido), where temperatures are more pleasant. On the other hand, in Okinawa, you’ll get maximum sunshine and minimal rainfall with high temperatures.

What to wear: Pack your light clothing. It is very hot in July, so you’ll need fresher clothes. Shorts and t-shirts for men, dresses, shorts and tops for women, that’s exactly what you’ll need.

Is July a good time to visit Japan? July is a good month to visit Japan, but you should either run away towards Hokkaido to avoid big heat and humidity, or go to Okinawa to enjoy the best beaches of Japan. Of course, you can also visit central Japan, but you should plan accordingly to avoid heat.

Here are some interesting things you can see/do in July:

  • Climb Mount Fuji
  • Visit Japan’s most beautiful beaches in Okinawa
  • Experience refreshing activities like kayaking or rafting

Japan in August

RegionCityTemp min
°F / °C
Temp max
°F / °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo62 °F
17 °C
77 °F
25 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo73 °F
23 °C
84 °F
29 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa79 °F
26 °C
88 °F
31 °C

Weather: August is the hottest month of the year with very high temperatures in some regions. High humidity levels make it hard to stay outside unless you’re visiting higher altitude places. August is pretty much like July, the only difference is the increased heat. In Okinawa, it’s the typhoon season’s peak with a great probability of strong winds.

What to wear: Like July, you should pick your fresher clothes.

Is August a good time to visit Japan? Unless you have no other choice, it’s better to choose another month for your travel. During August tourist spots will be crowded, it is really hot and humid outside and there’s a great chance of seeing a typhoon hit the coasts of Kyushu, Shikoku and Okinawa.

But if you really want to travel this month, here are some interesting things you can see/do in August:

  • Go to several fireworks festivals
  • Explore National Parks
  • Go to the Daimonji Festival in Kyoto

Japan in September

RegionCityTemp min
°F / °C
Temp max
°F / °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo52 °F
11 °C
70 °F
21 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo68 °F
20 °C
79 °F
26 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa75 °F
24 °C
84 °F
29 °C

Weather: September is the rainiest month in Tokyo, but also in Sapporo although the precipitation is always low compared to Tokyo. Even if the weather is largely good, it’s still the typhoon season so be prepared to a sudden change in weather. Temperatures are still high, specially in the beginning of the month.

What to wear: In September you will definitely need rain clothes and accessories. You won’t need warm clothes yet, but rain equipment isn’t a lust.

Is September a good time to visit Japan? With the end of summer vacations and the presence of high temperatures, September can be a great choice to enjoy late summer vacations with fewer crowds.

Here are some interesting things you can see/do in September:

  • The Kishiwada Danjiri Festival in Osaka
  • Fall colors in Hokkaido
  • Late beach vacations in the south

Japan in October

RegionCityTemp min
°F / °C
Temp max
°F / °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo44 °F
7 °C
62 °F
17 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo61 °F
16 °C
70 °F
21 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa71 °F
22 °C
80 °F
27 °C

Weather: Temperatures start to drop attaining some real comfortable levels, and the weather is not that humid anymore. Typhoon season is over and the sun returns, but there’s still a great chance of rain in Tokyo.

What to wear: With the decreasing temperature, you should start gathering your long sleeved shirt, pants and knit coat. You should also pack a jacket for those days when the sun decides to hide.

Is October a good time to visit Japan? October is another great month to travel everywhere in Japan. There’s a real taste of autumn in the air with some magnificent colors.

Here are some interesting things you can see/do in October:

  • The Takayama Autumn Festival
  • Halloween’s celebrations in Shibuya
  • Great autumn colors in the northern regions

Japan in November

RegionCityTemp min
°F / °C
Temp max
°F / °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo35 °F
2 °C
50 °F
10 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo50 °F
10 °C
61 °F
16 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa64 °F
18 °C
75 °F
24 °C

Weather: The fresh autumn days are here, but also a relatively dry and clear weather throughout Japan. The weather starts to turn chilly, mainly in the morning and evening.

What to wear: Things are starting to get serious so bring your sweaters. You might want to pack your winter coat, in particular if you’re headed to the north of Japan.

Is November a good time to visit Japan? Along with October, November is definitely the best autumn month to travel. You’re certain to find the vibrant colors of autumn foliage everywhere without effort.

Here are some interesting things you can see/do in November:

  • Autumn colors around Japan
  • The Sagamiko Illumillion in Kanagawa (illumination event)

Japan in December

RegionCityTemp min
°F / °C
Temp max
°F / °C
Northern
Japan
Sapporo23 °F
-5 °C
37 °F
3 °C
Central
Japan
Tokyo39 °F
4 °C
52 °F
11 °C
Southern
Japan
Okinawa59 °F
15 °C
68 °F
20 °C

Weather: December marks the beginning of winter as temperatures start to drop significantly. But it is also one of the driest month in most regions with sunny and short days.

What to wear: Bring your full winter package, unless you’re going to Okinawa which benefits from more pleasant temperatures. In Japan’s main islands, December is the beginning of winter so dress accordingly.

Is December a good time to visit Japan? December is a good month to visit thanks to the dry weather and fewer crowds in the first half of the month (before winter school holidays). If you love winter illuminations, you should unquestionably visit Japan in December.

Here are some interesting things you can see/do in December:

  • Ramen Expo in Osaka
  • The Nankinmachi Lantern Festival in Kobe
  • Winter illuminations almost everywhere

Conclusion

So the best month to visit Japan will depend on what you’re willing to visit and do in Japan. It will also depend on which part of the country you’re going.

In my opinion, if you’re going to see the natural beauty of Japan, spring and autumn are the best seasons. April is great for the cherry blossom viewing and, in October, nature shows its astonishing Fall colors.

If you’re willing to ski and enjoy the snow, head to Hokkaido Island in North Japan in February and don’t miss the Sapporo Snow Festival.

And if you prefer the heat and the summer festivals, you should definitely travel in July or August.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it truly helped you pick the right moment for your travel.

If you don’t really have a choice of the date you will be traveling because you travel on a budget or something else that doesn’t depend on your will, at least with this post you’ll know more or less what to expect from the weather 😉

Feel free to share your thoughts on Japan’s weather and leave a comment if you know some other interesting places to visit in a specific month.

See ya!

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