Planning a trip to Japan can be overwhelming. With so many regions and seasons, writing an itinerary seems impossible! But don't worry, this video and article will give you the skinny on the best times to visit this exceptional country.
Your first daunting decision is choosing which season you'll visit in. Similar to the New England area in the U.S.A., the seasons of Japan occur as follows:
Winter: December to February
Spring: March to May
Summer: June to August
Fall: September to November
Each season provides different opportunities, prices and times to avoid!
Although cold, winter in Japan offers a lot to visitors. Winter sports in Japan, such as skiing, snowboarding and ice skating are very popular! The views of winter in Japan are stunning. A cottagey winter wonderland reminiscent of the North Pole can be found in the village of Shirakawago. A Polar Express type ride can be taken on a train through the Tadami Line operated by East Japan Railway Company. Also, unique activities such as the Sapporo Snow Festival and a visit to see the Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani Yaenkoen Park can be experienced in Japan's winter season as well!
Spring is the most well-known of Japan's seasons. The famous cherry blossom trees draw visitors world wide. These iconic pink buds are in full bloom from the end of March to the beginning of April. But beware, around this time is also Japan's busiest and most touristy week. This week, called the Golden Week, refers to Japan's largest tourist influx, April 29th to May 6th. Not only is it crowded, but many popular sites are actually closed due to public holidays that fall during this week. Plus, plane tickets, lodging and more are pricier and harder to book during this time.
Summer is when my fiancé and I visited Tokyo, Japan! We had a blast! The main benefit of going to Japan in the summer is all the free summer activities and festivals. We were only in Tokyo in August for two weeks, but in that time we got to attend three free festivals: the Hachioji Festival, Obon Dance Festival and Fukagawa Festival, all of which were awesome! One downside to visiting Japan in the summer is that it's very hot. In most of my Totally Tokyo videos you can see the sweat on my brow from temperatures rising to 100 degrees Fahrenheit! However, there is one month in the summer that does not follow this pattern: the month of June is one of Japan's rainy seasons.
The other rainy season in Japan is in September, which is during Japan's autumn. Besides September, fall in Japan is another great time to visit! Like the winter season, Japan's autumn mirrors the New England area of the U.S.A with gorgeous fall foliage and crisp weather! Popular fall activities from around the world also occur in Japan, such as Oktoberfest and Halloween! All this with cheaper flights make fall an attractive traveling choice as well!
But which season is the BEST to visit Japan? That all depends on your personal preferences and desired activities! For my fiancé and I, the choice was made based on where we were on our two year long backpacking trip around Asia/Southeast Asia! Our journey was almost complete and we wanted to end it with a bang! We took a direct flight from to Tokyo and the rest is history!
But for those deciding and planning their Japan adventures from their home countries ask yourself these questions: Which type of weather is my favorite? What type of activities do I most want to do? and What's my budget? Discuss these with your travel partner or family before planning the itinerary that's perfect for you!
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