Japan has four distinct seasons:
Spring can be the most popular time to travel to Japan, between mid-March and late-April, due to temperate climate and fleeting cherry blossoms. There are many festivals and events during this time, celebrating Kyoto’s Miyako Odori.
Japan’s rainy season in June bring hot and humid weather through much of the country. Mid-July to late-August is the peak season for the Okinawa Islands seeing hotels busier and more expensive. Hokkaido is popular during the summer months for its pleasant weather, perfect for hiking and exploring the vast and spectacular scenery. The many summer festivals are a great occasion to experience the culture as the people dress in Yukata (summer Kimono), enjoy firework displays and eat festival street food. Summer is also ideal for relaxing in one of Japan’s many beer gardens, whether on a department store rooftop, or in a park. The O-bon festival falls in mid-August, with transport and hotels being busy and guided tours often do not operate. Typhoons tend to pass through Japan from late-August to late-September.
As the weather cools down and trees become vibrant colours of reds and yellows, Autumn is as popular time to visit Japan as Spring. Visiting some of the many Kyoto temples and shrines, Miyajima Island or national park regions such as Hakine and Nikko provide perfect locations for seeing the Autumn colours. In early October, the Formula One Grand Prix is help at Suzuka Circuit or Fuji Speedway, a popular event for motoring enthusiast, Kyoto’s Jidari Festival, tracing the relocation of the capital to Tokyo in 1868, is held on 22nd October annually.
In spite of its hot and humid summers, Japan also has cold snowy winters over a lot of country, particularly in Hokkaido, northern Honshu and the Japan Alps region. There are many ski resorts throughout Japan, catering for all levels of skiers and boarders, with some of the best powder snow in the world. Travelling during the winter months is quieter and if you are lucky to be there while snow is around, the temples and shrines look stunning. The season is perfect for relaxing in outdoor hot springs, in Nagano prefecture, the famous snow monkeys can be seen enjoying the hot springs themselves. Japanese cuisine, such as nabe, shabu-shabu or sukiyaki (variants of hot-pot dishes) is ideal to warm up after a day out sightseeing.
Any season in Japan offers something spectacular and different.