Recommended Seasons to Visit Japan

Japanese season

Recommended Seasons to Visit Japan

Japan is a country of stunning natural beauty, rich cultural traditions, and modern technology. Each season in Japan has its own unique charm, making it a great destination to visit year-round. In this article, we’ll explore the best seasons to visit Japan and what to expect during each season.

Spring (March-May)

Cherry Blossom Season

japanese cherry blossom

Spring in Japan is synonymous with cherry blossoms. These delicate pink flowers are the national flower of Japan, and their bloom marks the beginning of spring. Cherry blossoms usually bloom for only a week to ten days, making it a highly anticipated event in Japan.

During this time, locals and tourists alike engage in “Hanami,” or cherry blossom viewing, where they gather in parks and enjoy the blossoms. Ueno Park in Tokyo and the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto are popular cherry blossom viewing spots.

Traditional Festivals

Japanese yukata

Spring is also the season for traditional festivals, such as the Sanja Festival at Sensoji Temple in Tokyo and the Hanayashiki Hanami at Tennoji Zoo in Osaka. These festivals provide a glimpse into Japanese culture, with visitors having the chance to wear a kimono, a traditional Japanese costume.

The week-long vacation known as “Golden Week” also falls in spring, during which various events and festivals are held throughout the country, making it a fun time for tourists to visit.

Warm Weather

spring season weather

Spring in Japan brings warm weather, making it an excellent time to explore the country’s natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy the nature-rich areas like Furano in Hokkaido or the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Spring is also the season of new beginnings, with Japanese students holding entrance and graduation ceremonies to mark the start of a new chapter in their lives.

Summer (June-August)

Summer Festivals

summer season japan festival

Summer in Japan is known for its festive atmosphere, with summer festivals held throughout the country. These festivals are characterized by night stalls, food stands, and fireworks displays.

Notable summer festivals include the Shonan Coast Fireworks Festival in Kanagawa Prefecture and the Nagoya Port Summer Festival in Aichi Prefecture. The “Bon Odori” dance is also a prominent summer tradition, allowing locals and tourists to dance together and deepen their exchanges.

Sea Swimming

Okinawa beach
Okinawa Beach

In summer, visitors can enjoy swimming at Japan’s beaches, with Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture and Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture being among the most popular destinations. There are also easily accessible beaches from central Tokyo, like the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture and the Hitachi Coast in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Japanese beaches offer a wide variety of rental items, so visitors can travel light.

Mountain Summer Resorts

Mt. Fuji

Visiting one of Japan’s mountain summer resorts is an excellent way to get away from the heat and humidity of summer.

Japan has many mountains, including Asahidake in Hokkaido, Mount Tateshina in Nagano Prefecture, and Mount Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture, which offer cool breezes and outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and hot springs.

Autumn (September-November)

Autumn Leaves

Koyo season

Autumn in Japan is known for its stunning foliage, with trees changing colors and offering a picturesque view.

Famous places to enjoy autumn foliage include Arashiyama in Kyoto, Hibiya Park in Tokyo, and Todaiji Temple in Nara. Asahiyama Zoo in Asahikawa City, Hokkaido, offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy autumn leaves in the background of animals. Hiking and autumn leaf peeping are also recommended activities during this season.

Harvest festivals

harvest season

Autumn is also the season of harvest in Japan, with various festivals held throughout the country to celebrate the season.

Visitors can enjoy dishes made with local produce and experience traditional festivals, such as cherry picking in Yamagata Prefecture and the “Tokachi Hairy Crab Festival” in Hokkaido. Autumn is also the time for the release of new sake, a unique Japanese beverage that gives visitors a taste of the country’s culture.

Autumn is the Season of Appetite

autumn season vegetables

Autumn is also a great season to experience Japanese food culture, with many seasonal ingredients and delicious dishes to enjoy.

Chestnuts, autumn swordfish, and matsutake mushrooms are typical autumn ingredients that can be enjoyed in local dishes, allowing visitors to experience the flavors of Japanese cuisine. Autumn also hosts “food festivals” throughout Japan, attracting many foodies.

Winter (December-February)

Ski Resorts

Japanese ski

Winter in Japan is a great time to visit the country’s ski resorts, with many attracting skiers and snowboarders from around the world.

Famous ski resorts in Japan include Hakuba in Nagano Prefecture and Niseko in Hokkaido. Many ski resorts also have hot springs, known as onsen, where visitors can relax after a day on the slopes.


onsen season

In winter, visitors can also enjoy Japan’s hot springs, which are abundant due to the country’s volcanic nature. Hot springs are loved by many for their skin beautifying and relaxing effects, with the “yukimi-rotemburo” (open-air bath with a view of the snow) being a popular winter activity.

One-day trip bathing courses are also available at hot springs throughout Japan, making it easy for visitors to enjoy the experience.

Christmas Illuminations

Christmas season

Winter in Japan is also known for its beautiful Christmas illuminations, held in many cities, such as Roppongi in Tokyo and the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka.

Illuminations create a magical nighttime atmosphere, with Christmas markets and skating rinks also set up for visitors to enjoy with family and friends.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

oseti for new year
Oseti for new year

Winter is also a great time to experience Japanese New Year’s traditions. Families and relatives gather together during the year-end and New Year’s holidays to enjoy New Year’s dishes and visit shrines for Hatsumode.

Stores throughout Japan also sell “fukubukuro,” bags whose contents are a mystery, at a discounted price during the holidays. The year-end and New Year’s holidays are a special time in Japan, allowing visitors to experience the country’s unique culture.


Japan is a beautiful country that can be enjoyed year-round.

Each season offers its unique charm and experiences, from cherry blossom viewing in spring to winter sports and New Year’s traditions in winter. Whether you’re a foodie, outdoor enthusiast, or culture lover, Japan has something to offer everyone.

Where are the best hot springs in Japan?

There are many hot springs in Japan, but Hakone, Inawashiro, and Noboribetsu in Hokkaido are the most famous.

Where are the best ski resorts in Japan?

Niseko in Hokkaido, Hakuba in Nagano, and Kusatsu in Gunma are popular.

What festivals do you recommend in Japan?

Gion Festival in Kyoto, Tenjin Festival in Osaka, and Kurashiki Tenmangu Shrine Festival in Okayama are famous.

Where is the best place to view the autumn foliage in Japan?

Arashiyama in Kyoto, Hibiya Park in Tokyo, and Todaiji Temple in Nara are famous.

Which beaches do you recommend in Japan?

Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture, Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture, and Hitachi Beach in Ibaraki Prefecture are famous.