When to Go & When Not to Go to Japan.
Like all destinations, there are better and worse times of the year for travel. In Japan, there are definitive times of the year when not to go and a wider suggestion of times of the year when you must visit.
Best Times of the Year to Visit Japan
Fall, Winter & Spring
Japan is gorgeous all year round and most pleasant for travel during fall, winter, and spring months.
In the fall, temperatures have finally cooled from the hot summer months. Best of all, the trees all around the country beautifully transform colors from green to deep red, orange, and yellow. While most foreigners travel for spring cherry blossoms, locals explore the country’s gorgeous autumn leaves.
Winter does admittedly bring intense cold and snow throughout the country, especially up north. However with proper jackets, layering, and Heattech, ski-lovers delight in Hokkaido’s slopes while those in the city enjoy the shining bright lights of the winter illuminations only seen during December through February months.
Spring is the month popular time of the year for foreign travelers to travel to Japan because of the country’s cherry blossoms. By April, the weather significantly warms up from the winter making it easier to spend time outside enjoying the gorgeous pinks and white flowers from the cherry blossom trees.
If food is your purpose for travel to Japan, perhaps this list of seasonal foods will inspire when you will visit the country: Best Seasonal Foods & Ingredients in Japan
Worst Times of the Year to Visit Japan
The absolute worst time of the year for tourists to visit Japan is during Golden Week, the country’s national holiday week commemorating the Emperors’ birthdays and the country’s citizens.
This is the one holiday of the year that offices actually close and employees actually take time off. As a result, hotels are sold out all around the country inspire of the higher nightly rates and local attractions are packed like sardines – these are the two reasons why you should not travel during Golden Week.
The dates of the holidays are April 29, May 3, May 4, and May 5. Each year’s holiday varies according to the calendar in order to create a long weekend.
For 2019, Golden Week is scheduled from Saturday, April 27 through Monday, May 6. (This is an unprecedented 10-day holiday as a result of the current Emperor’s abdication on April 30 and the new Emperor’s ascension to the throne on May 1.)
For 2020, Golden Week will have its one-day holiday on April 29 and then a 5-day weekend from Saturday, May 2 through Wednesday, May 6.
Most families travel when their children have vacation time away from school. For most countries, that is around June, July, and/or August.
Unfortunately, in Japan, summer is an unpleasant time of the year to travel because of the extreme weather during the summer months.
The country’s official rainy season begins in June. Rainy season in Asia means the start of the occasional typhoon. The typical forecast for the month is warm-to-hot and overcast-to-dreary.
July and August bring the uncomfortable heat and humidity, with temperatures in the 90s to 100s. And when it’s not crazy hot, there are the waves of torrential downpour from the typhoons and storms.
If intensely hot temperatures are not for you, avoid traveling to Japan during summer months. However, if this is the only time of the year you can travel or you are going to a specific event, then be prepared for the heat and rains.
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