4 Season of Japan
If you like to think ahead, we've prepared month-by-month guides to the climate and seasonal highlights for major tourist destinations in Japan. Check them out for info about exactly what to expect, what clothes to pack, and what to do to make the most of the season!
Best Time to Travel in Japan (4 Season)
Cherry Blossom Season: March – April
- Spring in Japan is synonymous with cherry blossoms, which bloom all over the country around April each year. This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful times to visit Japan, and the sight of Japan’s cities and parks tinted in shades of pink draws visitors from all over the world.
Cherry trees only bloom for around two weeks, with the much-anticipated full bloom period lasting as little as a few days. However, because of Japan's varied climate, the trees bloom in a wave through the country over the course of around a month. To ensure you’re timing your trip just right to see the trees in full bloom, it’s best to check our cherry blossom forecast (yes, Japan forecasts the cherry blossoms!). Also be aware that popular tourist areas like Tokyo and Kyoto can get very busy during this period, so book your accommodation and other tickets well ahead if you can. To avoid the worst of the crowds, you can also check out our roundups of little-known cherry blossom spots in Tokyo and Kyoto.
If you can’t catch the cherry blossoms, spring in Japan has plenty of other flowers and scenery to offer. Plum blossoms are in bloom around February and March, while wisterias, tulips, roses, and nemophila bloom around April and May. While these flowers aren’t quite as prevalent as cherry blossoms, we're confident there will be more than enough beautiful flower fields, gardens, and parks to satisfy you!
Festival Season: June – August
- If you’re interested in Japan’s matsuri (festival) culture, summer is the best time to visit. Japan’s “big three” festivals are the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto (July), Kanda Festival in Tokyo (May), and Tenjin Festival in Osaka (July), but festivals are held throughout the country in the summer months. Japanese matsuri are important religious and cultural events, often with public performances like parades and dances to enjoy. The festive atmosphere, chance to dress up in summer robes called "yukata", and festival food and games are another highlight, particularly if you’re visiting with kids. To learn more about Japan's matsuri culture and when the dates fall, read our comprehensive guide to festivals in all 47 of Japan's prefectures!
Summer is also an amazing time for fireworks! Many of Japan's top firework shows usually happen during the summer months, drawing in spectators from all over Japan and even abroad. Some are so popular that you need to reserve the best viewing spots well in advance! Food stalls will often be set up near popular spectating spots, so even if you choose not to attend a festival, you can always have your fill of Japanese festival food at a firework show.
Of course, since Japan is an island country, summer is also a great time to visit its many coastal resorts and islands. Visitors flock to Okinawa in the south and the Seto Inland Sea area in the summer to soak up some sun and scenery. In Japan, many beaches are closed for swimming and surfing outside the summer months,