From the blossoming of cherry blossoms to the elegant dance of snow, Japan enjoys the four clear seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter with its numerous lively celebrations and colorful traditions. But the island nation takes it even further to divide its calendar into 72 different micro-seasons, all with their own unique subtleties. Be it when the warblers start chirping or camelias begin blooming, there is a poem and tradition to be had with each. Many culturally steeped activities such as tea ceremonies and traditional Japanese confectioneries reflect each one of these minute changes, making for an intricate experience each time. But even in general, it would not a be stretch at all to say that seasons dictate the Japanese way of life year round.
Widely considered the most beautiful season of Japan, spring is truly a season to begin the year off with. Enjoy the loving warm embrace of the sun as thousands of cherry blossom petals dance around you in a vivacious waltz. Hanami, or flower viewing, has long been an important activity of Japan and in earlier times was a ritual of spiritual cleansing. Now, it has become a cherished yearly tradition amongst friends and families in Japan to simply watch the gorgeous display of nature’s beauty together. Tokyo and Kyoto house some of the most famous and spectacular spots, but there are many hotspots around Japan to enjoy this tradition, so no matter where you are, there will be one nearby! But aside from cherry blossom viewing, there are also numerous festivals both local and wide that are all definitely worth participating in.
15~23 ℃ / 59~73 ℉ (Tokyo) 14~24 ℃ / 57~75 ℉ (Kyoto) 8~17 ℃ / 46~63 ℉ (Sapporo)
Warm but not too hot, with not much rain. Great for picnicking in the gardens.
It may be hot and humid, but don’t let that make you forget the most important part. It’s summer! That of course means all sorts of outdoor activities, travels, and festivities are ready and waiting for you in Japan. With plenty of mountains, spearheaded by the almighty and famous Mt. Fuji, Japan is absolutely perfect for those looking for an adventurous hike. But if mountains aren’t your thing, there’s always good old sightseeing. Take a leisurely stroll around the historic sights of Kyoto, or enjoy the lovely green of Hokkaido. And of course, join in on all the summer festivals and firework shows! Japanese festivals are truly unique, so don’t miss out on them. A particularly festive period in the summer is in the middle of August during the Obon period, a custom in which families pay their respects to their ancestors.
24~31 ℃ / 75~88 °F (Tokyo) 25~33 ℃ / 77~91 °F (Kyoto) 19~26 ℃ / 66~79 ℉ (Sapporo)
Rainy season for about 3 weeks from June to July. Becomes humid and hot after the rainy season until mid September.
The leaves change color once again, and another beautiful shade of Japan reveals itself. With the weather cooled down, hiking and other outdoor activities still present themselves as great options. But as the leaves turn a vivid spectrum of crimson, visiting all the historical landmarks or hotspots and seeing them dyed in autumn colors is simply an experience you cannot miss! Soaking in hot springs during this time is also a highly recommended experience that we suggest. If you are visiting Japan in the fall, Kyoto, Kamakura, and Takayama are all stellar choices for a relaxing weekend trip.
13~22 ℃ / 55~72 °F (Tokyo) 13~22 ℃ / 55~72 °F (Kyoto) 1~15 ℃ / 34~59 °F (Sapporo)
Perfectly clear sky are followed by the brief typhoon season in September. The weather is dry and mild.
The trees are empty and the weather cold, but winter in Japan is surprisingly full of life and joys. If you are an aficionado of snow and snow related activities, Hokkaido has it all for you. With beautiful fields of soft powdery snow, Hokkaido is home to numerous ski resorts and snow festivals. But if the cold northlands are not for you, Tokyo is lit up with dazzling illuminations throughout the winter. Regardless of where you are, stay warm with a nice hot pot and other delicious warm winter Japanese cuisines. If you happen to be passing the new year in Japan, consider participating in the unique experience of hatsumode, or the first shrine visit of the year, and having your luck divined. The weather may be dreary, but winter is still full of activity in Japan.
2~12 ℃ / 36~54 °F (Tokyo) 1~10 ℃ / 34~50 °F (Kyoto) -7~2 ℃ / 19~36 °F (Sapporo)
Dry and sunny. Snows heavily in the Northern part of Japan, but rarely for central to southern part of Japan including Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.