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Japan Tours and Life Style

The Ultimate Guide To Seasons In Japan

Japan is one of the best places to enjoy your holidays at. Generally, it has four seasons, just like all countries. But what sets apart these seasons are the cultural festivals that are associated with them.

Whether it is spring, summer, autumn, or winter, the Japanese festivals occur throughout the year. Each event signifies a different thing about the Japanese culture. Besides them, in Japan, two peak seasons also happen in between.

The peak seasons are called rainy and typhoon seasons. They both occur at different times of the year. If you wish to learn more about Japan and its seasons, we’ve got you covered. Here is the ultimate guide to seasons in Japan.

Spring Season

The weather during spring is glorious in Japan. There is a mix of cool and breezy days when the season begins. But as it progresses, sunny days become more frequent.

However, despite the warm weather, sometimes the nights can be chilly and cold. Not only that, but rain is abundant in some areas too during spring. That is why whenever you decide to go out in the country, be sure to check out the weather forecast.

Cherry Blossom

Spring seasons span from March to May. Northern areas like Hokkaido and Tohoku face colder weather than other regions. Meanwhile, you’ll find mountainous regions covered in snow during spring.

Kanto is one of the regions that people are most comfortable visiting in spring. That is because it has an average temperature of 19 degrees during the season. And along with rainy days, you will get to enjoy great sunny days too.

Things To Do In Spring

Spring is one of the busiest seasons in Japan. That is because after cold winters, finally, people can enjoy outdoor activities. Some people love to go hiking while many prefer to enjoy a day in the park. The highlight of the spring season is the fan-favorite Cherry Blossoms.

The flowers bloom from late March to April in Tokyo. Ueno Park and Shinjuku Gyoen are the two famous spots where you can experience cherry blossoms. But keep in mind that during weekends these locations get crowdy. The locals love the Cherry Blossoms with the same passion as tourists.

Holidays And Festivals During Spring

White Day is the first holiday of spring. It is celebrated on 14th March and is similar to Valentine’s Day. In Japanese culture, during Valentine’s, only women gift their significant halves. Meanwhile, on White Day, the men reciprocate by giving the ladies gifts.

On 20th March, a national holiday called Spring Equinox takes place. This is the day spring officially begins meteorologically. However, culturally the season starts with the onset of March.

One of the famous terms you’ll also see associated with spring in Japan is the Golden Week. This is a series of holidays that take place from late April to Mid-May. Many people consider this the Golden Week as the worst time to visit outdoors.

During the period following holidays take place:

  • Showa Day
  • Constitution Day
  • Midori Day
  • Children’s Day

The roads are busier than usual during the holidays. Besides that, this is the time when many locals travel too. Not only that, but prices also reach peak point during the Golden Week. In Japan, Children’s Day is the last holiday of spring.

What To Pack For Spring?

If you’re planning to visit the country in spring, be sure to pack for cold and warm conditions. That is because the spring weather is quite unpredictable and varies from region to region.

Rainy Season

rainy season japan

This is considered a peak season that spans from the end of May to mid-July. In Japanese, it is called Tsuyu and starts from the southern part of Japan. As time progresses, the seasons shift towards northern areas. One of the places that do not experience the rainy season in Hokkaido. The real summers begin right after Tsuyu ends.

Summer Season

Humidity, humidity, humidity! From June till late July, the constant thing you will experience in summers is humid weather. Although the temperature does not become extreme, humidity in Japan is relatively high, unlike most countries.

Summer season in Japan

However, the humid weather is not strong enough to dampen the spirit of summers. Many cultural and modern festivals take place during the season. Summers span from June to August, and another peak season called typhoon season is also experienced during it.

After July passes, the temperature rises to 35 degrees Celsius. And blue skies become standard for the rest of the season.

Things To Do In Summer

Summer is the season of humid weather as well as festivals in Japan. The events are not so common in June. However, from late July to August, many areas of the countries light up.

Besides that, the best way to beat the summer heat in Japan is by visiting beaches. The country has some of the most spectacular and clean beaches on the planet.

Holidays And Festivals During Summer

Various festivals take place across the country in summer. Many of them also coincide with magnificent fireworks. These are referred to as hanabi in Japanese. The word translates to fire flowers.

The Star or Tanabata Festival takes place on either 7th July or August. The date depends on the region of the country. In Tokyo, this event takes place in July and is one of the biggest festivals of the month. Meanwhile, the Tanabata occurs in August in Sendai and is the biggest festival in the region.

Some holidays such as Ocean Day and Mountain Day, also takes place during summers. Other major festivals include:

  • Shinjuku Eisa Festival – Tokyo
  • Gion Festival – Kyoto
  • Tenjin Festival – Osaka

The last event of the summers is Oban which is a Buddhist festival. It occurs in August to remember the ancestors that are no longer in this world.

What To Pack For Summer?

Light and breezy clothes are the suitable approaches to face summers in Japan. However, if you plan to visit the northern areas, be sure to pack some warm clothes. The climate there differs from the rest of the regions. Another thing to have with you on some days is an umbrella. Due to the rainy season, many areas face light showers too.

Typhoon Season

This is the second and last peak season of the year. It spans from July to September. Areas that experience this season face heavy rain and stormy winds. Sometimes the typhoon is destructive enough to paralyze all transportation methods.

Japan Typhoon Season

Typically, every year at least 25 typhoons hit Japan. However, Okinawa gets the most affected in the season. That is because southern parts of Japan face harsher typhoons than the rest.

Autumn Season

The onset of Autumn marks the end of the typhoon season. And from here onwards, the weather in Japan keeps getting better. The season spans from September to November.

Autumn is a break that many people in the country look forward to. The climate becomes cooler each week, and humidity fades away. The air also becomes drier and fresher as the season progresses.

During October and November, the climate of Tokyo is quite pleasant. The days are comfortable while the nights are brisk. This combination allows you to enjoy the metropolis at its best.

Autumn Season Japan

Okinawa is also comfortable during Autumn, with an average temperature ranging to 20 degrees Celsius. However, you should be wary of this place in early autumn because of the second peak season.

During Autumn, some of the best places to sightsee are the Nara prefecture, Kyoto prefecture, and Nikko city. Here you will see the sites in different tints. By November, the leaves change color from red to yellow. The phenomenon is quite spectacular in Japan.

Things To Do In Autumn

This is the season to turn off the AC and get back to outdoor activities. The crisp air and humidity-free weather make sightseeing a pleasure. Once the leaves begin to change their color, parks and mountainy areas become crowded.

In the mainland areas, tints of red, yellow, and brown take over the regions. This phenomenon lasts till early December, and you will get to see each place in a different light. That is why the Autumn season in Japan is well-loved by people all across the world.

The change and fall of maple tree leaves are considered the best part of the season. In Japanese, this is referred to as Momiji. Meanwhile, other leaves are given the general term koyo.

Holidays And Festivals In Autumn

The first autumn holiday in Japan is Respect For Aged Day that takes place on the third Monday of September. This is a national holiday in the country. The next holiday is called Autumnal Equinox. On this day, people visit the graves of their deceased family members.

In October, the first event is health and sports day. This takes place to celebrate fitness and health. Not only that but this day is a national holiday. The highlight of autumn in Japan is Halloween. Unlike most countries, Halloween is celebrated across the country throughout the month.

After that Culture Day is celebrated every year on 3rd November. And the last event of autumn is the Seven Five Three Day. On this day, the locals pray for the health of girls aged 3 and 7 and boys aged 3 and 5. However, this day is not considered a national holiday.

What To Pack For Autumn?

Just like spring, you should pack a set of warm and light clothing. In cities like Osaka and Tokyo, you can carry shorts and T-shirts. However, for cold nights you will require jackets and warm pants.

For Tohuko or Hokkaido, you should pack more warm clothes than light ones. Besides that, you should be ready to face snowfall in November.

Winter Season

Like most countries, the last season in Japan is winter. It spans from December to February. But since the country is vast, winter experience differs in every region. For example, in cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, the weather is mild, with rare snow and minimal rainfall.

The temperature can get very low in some regions. That is why you should make the most out of the few calm days of winters in Japan. The western and northern areas of the country suffer from harsh conditions. Many regions freeze and experience intense storms, blizzards, and rain.

Japan Winter Season

Most of the prefectures become covered in a blanket of snow and become a natural winter wonderland. However, there is one region that is best for you if you can’t tolerate cold. Okinawa has a moderate temperature in winters and offers a relaxing escape.

Things To Do In Winter

You may think that due to winter, the country slows down. But that is not the case. Despite the cold, the winter season is full of exhibitions, festivals, fireworks, and fun. Many displays in the country are covered in lights called illuminations.

In February, the Snow Festivals are a must-see. Of course, if you’re a fan of ice skating and skiing, you can visit the ski resorts. Many of them are opened during the season, and you can access them from the bullet train in Tokyo.

Holidays And Festivals In Winter

The primary holidays in Japan are during Christmas. However, the spirit of the holiday is different in this part of the world. In Japan, Christmas is celebrated by having KFC. Meanwhile, the largest event of the winter is New Years. Families get together and prepare for the celebrations together.

The next holiday takes place in January and is called coming of age day. On this day, people aged 20 years are recognized as adults. After that, the Sapporo Snow Festival and Hirosaki Snow Lantern Festival lift the spirits of people and tourists in February. Finally, the last holiday of winter is the emperor’s birthday.

What To Pack For Winter?

No matter which area you plan to travel to in winter, it is best to pack thick and warm clothing. For some regions, you will find the need to wear thermal underwear too.

Final Words

That was your ultimate guide to seasons in Japan. Whether you’re a tourist planning to visit Japan or a local planning a domestic trip, this is everything you need to know about the various seasons. Japan is beautiful throughout the year, and no matter which season you take a trip, there will always be festivals and events for you to enjoy.

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