Japan Weather Guide
With a thin land mass extending from north to south, Japanese weather varies quite a bit, but there’s really not a bad time to visit Japan. Winter brings epic powder, spring brings cherry blossoms, Japanese gardens are pretty spectacular in autumn too, and summer heralds fun in the Land of the Rising Sun!
Season and Clothing
Summer: June to August
At the start of June, the rainy season kicks in all over the country, except Hokkaido. It doesn’t rain all the time, but the weather is pretty dreary. The rainy season ends mid-July when there’s many festivals and Mount Fuji is open for business. The temps all over the country are pretty warm - Sapporo ranges from 21 to 28 degrees Celsius, Tokyo is between 25 to 31 degrees Celsius and Naha (Okinawa) is a steamy 29 to 31 degrees Celsius. Dresses, shorts and tees with sandals or sneakers are good options during the summer months.
Autumn: September to November
In autumn, it’s time to moon gaze in Japan! If you’re in Kyoto at this time, you’ll see cute little displays of rabbits dressed in kimonos chasing the moon, placidly sitting by the moon and even making rice cakes (!). This is all because apparently if you look at the moon, you’ll see a rabbit. Star-gazing Rorschach test maybe? In September, typhoons often hit the Japanese coastlines, but overall the weather is pretty warm and lovely, with the temps cooling off in November. Sapporo ranges from 8 to 22 degrees Celsius, Tokyo averages 17 to 27 degrees Celsius and Naha (Okinawa) is around 24 to 30 degrees Celsius during this season.
Winter: December to February
It’s carve-up season! Come to Japan in winter to experience soft, glorious powder in the ski resort areas. December is a good to time to travel with the dry weather; however winter school holidays start at the end of the month, so things get a little busier on the slopes then. If you’re planning a ski holiday, shoot for mid-January - you’ll get wide, open runs every weekday, but the weekends get a little busier. Temps vary pretty considerably across Japan in winter. Sapporo daytime temps are around -1 degree Celsius, Tokyo is a chilly 10 degrees on average and Naha (Okinawa) is a lovely 19 degrees Celsius. If you’re out and about, thermals, gloves and hand warmers will keep you cosy.
Spring: March to May
Want to experience ‘postcard Japan’? Come in spring to see those ever-so-beautiful cherry blossoms in bloom. By April, they are in full bloom and the temps are very pleasant. In late April when Golden Week is held, things are particularly busy, so if you don’t like crowds and high room rates, give this week a miss. By the end of May, rainy season is starting in tropical Okinawa. The temps are pretty lovely all over during spring getting warmer as the season progresses. Tokyo springtime temps range from 13 to 23 degrees Celsius, Sapporo between 4 to 17 degrees Celsius and Naha (Okinawa) is a very pleasant 21 to 26 degrees Celsius average.