Mar 14, 2023



Travel Inspiration

The Best Months to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossoms & More

Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

Fora Travel

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The best months to visit Japan vary as much as the best places to stay in Japan. There are a million reasons to travel to Japan, so the best time to visit Japan depends on why you’re visiting.

Read on to discover the best months to visit Japan to see famous landmarks, enjoy great weather and more. 

Need help planning a trip to Japan? Book with Fora to unlock access to exclusive travel perks like property credits, complimentary breakfast, upgrades and more. We'll also help level up your trip with expert travel recommendations for the perfect Japan itinerary. 

The best months to visit Japan for the sights

What are the best months to visit Japan for cherry blossoms?

One of the most common questions we get asked about Japan is when to visit to see the cherry blossoms. The quick answer is spring, but it can also depend on where you’re visiting.

Southern Japan sees cherry blossoms bloom as early as late February, but as you travel up the coast, the blooms occur later in the year. In Kyoto, for example, the blooms usually don’t occur until March or even early April. In northern Japan, cherry blossoms may not bloom until late April or May. 

Broadly, the best months to visit Japan for cherry blossoms run between late winter and early summer. It just depends on your destination.

Don’t forget: Fora Advisors can help you decide where to stay in Kyoto, and plan your whole trip according to your preferences. Maybe you want to get off the beaten path in Kyoto or explore Kyoto’s traditional architecture? Your advisor will make sure your Kyoto travel itinerary lives up to those expectations.

Culturally, what’s the most important season in Japan?

There are actually three periods where domestic travel peaks in Japan. First, New Year’s, or Shogatsu, is extremely busy. Then both Obon, in mid-to-late summer, and Golden Week, in late April through early May, are similarly busy.

It’s highly recommended that if you plan on visiting during these times, you book with your advisor well in advance. The coolest hotels in Japan tend to raise their rates exponentially around these times.

Eager to visit Japan’s coolest cultural sites? Check out our Naoshima itinerary and guide on cultural exploration in Tokyo.

What’s the least crowded time to visit Japan?

Generally speaking, Japan is least busy in January (after New Year’s) and February, before the cherry blossoms bloom. However, this is also peak snow sports season, so northern Japan actually sees more tourism than usual. Check out our Niseko itinerary, if you’re curious.

Conversely, March and April are the busiest months to visit Japan, especially in major cities like Tokyo. For help traveling to Tokyo, connect with a Japan travel advisor and learn about the best places to stay in Tokyo as well as the best restaurants and things to do. Our beginner’s guide to Tokyo may also be of help. And of course, don’t forget to check out Tokyo’s coolest hotels.

The best months to visit Japan for great weather

Does Japan have four distinct seasons? What’s the best season to travel to Japan? 

Japan does indeed have four distinct seasons. While the exact nature of each season loosely depends on the region, spring is generally the best month to visit Japan for good weather. 

Summer in Japan gets very hot and humid. Fall is also fairly temperate, and the autumn leaf changes present a fun contrast to spring’s cherry blossoms. Winter in Japan ranges from chilly and dry in southern Japan to frigid, with plenty of snow, in northern Japan.

What are the warmest / coldest months in Japan?

June, July and August are Japan’s hottest months, while December and January are the country’s coldest months.

Connect with Fora for more details.

Is Japan rainy? Does it ever snow in Japan?

The rainy season in Japan lasts from late May through mid-June or July. Snow is fairly regular in Japan’s mountainous regions, and common in the northern region from late November through January.

When is Japan most beautiful? Is Japan pretty in winter?

Japan is a gorgeous country year round. Even in winter, a bevy of festivals brightens up Japan’s snowy northern region.

Connect with Fora to plan and book your trip. And if this will be your first time in Japan, check out our Japan first-timers’ guide.

The best months to visit Japan on a budget

What’s the most expensive month to go to Japan? What’s the cheapest month to travel to Japan?

The best months to visit Japan on a budget are January, early February and the fall months after September. Book with Fora, and we'll always make sure you get the best value for your money.

Is there an overall “best time to visit Japan?”

Not exactly. Japan remains beautiful and exciting even in its “off-season,” which we’d argue doesn’t really exist. 

Whether you’re heading to see the cherry blossoms, spend time in the major cities, or trek to one of the more unique places to visit in Japan, the best months to visit Japan simply depend on your preferences.

Let Fora help you decide the best months to visit Japan for your best experience

Frankly, there’s no “bad time” to travel to Japan.

After all, the best months to visit Japan are ultimately the same as the best months to visit Utah, Puerto Rico or anywhere else: they’re the months that work best for your schedule. 

Book your trip with Fora, and we'll make sure your preferences and expectations are met.

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