Japan is a popular travel destination for Aussies for a variety of reasons. It’s accessible by a number of convenient flight paths, but it also offers something for everyone, no matter what your interests are. Food, shopping, history, culture, nature – there really is something for everyone in Japan, no matter whether you’re travelling solo or as a group.
If you’re planning to travel to Japan from Australia, it’s worth considering when the best time to travel is. The four seasons in Japan are vastly different from one another, meaning there are sights and activities that are available only during part of the year. Read on to discover when the best time is to travel to Japan from Australia.
Summer – Natsu
Summer in most parts of Japan can be hot and humid. After a chilly winter, the long, hot days of summer are a welcome reprieve. For many parts of Japan, the countryside seems to erupt with greenery, and you’ll hear the sound of cicadas almost everywhere you go. A Japan travel holiday in summer could be just what you need to escape a cold Australian winter. Here are a few ideas of what you can do in summer in Japan.
- Explore nature
Japan in summer means lots and lots of greenery. And while most of the country sees hot and humid weather, Hokkaido’s summers are a lot less muggy. This means it’s a great time to get outdoors and surround yourself with nature in the northernmost part of Japan.
- Treat yourself to kawadoko dining
This is a special activity that you can only participate in during the warmer months. To help patrons cool down during hot summer days and nights, restaurants in Kyoto and Kibune will build temporary platforms over the river. Diners can sit on these platforms and enjoy a meal while the cooling river waters flow beneath them. Many restaurants, particularly those in Kibune, offer traditional kaiseki ryori meals (multi-course meals served on small plates), which can be a unique experience for tourists on its own.(Video) When to Travel to Japan | japan-guide.com
- Enjoy a Japanese festival
Summer is festival season! And that means there are plenty of lively traditional festivals (matsuri) you can watch all around the country. Some of the biggest and most anticipated summer festivals in Japan include Gion Festival in Kyoto, Tenjin Matsuri in Osaka, Nebuta Matsuri in Aomori and Tanabata Matsuri in Sendai.
- Relax on a beach
When you think of a Japan holiday, your first thoughts may not be of tropical beaches. But if you travel down to Okinawa, you can enjoy just that. Whether you’re after a resort-style holiday or want to get away from the crowds for some peace and solitude, there is no shortage of beautiful beaches in Okinawa.
Autumn – Aki
For Australians, the view of an entire mountainside coloured with the yellow, orange and red of autumn leaves can be a truly beautiful sight, and something we don’t often get to experience at home.
Autumn can also be a good time to travel to Japan from Australia as the weather has started to cool down during the day, so you can avoid summer’s humidity if you don’t deal well with the heat. However, the nights can be a little chilly, especially in the mountains. Here are a few things to do in autumn in Japan.
- Enjoy special autumn delicacies
There are a number of special seasonal foods available in autumn that you just can’t get at any other time of year. This includes momiji tempura and matsutake mushrooms. You’ll also find stalls everywhere selling fresh, hot, roasted sweet potatoes. You’ll be able to find these stalls by following the delicious scent wafting on the breeze.(Video) The Best Time to Travel to Japan: Low to High Season | Japan Travel Guide
- See spectacular autumn colours
There is no shortage of photogenic spots in Japan where you can find gorgeous autumn colours (koyo). Some of the best spots can be found in Kyoto, including Tofukuji Temple, Kiyomizudera Temple and Arashiyama. But you’ll find spectacular koyo almost everywhere you go, with Nikko, Miyajima and Lake Kawaguchi offering some really great views, too. This is the best time of year to also see spectacular golden gingko leaves throughout Japan, with Meiji-jingu shrine in Tokyo hosting its very own gingko festival.
- Go for a hike
As the weather in autumn is generally less humid compared to summer, it’s a great time to go for a hike. Japan has no shortage of hiking trails for all levels of walkers, and some of the trails you can find have been used for hundreds of years. The Yamanobe-no-michi Trail in Nara is the oldest road mentioned in Japanese records, and it offers travellers a serene and accessible walk through rural countryside. For hikers after more of a challenge, there is the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails, which have been in use for more than one thousand years.
- Celebrate Halloween
Autumn is Halloween season in Japan, and Halloween is BIG in Japan. Everywhere you go in October, you’ll find spooky decorations as well as items and food you can buy – everything from themed tourist souvenirs to Halloween-inspired donuts and treats.
Winter – Fuyu
The seasons in Japan are vastly different from one another. In winter, the weather can become exceptionally cold and snow covers many parts of the country. But even if you’re not a snow bunny, there are still plenty of reasons why you should consider travelling to Japan in winter. For one, you’ll find that there are fewer tourists during this time of year, meaning queues for attractions are shorter and you can capture fabulous photos without worrying about photo bombers. Here are just some of the fun things you can do in winter in Japan.
- Hit the powder
Japan has some of the world’s greatest ski resorts and boasts some of the best powder. So if you’re a skier or snowboarder, make sure you visit during the winter to take advantage of Japan’s incredible ski resorts. Some of the most popular ski resorts include Niseko and Rusutsu in Hokkaido, and Hakuba Happo-One and Nozawa Onsen in Nagano.(Video) Japan's Travel Has Changed | NEED To Know Rules
- Take a traditional open-air bath
Is there anything more relaxing than a hot bath on a cold night? An onsen is a traditional Japanese bath that uses water naturally heated by hot springs. Some onsen may also offer a combination of indoor and outdoor bathing.
Some of the best hot springs can be found in Hakkone, Nikko, Noboribetsu and Beppu. While you can find traditional hotels (ryokan) that offer private baths, most onsen are either public or for use by guests of the hotel. While they are separated into male and female bathing, there are no swimsuits allowed, so be prepared to strip down.
- Get a hot drink from a vending machine
There are more than 4 million vending machines in Japan. And for Australian tourists in Japan, they can offer a special kind of novelty. In the warmer months, the vending machines primarily dispense cold drinks. But in winter, you also have the option to select hot canned drinks including hot chocolate, hot coffee and hot red bean while you’re out and about. This is a great way to warm up on a cold winter day!
- Be dazzled by winter illuminations
During winter, many areas in Japan will decorate leafless trees and buildings with fantastic lighting displays. There are also various special events and festivals around the country, some of which are on a grand scale that must be seen to be believed – such as the Ashigaka Flower Fantasy in Tochigi and the Nabana no Sato in Nagoya.
Spring – Haru
Spring really is a fantastic time to travel in Japan, as the weather is usually mild and you’ll have the chance to see some truly beautiful scenery as spring flowers and cherry blossoms bloom. And while this season in Japan can draw big crowds, it can be worth it for the chance to see Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. Planning ahead can also help you avoid the larger crowds, so make sure you come prepared. Here are some of the best things you can do in spring in Japan.
- Celebrate cherry blossom season
The best thing about spring in Japan has got to be cherry blossoms (sakura)! During hanami (flower viewing) season in Japan, people flock to local parks to enjoy the cherry blossoms and to have outdoor picnics. Some of the most picturesque places to see cherry blossoms in Japan include Hirosaki Castle in Hirosaki, the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto and Expo 70 Park in Osaka, home to more than 5000 cherry blossom trees.
- See more than cherry blossoms
While cherry blossoms are the undisputed crown jewel of spring in Japan, there are plenty of other types of flowers that begin to bloom once the weather warms up. Remember how we mentioned Japan’s winter illuminations? While some gardens look undeniably wonderful lit up by winter illuminations, they also look spectacular when their gardens are in full bloom. Some of Japan’s most beautiful flower gardens include Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi, Kawachi Wisteria Garden in Fukuoka and Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park in Hokkaido.
- Gaze in awe at Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji (Fujisan) is a splendour to look at any time of year, but especially so in spring. With cherry blossoms blooming and plenty of winter’s snow left on the mountain, Fujisan looks particularly stunning during spring. You can also enjoy the Fuji Shibazakura Festival from around mid-April to late May, where fields of pink moss cover the ground and Fujisan can be seen in the background on a clear day.
- Visit the Tateyama Alpine Route
This is a very special seasonal activity for travellers to Japan, as the Alpine Route is closed between December and April. Visiting the Tateyama Alpine Route in spring, rather than summer, means that the snow won’t have completely melted and you’ll still have the chance to see the great snow wall.
Has this article inspired you to travel to Japan?
With Japan’s borders expected to open up soon to tourists and many other countries already welcoming Australian travellers, it’s not surprising that so many of us have got travel on our minds right now. We hope this blog has inspired you to start planning your next overseas holiday to Japan and helped you decide when you’d like to go.
What time of year is cheapest to go to Japan? ›
Cheapest Time to Visit Japan
What is this? If you want to see the beauty of Japan on a budget, the winter months of December through February will be your best bet. Though Japan is no less scenic during the winter season, you can avoid the popular tourist waves of spring and fall by traveling during the cold.
October is probably one of the most recommended and popular times to visit Japan. There is a noticeable drop in temperature, with an average temperature in the 60s (°F). October has mild weather patterns in comparison to the recent months and brings drier and crisper air.What month has the best weather in Japan? ›
The best time to visit Japan is spring (March & April) or autumn (October & November), when days are sunny and dry. During the summer months (May to September), the cities are hot and humid, with heavy rainfall occurring across the country in June & July, except for Hokkaido.Why April is the best time to visit Japan? ›
Besides autumn, April is often considered the best time to visit Japan because the cherry blossom are in bloom and the weather is pleasantly mild.What is the most expensive month to fly to Japan? ›
Book at least 3 weeks before departure in order to get a below-average price. High season is considered to be January, November and December. The cheapest month to fly from the United States is February.How much should I budget for a 2 week trip to Japan? ›
The estimated total cost for 2 weeks in Japan is ¥790,000 ($5450) for 2 people. This works out to ¥28,300 ($195) per person per day, and it includes flights, accommodation, transportation, food, activities, souvenirs, and other small expenses.How long should my first trip to Japan be? ›
Ten days is enough for a first timer, but you could easily stretch this itinerary to two weeks in Japan if you have a few extra days, or skip one or two places if you only have a week there. Mad, mind-boggling, and futuristic are all words that come to mind when I think of our 10-day trip to Japan.How cold is Japan in October? ›
Fall Weather and Temperatures in Japan
In October, afternoon temperatures range from 19ºC to 23ºC (66°F to 73°F), and morning temperatures tend to be around 14ºC to 18ºC (57°F to 64°F).
Temperatures are quite high, but generally cooler than sweltering July and August. Average September highs in the major cities of Honshu and Kyushu (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka) are around 81-84° F (27-29° C). Lows are around 70° F (20° C), which means it stays pretty warm overnight.How many days do you need for Japan? ›
Ideally, how long for a trip to Japan ? We recommend a minimum of 2 weeks to discover the Japanese archipelago. This is the minimum travel time in Japan to have time to visit Tokyo, Kyoto and their surroundings. For this, we advise you to spend a minimum of 6 nights in Tokyo and 6 nights in the Kyoto region .
What month is Japan coldest? ›
The warmest month is August, when temperatures hover around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius), while the coldest month is January, averaging just 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius).What is the rainiest month in Japan? ›
Rainy Season (Tsuyu)
|Kanto (incl. Tokyo)||June 8||July 20|
|Northern Tohoku||June 12||July 27|
Typically, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday is the cheapest day to fly.How cold is Japan in April? ›
April is a pleasant month with warm temperatures throughout Japan. The high average temperature can go up to 19°C (66°F), and the lowest averages 10°C (50°F) in the morning and at night. The average monthly rainfall is about 110 mm (4 inches).What is a good time of year to visit Japan? ›
The best time to visit Japan is during spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). This is when Japan is at its most vibrant, with delicate cherry blossom or bright red leaves adding contrast to the scenery. Remember, it can also be very crowded at this time.How much should I budget for a trip to Japan? ›
|Single Traveler||Two Travelers|
|Low Budget||3,500 - 7,800 yen||7,000 - 15,600 yen|
|Medium Budget||8,800 - 18,500 yen||13,600 - 28,000 yen|
|High Budget||over 18,500 yen||over 28,000 yen|
Roundtrip prices range from $605 - $605, and one-ways to Tokyo start as low as $287.Where is it cheapest to fly to in Japan? ›
What's the cheapest airport to fly to in Japan? The cheapest airport in Japan is Tokyo Haneda – we've found flights from $167.How much is 7 days Japan tour package? ›
|Japan Tour Packages||No. of Nigts / Days||Price*|
|Japan - Cherry Blossom||7 Nights/ 8 Days||Rs. 2 72 570|
|Cherry Blossom From Osaka||7 Nights/ 8 Days||Rs. 2 83 300|
|Cherry Blossom - Japan With Korea||11 Nights/ 12 Days||Rs. 3 75 535|
|Cherry Blossom - South Korea With Japan||11 Nights/ 12 Days||Rs. 3 75 535|
Credit, debit and prepaid cards of international brands are generally accepted throughout the country. There will be instances where stores may not display the symbols of the cards they accept, so ask the salesperson if you can use your card.
Do I need a visa to go to Japan? ›
Currently, tourists with U.S. passports do not need visas for short-term visits (up to three months). Passengers who have been fully vaccinated and boosted with vaccines approved by the Japanese government and who are arriving in Japan after October 11, 2022, will not require a pre-travel COVID-19 test.How much money do you need to spend a month in Japan? ›
The average traveler in Japan spends about 115 € ($ 135) per day. If you are a backpacker or on a small budget, you usually spend between 45 and 50 € ($ 53 – 60) per day. We even managed to stay under 40 € ($ 47) per day on our trip.How should I dress in Japan? ›
Try to wear neat and well-maintained clothing, and keep yourself well-groomed. For example, holes in socks are a big no-no, because you spend lots of time without shoes on – visiting temples, shrines and traditional restaurants etc. Shorts, jeans, and even camisoles are perfectly fine to wear.How much does a 1 week vacation in Japan cost? ›
The average price of a 7-day trip to Japan is $1,659 for a solo traveler, $2,690 for a couple, and $1,913 for a family of 4. Japan hotels range from $62 to $304 per night with an average of $105, while most vacation rentals will cost $140 to $520 per night for the entire home.What clothes to pack for Japan in October? ›
In October, long-sleeved shirts or lightweight sweaters are ideal for sunny afternoons. For chillier days, a light coat will keep you cozy and comfortable. Dresses and skirts are definitely doable, but it's a good idea to pack a pair of stockings just in case the temperatures drop.Should I go to Japan in October or November? ›
October is, arguably, the best month to travel to Japan (although this will depend on what you want to experience!). Temperatures in most places are still warm, but the intense humidity and increased rainfall of summer has subsided. Autumn leaves begin appearing at higher elevations and more northern latitudes.What is off season in Japan? ›
The low Japanese seasons are the two months of summer, and particularly the months of December, January and February. Winter is undoubtedly the least-visited season of the year for tourists.Is Japan hot in October? ›
Japan Weather In October
October is one of the most pleasant months to visit Japan. As the typhoon season ends, the weather in Japan in October is moderate (neither hot nor humid) and comfortable. Average daytime temperature in October hovers around 15 °C.
Whilst temperatures in Tokyo, Kyoto and across most of Honshu remain high in September (avg temp: 23-25°C), days can be punctuated with intense periods of rainfall driven by the typhoons that hit the southern islands during the month. Infact, September is the wettest month of the year in Tokyo.Is Japan beautiful in September? ›
It is a beautiful country to visit any time and every time. Interestingly, it never seems to lack the wonders to see and things to do when exploring this beautiful country. If you are visiting Japan in September then you are definitely in for a treat. Since it will be an autumn month at that time of the year.
What is the best city to stay in Japan? ›
- 1 Tokyo.
- 2 Kyoto.
- 3 Osaka.
- 4 Yokohama.
- 5 Nagoya.
- 6 Kobe.
- 7 Fukuoka.
- 8 Hiroshima.
Japan has maintained fairly strict border control since the pandemic began however as of October 11th, 2022, all COVID restrictions and border controls have been lifted. This is good news for travelers like you hoping to travel to Japan at the end of 2022!What is the rainiest month in Tokyo? ›
Monthly rainfall in Tokyo 2022
In 2022, the precipitation in the Japanese capital Tokyo was highest in September, reaching 310 millimeters. The majority of rain fell during the rainy season, which usually lasts from early June to mid-July, while December and January represented the months with the lowest rainfall.
The traditional snow season in Japan coincides with the start of winter so you can expect to see snow on the ground from mid-December onwards. The snow season lasts about three months but can often extend into March and early April, meaning there's plenty of time to enjoy this country's beautiful white landscapes.What months are Japan snow season? ›
Japan's snow season typically begins in mid- to-late December, just before Christmas, and continues through late March or early April. This will vary from resort to resort based on the actual snow conditions. The season peaks from mid-January to late February. Some winter resorts open in late October.Is there a typhoon season in Japan? ›
Typhoons are a common natural event in the late summer and autumn in Japan. This article provides important safety advice, and tips on how to make the most of your trip regardless of the weather for those visiting between July and October.What is the coldest day in Japan? ›
The lowest temperature ever observed in Japan was -41 degrees Celsius (-42 degrees Fahrenheit), recorded in Asahikawa in January, 1902.What is the most humid season in Japan? ›
July and August - Japan's Hottest Months
High humidity levels are also characteristic for Japanese summer weather, ranging from about 78% relative humidity to 83% relative humidity during July and August. Summer rains are also common, with intense and unpredictable bursts of sudden severe rainfall.
Winter is the cheapest time to visit Tokyo, but seeing this city can be expensive all year. Watch for flights during the middle of the week for the best chance at low prices. Traditional hotels in Tokyo rarely fluctuate in price, but there are ways to save money on vacation to the city.What is the off season for Japan? ›
The low Japanese seasons are the two months of summer, and particularly the months of December, January and February. Winter is undoubtedly the least-visited season of the year for tourists.
Is Japan cheap for tourists? ›
Japan has a reputation as an expensive place to travel to, but it's an image that doesn't hold up on the ground. With a little strategy, a visit can be very reasonable – budget-friendly, even. Many of the country's top sights, for example, cost nothing and free festivals take place year-round.What season is trouble in Tokyo? ›
Despite being made after the last season, Trouble in Tokyo takes place between seasons four and five.How many days in Tokyo is enough? ›
But, for most mortals with jobs and limited budgets, I'd suggest spending three or four days in Tokyo. For example, if you have a week to spend in Japan, I'd recommend three days in Tokyo and four in Kyoto. If you need help deciding how much time to spend in Tokyo versus Kyoto, see my Tokyo or Kyoto page.How many days do you need in Japan? ›
Ten days is enough for a first timer, but you could easily stretch this itinerary to two weeks in Japan if you have a few extra days, or skip one or two places if you only have a week there. Mad, mind-boggling, and futuristic are all words that come to mind when I think of our 10-day trip to Japan.What month is cherry blossom in Japan? ›
Springtime in Japan is nothing less than magical. From late March to mid-April, or even early May, the country's iconic sakura (cherry blossoms) capture the attention of visitors and locals as their beautiful flowers blanket the country in soft pink splendor.What month is rainy in Japan? ›
When is the rainy season in Japan? In most Japanese regions (including Tokyo), the rainy season runs from the beginning of June to mid-July.Is Japan cheaper than America? ›
In the US, the average price per square foot to buy a residence in the city center is around $335, whereas in Japan a comparable figure is $760. This is an approximate 57% increase. However, on the whole, house prices are generally lower in Japan than the US, especially since the Covid pandemic.How far does the US dollar go in Japan? ›
Yen to Dollar
As it currently stands, 1 USD equals just about 109 JPY (Japanese Yen). These figures can change, so it is a good idea to frequently visit a currency exchange website to know how far your dollar will go in Japan.
The Japanese have a worldwide reputation for being uncommonly polite, friendly, and welcoming. Although the language barrier may prove a challenge at times, people in Japan usually try to be as helpful as possible if you ask anything of them.How much cash do I need per day in Japan? ›
If you're coming to Japan as a tourist, student, or worker you'll need roughly between 5,300 yen ($53) and 18,000 yen ($180) per day for spending money in 2020. These costs are based on food, transportation, and sightseeing expenses.