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The Best Time to Visit Japan: A Season-by-Season Guide

asian beautiful young woman walking and take photo in green grass garden with sakura and cherry blooming tree

When is the best time to visit Japan? This question is often asked by travellers interested in visiting this beautiful country. The answer, of course, depends on what you want to do and see. Japan has something to offer tourists during every season of the year across its different regions. 


Spring in Japan

Spring is a popular time to visit Japan as the cherry blossoms are in bloom, and the weather is mild. 


  1. Tokyo

    With cherry blossoms in bloom in March and April, there are many parks and gardens to admire them. Some of the most popular places include Chidorigafuchi moat, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and Ueno Park.

  2. Kyoto

    This beautiful city is famous for its incredible temples and shrines, including some of the most famous ones in Japan, including Kiyomizu-Dera, Kinkakuji Temple and Fushimi Inari. It also experiences a burst of cherry blossoms in April, with many temples, shrines and parks turning into a pink paradise. Maruyama-Koen Park is probably the most popular spot in Kyoto for seeing the blossoms. Kyoto is also an excellent place to try traditional Japanese cuisines, such as kaiseki or sushi.

  3. Nara

    Japan's ancient capital comes alive with celebrations during springtime. The Shuni-e ceremony at Todaiji Temple marks one of many events celebrating this beautiful season as flowers adorn its gardens and trees burst into bloom. It is home to the best cherry blossom viewing across the whole country. It is also renowned for its deer, which are tame and roam freely both around the park and Nara city!


Owakudani of Hakone


  1. Hakone

    Located in the mountains near Mount Fuji, it’s famous for its hot springs, with more than a dozen onsens and ryokans to choose from. The area is also known for its lush forests and volcanic landscapes, and there are plenty of activities to keep travellers busy. From hiking and biking to exploring ancient temples and shrines, there's something for everyone.

  2. Shimanami Kaido

    Experience the beauty of Japan and take a bike trip down this 60km road that connects Shikoku island to Honshu, passing by several tiny islands in between. As dry winters, humid summers and unpredictable autumns can keep you away from this scenic route, spring is the best time to make the most of your ride - you won't be disappointed by this cycling adventure through nature!

  3. Hitachi Seaside Park

    With 4.5 million flowers in full bloom, the stunning landscape of bright colours brings a vibrant atmosphere. As well as a variety of activities to enjoy, such as sports grounds, barbecue areas and shopping malls, you'll also be able to admire different wildflowers in the park depending on the season.


Summer in Japan

From beach parties to festivals, summer in Japan is an unforgettable experience! With so many places to visit and activities to do, it's hard to narrow down the best ones. 


  1. Okinawa

    This tropical island is home to some of Japan's most beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes. You can participate in local festivities such as Eisa Dances or sunbathe on their white sand beaches during the summer months. 

  2. Hiroshima

    Located in the picturesque Seto Inland Sea, Hiroshima is full of culture and history. Visit the Peace Memorial Park – dedicated to those affected by the atomic bomb dropped during World War II – and take in the beautiful sights. The city is bustling with festivals, such as Hiroshima's Carnival or the Fireworks Festival during the summer. 

  3. Tokyo

    Japan's bustling capital has something for everyone! Visit some world-famous tourist attractions, including Tokyo Skytree and Imperial Palace Garden, or explore vibrant neighbourhoods like Harajuku and Shibuya. The area is also home to many fantastic summer events like the Sumida River Fireworks and Kanda Matsuri Festival. You can also take a day trip to Mt Fuji to appreciate stunning views of the Japanese countryside.


Lavender fields in Tomita farm, Furano 


Another ideal day trip would be to Furano with its lavender fields and flower farms, providing a dramatic landscape of colourful blooms. Some of the most popular farms include Farm Tomita or Flower Land Kamifurano. 


Autumn in Japan

The autumn weather in Japan is mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 18-25 degrees celsius. You can enjoy the beautiful fall colours and avoid the summer tourist crowds.


  1. Kyoto

    Autumn in Kyoto is an incredible experience, especially when you add a traditional Japanese festival. On October 22nd, the Kurama Fire Festival provides locals and visitors with an unforgettable cultural experience. In this small mountain village, men carry large flame torches through narrow streets, creating an exciting and primaeval atmosphere. After the procession, visitors can mingle around the outdoor fires while enjoying some local sake or beer.

  2. Hokkaido

    Is an excellent place for fall sightseeing due to its scenic mountain ranges, lush forests, colourful fields of wildflowers, and lakes dotted with migrating birds. The island also boasts some of the best hot springs in Japan, perfect for warming up after a day of exploring in the cooler weather.

  3. Fukushima

    Boasts mountains, forests, and lakes, as well as delicious cuisine. Get ready to marvel at the must-see Five-Coloured Ponds of Goshiki-Numa with their distinctive shades of green, red and blue. Enjoy walking through forests and fields or take a dip in the hot springs nearby. Alternatively, check out the iconic Yukiwari Bridge in Nishigo Village. Spanning over a bay of Lake Tazawa, this wooden bridge has become an iconic symbol due to its unique construction and stunning views of mountains and surrounding rural landscapes. Fukushima is also well-known for its delicious persimmons. These sweet treats symbolise autumn, with locals and tourists enjoying their unique flavour, fresh or dried, or as part of jams and other preserves. 


Winter in Japan

The winter months in Japan are a truly unique experience with everything from skiing, snowboarding and ice fishing to exploring the hot springs and participating in local festivals.

From December to March, many of Japan's ski resorts are open. Some of the most popular places include Hakuba Valley near Nagano, and Shiga Kogen near Niigata. These resorts are renowned for their excellent snow conditions and offer everything from beginner slopes to challenging runs for experienced skiers. 


Skiers in Niseko


  1. Niseko

    This is the ultimate destination for skiers and snowboarders after powder. With its epic mountaintop terrain, impressive backcountry lines, and reliable snow conditions - not to mention a wide variety of ski resorts and activities - Niseko caters perfectly to those looking for an ultimate adrenaline rush!

  2. Sapporo

    The capital city of Hokkaido prefecture, Sapporo is renowned for its stunning snowscapes and excellent skiing opportunities. Visit during February to witness the famous Snow Festival or try out one of the many onsen hot springs nearby. 

  3. Shirakawago

    One of the most magical times to visit Shirakawago is during winter. The snow blanketing the thatched roofs of its Gassho-style houses creates a scene straight out of a storybook. The mountains surrounding Shirakawago are also blanketed in snow, creating a stunning backdrop for photographs. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some of the area's wildlife, including deer and red-crowned cranes!

  4. Takayama

    A small, beautiful city in Gifu Prefecture, Takayama is known for its traditional festivals, well-preserved historic architecture, traditional crafts, and delicious food. From December to March, the city becomes illuminated with festive lights that create a truly magical atmosphere. It is also home to several winter festivals, including the famous Snow Festival and the Takayama Winter Festival. 

  5. Tokyo

    Japan's capital is incredibly vibrant with exciting things to see and do year-round. In winter, the city comes alive with lights and decorations. Head to iconic spots such as Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Roppongi Hills, Omotesando Avenue, and the Tokyo Skytree Town. Check out the Hachikō Square illumination near Shibuya Station for something truly unique and memorable. You can also visit nearby attractions such as Meiji Shrine or participate in seasonal events like the Yebisu Beer Festival. 


A short journey away is Joshin'etsukogen National Park. Hike the trails, explore the abundant wildlife, ski or snowboard on Mount Daihachiguchi, and relax in its therapeutic hot springs. Also, see the famous snow monkeys. These unique primates with white fur and bright eyes are often seen soaking in the hot springs and gathering around food sources. Witnessing these snow monkeys up close is a magical experience

No matter what time of the year you visit Japan, you're sure to find a unique mix of culture, history and fun activities to enjoy.

When it comes to travelling, it's always essential to ensure you are covered for unexpected events. Chubb Travel Insurance offers a range of plans for individuals, couples and families - you can definitely find one that suits your needs! You can also include add-ons such as winter sports cover if you decide to go skiing in Japan during winter, to ensure you're fully protected. You can then enjoy peace of mind when you travel, knowing that you're covered for whatever happens, no matter when you visit.


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Disclaimer - The content of the above article is not intended to constitute professional advice. Although all content is believed to be accurate, Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited (Chubb) makes no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content of this article. Users relying on any content do so at their own risk.

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