When is the best time to travel to Japan?
Japanese culture

Learn Japanese seasons and events to travel better and wiser!

Why seasons are important for Japanese?

Japanese people have cultivated their culture respecting each season carefully in their long history. This is because Japan is located in the Temperate Zone, and each season has very distinctive features.

Also, the country has rich nature, so that people have grown up in the environment where they can feel a small difference. This is the reason why there are actually “24 seasons” in Japanese culture; Just 4 seasons are not enough to explain well about each characteristic, so that they have divided each four seasons into 6 more sections, which becomes 24 seasons in one year!

As a tourist, it is extremely important to know the features of each season to fully enjoy your travel, because a scenery or an event that you want to enjoy would not be entertained if you visit at a wrong time.

For example, the most famous tree called Cherry blossoms would only be blooming from the end of March until the first week of April in Tokyo. Or if you would like to avoid busy travel period, then you should not come in the first week of May.

By reading this article, you will know when the best time is to travel in Japan. Let’s learn about Japanese Seasons and events today.

Spring (March-May)

3 MarchHinamatsuri Doll Festival, Girl’s Festival
14 MarchWhite Day
3rd week of MarchOhigan, a week to perform Buddhism service.
end of MarchHanami, cherry blossom viewing
1st week of AprilNew Business Year
5 MayTango no Sekku, Boy’s Festival
1st week of MayGolden Week Holiday
Yellow highlight is Japanese Holiday.

Business year starts in April in Japan, so Japanese people get busier during the first week of April. Not only Business but also school starts / finishes during this time, which means theme parks and hotels will be fully booked.

The first week of May is called Golden Week, and this is one of the biggest Holiday Weeks of Japan. If you would like to avoid busy travel season, this time should not be a right time.

Summer (June-August)

7 JulyTanabata Star Festival
end of July-AugustSummer Vacation for students
15 AugustObon, Lantern Festival
Yellow highlight is Japanese Holiday.

There is no event or holiday in June, however, it is usually the season of Tsuyu or monsoon, so it rains a lot and gets so humid.

7th of July is a day to hold Tanabata Star Festival. The Festival is based on a romantic Chinese ancient story, and you can see beautifully decorated bamboos with colorful papers.

From end of July until August, especially mid of August gets busy vacation season in Japan. It is time for Japanese to go back to their parents’ house. All of transportation will be fully booked and you have to make a prior reservation.

This time of a year is also a great season because many energetic Summer Festivals are held.

Autumn (September-November)

9 SeptemberChrysanthemum Festival
mid of SeptemberMoon Festival
end of SeptemberSilver Week
mid of NovemberShichigosan, Children at age of 3,5,7 visit Shrine.
Highlight yellow is Japanese Holiday.

September is a season of Typhoon, so the weather can be a problem. These autumn festivals were once celebrated in Japan, but not much in modern days. There is no big holiday or event in October, but weather and temperature could be the best.

November is another best time of travel, as it is time of foliage.

Winter (December-February)

24 & 25 DecemberChristmas
31 DecemberOmisoka, the last day of the year
1 JanuaryNew Year’s Day
2nd Monday of JanuaryComing-of-age Day
3 FebruarySetsubun, the last day of winter
14 FebruaryValentine’s Day
Highlight yellow is Japanese Holiday.

It is the most eventful season of the year. New Year’s Day is the biggest event for Japanese people and most of the shops will be closed until 3rd of January.

Christmas and Valentine’s Day are Western events, but we celebrate or enjoy in own way. It is now part of Japanese unique yearly events.

Plan well before traveling.

These are the main events and holiday of Japan, but some of them do not have fixed dates, or it can be changed based on Lunar Calendar, a Chinese Old Calendar. Events to enjoy nature, such as Cherry Blossoms or Foliage, also depend on the temperature or weather of the destination you travel to, so plan your travel carefully and change the plan flexibly.

Japanese people usually do not ask for their vacation or leave, but they would travel in the holiday season. It means that the above vacation periods will be fully booked, and the price will go up. Choosing the vacation dates avoiding these holiday times could be a wise idea.

Enjoying seasonal events will make your journey to Japan even more attractive! We hope this article helps you plan your journey better.