When to go to Japan
Planning to go on vacation to Japan in 2022? Great choice! In this review, we’ll tell you all about the seasons, the weather, and where to go and what to see in any given month. We’ll also find out where the best beach vacations are and what advice tourists give.
Japan is a world of exoticism. A jewel-like blend of tradition and modernity. A place of harmony of mind and body. You can pick up many other epithets, but to understand their meaning is possible only by visiting the Land of the Rising Sun.
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When it’s better to go on vacation to Japan
First of all it is Hanami, Japanese national tradition of admiring flowers. Nature begins its presentation with flowering of Japanese plum ume from the end of December to the end of March. However, the main event of hanami is the blossoming of the cherry blossoms. Due to the climate, this magical spectacle can last more than three months (from late February to late May). There are cases when, for example, on the island of Okinawa the cherry blossoms start blooming as early as January. The wave of Japanese cherry blossoms travels through the country from the southernmost island of Kyushu to the northern island of Tohoku.
We recommend admiring this natural magic in the Japanese capital in the Shinjukugyoen Park, where there are 1500 sakura trees of more than 75 species. Also impressive is Ueno Park (the largest in Tokyo) and Sumida Park.
The blossom lasts only 8-10 days, so there are two options: either follow the “wave” across the country, or catch the moment. In addition, in May, other beautiful flowers begin to bloom: azalea, shiba-zakura, and wisteria.
Thousands of tourists from all over the world come to see the hanami. But the real excitement in the country is from April 29 to May 6. During this time there is a series of official holidays: Sowing Day, Constitution Day, Green Day and Children’s Day. The period of festivities is collectively called “Golden Week. It entails traffic jams and queues, as well as difficulties with hotel reservations. In addition, the prices of holidays in Japan at this time rise sharply. It is advisable to take this into account when planning your trip.
It is also worth mentioning that in mid-May begins the traditional festivals, including Kanda matsuri and Sanja matsuri in Tokyo, as well as Aoi matsuri in Kyoto.
(Photo: SteFou! / flickr.com / CC BY 2.0 license)
Early summer is not the best time to vacation in Japan. From June begins the so-called tsuyu (rainy season) and lasts until mid-July. Summer in the country is very hot, the temperature is between +34 … +38 ° C, and the humidity can exceed 90%.
Nevertheless, only in summer you can conquer one of the main attractions of Japan – the volcano Mount Fuji, located on the island of Honshu. Climbing Mount Fuji is officially allowed only from July 1 to August 27. As the season ends, you won’t find the escort professionals and rescue services that keep you safe in the summer.
Summer in Japan is the season of festivals and grand fireworks. If you want to see one of the festivals, it is advisable to plan your itinerary according to the country’s calendar of festivals. Look at the calendar of festivals in major tourist cities. There is also another calendar. Both sites are in English.
In mid-August, the Japanese celebrate Obon. It is believed that at this time the souls of the dead come down to earth. Locals visit the graves of their ancestors and pay their respects. People go to their native places to see their relatives. Moreover, in August, children have school vacations, so there may be problems with hotel reservations and ticket purchases.
Judging by the weather, September is not the best time to vacation in Japan in 2022. The heat is still there, and the humidity is still high. In addition, at this time the country is particularly prone to typhoons, which are characterized by strong wind gusts and heavy rains.
By the end of September, weather conditions soften, the number of tourists decreases and begins, in our opinion, the most favorable time to travel to Japan.
October and November is the time of the traditional Momiji , also called the red maple season. Just as sakura trees once covered Japan from south to north, now in the opposite direction (north to south) the red-yellow waves of autumn leaves color the country. The best place to observe the Momiji is in Kyoto. Travelers also advise enjoying Japanese autumn in Tokyo, Okayama, and Hiroshima.
In reviews of holidays in Japan, tourists note the October festivals. One of the most representative festival – Jidai Matsuri, a festival of eras, dedicated to the history of the country. You can visit it on October 22 in Kyoto.
(Photo: Freedom II Andres / flickr.com / CC BY 2.0 license)
Going on holiday to Japan in winter is probably the most interesting from mid-December, when the country is immersed in the New Year atmosphere. However, it should be borne in mind that the Japanese themselves at this time are in constant travels in their hometowns. We advise you to book accommodation in advance and shape your itinerary as carefully as possible, because the prices of holidays in Japan during this period are rising.
Japanese landscapes in January and February are dull, so to see the snowy beauty, we advise to stick to the northern regions. We advise to experience the delights of the famous Japanese hot springs onsen near Mount Fuji. The combination of a natural hot bath, the Japanese winter and the view of the snowy peaks of the legendary volcano is perhaps the best atmosphere in which to appreciate the onsen.
When traveling in Japan in winter, be sure to visit the world-famous Sapporo Snow Festival, held annually in early February and lasting 7 days.
Where to stay in Japan? Accommodation in the country is not cheap. Hotels are advised to look for on the search engine Roomguru, it will select the best deals from the variety of booking systems. For example, in Tokyo, a night in the hostel with excellent reviews Guest House Wasabi costs from $ 26, but the rooms in decent hotels in Tokyo cost much more – for example, the price for a double room at the hotel Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo-Toyocho starts at $ 95.
Beach Recreation in Japan
The Japanese themselves are not the biggest fans of rest by the sea, because the traditional fashion for pale skin in the Land of the Rising Sun has remained to this day. Nevertheless, there are beach resorts on almost every island in the country, and tourists can sunbathe on the coast during a tour around the country.
The choice of a beach vacation destination in Japan depends on your needs and hobbies. Surfing enthusiasts will prefer the Kamakura resort. However, the most popular among fans of active recreation on the water is the Ryukyu archipelago and its largest island, Okinawa. The sea here is always warm, and the minimum water temperature is +20°C. Colorful coral reefs attract divers from all over the world. Also, at Kerama Islands near Okinawa, tourists have a great opportunity to watch whales.
In reviews of beach holidays in Japan with children tourists recommend the town of Miyazaki on Kyushu Island. In addition to the luxurious beaches, there is a famous water park “Ocean Dome”, which can accommodate more than 10 thousand people.
The city of Shirahama on Honshu Island is considered a truly unique place to vacation at sea in Japan. Snow-white quartz sand was brought from Australia to its shores. Well-appointed beaches of the resort, hot springs and modern hotels attract both tourists and locals.
The name of the town of Ibusuki (Kyushu Island) translates as “city on hot land”. The thermal waters here approach so close to the surface that the temperature of the seawater can reach +40°C. Not surprisingly, the city is called the Japanese Hawaii.
There is a saying: “The sick and honey are bitter. To rest was not spoiled by illnesses, we advise to collect the right first aid kit.
(Photo: Shinichi Higashi / flickr.com / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license)
When planning a vacation in Japan in 2022, you should understand that the concept of low season in the country almost does not exist. Each time of year here has its own uniqueness. In addition, domestic tourism in the country is developed no worse than abroad. Local residents move around the country during national holidays, so this period is characterized by difficulties with booking accommodation, problems with buying tickets for transport and everywhere long lines. Also during the holidays there is an increase in the prices of holidays in Japan.
Japan is a very law-abiding country, and the crime rate is extremely low. Nevertheless you should not forget about the basic precautions, and even more so to become a source of law and order (as it is sometimes done by our compatriots in popular resorts). Not everyone in Japan speaks English well, so it’s best to ask the police for help if you need it. Moreover, for convenience of foreigners Latin alphabet letters are doubled in subway and road signs.
Going on holiday in Japan tourists need to know a couple of things that are considered the norm in some countries (even a tacit obligation), and here will be perceived as an insult:
- In Japan it is not customary to leave a tip, the usual encouragement of 5-15% is already included in the price of goods or services.
- There is no haggling in stores or markets.
- In addition, we’d like to give a little advice on handshakes. The Japanese pay a lot of attention to privacy and self-restraint. Do not shake hands first, because this type of European greeting may not suit the values of every local.
If you like to bring something “from over the sea, the ocean” should take note that the souvenirs and delicacies can be produced exclusively in a particular region of the country. For this reason, it is advised not to delay the purchase of what caught your eye. In reviews of holidays in Japan, tourists are advised to buy jewelry and bijouterie. Their prices though not different from European, but the quality and design at the highest level. If the girls Japan can attract natural cosmetics based on pearls and algae, men certainly will not leave indifferent ultra-modern gadgets and computer games.
When is the best time to go to Japan?
Japan may be a small country, but thanks to an amazing mix of tradition and modernity, lively cities and striking countryside, there is something to interest everyone. In spring the cherry blossoms (the local cherry tree variety) are in bloom, which attracts many foreign and domestic tourists. In winter, in turn, excellent conditions for skiing.
No matter where you will vacation and what you are going to do – to immerse yourself in the frenzied rhythms of Tokyo, or escape from the hustle and bustle in the quiet gardens of Kyoto – there is an ideal time for everything. And our review will help you choose it.
Season: April, May and August
Cherry Blossom Season (late March to mid-April), Golden Week (early May) and Obon (mid-August) are peak tourist periods. Accordingly, all important places will be crowded and hotels will raise prices (and you need to book in advance).
In August, trips to cool mountains become popular. In addition, this month there are many festivals.
Transition season: June, July, September – November
June and July open the hiking season in the Japanese Alps. This is a great time for outdoor activities, as the conditions are ideal for anyone who wants to escape the stuffy cities.
In the fall, hikers are drawn to the mountains by the bright foliage. Depending on the altitude, the most beautiful time is in October and November.
Low season: December to March.
During this period, there are no tourists at the sights and the cost of accommodation is minimal. The exception is the ski resorts, for which the situation is the opposite. Small businesses usually close for the New Year’s holiday period (late December – early January).
Japan returns to life after the New Year’s weekend. Winter takes over the country in the north and mountain regions, opening the ski season (be careful when driving).
Key events: Setsubun, Mantoro (Lantern Festival), Snow Festival, Contemplation of Plum Blossom.
Gradually and in snatches, spring begins. The Japanese even have a saying: “three days cold, four days warm.
Key events: Hina-matsuri (Puppet Festival), Anime Festival.
Warm weather and cherry blossoms make this month perfect for being in Japan. However, places like Kyoto can be very crowded.
May is one of the best months to visit the country: the weather is warm and sunny in most places, and the mountain scenery is decorated with fresh greenery. However, be careful during the Golden Week, as transport will be overcrowded.
Key events include the Sanja Matsuri Festival and Roppongi Art Night.
The beginning of the month is beautiful, but towards the end the rainy season begins. As the mountain snow melts, it’s hiking season in the Japanese Alps. If you’re going to go to higher altitudes, check the weather conditions with double the care.
When the rainy season ends, summer begins, a time of festivals and fireworks shows. The air becomes hot and humid. If you don’t like the heat, head to Hokkaido or the Japanese Alps.
Key events: Mount Fuji Climbing Season, Gion Matsuri Festival, Tenjin Matsuri Festival, Fuji Rock Festival, Dragon Boat Race.
The weather is still hot and humid. Festivals continue. Thanks to the school vacations, the beaches and cool mountains are buzzing with activity. Many Japanese are returning to their hometowns (or just taking the weekend off) for the Obon holiday, so there may be problems with transportation and some stores may be closed.
Key events: Summer Fireworks Festival, Cosplay Festival, Star Festival (Tanabata), Nebuta Matsuri Festival, Obon (Festival of the Dead), Peace Memorial Ceremony (Hiroshima), Ava-odori Traditional Dance Festival, Rosoku Matsuri Festival, Kyoto Fire Ritual, Earth Glorification Festival.
The days are still warm, even hot, although the humidity is dropping. Although typhoons hit, it is a good time to travel through Japan.
The Street Jazz Festival, Danjiri Matsuri in Kishiwada and Moonwatching.
Nice warm days and cool evenings make October a good month to travel to Japan. The peak of leaf fall in the Japanese Alps is right around this month.
Key events: Matsue Night Festival, Onsen Hot Springs Fire Festival, Yokohama Oktoberfest, Kurama Fire Festival, Performing Arts Festivals, Halloween.
The days become cooler and snow begins to fall in the mountains. In the Tokyo and Kyoto area, fall foliage peaks, which can lead to a large number of tourists in these cities.
In December, it gets cold almost all over Japan. Bars and restaurants in the cities hold end-of-year parties and the streets are decorated with holiday lights. From about December 29-30 until January 3-6, many businesses go on vacation.
Key events include the Kobe Festival of Lights, Toshikoshi Soba (“Crossing the Year Noodles”), and the New Year’s Eve Jingling (of temple bells).