Japan Travel Calendar

Our recommendations for each season, based on weather, hotel rates & availability and crowds.


Green means“ recommended season” and Red is “peak”. 




JANUARY – FEBRUARY - early March

Winter - COLD but OK (rates, availability, crowd)

Mid-MARCH – APRIL – early MAY

Cherry Blossom - PEAK PERIOD


Green Season - BEST (weather, rates & crowds)

JULY – AUGUST (except Obon AUG 10-15)

HOT & HUMID (mid-season for rates & crowd)


“Secret season” -  BEST (weather, rates & crowds)


Autumn Leaves - PEAK PERIOD

DECEMBER (until 20th)

Winter - COLD but OK (rates, availability, crowd)


Christmas / New Year Holidays - PEAK PERIOD







End of March – Mid-April / Cherry Blossom 

Yes, this is the famed “Sakura” season but it’s also the busiest time of the year. Hotels in Kyoto get booked out as far as 6 to 8 months ahead. So if clients really want to see it, then plan it now… for next year! Also, note that major touristic sites are swarmed with international and domestic visitors. 


End April – around May 10 /  Golden Week (Japanese Holidays)

As Japanese people do not have many holidays and when they do, it’s everyone at the same time. So “Golden Week” is definitely a peak domestic travel period: hotels offer only rack/peak rates yet are booked months ahead. Sightseeing spots, trains and roads are always congested and traffic jams in/around cities are regular.


After May 10 – End of June / Green Season ( Late Spring, early Summer)

One of favorite our time to visit Japan as the unstable early spring weather gives way to an early & shiny summer where flowers (other than Cherry blossom) come to bloom and transform the Gardens of Japan into floral fireworks. Since there is no major holiday, neither in Japan nor anywhere else in the world, temple & shrines are quiet, while hotels offer attractive rates and more availability. End of June may already see some occasional summer rains but nothing compared to a monsoon.




July – Mid-August  / Summer 

Japan being a tropical country, summer is hot & humid. During early-Mid July, summer rains may annoy sensitive travelers, however, they are irregular (nothing like the monsoon). August is hot and humid but generally very sunny. Air-conditioning is everywhere (trains, cars, restaurants & even Tokyo’s metro). There are not many overseas tourists except Europeans. So if humidity & heat is not a hurdle, go ahead.


Mid-August / Obon Week (Japanese Holidays) 

A series of public holidays and as busy “Golden week”. Best to avoid, for the same reasons.


End August – End October / Late Summer 

This is our best loved “secret season”: everyone is back to school/work, leaving the sights to those who can travel. Temperatures range around 30°C (77-86°F) but more bearable and less humid than in summer. Occasional tropical storms or typhoons may occur unpredictably for few (2-3) days anytime between July & October but this is a yearly occurrence and Japanese people (and buildings) are used to cope with it. Your clients will do too, with many indoors alternatives in each destination (world class museums, private ateliers & workshops, amazing Spas, etc).

Early October is a bit more busy (higher rates and more visitors) but still a great time to visit Japan, with remnants of summer, although evenings get chilly.




November /  Fall (Autumn leaves) 

This is a very busy period, with both foreign and domestic tourism (especially weekends). Hotels & Ryokans are often fully booked several months in advance and rates are high or peak-season. Temperatures are chillier and rain falls more regularly. Around Tokyo and Kyoto, Autumn Leaves start turning gold mid-November and remain colourful into early December. 


December (until Dec 20-23)

As winter is settling in, it’s still a good season to visit, with some of the clearest “blue-sky” days (perfect for Mt. Fuji viewing), remnants autumn leaves in few places and less tourists. Reasonable Hotel rates and last-minute availability are also common, in this shoulder season. Finally… this is also the beginning of the Crab season – a must for Gourmets!


December 20 – January 5th (School holidays and New Year holidays)

We do not recommend travelling in this period as the combination of international and domestic travelers with closures for holidays make it a really challenging time. Because of the Year-End Holidays (an important family time in Japan), many restaurants, sights and museums as well as most of our experience providers are closed from end of December until early January. In addition, loyal Japanese customers book their stay at their favorite property long in advance (up to a year ahead, upon check-out!) meaning Hotels and Ryokans are often fully booked long in advance.