Best and Worst Times to Visit Japan: A Traveller's Guide

Best and Worst Times to Visit Japan: A Traveller’s Guide

Plan your Japanese adventure away from the crowds.

Planning a trip to Japan? While we all know that this country is a tourist magnet, it can get pretty crowded at certain times of the year. Don’t get caught in the crowds or pay inflated prices! This guide will help you plan your trip. Let’s unveil the best and worst times to visit Japan, considering factors like congestion, weather, and cost.

Also read: Sakura Season in Hokkaido: Catching the Last Blooms in Japan

Best times to visit Japan

Best and worst times to visit Japan

Image credit: Sanga Park via Canva Pro

Plan your trip early and take note of the best months to visit Japan:

  • Early April: Enjoy pleasant weather and fewer crowds after the initial new year rush. Be mindful of Golden Week starting in late April.
  • Mid-May to end of May: This period is a sweet spot that invites you with pleasant weather and fewer travellers after the Golden Week.
  • October and November: Ideal weather for exploring, with stunning autumn foliage in November. But keep in mind that popular spots like Kyoto can get crowded.

When to avoid visiting Japan

Know when to travel to Japan and when to avoid highly congested tourist hubs:

  • Late March: The new academic and business year brings student trips and a relocation frenzy. Additionally, most tourist spots become highly congested, with transportation and accommodation prices rising through the roof.
  • End of April to first week of May (Golden Week): Expect sky-high prices and packed tourist spots due to Japan’s long holiday called the Golden Week — it’s basically Japan’s peak tourist period! Make sure to book Shinkansen seats in advance, too!
  • June to early July (rainy season): Downpours are expected all day in Japan, and while beautiful hydrangeas and roses bloom around this time, let’s face it — travelling during the rainy season is a hassle.
  • August: Extreme heat, humidity, and summer vacations lead to crowded transportation and high prices.
  • Fourth week of September (Silver Week): Silver Week is another long holiday in Japan (usually mid to late September) wherein multiple public holidays align, creating another extended holiday season. Expect an influx of crowds and a price hike on most tourist attractions, accommodations, transfers, and more.
  • Late December to early January: Year-end travel to Japan only sounds good if you’re travelling to visit family. But if you’re planning to DIY a year-end trip to Japan, you might want to save that for a better time. Tourist spots, accommodations, and ticket prices are at an all-time high around this period.

Also read: 10 Best Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festivals to Add to Your 2024 Wishlist

Bonus tips for dodging the crowds

Best and worst time to visit Japan

Image credit: Sanga Park via Canva Pro

  • Choose alternative destinations: Explore Hokkaido or Okinawa instead for a rain-free experience.
  • Visit during off-peak hours: Opt for tourist spots that are perfect for early mornings or evenings, like visiting museums and temples.
  • Utilise crowd-monitoring services: In Japan, there are websites that show real-time congestion levels. Make the most out of this to avoid peak hours, ensuring a more enjoyable experience while exploring.
  • Avoid public transport: Rent a bike or scooter for a fun and eco-friendly way to navigate.
  • Travel hands-free: Use luggage storage services at airports, train stations, or dedicated sites like Kyoto Station lockers so you can work your way around tourist hotspots with ease.
  • Explore the countryside: Skip the tourist mobs! The Japanese government has 11 new “pilot areas” that showcase rural gems, offering unique adventures beyond major tourist hubs in the big cities.

Also read: 10 Underrated Sakura Spots in Japan

So, have you decided when to visit Japan this year? Pack your bags, bring out your itinerary, and enjoy Japan in the best way possible! Let us know when you’re travelling to Japan and if this guide helped you plan your trip!

Featured and Facebook image (L) credit: Rudimencial via Canva Pro

About Author

Patricia Caleon
Patricia Caleon

Patricia is a simple girl who likes to express herself through pictures and words. Not much for talking; writing and taking pictures have always been her way of telling people of her stories and adventures. On a normal day, you'll probably see her reading a good book in one hand and a cup of coffee in another.