A closer look at weather and climate in Japan
Tokyo is probably the most visited region in all of Japan and keeping note of the changes in its weather and climate might be a great idea before a visit. However, there is no unfavorable time to visit Tokyo.
In between January and February, the temperature is usually severely cold but sunny. Even if January is the coldest time of the year, it rarely snows in the region. In between March to May, people start to enjoy the benefits of Spring time when cherry blossoms become close to the peak of its beauty. There are maps on the internet to find out the trend of this cherry blossom bloom.
While in transition between Spring and Summer, June is now the most unpredictable time of the year. Before the hot temperatures reach the city, the concrete pavement will get a good washing and cooling as there are continuous precipitation during this month. Then there are some days when it's colder than normal and other days which are warmer. Then suddenly, the temperature soars starting July until it reaches its highest every August.
October to December is the best time to visit Tokyo. During the autumn season, although it could be quite cloudy, many people enjoy the outdoors because it is neither too hot nor too cold. Then during wintertime, the city lights are most beautiful, as Christmas can be felt almost everywhere even though most of the time it is cloudy.
The temperature changes in Kyoto is very similar to that of Tokyo. The region is severely cold during January where the temperature is at around 5 degrees Celsius and hottest during August when the temperature is about 26 degree Celsius. Also, just like in Tokyo, the rainiest month in Kyoto is in June which is considered as the ‘rainy season’ in the area. Precipitation is also expected during October and November of every year.
Located south of Tokyo is Osaka which is one of the regions in Japan with a sub-tropical weather. Although the temperatures in this area can reach temperatures near zero, it rarely dips farther than the said value. This means that it rarely snows in the region. For those traveling to Osaka to see the snow, it might be difficult to forecast if it will and when.
Any time of the year will be the best time to visit Osaka, especially those who enjoy the beauty of green meadows and beautiful mountainsides. Osaka is the best setting to go for a relaxing and enjoyable spa treatment and holiday. It is famous for onsens, or hot springs, and resorts that would let anyone drift into the enjoyable bliss of relaxation. Anyone wanting to escape the terrible cold or severe heat could visit the perfect Osaka weather.
Nagoya is the best place to go for any ski trip and winter getaway. The best time to visit this region is during winter time between December and February. It is known as the gateway for the spectacular Japan Alps - fully enjoyed by both local and foreign travelers.
Both Mount Nagano and Gifu are best known for their ski resorts or stations, snow, and hot springs. On the other hand, all other times of the year are also a great time to spend a holiday in Nagoya since there are different tourist spots and destinations for different seasons of the year.
Nagoya is also a great location to visit for Cherry blossom viewing because of their parks and temples. The Nagoya Castle and other historical sites are also beautiful during the autumn time. The romantic hues of falling leaves in this is a great view to enjoy.
This region of Japan has a subtropical climate which means that it is normally humid throughout the year. During summertime, the temperature is usually very high and humid while winters are much milder than the rest of the regions in Japan.
The northern part of Hiroshima experiences very light snowing while the southern side of the region does not experience snow at all. It is also normal to experience the rainiest season during June and July and experience August as the hottest month of the year.
Japan through the seasons: Average temperatures of different climates
The four different seasons in the country are distinct and each has a special twist to offer. Since the whole country is made up of large islands found in various locations, the seasons experienced in every region may vary with each other.
Spring is said to be the best season of the year to spend the holidays Japan. This is because of the fact that it is during Spring time that the world-famous Cherry blossom viewing occurs. Usually happening between March and May, it is the time of the year when temperatures are starting to mildly warm up. The air is rich and fresh with the scent of newly blossoming plants and flowers. It is also the time of the year when most regions in Japan are expecting the surge of tourists from all over the world.
According to a report from the National Tourism Organization of Japan, the Hanami or Cherry blossom viewing festival has been practiced in the country for centuries. The Japanese love to celebrate under the trees, sharing food and drinks with family, friends, and neighbors. They sit under the trees and enjoy the beauty that nature has got to offer. For them, the Cherry blossom symbolizes the beauty of the transience of human life.
A yearly forecast of blooms around Japan is closely watched by both local and foreign tourists from different parts of the world as the full-peaked blooms only happen two weeks of every year. On average, Okinawan trees bloom the earliest every January and Sapporo experiences the latest at the end of April. All other locations expect their trees to bloom in between March and May.
The average temperature in different regions varies throughout the day. During the early hours of the morning, normal temperatures are around 5 degrees Celsius and by noon time temperatures could reach as high as 18 degrees Celsius.
Summer usually occurs in Japan in between June and August, with August as the hottest time of the year averaging at about 26 degrees Celsius. However, not all places in Japan is hot during this time. Hokkaido is quite cold to the point that the summer time feels like early spring in this area. While all other people go to the beach to take a dip, people from Hokkaido enjoy the cool breezes of summer still drinking hot tea and cocoa.
Lonely Planet describes Japan’s summers as the seasons of fireworks as this is the time of the year where many locations all over the country celebrate festivals. Just like how difficult it is for foreign travelers to find cheap flights to Japan during the Spring season, summer is the time of the year where most locals are in transit. Almost every region in Japan is celebrating a festival of their own. There are parades, floats, and bazaars all over the place. People enjoy wearing traditional Yukatas, or cotton kimono to visit street bazaars where there are different stalls of food and games.
This is also the time of the year where school children change their uniforms to lighter clothing, because of the hot temperature. Students usually wear thinner clothing with vests while putting their coats and long socks to their closets.
Autumn might be one of the most romantic seasons in the country. Normally occurring between September to November, the autumn season in Japan is the season where leaves fall off from trees. It is the time when everything turns into delicious hues of orange, red and brown. A very homey season of the year, this is the time when temperatures start cooling down again from the humid temperatures of the summer season.
The viewing of falling foliage is a popular activity in Japan for both locals and tourists and has been so for the past centuries. This is true since the fall of leaves all over Japan does not start and end at the same time of the year. Known as the "Koyo Front" the earliest time foliage falls in the year happens in Hokkaido in late August to early September. This front will now slowly move southwards until it reaches southernmost Japan in the end of November, there are maps available online to know the trend of this front.
It is also during this time of the year the rain falls heavily in various regions, a good indication that winter is finally near. The average autumn temperatures in Japan is around 8 degrees to 15 degrees Celsius. Temperatures will not go below zero degree Celsius until December, except for northern regions such as Sapporo and Hokkaido.
Winter in Japan is special, it usually averages during December and February of every year. The coldest region in Japan during the winter time is in Hokkaido whose average December temperature is at -1 degree Celsius. Other large cities in Japan are fairly warmer with an occasional incidence of snow. Tokyo averages at 5 degree Celsius every winter time.
For those who will be traveling to Japan during winter time, it is also important to note that not all regions in Japan have snow. For instance, the subtropical region of Okinawa is an island off the south coast of Japan that does not have snow during the winter season.
For those who are not particularly fond of the cold and snowy winter weather, it might be best to visit Okinawa whose temperature averages between 10 degree Celsius and 20 degree Celsius during this time of year.
Tips on clothing to match Japan’s weather and climate
Spring. People usually start wearing lighter clothes during this time of the year. Although the temperatures are still cold, people start wearing shorter sleeves, dresses and the like. While still sporting jackets and vests, colors of clothing are now much brighter than winter and fall colors. People usually wear a collection of scarves during this time of year.
Summer. This is the time of the year when the temperature is the hottest. When traveling to Japan during this time make sure to bring some light jackets for the rainy season of June and early July. Then, bring much lighter clothing for August. Most hours during morning time and evening time still bring about cool breezes, so make sure to keep within the radar something light to cover with like a cardigan, a vest, or a thin jacket.
Fall. Dark colors of brown, blue and gray are very common during this time of year. It is also best to start bringing out woolen clothes and heavy scarves for protection against the cold wind. Jackets and thermal wear are great to keep within radar especially when temperatures start going down.
Winter. The temperature and the wind are always normally very cold during this time of year. Although there are places in Japan that do not snow, average temperatures still can go near zero. Make sure to pack-up some thermal wear, heavy jackets, scarves, socks and comfortable boots to protect the skin from the very cold and windy temperatures. It will be good to plan ahead, always look out for any forecasts of snow!
Online resources to know Japan’s monthly weather forecast
The best travel weather forecast: High Season and Low Season
A lot of travel forums on the internet always say that the peak of travel to Japan happens during Spring and Winter. These are the times when most places are occupied because of ski resorts or stations during winter and hanami festivals during Spring. This might be the time when the costs are most expensive. It is best to travel to different parts of Japan during June because it is the time of the year when flights are usually at their cheapest. This is the time when people get the best airfare deals.
There are a number of online resources that could give pretty accurate datum and news about daily weather forecasts in Japan and general climate charts throughout the year. Among the most reliable would be BBC Weather, The Weather Channel, and much more. It might also be worth to check out Accuweather’s RealFeel temperature app. The RealFeel temperature app considers the combined effects of humidity, sun intensity, cloud cover and more to give the user a realistic description of the current weather situation anywhere in the world. For locally specific datum and news about Japan’s climate, it might be a good idea to visit the Japan Meteorological Agency website. This particular website gives up-to-date weather advisories and forecasts. Make sure to visit them before packing for a trip to Japan!