How Hot and Cold? Japan’s Temperature Tales

If there’s one thing that is virtually inescapable to all living things on this planet, it is the weather. Not only does it affect the vegetation and ambiance of the area, it also depicts whether it’ll be comfortable for people to live in. Each country has different climates and weather patterns, which can make traveling from a tropical country to a temperate one quite challenging.

When traveling, taking the weather into account is one of the most important steps to do. This is crucial to preparing the right clothes, as well as scheduling the activity list or itinerary with the right kinds of plans. The weather’s mood and temperature vary from country to country, and can even vary within that country itself – take Japan, for example.


It’s unfair to label one area’s temperature as the general temperature of Japan, and it isn’t accurate either to combine the different temperatures of several cities and get their average because it serves no purpose to travelers. The only way to fairly understand the weather behavior in Japan is to monitor different cities as the months go by.

There are 6 cities spread throughout Japan (in terms of latitude) that can give you the general idea of what the weather will be like wherever you visit. These cities are Sapporo, Takayama, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Naha. They line Japan from north to south in that exact order and have a varying range when it comes to average temperatures. Sapporo is naturally the coldest, while Naha, which is near the sea so that the warmest. As it’s been established that the location of the city on the island of Japan is crucial to telling how cold or hot it’s going to be, another important factor will be the month you want to look at.

The Average Temperature in Japan, By Month

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency – a reliable weather news source, there are actual averages per month when it comes to daytime highs and nighttime lows. Aside from the temperature, they also measure how many sunny and rainy days there are per month. If there is the sunshine for at least 40% of the amount of daytime, then that’s considered labeled a “sunny day”. A day is defined as rainy when precipitation produces a millimeter of rainfall. Sun and rain influence how hold or cold a day is, which in turn helps influence the temperature of that day.

The Average Temperature in Japan in March

March is a popular month for tourists and activities – especially the latter part of it. This is because the famous Cherry Blossom trees first bloom during the last week of March. Japan, at this point, enters Spring, easing out of its coldest months; January and February. During this month, it’s still cold enough in the northern regions such as Sapporo in Hokkaido to participate in winter sports.

The average daytime high for Sapporo during March is 4 degrees Celsius, while the average nighttime low is -4 degrees Celsius. Takayama’s is 9 degrees Celsius for its average daytime high (ADL) and -2 degrees Celsius for the average nighttime low (ANL). Tokyo’s is 13 degrees Celsius for ADL, with its ANL clocking in at 5 degrees Celsius. Like Tokyo, Osaka are 13 degrees Celsius, and 5 degrees Celsius respectively as well. Fukuoka reads at 14 degrees Celsius on average during the day and 6 degrees on average at night. Lastly, Naha reads at a warm 21 degrees Celsius ADH, followed by 16 degrees Celsius for its ANL.

The Average Temperature in Japan in April

Even more popular than March for an influx of crowds is April. Not only is the weather generally pleasant everywhere, but the Cherry blossoms that first bloomed during March begin to fall. Along with spring comes holiday breaks, for those who are still studying. April also holds Golden Week; where a string of four national holidays makes up for a great time to go on an outing.

Sapporo’s average daytime high gets noticeably warmer, jumping from 7 degrees from last month’s reading to 11 degrees Celsius. It escapes the negatives in its average nighttime low, at 3 degrees Celsius. Takayama reads at 17 degrees Celsius for its ADH, on the same page with Sapporo for its ANL at 3 degrees Celsius. Tokyo is a cool 18 degrees Celsius for its ADH, and 11 degrees for its ANL. Osaka and Fukuoka reads closely to each other’s ADH; 20 degrees Celsius and 19 degrees Celsius respectively. During this month, both Osaka and Fukuoka are predicted to have the same ANL: 11 degrees Celsius. Naha, the hottest of them all, has an ADH of 24 degrees Celsius, and an ANL of 19 degrees Celsius.

The Average Temperature in Japan in May

If you couldn’t visit Japan during March or April, May still holds decent weather. Though some parts of Japan have started to feel the intermittent showers that come with Spring (this is called “tsuyu”), the plants and flowers are in full bloom, which – on a sunny day – makes all the rain worth it.

Sapporo’s ADH during this month hits a high of 17 degrees Celsius, as its ANL increases at 8 degrees Celsius. Takayama’s ADH counts at 22 degrees Celsius, with 9 degrees Celsius as its ANL. Tokyo’s is a cool 23 degrees Celsius with an agreeable ANL of 15 degrees Celsius. Osaka and Fukuoka, again share both the same ADH and ANL, at 24 and 15 degrees Celsius respectively. Naha dips to the warmer side with 26 degrees Celsius as its ADH, 22 degrees Celsius as its ANL.

The Average Temperature in Japan in June

Rainfall in June is highly expected, as “tsuyu” comes in full force. The only area excluded from this weather phenomenon is Hokkaido. Despite the increased percentage of precipitation, temperatures continue to increase. Naha is the rainiest during the earlier parts of June, while Fukuoka has the highest tendency for rain showers in the later months of June.

Sapporo, although warmer, stays coldest among the other cities at 21 degrees Celsius for its ADH. Its ANL is still a cool 12 degrees Celsius. Takayama hits hotter temperatures with 26 degrees Celsius as its ADH but makes up for it at night with an ANL of 15 degrees Celsius. Tokyo stays cooler in the day with 25 degrees Celsius on average, keeping temperatures steady with an ANL of 19 degrees Celsius. Osaka and Fukuoka stay in the same range, both at 27 degrees Celsius for their average daytime highs, but Fukuoka stays  degree lower at 19 degrees, compared to Osaka’s 20 degrees ANL. Naha hits 29 degrees Celsius for its ADH, 25 degrees Celsius for its ANL.

The Average Temperature in Japan during Summer

Summer in Japan technically starts during late June and ends late August or early September. Initially met with a lot of rain, Japanese summers are followed by heavy humidity and high temperatures (it can sometimes reach 40 degrees Celsius), and then a blazing hot sun. Be prepared to sweat a lot if you’re visiting during this period; bring clothes made up of only light material, as well as a trusty umbrella. Hokkaido barely gets away with cooler temperatures, so if you want to be in a cold place to pass the summer, start booking your getaway.

The Average Temperature in Japan in July

Mid-July is when the rains start to clear, and the sun shows itself. Tsuyu is on its way out, cueing festivals and parties. Many locals take this as a chance to go on vacation, visit the beach, escape to Sapporo, or trek up a mountain.

July is the second to the hottest month of the year in Japan. Sapporo sees average daytime high temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius, with its average nighttime low at 17 degrees Celsius. ADH for Takayama and Tokyo are the same at 29 degrees Celsius, with Takayama’s ANL being a little cooler at night at 19 degrees Celsius; Tokyo’s being 23 degrees Celsius. Osaka, Fukuoka, and Naha all hit 31 degrees Celsius as their ADH; Osaka and Fukuoka having both 24 degrees Celsius as their ANL, Naha’s is a little higher, being 26 degrees Celsius.

The Average Temperature in Japan in August

August is Japan’s hottest month of the year, as percentages of sunny days all throughout the country soar from 50-75% of the time. The festivals and fun continue despite the thick humidity, and most kids are out of school, enjoying their summer break.

Sapporo hits its highest peak of the year, 25 degrees Celsius as its ADH. It is still, however, a cool 19 degrees Celsius for its ANL. Takayama and Tokyo hit 31 degrees Celsius as their ADH, with Takayama cooling to 20 degrees at night for its average low, while Tokyo scores this at 24 degrees Celsius. Osaka’s ADH is 33 degrees Celsius (the hottest among all cities, despite being located higher on the map than Naha), Fukuoka’s is 32 degrees Celsius, both have the same ANL of 25 degrees Celsius. Naha hits 31 degrees Celsius as its ADH, 26 degrees Celsius for its ANL; a shorter, warmer range (6 degrees) compared to other cities.

The Average Temperature in Japan in October

October holds the incoming of fall, which brings another round of pleasant weather as does spring. It’s pleasant in the sense that it isn’t terribly cold, neither is it too humid – it’s just right. Plus, you may get to catch the “Koyo” front coming in, as the leaves start to change color, especially around colder places, such as Hokkaido.

Sapporo drops back to a cool 16 degrees Celsius for its ADH, 7 degrees Celsius for its ANL. Takayama reads at 20 degrees Celsius, with its ANL going below the double digits zone at 9 degrees Celsius. Tokyo stays comfortable at 22 degrees Celsius for its ADH, 15 degrees Celsius for its ANL. Osaka and Fukuoka read similarly again, 23 degrees Celsius for their ADH, 15 degrees Celsius for its ANL. Lastly, Naha drops to 28 degrees Celsius for its ADH, 23 degrees Celsius for its ANL.

The Average Temperature in Japan in December

Although it can get cold during this month, it is still a great time to travel around Japan, if you are properly outfitted for the cold and dryness. In case you find yourself in the higher regions of Japan, ski season starts as early as December, so you may want to partake in that. What’s different about winter is days don’t last as long as they usually do; the sun sets as early as 4:30 PM in some parts, you may have to adjust your activities.

Sapporo’s ADH is 2 degrees Celsius, while its ANL is a nippy -4 degrees Celsius. Takayama hits 6 degrees Celsius as its ADH, -2 degrees for its ANL. Tokyo and Osaka this time share similar ADH numbers; 12 degrees Celsius, as well as ANL stats; 5 degrees Celsius. Fukuoka is a little warmer at 13 degrees Celsius for its ADH, 5 degrees for its ANL. Naha stays a warm 21 degrees for its ADH, 16 degrees for its ANL.