Japan Weather



Japan Weather

As with all countries in the Northern Hemisphere, the seasons are ‘reversed’ when compared to Australia, making it easy for you to escape one season at home, and enjoy another in Japan. Use this complete guide to Japan’s weather to help you plan and find which season suits you best.

On this page you’ll find:

Japan enjoys four distinct seasons, offering something to suit every taste — all year round.

Click here for the weather forecast in Japan right now.

Spring (March – May)

Temperature range

Spring in Japan will bring you mild weather, but temperatures can vary significantly over the course of the season. April temperatures average around 11°C in the north and 24°C in the south, while May brings average temperatures of 17°C in the north and 26°C in the south. Expect cooler temperatures in the early morning and evenings, and when travelling to mountainous areas.

What to wear

Arakurasengen in Spring

Arakura Sengen Shrine and Chureito Pagoda in Spring

What makes spring special?

Spring is the season of cherry blossoms. Known in Japan as sakura, these beautiful white and pink flowers draw visitors from all over the world, eager to watch the blooms float gracefully to the ground. Several factors can affect the timing of the bloom, which is why cherry blossom forecasts are monitored intensely throughout the season.

Although the blossoms can appear as early as January on Japan’s southernmost islands, late March to early April is considered the best time to see the bloom in tourist spots like Tokyo and Kyoto. Other spring flowers to admire include tulips, wisteria, plum blossoms and azaleas.

Because Japan sits within the Northern Hemisphere, their spring season runs from March to May. While central tourist spots like Tokyo enjoy a fair amount of springtime sun, the rainy season, known as tsuyu, begins in May in the southern end of the country and starts in early June through early July in other regions on Honshu. Hokkaido in the north does not typically experience tsuyu.

Summer (June – August)

Temperature range

Summer visitors can expect to encounter hot and humid daytime temperatures, averaging around 26°C in the north and 31°C in the south.

What to wear

Tokyo seasonal fireworks

Tokyo seasonal fireworks

What makes summer special?

Japan’s summer season won’t just bring you warm weather; it’ll also serve up folk dancing festivals and magical fireworks displays, called hanabi taikai.

The summer season runs from June to August and tends to be Japan’s rainiest time of year. The rainy season affects the country’s southern regions from mid-May and other regions of Honshu from June to July. The rainy season typically ends in the first half of July, with humidity rising through August. Areas with higher elevations, such as Hokkaido, may be more comfortable for late summer travel with low levels of humidity.

Summer also coincides with one of Japan’s best-kept seasonal secrets. The ‘Green Season’ sees the hills and valleys that play host to powder snow in winter transform into lush green wonderlands. Temperatures remain cool in these mountainous regions, making it the perfect time for hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Note: Visitors should also be aware of Japan’s typhoon season, which typically peaks in August and September. Although travellers may experience high winds and strong rains for a few days, perfect weather often follows.

Autumn (September – November)

Temperature range

Japan’s autumn season runs from September through November. The start of the season can still see warm daytime temperatures of around 22°C in the north and 30°C in the south. By the end of autumn, temperatures drop to an average of around 8°C in the north and 24°C in the south. Although typhoon season may affect the beginning of autumn, October and November tend to be relatively dry and mild.

What to wear

Autumn in Japan

Autumn in Japan

What makes autumn special?

With its vibrantly coloured leaves, autumn is one of the most popular times for domestic travel in Japan. For centuries visitors and locals alike have ventured across the country to find the best viewing spots for the breathtaking patterns of red and orange leaves.

If it’s vibrant foliage you’re after, you’ll want to venture to the mountainside during early autumn, or to major cities in mid-autumn. The colours change in late September up north in Hokkaido, before descending southwards into the cities in mid to late November, and sometimes early December, making November the best month to see the autumn leaves in most parts of Japan.

If you’re keen for a cool and calm Japanese adventure, then autumn might be the best season for your travels.

Winter (December – February)

Temperature range

The norther end of Japan sees the country’s coldest temperatures, with January averaging -1°C in Sapporo. Cities in Japan’s south can still enjoy mild temperatures averaging around 19°C during the day.

What to wear

Winter scenery in Sapporo at Odori Park, Hokkaido

Winter scenery in Sapporo at Odori Park, Hokkaido

What makes winter special?

Japan’s winter is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. Skiers and snowboarders come from around the globe to enjoy the huge snowfall and stunning mountains. Beyond winter sports, visitors can enjoy snow-surrounded hot springs and must-see winter festivals such as the Sapporo Snow Festival, which features mammoth snow sculptures and illuminated ice statues.

Winter in Japan lasts from December through February, and the weather can vary greatly depending on the altitude and latitude of the location. Large cities, such as Tokyo, enjoy short winters with plenty of sunny days. The more mountainous regions of Japan tend to have longer winters with a high amount of snow. These conditions make Japan’s mountains and northern regions perfect for winter activities like skiing and snowboarding and some resorts stay open as late as the first week of May.

Winter serves up a wonderland of snow and spring brings a snowfall of flowers, but all of Japan’s seasons show off the beauty and individuality of this extraordinary country.

Note: One of winter’s downsides is the short days and early sunsets. However, while you might sacrifice a few hours of sun, the days tend to be bright and clear.

Average temperature and precipitation in major cities

Sapporo

Temperature °C Temperature °F Precipitation (mm)
Winter (Jan) -4.1 26.4 110.7
Spring (Apr) 6.7 44.1 60.9
Summer (Jul) 20.5 68.9 67.2
Autumn (Oct) 11.3 52.3 124.1

Sendai

Temperature °C Temperature °F Precipitation (mm)
Winter (Jan) 1.5 34.7 33.1
Spring (Apr) 10.1 50.2 98.1
Summer (Jul) 22.1 71.8 159.7
Autumn (Oct) 14.8 58.6 99.2

Tokyo

Temperature °C Temperature °F Precipitation (mm)
Winter (Jan) 5.8 42.4 48.6
Spring (Apr) 14.4 57.9 130.3
Summer (Jul) 25.4 77.7 161.5
Autumn (Oct) 18.2 64.8 163.1

Nagoya

Temperature °C Temperature °F Precipitation (mm)
Winter (Jan) 4.3 39.7 42.2
Spring (Apr) 14.1 57.4 143.3
Summer (Jul) 26.0 78.8 218.0
Autumn (Oct) 17.6 63.7 116.9

Osaka

Temperature °C Temperature °F Precipitation (mm)
Winter (Jan) 5.8 42.4 43.7
Spring (Apr) 14.8 58.6 121.
Summer (Jul) 27.2 81.0 155.4
Autumn (Oct) 18.7 65.7 109.3

Fukuoka

Temperature °C Temperature °F Precipitation (mm)
Winter (Jan) 6.4 43.5 72.1
Spring (Apr) 14.8 58.6 125.2
Summer (Jul) 26.9 80.4 266.4
Autumn (Oct) 18.7 65.7 80.9

Naha

Temperature °C Temperature °F Precipitation (mm)
Winter (Jan) 16.6 61.9 114.5
Spring (Apr) 21.3 70.3 180.7
Summer (Jul) 28.5 83.3 176.1
Autumn (Oct) 24.9 76.8 162.9