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Best Times To Visit Japan

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Unlike many places in the world, Japan is certainly a place of the four seasons. Spring, summer, winter and fall each play out quite distinctly and prominently here. It is also a land of holidays and festivals, many of which date back hundreds or thousands of years. During some of these holidays, the Japanese themselves flood their own rail and air systems, making it that much more crowded (and costly) for foreigners to travel there.

For these reasons and more, the nature of your Japan travel experience will vary significantly depending upon exactly when you decide to make the trip. In short, the best time to visit Japan depends a lot on your tastes and preferences, as well.

Best Times Of The Year To Visit Japan

Deciding upon the best times of the year to visit Japan depend upon your tastes and goals. There is the cost to consider, of course, since airfare varies from season to season. You should also consider what places and attractions you will want to see while in Japan. Here are some special times to either visit or avoid visiting, depending upon what kind of trip you are looking for:

Least-Expensive Times to Visit Japan:

Travel costs to Japan are not always cheap. If you want to find the cheapest times to travel to Japan, you will want to do everything you can to buy inexpensive airfare.

From an airfare perspective, September-November, as well as February and March, are among the cheapest times of year to visit Japan. These are generally considered to be Japan's low travel season. However, your savings when traveling during these times not be very large when compared to other times of the year. That is because airfare rates are fairly consistent throughout the year.

The most important way to save money on airfare to Japan is to avoid going during the most expensive and congested times (see below). Also, buying your air tickets least 2-3 months in advance of your trip will help keep costs down. Consider booking your flights mid-week as a cost-saving measure.

Most-Expensive and Inconvenient Times:

Traveling during the popular Golden Week, from the end of April through May 5, is best to avoid if possible due to the fact that this is the time that many Japanese choose to go abroad or travel domestically. Another expensive time to travel is during Obon in mid-August.

A particularly inconvenient time to visit Japan is during the New Year. In Japan, this is a special period that lasts from the last week in December through the beginning of January. During this time, airports, train stations and roads are crowded with people traveling to see relatives in other cities.

Best Times To Avoid the Heat:

If you are not a big fan of hot and humid weather, avoid the islands of Honshū, Shikoku and Kyūshū during the summer months of July and August.

Best Cherry Blossom -Viewing Times:

Japan is known for its beautiful cherry blossoms, or sakura. These pink-and-white flowers bloom beautifully in most regions, starting slightly earlier in the south and working their way north as the weeks pass. The best viewing times are in March and April of each year.

Best Plumb Blossom-Viewing Times:

Meanwhile, there are the beautiful plumb blossoms. While not as famous as the cherry blossoms but possibly just as beautiful, plumb blossom viewing is popular among the Japanese. When to visit Japan to view plumb blossoms are the months of January through March.

Times To Avoid The Rain:

Early June through mid-July mark Japan's rainy season. So, avoid this season if you are not a fan of rainy weather. On the other hand, due to the relative cool temperatures common during the time before the onset of the humid summer, this could be the very best time to go to Japan.

Best Season To Witness Color-Changing Leaves:

If you love to view fall foliage, check out Japan in September through November.

Travel Deals & Discounts

As another way to do cheap Japan travel, consider looking into travel deals and discounts. Travel deals from Japan tourism bureaus are popular. You can also find "travel Japan discount" deals through domestic travel agencies and bureaus.

Some of the best travel deals and discounts can be found when you book a tour through a travel agent. There are tours for singles, seniors, and special clubs and interest groups. You can often save money when booking via a tour because you are buying the airfare, ground transportation,, hotels, and meals as part of a single package. Also, going this route gives you more structure when you arrive in terms of where you will go and what you will do.