Weather in Japan – Month by Month Guide

Staying one step ahead of the weather is vital when planning a trip. Use our month by month guide to the weather in Japan to help you out.

map of Japan weather

The weather can make or break a trip, so it’s always wise to be one step ahead of it. Using our guide to weather in Japan you’ll be able to do just that. Month by month, city by city, find out the vital stats, all right here.

Note: Although temperatures may be freezing or boiling outside, air conditioning is used liberally in Japan, meaning layers that can easily be put on or taken off are a good idea. 

For things to do throughout the year, no matter the weather, check out our guides: 

Spring in Japan – a Complete Guide to Springtime in Japan

Summer in Japan – Your Complete Guide to a Japanese Summer

Autumn in Japan – a Complete Guide to Autumn in Japan

Winter in Japan – a Complete Guide to Wintertime in Japan

Japan Weather – January 

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January is the coldest month in Japan, with temperatures in some regions dipping well beneath freezing. Snow, in the north especially, is common, and winds become icy, particularly near the coast.  

Concurrent with the conditions, skiing and onsen bathing are popular activities in January. 

What to wear:

– Warm clothing (thick coat, layers)

– Snow shoes if traveling in the north 

Japan Weather – February 

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The weather remains cold and dry in February. Again, expect snowfall in the north, but it is unlikely in central Japan, including Kanto and Kansai. 

Like January, February is popular for snow sports, but also for various winter festivals across the country. Find more details in our guide to winter in Japan, here.

What to wear:

– Warm clothing (winter coat, layers).

– Snow shoes if traveling in the north. 

Japan Weather – March

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In the north, the weather in March remains cold, though in the south temperatures are beginning to get significantly warmer. Fluctuations are likely at this time of year, however, so be prepared for a range of temperatures.

Towards the end of March, the country gears up for sakura season, one of the most popular times of year for tourists. 

What to wear:

– Thick coat

– Sweaters 

– Snow appropriate clothing in the north. 

Japan Weather – April

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April is considered to be one of the best months to visit Japan, owing to its temperate climate characterised by clear, crisp and sunny days. Rain showers are likely but not severe and temperatures can drop significantly at night.  

Hanami (sakura viewing) in April is looked forward to each year. The weather conditions making spending time outside in the shade of the cherry blossom trees extremely pleasant.  

What to wear: 

– Jackets / Cardigans / Sweaters 

– Warm clothing at night

– Waterproof clothing / Umbrella 

Japan Weather – May

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The weather in Japan in May is pleasantly warm but rainfall is likely, especially towards the end of the month. 

The Golden Week national holiday in May is a great time to see Japan, although most tourist destinations will be particularly busy. Check out our guide to Japan in spring, here.  

What to wear: 

– Light jacket / Cardigan / Sweaters

– Waterproof clothing 

Japan Weather – June

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June falls in Japan’s rainy season, so expect heavy rainfall in all parts of the country. June can also get fairly warm so light, waterproof clothing is advised. 

Indoor activities might be the best option in June. Use our guide to rainy day activities for some inspiration. 

What to wear: 

– Light, comfortable clothing 

– Waterproof clothing / Umbrella 

Japan Weather – July

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Expect rainfall in July, petering off at the end of the month as Japan’s summertime begins. Hot, humid weather is likely throughout the country, especially on the southern islands. Hokkaido escapes the worst of this weather but can still be warm in the daytime. 

Unlike many other destinations, Japan considers summer to be off-peak for tourism. Accordingly, cheaper flights and reduced crowds make it a good time of year to visit if you can handle the heat. 

What to wear: 

– Light, comfortable clothing 

– Shorts

– Sandals 

Japan Weather – August

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Summer reaches its peak in August, with temperatures and humidity at their maximum levels in most parts of the country. Although northern regions avoid the worst of it, in general, Japan in August is an uncomfortable time of year to be outdoors.  

Despite this, summer is host to a range of excellent festivals and things to do. Find out more about summer in Japan, here. 

What to wear:

– Light, summer clothing

– Light underlayers to avoid sweat 

– Parasols (common in Japan)

Japan Weather – September

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As the extreme temperatures and humidity begin to recede, Japan enters typhoon season. Typhoons involve heavy rain and strong winds and can be dangerous. Stay tuned to local weather reports and plan accordingly. 

What to wear: 

– Light, comfortable clothing

– Waterproof clothing / Umbrella 

Japan Weather – October

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In the wake of typhoon season, the weather in October is generally clear with agreeable temperatures, though rainfall should still be expected. Moreover, the country’s flora begins to bloom into life at this time of year. 

Traditionally the bountiful harvest season, in October, all manner of delicious and uniquely Japanese foods are on offer. 

What to wear:

– Light jackets / Cardigans

– Waterproof clothing / Umbrella 

Japan Weather – November

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The weather in November is generally pleasantly mild and clear. In the north, however, temperatures begin to fall. 

The autumn leaves are especially spectacular in November. For a comprehensive guide to Japan in autumn, check out our guide. 

What to wear: 

– Jackets / Cardigans / Sweaters 

– Thick clothing if travelling in the north. 

Japan Weather – December

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Winter is upon Japan in December, with temperatures frequently dropping below freezing in some areas. The weather is generally clear and dry, however.

What to wear:

– Warm winter clothing 

– Snow shoes if travelling in the north. 

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