When to Go

High Season (Apr & May, Aug)

  • Weather in April and May is generally fantastic; August is hot and humid but the season for summer festivals.
  • Accommodation is pricey and hard to find during cherry-blossom season (late March to early April), Golden Week (early May) and O-Bon (mid-August).

Shoulder (Jun & Jul, Sep–Dec)

  • June and July fall in rainy season (except Hokkaidō); typhoons roll through in September.
  • Prices and crowds increase in resort areas during autumn foliage season (November).

Low Season (Jan–Mar)

  • Cold days and snowy mountains make this peak ski season, but affordable and uncrowded elsewhere.
  • Many businesses close over the New Year period (end December to early January).