Japan Weather Guide

Japan Weather 天気

Japan's weather conditions vary considerably from the northerly temperate island of Hokkaido to the sub-tropical islands of Okinawa.

Precipitation is higher in winter than summer in northern Honshu and Hokkaido, areas which can receive considerable snowfall in winter. In the rest of the country winter is a relatively dry season and can be particularly mild in the southern islands of Kyushu and Shikoku.

Summers in central Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku are both hot and humid, while the temperatures are cooler with much less humidity further north in northern Honshu (Tohoku) north of Sendai including Aomori, Akita, Morioka and Hokkaido.

Japan's high mountain ranges in Hokkaido and Honshu are snow-covered throughout the year and the higher altitudes provide relief from the summer heat in central Honshu.

Japanese climate.
Pristine powder snow blankets the ground and the trees during winter in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island.

When To Visit Japan

The ideal times to visit Japan are in spring (March - April) coinciding with the sakura (cherry blossoms) or in the autumn (October - December) when the autumn leaves are at their best. November has a perfect combination of low rainfall and pleasantly warm temperatures stretching in to early and mid-December.

The clear dry winters are increasingly a popular time to visit Japan especially for the winter ski and hot-spring (onsen) season.

The rainy season (tsuyu) usually occurs in June and July (except in Hokkaido, which escapes the monsoon) and lasts for around 40 days or so.

August can be very hot and humid with September the traditional typhoon period bringing heavy rainfall particularly in Okinawa, Wakayama and Kyushu, with the risk of local flooding and landslides.

Japanese climate and weather.
Autumn brings a riot of colours, with reddening rowans contrasting with Japanese Stone Pine
Japan's climate and weather.
In severe winters, storm pushed ice piles up along the Sea of Okhotsk coast near Abashiri in Hokkaido
Japanese climatic conditions.
Japan's temperate forests are rich and varied, and include maples, limes and oaks, each colourful in their turn in autumn.

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