asking for trouble

Plan Your Japan Trip: When To Go

This new series of blog posts will help you with every step of planning your own Japan trip. This time: when’s the best time to visit?

plan your Japan trip

Japan is a country with very distinct seasons so there’s no bad time to go. Every season has different pros and cons – and there will be many seasonal flavours and events that you can’t experience at any other time of the year. And if the weather isn’t ideal for you, head to Hokkaido for cooler weather or Kyushu/Okinawa for warmer weather. Let’s go through the seasons first.

Japan flowers - marcelinesmith


Springtime in Japan is a lot of people’s dream holiday, thanks to the sakura/cherry blossom fever. If you get the timing right, it’s one of the most beautiful sights in the world, plus you’ll be able to try sakura-themed food, drinks and much more.

The downside is that March/April is an extremely popular time to visit and the best viewpoints and tourist spots will be very crowded. If you have to see the sakura, consider staying somewhere other than Tokyo/Kyoto as they’ll be less popular and you’ll get a more unique experience.

May/June will be quieter and hotter with many more flower displays to visit – I saw azaleas, roses, irises and hydrangeas. Just make sure to arrive after Golden Week (when everyone in Japan is on holiday) and before the rainy season.



If you’re used to heat and humidity – and manage to avoid the worst of the rainy season – Summer is a really fun time to visit Japan. There’s events, festivals, fireworks, fireflies, flower displays and lots of beaches, plus it’s the only time of year you can climb Mt Fuji. You’ll also get to try all the delicious icy treats! I’d love to see the annual Pikachu Outbreak in Yokohama but even early June was too hot for me in Japan, having only lived in chilly Scotland.

Kawaii Halloween Japan


Autumn is my preferred time to visit – the weather is pleasantly warm compared to the UK and the autumn colours as the leaves turn can be just as beautiful as sakura. Japan is also very into celebrating Halloween with special events at theme parks, costume parades, seasonal kawaii designs and limited edition flavours.

There are really no downsides to this time of year, though September is typhoon season and best avoided.

Mt Fuji Japan


I get plenty winter weather at home but I would still love to experience it in Japan too. You’ll get the best views of Mt Fuji and can ski in the mountains, bathe in snowy hot springs or visit the Sapporo Snow Festival. The main downside is that the days are very short.

Christmas is just another day, but there will be illuminations in the cities and plenty themed products and flavours. New Year is the biggest event of the Japanese calendar and would be an amazing experience but be aware that many places will be closed and temples will be very crowded.

design festa


If you have a particular interest, there is almost certain to be an event you’d love to visit. Just try Google. Here’s some notable ones for the sort of people who read my blog.

Further reading

japan guides and books

Want more Japan tips? Check out my Japan guides and ebooks.


Hello! I’m Marceline Smith, the designer and owner of Asking For Trouble. I create illustrated stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii. This is my business and personal blog where I write about my creative doings, inspirations, travels, Japan trips and daily life. Read more »

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All text, photos and illustrations are © Marceline Smith 2007-2024 unless credited otherwise. You may repost my images with full credit and link. However, do not reproduce full posts without my permission or use my images or writing for commercial purposes. Thank you!


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