A month by month guide on what to do in Japan

Explore the changing colours and seasons

A month-by-month guide to travel in Japan

Japan is a country that offers a wide range of tourist experiences throughout the year, with each month having its unique attractions and events. Here are some popular tourist experiences that typically occur each month in Japan:


Step into a winter wonderland and explore the enchanting beauty of Japan in January! This season offers a unique set of experiences that are waiting to be discovered. With festive celebrations, snow-covered temples, and traditional New Year festivities, Japan is the ultimate winter destination.

  • Hatsumode (New Year's Shrine Visit): People visit Shinto shrines to pray for good fortune and health in the new year.


One of the best places to go during this month is Hokkaido, which is famous for its stunning snow landscapes and ski resorts. Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido, hosts the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, where visitors can marvel at the giant snow sculptures and ice structures. 

  • Sapporo Snow Festival: One of Japan's most famous winter festivals, held in Hokkaido, featuring stunning ice sculptures and snow art. Check out some of the tours available during the Sapporo Snow Festival
  • Setsubun: Traditional bean-throwing event at temples and shrines to ward off evil spirits and welcome good luck for the upcoming year.


Japan in March is an incredible time to visit, as the country awakens from its winter slumber and bursts into bloom with the arrival of the cherry blossoms. The delicate pink flowers are a symbol of hope, renewal, and the fleeting beauty of life, and the annual blooming of these trees is a highly anticipated event across Japan. Visitors can enjoy the stunning sights of the cherry blossoms at iconic locations like Tokyo’s Ueno Park, Kyoto’s Philosopher’s Path, and Hiroshima’s Peace Park, just to name a few.

  • Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing): Across Japan, cherry blossoms bloom, and people gather in parks for picnics under the cherry trees.
  • Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival): Families display special dolls to wish for the happiness and health of their daughters


Japan in April is a magical experience that should not be missed. This is the time when the country transforms into a breathtaking landscape of pink and white cherry blossoms, and the mild weather makes it the perfect time to explore all the wonders of Japan. 

  • Miyako Odori: Traditional dance performances held in Kyoto during cherry blossom season.
  • Yabusame: Horseback archery performances at various locations in Japan.


From the famous Golden Week holiday to the stunning cherry blossom season, May is an ideal time to explore Japan’s natural beauty, experience its cultural heritage, and indulge in its delicious cuisine.

  • Golden Week: A series of national holidays that often results in extended vacations for many Japanese, leading to increased domestic tourism.
  • Kanda Matsuri: One of Tokyo's major festivals featuring lively processions and events at Kanda Myojin Shrine.


June marks the beginning of summer in Japan, and it is a time when the weather is warm, and the skies are clear, making it the perfect time to explore the country’s natural beauty. 

  • Sanno Matsuri: A grand festival held at Hie Shrine in Tokyo, featuring processions and traditional performances.


Japan is a land of contrasts, where ancient traditions meet modern innovations, and July is a month that showcases this diversity in all its glory. From the stunning natural landscapes of Hokkaido and the beaches of Okinawa to the bustling cities of Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan offers a wealth of experiences that will enchant and delight visitors in July. It is a time of year when the country comes alive with festivals, fireworks, and other exciting events that celebrate Japan’s rich cultural heritage.

  • Gion Matsuri: One of Japan's most famous festivals held in Kyoto, featuring elaborate floats and parades.
  • Tenjin Matsuri: One of Osaka's major festivals, featuring boat processions and fireworks.


Japan is a country that boasts a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant cities that blend the old and the new. August is an exciting time to visit Japan, as it is the height of summer, and the country comes alive with a range of festivals and events that celebrate its unique traditions and modern way of life. 

  • Obon: A Buddhist custom where people honor the spirits of their ancestors with various ceremonies and dances.
  • Sumida River Fireworks Festival: One of Tokyo's most prominent fireworks displays along the Sumida River.


September is a wonderful time to visit Japan. The weather is mild and pleasant, with the hot and humid summer temperatures beginning to ease off. This makes it an ideal time to explore the beautiful scenery.

  • Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri: A thrilling festival in Osaka, where large wooden floats are pulled through the streets at high speeds.


Japan is a country of contrasts, where ancient traditions coexist with modern technology, and where natural beauty blends with bustling cities. And there’s no better time to experience this diverse country than in October. As the autumn leaves start to change colour and the temperatures become milder, Japan comes alive with festivals, seasonal delicacies, and stunning landscapes.

  • Takayama Matsuri: Colorful and elaborate festivals held in Takayama, featuring floats, parades, and traditional performances.


In November, Japan transforms into a mesmerizing palette of autumn colours, and there are several regions and places that stand out as must-visit destinations during this enchanting time of year. The beauty of autumn in Japan extends far beyond its picturesque landscapes. It is a season deeply rooted in the country’s rich cultural traditions and cherished by its people. It’s a time when locals celebrate the changing of the seasons with traditional festivals, delicious seasonal cuisine, and moments of reflection in serene natural settings.

  • Momiji (Autumn Leaves) Viewing: As the leaves change color, many parks and gardens become popular spots for tourists and locals alike.


From the snowy peaks of Hokkaido to the charming streets of Kyoto, every corner of the country unveils a delightful tapestry of cultural richness and natural splendour. So bundle up, sip on a steaming cup of matcha tea, and get ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Japan in December. Let the twinkling lights, the scent of warm chestnuts, and the echoes of laughter guide you on an unforgettable journey through this captivating country.

  • Christmas Illuminations: Cities across Japan decorate with beautiful light displays, creating a festive atmosphere.


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