What’s the best time to visit Japan? [Things + Food]
Visiting Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with its unique culture, diverse landscapes and iconic landmarks. But when’s the best time to go?
If you pick an ideal date for your visit, you can enjoy all that Japan has to offer without having to deal with crowds or expensive seasons.
Whether it’s cherry blossom season, autumn colors or wintertime in Okinawa – we’ll give you some tips on the perfect times of year to plan your trip so you get to see all the beauty that Japan has in store.
The best time to visit Japan:
Japan is a beautiful country that offers a diverse range of experiences and attractions throughout the year. However, depending on your interests and preferences, some seasons may be more advantageous to visit than others.
Springtime (March to May) is one of the best times to visit Japan due to its mild weather and breathtaking cherry blossoms.
The iconic sakura bloom season begins in late March and peaks in early April, attracting hordes of tourists from all over the world to witness the stunning pink petals.
During this season, visitors can attend Hanami (flower viewing) parties to enjoy picnics, food, and drinks under the cherry blossom trees.
Apart from cherry trees, other flowers such as azaleas, peonies, and wisterias also bloom, making Japan a vibrant and picturesque destination.
Best things to do in Japan:
When in Japan, make sure to indulge in some of the country’s unique activities that you won’t find anywhere else.
Visit Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Japan. Towering over the city, it offers spectacular views of Tokyo’s skyline. The tower is beautifully illuminated at night, making it a perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a peaceful stroll.
Explore Kyoto’s Temples
Kyoto is home to some of the most beautiful temples in Japan, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture. Some of the most famous temples include Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion), and Ryoan-ji.
Experience a Traditional Tea Ceremony
Japan is famous for its tea ceremony. This is a traditional ritual that involves the preparation and serving of green tea. It’s a peaceful and contemplative experience that can help you disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Stroll through the Beautiful Gardens
Japan has some of the most beautiful gardens in the world. They are often located near temples and offer stunning views of nature. Some of the most famous gardens include Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto and Kenrokuen garden in Kanazawa.
Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a sobering reminder of the devastating effects of war. The park is home to the Atomic Bomb Dome, which has been preserved as a memorial to the victims of the nuclear bombing. This is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history.
Experience a Traditional Onsen
An onsen is a traditional Japanese hot spring. It’s a relaxing and soothing experience that can help relieve stress and tension. Japan has many onsens scattered around the country, each with its unique character and charm.
Attend a Sumo Match
Sumo wrestling is a popular traditional sport in Japan. It involves two wrestlers trying to force each other out of a ring. Attending a sumo match is an exhilarating experience that you won’t soon forget.
Marvel at the Natural Wonders
Japan is home to some of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. Mount Fuji is an iconic symbol of Japan and is a popular destination for hikers. The Oirase Stream in Aomori prefecture is another beautiful natural attraction that’s worth visiting.
Explore Japan’s Food Scene
Japan is famous for its unique and delicious cuisine. From sushi to ramen, there’s something for everyone in Japan’s food scene. Don’t be afraid to try something new and exciting.
Experience the Thrill of a Theme Park
Japan is home to some of the most exciting theme parks in the world, including Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan. These parks offer fun and thrills for the whole family.
Best places to visit in Japan:
Japan has something for everyone.Take a closer look at the top 10 must-visit places in Japan, providing detailed information for each site so that you can plan your itinerary accordingly.
Japan’s bustling capital city is an exciting destination that showcases the magic of modern technology, alongside ancient temples and gardens. Whether you want to visit Tokyo Disneyland, indulge in Japan’s signature dishes, or take a stroll through the serene Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo offers endless possibilities.
The ancient capital of Japan is rich with tradition, offering visitors a glimpse of the country’s timeless charm. In Kyoto, you can explore over 2,000 temples and shrines, including the iconic Fushimi Inari-Taisya Shrine with its thousands of vermillion Torii gates.
One of Japan’s largest cities is famous for its food, nightlife, and vibrant atmosphere. Visit the towering Osaka castle, sample famous dishes like takoyaki and okonomiyaki, or take a stroll through the bustling Dotonbori district.
A city with a tragic past, Hiroshima is now a symbol of hope, peace, and resilience. The city is home to the Peace Memorial Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome, both of which serve as reminders of the horrors of nuclear warfare.
A serene city that is steeped in history and mythology, Nara is home to sacred shrines, ancient temples, and friendly deer. Visit the Todaiji Temple and its enormous bronze Buddha statue, or stroll through the picturesque Isuien Garden.
A popular destination for nature lovers, Hakone is famous for its hot springs, stunning views, and iconic black eggs. Take a scenic cable car ride to see the magnificent Mount Fuji, soak in a hot spring bath, or savor a delicious meal served in a traditional wooden box.
Japan’s northernmost island is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering year-round attractions like skiing, hiking, and scenic drives. Visit the Sapporo Snow Festival, explore the picturesque Otaru Canal, or sample the island’s delicious seafood.
Home to one of Japan’s most delightful castles, Nagoya is an underestimated gem that is worth a visit. The picturesque Nagoya Castle dates back to 1612 and is surrounded by stunning gardens, including the Hommaru Palace Gardens.
Just a short train ride from Tokyo, Kamakura is a charming coastal town that was once the political capital of Japan. Explore the famous Daibutsu Buddha statue, stroll along the tranquil Yuigahama Beach, or visit the quaint Hase-dera Temple.
Japan’s tropical island paradise is a haven for sun-worshippers, offering miles of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush jungles. Snorkel or scuba dive off the coast of Kerama Islands, or visit Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 14th century.
Best foods to eat in Japan:
Japan is known for its culinary excellence and unique food culture. From sushi to ramen, there are numerous dishes to try when visiting Japan. However, it can be overwhelming to decide what to eat and where to go.
Sushi is probably the most well-known Japanese dish globally. It consists of vinegared rice topped with fresh seafood, such as tuna, salmon, and eel.
Sushi comes in many different forms, from simple nigiri sushi to extravagant rolls filled with avocado or tempura.
One of the best places to try sushi is at Tsukiji Fish Market, where you can sample the freshest seafood available.
Ramen is a classic Japanese noodle dish that is popular worldwide.
It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a rich soup, usually flavored with soy sauce, miso, or pork broth.
The soup is topped with a variety of ingredients, including sliced pork, seaweed, and soft-boiled eggs.
Ichiran is a restaurant chain that specializes in tonkotsu ramen and considered one of the best places to try it.
Tempura is a Japanese dish of deep-fried seafood and vegetables.
The batter is made from a mixture of wheat flour, egg, and ice-cold water, resulting in a light and crispy texture.
The most common ingredients used in tempura include shrimp, squid, asparagus, and sweet potatoes.
One of the best places to try tempura is at Tenmatsu, a restaurant chain that serves delicious tempura using fresh, local ingredients.
Takoyaki is a popular snack food in Japan that is commonly found at street vendors and festivals.
It consists of small balls of batter filled with small pieces of octopus and a variety of toppings, including green onion and bonito flakes.
Takoyaki is typically cooked in a special takoyaki pan, resulting in a crispy exterior and a soft, savory center.
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake that is often called “Japanese pizza.”
It is made with a batter of flour, eggs, and shredded cabbage, and is typically filled with various ingredients, such as pork belly, shrimp, or cheese.
Okonomiyaki is finished with a variety of toppings, including mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and Worcestershire sauce.
One of the best places to try okonomiyaki is at Okonomimura, a multi-level dining complex in Hiroshima that specializes in the dish.
Udon is a thick Japanese noodle made from wheat flour. Udon can be served hot or cold and comes in various forms, including soups and stir-fries.
The most popular udon dishes include kitsune udon, which is served with sweetened fried tofu, and tempura udon, which is udon served in a hot broth with pieces of tempura on top.
One of the best places to try udon is at Nakamura Udon in Kyoto, which serves fresh, handmade udon noodles.
Katsu is a Japanese dish that typically consists of deep-fried breaded meat, usually pork or chicken.
The dish is typically served with a side of cabbage and tonkatsu sauce, a sweet and savory sauce made from Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and sugar.
One of the best places to try katsu is at Maisen, a restaurant in Tokyo that serves some of the best tonkatsu in the city.
Yakitori is a Japanese dish of grilled chicken skewers, usually seasoned with soy sauce and mirin.
The chicken is typically served with a side of tare sauce, a sweet and savory sauce made from soy sauce, sake, and sugar.
Yakitori comes in a variety of forms, including thigh meat, wings, and skin. One of the best places to try yakitori is at Toriki in Tokyo, where you can sample a variety of different chicken skewers.
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice, which is pounded into a sticky paste and molded into various shapes.
Mochi can be filled with a variety of fillings, such as red bean paste, ice cream, or fruit.
One of the best places to try mochi is at Naniwaya Sohonten in Tokyo, which has been serving delicious mochi since 1909.
Wagyu beef is a Japanese beef that is known for its high quality and marbled texture.
Wagyu cows are raised in Japan and are typically fed a special diet that includes beer and massages.
The beef is typically served in various forms, including steaks, shabu shabu (thinly sliced beef cooked in a hot pot), and yakiniku (grilled meat served with dipping sauces).
One of the best places to try wagyu beef is at Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511 in Kobe, where you can sample some of the best beef in the country.
In conclusion, considering all the factors mentioned above, a visit to Japan during springtime (March to May) is extremely rewarding.
The beautiful blossoming trees, flowers and bright skies provide a serene and calming atmosphere that has to be seen to be believed.
With slightly warmer temperatures, tourists can experience the best of both worlds – being outdoors in t-shirts while at the same time being able to explore Japan’s forests and mountains.
Cut down on hotel expenses by booking during low season without sacrificing on exploring some of Japan’s best features – cherry blossoms.
Take your trip up a notch by taking part in springtime festivals like Hanami and enjoy Japan at the peak of its beauty! So, before you make plans for your next trip abroad, consider visiting Japan at this extraordinary time of year! Trust us, it will be an adventure of a lifetime.
What is the best time to see the cherry blossoms in Japan?
The best time to see the cherry blossoms in Japan is typically from late March to early April. The exact dates vary each year, so it’s important to check when they are expected to bloom before planning your trip.
Are there any other seasons that are good for visiting Japan?
Yes! Summer (June to August) and autumn (September to November) are both great times to visit Japan. Summer is hot and humid, but it’s the perfect time for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and festivals. Autumn brings cooler temperatures, vibrant fall foliage, and delicious seasonal foods.
What are some of the traditional Japanese dishes I should try?
Some of the most popular and traditional Japanese dishes to try are katsu (deep-fried breaded meat), yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), mochi (rice cakes filled with sweet fillings), and wagyu beef. All of these dishes can be found at restaurants throughout Japan.