Four distinct seasons calls for careful planning before you pack your suitcase!
Cherry blossoms herald the arrival of spring as we finally bid farewell to winter in March. Cherry blossom trees drape the landscape in delicate pastel pinks during this spectacularly beautiful period. Bright, fresh mornings are followed by warm, sunny afternoons which lead into cool evenings when locals gather beneath the blossoming trees to relax and unwind. Enjoy the wonderful custom of hanami, flower-viewing, by picnicking with friends and sharing local sake to celebrate the change in the seasons. You will quickly understand why spring is widely considered the best season to visit Japan. If you are interested in experiencing Japan’s cherry blossom season and taking in the famous Takayama Spring Festival join our Sakura Spring tour.
July, August, and September are Japan’s hottest months, with high humidity and temperatures rising to almost 40°C in the south. Luckily, most places have air conditioning, be prepared for the cold indoors! Rainy season traditionally falls in late June/early July. However, over the past few years it has been a bit more unpredictable, e.g. in 2010 it fell only for a few days here and there in July. Don’t plan your trip around this. You may get it wrong! The best of our Summer tours include The Northern Trail visiting Sado Island for a spectacular Summer festival andLost in Japan for the energetic and vibrant Awa-odori Matsuri, one of Shikoku’s most popular festivals.
Autumn brings welcome relief from the heat and humidity of summer with temperatures falling in a perfect range that provides warm days and cool nights. The Japanese landscape is transformed by the shimmering golds, bright reds, and soft copper tones brought forth by the changing colours of the leaves. Fall is a fantastic season to travel, with this tapestry of foliage covering the countryside. To experience Japan’s autumnal wonder try our Japan Discovered small-group tour.
Snow transforms the northern areas of Japan into a paradise for ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Hit the slopes and never looks back, or, ‘chill out’ at the annual Sapporo Snow Fest in February. This festival is one of Japan’s largest winter events, and the snow and ice sculptures that dominate the city parks create a magical winter wonderland with a wonderful atmosphere to match. For more fun be sure to check out theTsu Dome snow-slides. To discover all that winter in Japan has to offer join our Winter Wonderland self-guided tour.