Best time of Year to go to Japan

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Oct 9th, 2018, 09:52 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2018
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Best time of Year to go to Japan

Hi all,

I am a recent grad and would love to travel to Seoul and a few of the big cities in Japan in 2018 or 2019. On the Seoul page, it shows the best times of year to travel for tourists and for the price tag.
So I am wondering, what time of year are flights and hotels/hostels cheapest to Japan?

I appreciate anyone's input

Thanks,
RJ
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Oct 9th, 2018, 06:05 PM
  #2
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,561
For this question, and almost any other about traveling in Japan, think of japan-guide.com as your go-to source for information. It isn't perfect, but it's better than just about anything else, IME!
Here's the climate when-to-go page:
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2273.html
It also has an event calendar and other useful information, but I'm not sure you'll find information on seasonal differences in the costs of travel. I could be wrong!

FWIW, if you are definitely going to Seoul, you might consider limiting your trip to South Korea. There's a lot to see there! I find many advantages to limiting a trip to a single country, because then I can really see the differences between places in that same country (rather than comparing apples and oranges, which is how I find cross-nation comparisons). Too, I always like to learn at least a bit of the language, mostly just a few civilities, but am so poor with languages that I can't manage multiple ones for the same trip. YMMV, and of course, English will be sufficient for Seoul or any of Japan's major cities. And I should note that others prefer the contrasts they find in visiting different countries on the same trip -- no right or wrong answer.

I loved my time in Japan, but didn't write a trip report. I did write about my month in South Korea; maybe you'll find some useful information in that report:
4 wonderful solo weeks in South Korea
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Oct 13th, 2018, 12:31 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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In your title you ask the "Best time of Year to go" and then in your message body you ask the cheapest time of year. Those are not necessarily the same thing.
Also Japan covers a lot of latitudes, so you will find some very different climates according to the season.
Every season has something good and something not so good about them. A lot of the following is from my experience there for over a decade, so some things might not affect you.

Spring:
  1. Pros - beautiful flowers coming out - the cherry blossoms, wisteria, azaleas, nemophila, hydrangea, tulips, roses…. Generally comfortable weather until the latter part of the season. The Japanese start wearing some brighter colors as well - winter can look like a funeral sometimes.
  2. Cons - A lot of rain - from the start of June is the rainy season til early July, and there can be a lot of downpours. Even before the rainy season the weather can be awful a fair amount of the time. The extremely muggy and stuffy weather can be really hard to deal with. Also the vibrant greens don’t return until later in the season, so the rain isn’t all bad. And of course, hay fever season.
Summer:
  1. Pros - Great beach weather. Some more nice seasonal flowers. Fireworks festivals and Obon. Beer gardens are wonderful.
  2. Cons - Even hotter temperatures and more muggy weather - like living in a steam bath. Contending with mildew. Clouds of mosquitoes in places. Cicadias singing away start off as cute but eventually become like a dentist’s drill. Lots more cockroaches too. Exploding AC bills. Higher airline tickets. Late in summer are more typhoons, and in some places it’s jellyfish season - ouch.
Autumn:
  1. Pros - The weather is easily the best of the year - the miserable humidity is over and there are so many more days of clear blue skies and comfortable temperatures. The autumn colors (koyo) are also one of the most beautiful times to be in Japan.
  2. Cons - Some lingering typhoons but usually not much. Some temperature gyrations. Overall, little to complain about.
Winter:
  1. Pros - Xmas displays can be really beautiful. Fewer insects to contend with. Temperatures can vary and while they can get quite chilly or cold, are not frigid unless you go to the mountains or up north. In late winter is plum blossom season, which can be extremely beautiful. Tourist low season and fewer crowds.
  2. Cons - End of year and New Year’s frenzy can drive you nuts. Lack of flora gets drab most of the season. If you still use a kerosene heater, the stink can be very overpowering.
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Oct 14th, 2018, 10:48 PM
  #4
mjs
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,298
Best and cheapest are usually not the same. Cheapest time to go is probably from mid January to mid March. To add to Adastra for Honshu:

Spring: Weather can be variable. Cherry blossom time can be crowded and expensive. Two weeks before and after can be pleasant. Golden week in early May might complicate travel.
Weather after Golden week tends to be very warm but not terrible.

Summer: Gets very hot after the rainy season. Typhoon season from July to about early-mid October.

Autumn: Best time to go in my opinion, especially between about mid October and Mid December. Less precipitation as it gets colder.

Winter: Gets cold towards the end of December. Lots of Xmas stuff plus New year activities. Never found kerosene to be bothersome.
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Oct 16th, 2018, 03:49 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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There is no such best time to visit Japan. It looks ravishing the whole year. Since Japan is an addicting place which makes you visit it again and again.

For each season, there are many reasons for and against visiting Japan. The ideal time to visit Japan is between December and February. With lesser crowds with perfect temperature. You can check out my experience of japan here. It is really an amazing place to enjoy, people of Japan are very humble and polite. You just fall in love with Japan.
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