Best time of Year to go to Japan

Old Oct 9th, 2018, 08:52 AM
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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

rjfazio is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2018, 05:05 PM
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For this question, and almost any other about traveling in Japan, think of 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:
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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Old Oct 13th, 2018, 11:31 AM
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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.

  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
Adastra2200 is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2018, 09:48 PM
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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.
mjs is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2018, 02:49 PM
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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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Old Dec 13th, 2018, 01:07 AM
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Japan is a bit of reach for me too.
The above can help, Thank you so much.
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Old Dec 14th, 2018, 10:07 PM
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Late spring (March to May) and late autumn(September to November) are generally the best times to visit Japan, when there is little rainfall, skies are clear, and temperatures are mild. What's more, the delicate cherry blossom of spring and vivid hues of autumn leaves are visually stunning.
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Old Dec 15th, 2018, 07:24 AM
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I went in August because it was the only time I could miss work. It was 95 degrees with a near 80 dew point. I was miserable often because of the heat and humidity. I would recommend spring or fall if you can make it work. First week of April for the Cherry Blossoms
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Old Dec 15th, 2018, 08:55 AM
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I loved being in Japan in the fall. November had perfect weather and koyo (fall colors).
Kathie is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2018, 12:12 PM
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You can use the info you have about Seoul to choose when to visit Japan. What does it say about the best/cheapest times for Seoul? Maybe one or more of those periods will line up well with Japan.
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Old Dec 18th, 2018, 09:55 AM
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Japan is beautiful in all seasons, but the cheapest time to go is probably November
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Old Dec 18th, 2018, 12:00 PM
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Actually November is the height of koyo (fall Colors) in many places in Japan, so prices, especially for hotels, will be fairly high. The weather is nice in November, not too hot, not too cold. The summer months, which are hot and humid will have lower prices.
Kathie is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2018, 04:58 PM
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I go to Japan in the summer and have no problem with it. I go from around the 3rd week in July to the end of the second week in August. And yeah, it’s hot, but summers are usually hot. Since you didn’t post anything about being against any type of weather, I’m posting summer. As for airfares and hotel prices, I personally save a lot on going in summer over say… the time slot that I could go in the spring. I could also go from December-February, but have no desire to be in the cold and thus head for S.E. Asia, for 6 weeks, where the temps are similar to Japan in summer. And as far as "best" time to go, that's personal from person to person.

Have fun in Japan

Happy Travels!

Last edited by Guenmai; Dec 18th, 2018 at 05:00 PM.
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