Japan Experts, Which Month to Travel?

Apr 1st, 2005, 12:07 PM
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Japan Experts, Which Month to Travel?

Given a choice, which month would you prefer to visit Kyoto, Hakone and Tokyo, late March or late May. I have been to Japan several times but usually during autumn, a season I really enjoy.

This would be a trip with my family so it would be either during Spring Break or just after school lets out for the summer. Pros and cons for either? All opinions are welcome, thanks for your help.
curiousgeo is online now  
Apr 1st, 2005, 12:43 PM
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Late March is school holiday time in Japan and many sights get very busy with families. Weatherwise, it's getting comfortably warm (60-70F) and also usually coincides with cherry blossom season - meaning big crowds.
I'd go for late May - lovely time of the year, warm without being hot (70-75F average) and everyone's back at work. Kyoto will still be busy (with big tour groups). If you can make it on May 15, Kyoto celebrates the Hollyhock Festival (Aoi Matsuri) with a big procession in period costume from the Imperial Palace to Kamigamo Shrine.
Alec is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 01:33 PM
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I second late May
glorialf is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 02:37 PM
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But in late March you get the Hana-Toro Illumination festival in Kyoto, w/traditional music, dance, geishas in rickshaws, temples all lit up at night, the lighted scupltures and huge ikebana in the park and in front of temples, etc. As you know, we just got back from 3/18 til 3/26 in Kyoto and had a few days of rainy and cold weather, but we also had some sunny days. This year there were no cherry blossoms in late March, and apparently the Japanese monitor this as the Westin Miyako staff told us they had had major cancellations the weekend we were leaving due to no cherry blossoms. You would be gambling, but you might even get to see the blossoms.
Right now I miss Kyoto so much I'd go anytime.
emd is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 08:01 PM
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I think either time would be a good time to visit central Japan but I would pick late March. Late May can be somewhat warm with humidity while late March can sometimes see cold spells. Might be abit more crowded in late March as it is Cherry blossom time but as long as you book your hotels ahead of time it should not be a problem.
mjs is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 09:03 PM
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I did have that choice this year and chose late May, again. The weather is nice and it is not a big vacation time for the Japanese. It's easy to get seat reservations on the trains and hotel rooms are generally available. Last May, I took a light jacket which I remember using up north in Hokkaido and in the mountains at Kamikochi in central Japan.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 04:35 AM
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how is the weather like in May? i am going to Japan(HURRAY!!) in May 14 to June 2. what should i pack along?
elffie is offline  
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