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Japan Solo in March/April vs with friends Early September?

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Japan Solo in March/April vs with friends Early September?

Old Jan 25th, 2023, 11:33 PM
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Japan Solo in March/April vs with friends Early September?


I wanted to go to Japan during March/April to see the Sakuras. However, my friends canít travel to Japan during that timeframe due to work and can only go during summer break. Thus, the dates we could go all together is September 2nd - 17th.

Iím curious how different the experience will be to go in September instead of March/April.

Iím debating doing a solo trip instead in late March. I already have done numerous solo trips and donít mind meeting people in hostels. But part of me also wants to go during September since itís nice traveling with friends and the reason I travel solo is because my friends rarely travel or want to travel. This time they do since they are obsessed with Japan culture and one of my friendsí family lives in Japan.

Any input would be helpful. Is Japan a lot more pleasant in March/April? I heard it can be more unpleasant in early September.

Another option is doing both, going for less time like 7-10 days solo (or 7-10 days with friends) and revisiting Japan the same year. Although im not sure if itís a good option given that I recently became a traveler (doing 2-3 international trips a year) and want to go to new places and would rather revisit when im older. Also limited PTO.

TLDR: Want to go to Japan during optimal time, debating going solo or going with friends but at an unoptimal time (typhoon and humidity).

Last edited by FriendlyTraveler5; Jan 25th, 2023 at 11:36 PM.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 10:56 AM
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My understanding is that typhoons are not fun.

>> my friends rarely travel or want to travel.
Do your friends think that typhoons/rain are fun? If not, do you think that people who rarely want to travel will be encouraged to travel more after experiencing some undesirable weatther? Or will they get there, be bunmed, and decide they should have stayed home?

>> obsessed with Japan culture and one of my friends’ family lives in Japan.
Maybe they will overlook the weather if their obsession is satisfied (esp if it is indoor stuff). Having family there does add a positive dimension to the trip that could overcome some negatives.

Go in November (optimal to me) around Thanksgiving holiday (assuming you are American).

I hear you about PTO. There is also LWOP, leave without pay.

If you can go 7-10 days for each of two trips then that would work.That amount of time (14-20 days total) may or may not be enough time for you to be done with Japan. Going to Japan in different seasons is good and I have benefited, I think, by taking, say, two 10-day trips in different seasons instead of one 20-day trip.

Last edited by mrwunrfl; Jan 26th, 2023 at 10:58 AM.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 11:23 AM
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To be fair, Honshu is likely affected by a Typhoon 2-3 times a year, for a day or two and how badly depends on how close the eye of the typhoon hits where you are. August and September are the most likely months for a typhoon to hit Japan and generally those typhoons are the worst. Does clear out the smog for a day after, and you can usually see Mt fuji from Tokyo the day after the typhoon. The heat and humidly is also much better that day too. Otherwise early September can be unbearably hot and humid. The fall between about October to maybe mid December is a nice time to go. I often go during Thanksgiving but if I were have to choose a time it would be mid October to mid November. Mid March to maybe mid May for Spring taking into consideration that you have Golden week and cherry blossom time that can be very busy.
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Old Feb 27th, 2023, 02:33 AM
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I realized I never responded but I really REALLY appreciate the responses! They can't be flexible on changing the dates from September. I decided what I'm going to do is do my full trip next month (March 27th - April 10th) and then after that decide if I want more time in Japan (and if I do then go with my friends) or after I decide I'll want to visit other parts of Asia (i.e. Taiwan, Thailand, SK, etc).

I could do 7 days this trip and just do Tokyo but I feel for cherry blossom season I gotta be in Kyoto at least.

One option is 6 days in Tokyo (with a day trip to Hakone) and 4 days in Kyoto (includes a day trip to Nara), but doing that would only save me 2-3 days of vacation time, so might as well just do the whole 2 weeks and add the weekend in.

So I'm thinking since I've been super excited to see the cherry blossoms, I gotta do late March next month for this trip and then decide after if I want to spend more time with them.

Hope I made a good decision

Anyways, I think I'm going to go for the full 2 weeks and right now I'm booking everything. Just waiting on my other post about if I should move my dates back based on the cherry blossom forecast.

Edit: Actually now Iím heavily considering splitting my trip into Japan (just Kyoto) and South Korea or Mainland China or Singapore or Hong Kong. Basically another East Asian destination. Since I was considering going with my friends in September, maybe itís best to split up my trip?

idk itís a hard decision. Also considering just doing Japan. Thereís so much of the world I want to see ahhh

Last edited by FriendlyTraveler5; Feb 27th, 2023 at 03:30 AM.
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Old Feb 27th, 2023, 09:48 AM
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>> Hope I made a good decision
You had two options and both of them were good.

>> splitting my trip
you are only 23. you have time to visit those other places on future trips

>> Japan (just Kyoto)
this is the only thing that you have written on either post that I would say is not a good idea. Split your trip if you want but given your interest and timing for cherry blossoms then "just Tokyo" would make more sense to me, but see above about splitting.

>> ahhh
that makes me want to tell you to calm tf down, but i won't do that. Instead, I'll just say again that whatever you decide, it will be good. It will be a learning experience in any case.

Last edited by mrwunrfl; Feb 27th, 2023 at 09:52 AM.
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