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Weather in Japan in October - plus Kyoto info request

Weather in Japan in October - plus Kyoto info request

Jul 13th, 2015, 05:13 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 393
Weather in Japan in October - plus Kyoto info request

Hello fellow Fodorites!

I'm mulling over visiting Japan in October of 2016. Question is, what is the weather like during that time of the year? I made my first visit to Tokyo, Japan in mid September of 2012 and while I LOVED visiting the country, it was fairly humid and I was sweatin' like a pig and consuming vast quantities of bottled water. Will it be less humid in October?

When I was there in 2012, I pretty much did everything that was on my itinerary except make it out to Mt. Fuji and ride a bullet train. All of my activity was Tokyo based except the half-day trip I took to Kamakura to see the giant bronze Buddha. This time around I plan on spending some time in Tokyo and then heading down to Kyoto to spend some time there. My travel plans will be as in 2012, leave the U.S. on a Friday with arrival at midday or early evening in Tokyo on Saturday. From there I plan to stay until Monday with check out of hotel on Tuesday to go to Kyoto. I figure part of Tuesday and then all of Wednesday and Thursday should be ample time to see the highlights of Kyoto. Friday I will return to Tokyo and then fly home on Saturday.

As I have never been to Kyoto, for those who have, what are the must see and do things there? And is the time I have allotted to Kyoto a reasonable amount of time? Thanks in advance for any information!
trafaelwyr is offline  
Jul 13th, 2015, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,781
"I figure part of Tuesday and then all of Wednesday and Thursday should be ample time to see the highlights of Kyoto. " Well, that wasn't my experience, but we are all different. We spent 6 days in Kyoto and didn't see everything we wanted to see. If you are interested in Buddhism or in temples or in traditional Japan, Kyoto has much more for you than Tokyo.

I can't tell you what your must-sees will be, but I can say that we loved our day in Arashyama (on the outskirts of Kyoto) and Fushimi Inari (on the outskirts in a different direction), and the temples along the philosopher's path are lovely. Do you know about www.japan-guide.com ? You can use this as a way to decide what the "must-sees" are for you.

October is a good time to visit, but push it as late as possible so you have a chance to see a bit of the koyo (fall colors). We were there in November and got a fantastic show: http://www.marlandc.com/Japan-2013

If it was me - and it isn't - I'd plan this whole trip for the Kyoto area - Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, flying in and out of Osaka (KIX).
Kathie is offline  
Jul 13th, 2015, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,785
'Question is, what is the weather like during that time of the year"

Have you checked? Most decent guidebooks cover climate information, and of course, as Kathie notes, japan-guide.com provides excellent information on this and other topics.

"I figure part of Tuesday and then all of Wednesday and Thursday should be ample time to see the highlights of Kyoto"

Like Kathie, I spent 6 full days in the area and did NOT see even the highlights that I would have liked to have seen. IMO, you really need to "crack the books" as we used to say -- do some research and figure out what most interests YOU.

"Friday I will return to Tokyo and then fly home on Saturday."

Have you looked into open jaw tickets?

It will be YOUR trip, at YOUR expense, so really, seriously -- do some homework, trafaelwyr

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Jul 13th, 2015, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
Looks like you were there a similar time to us in 2012, we were there across September into October. I didn't find it that humid really, but we also had good weather in October/ November the following year, part of that trip we spent in Kyoto and a week down in Kyushu.

Temperatures do vary considerably from north to south, there's a guide to temperatures per month on the Japan Guide site.

Like Kathie and Kja, we felt Kyoto warranted much more than just two or three days, and we spent 5 nights there the first time and 6 nights there the following year. I'm debating including further nights there on our next trip as we still didn't see everything we could have.

Echo their advice to really dig deep into Japan Guide to look at what things are of interest to you, and of course, read back here as well for ideas and reports.
Kavey is offline  
Jul 15th, 2015, 09:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,313
The humidity does not go down very much between September and October but the temperature does drop. Recommend the last half of October for good weather as one can get Typhoons until about mid October. Less rain as well as the season moves towards Winter. Mid October to Mid November tends to have the best weather for tourists.
mjs is offline  
Jul 16th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8
Weather in October in Kyoto is good, November is even better. Free form tropical cyclone, leaves turn into yellowish red, light up of gardens in night time.... all happen in November. If your schedule only allows you to come in October, the later the better.

As mentioned above, you may consider flying in and out of Osaka Kansai airport instead of Tokyo from which you need a 4 hours bullet train to travel between. If you do pick Tokyo, try to book Haneda Airport, instead of Narita airport which is far away from downtown area.

As for Kyoto, there are so many temples and palace to visit. I would recommend that you try the restaurants along the Kamo river for dinner. Very unique experience.
clau888 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2015, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,263
Definitely consider an open-jaw ticket. Check Tokyo Haneda (HND) in addition to Tokyo Narita (NRT). You do a fare search using TYO and it will include both airports. Use OSA in a fare search for both Osaka Itami (ITM) and Osaka Kansai (KIX) airports.

For a 7-night trip, I think you have a good basic plan, just Tokyo and Kyoto, but your time in Kyoto is not "ample". How you balance the number of nights in those destinations depends on your interests. The three nights in Kyoto is fine considering the length of your trip. You can add night(s) to Kyoto but you probably don't want to subtract a night.

You might also want to search for departures on Thursday as well as Friday. You might be able to get in a full day's work and fly that Thursday night. For example, ANA has a LAX-HND flight that departs after midnight and arrives at 5AM. You might be able to get that flight or something similar and squeeze out another day in Japan.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2015, 08:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 393
Hello all! Thank you very much for your replies and input. This gives me something to go on in terms of planning. I would have replied sooner, but I've been a bit ADD lately! I will probably delve deeper into the research aspect of this trip after September of this year once I've taken my "vacation" for the year (a cruise - a first for me). Again, thanks!
trafaelwyr is offline  

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