Japan can be seen as a year-round destination with each season bringing its own delights. Temperatures can vary greatly across the country, so when to visit will likely depend on where you want to go and what you want to see/do.
To experience Japan in full colour with blooming cherry blossoms and vivid red maple trees, we recommend visiting in spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). April is generally considered the prime time to view cherry blossoms which does also mean it is much busier, so booking ahead is essential. The spring and autumn months bring pleasant temperatures ideal for sightseeing.
The summer months are perfectly suited for hiking in the Japanese Alps and the national parks of Hokkaido. For those interested in climbing Mount Fuji, July is one of the best months to do so. Away from the mountains Japan can be rather hot and humid during the summer.
Winter in Japan (December to February) sees heavy snowfall and excellent skiing opportunities in the north. Numerous festivals run throughout the winter such as the Sapporo Snow Festival in the first week of February. The ski season is at its peak in February, and the weather is generally cool and sunny. Hokkaido experiences more marked winters than the rest of Japan, whereas Okinawa has longer summers and is relatively warm all year round.