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Tokyo is a dazzling destination, one popular among travelers for its ability to keep traditional Japanese culture while embracing a passion for everything new. When to visit is a difficult question to answer. Each month has something fantastic to offer, and as seasons play a huge role in Japanese culture, visiting at different times of the year will offer different experiences.

The following are reasons to visit Tokyo during each season. The decision of when to visit is then up to you!

When to Visit Tokyo: Reasons to Visit in Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring

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Winter

Winter in Tokyo runs from December to February and is off-peak in terms of tourism. This is a great time to visit for those looking to avoid the crowds, and travelers looking for opportunities to save will be able to find fantastic deals at some of Tokyo’s best hotels.

However, you won’t avoid crowds if planning to take in winter holidays like the Emperor’s Birthday (December 23) or New Year’s Day. So plan for events like this well in advance, and consider pre-booking things like Tokyo airport transfers.

Also, try to avoid traveling to popular destinations like Kyoto on weekends. Winter might be slow in terms of tourists, but local crowds can be just as overwhelming.

Spring

Spring runs from March to May when parks throughout the city burst with vibrant colors. Visit Tokyo during spring if the Japanese cherry blossom festival (Hanami) is on your bucket list. Some popular spots for cherry blossom viewing include Shinjuku Gyoen (10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station), Ueno Park (a few steps from Ueno Station), and Asukayama Park (Short walk from Oji Station).

Other festivals and events include Golden Week – a set of public holidays from April 29 to May 5. Keep in mind that travel during Golden Week should be planned well in advance; it is high season for Tokyo and there will be huge crowds. Spring is a great time to visit if interested in the Tokyo gay scene.

Summer

Summer in Japan runs from June to August, and includes the rainy season. Temperatures are hot and humid, though for those who can brave the heat there are some fantastic things to do.

For instance, summer is the season for climbing Mount Fuji – something on the bucket list of every adventurer to Japan. Although there are several routes to get to Mount Fuji from Central Tokyo, the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station is the most popular base for ease of public transport from Tokyo. Buses leave Shinjuku Station 4 to 10 times a day. It is a 140 minute bus ride for 2700 yen (one way).

Tourists traveling during July can should aim to catch the summer fireworks. The Sumida River Fireworks happen on the last Saturday of every July.

Autumn

Autumn in Tokyo runs from September to November, and this is arguably one of the best times to visit the city. Summer crowds start to die down, and the humidity and heat starts to decline.

There are some fantastic festivals and events to attend each year during this time, including the Tokyo International Film Festival in October. This is usually held at the Roppongi Hills development, which is a five-minute walk from the Hibiya Line platform of Roppongi Station.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Featured photo by Japanexperterna. Pinterest image of cherry blossoms by Yoshikazu TAKADA. Pinetrest image of Tokyo city by Moyan Brenn. Cherry blossom festival photos by Jacob Ehnmarkkaybee07Reginald Pentinio.

    24 Comments

  1. Nice article and pictures!
    We subscribe to your blog :)
    Ultimate Paris Guide Team

    • Thanks Lou! Glad you’re enjoying our blog :)

  2. I would love to get to Japan to climb Mt Fuji – had no idea that the season only ran through summer, so thankyou for that tip :)

    • Hope you have the chance to travel next summer!

  3. We’re actually going to be going in early August and I’ve heard from so many people not to go them because it’s the raining and hot season. But there’s no avoiding it, so we’re going to make the best of it, and take your advice to see the fireworks!

    • There are definitely still fantastic things to do in summer despite the humidity and heat. If you’re up for some adventure could may consider climbing Mt. Fuji to :)

  4. Good research. I hope that you have a chance to be in Tokyo for each of the seasons.

    • Thanks Elaine :) Could easily spend a year in Tokyo to experience all four seasons for sure!

  5. I am off to japan with my wife in august done all the research now just waiting to go.I was there 17 years ago.So looking forward to it.Thanks for all the tips and advice. we are off to tokyo and yokohama and osaka.

    • I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time! Happy travels Lee :)

  6. I want to visit Japan in every season! There are so many contrasts between the seasons and different things to see and do. Seeing the Cherry Blossoms and Climbing Mount Fuji are two of the things at the top of my list!

    • One of those places where you could definitely stay put and spend a whole year! I hope you manage to incorporate Mt Fuji and the Cherry Blossom Festival into your travels soon :)

  7. The problem is I would love to see Japan…including all it’s seasons!! Climbing Mt. Fuji sounds amazing!

    • Definitely one of those places where you could set up a base and stay there all year!

  8. I’m heading to Japan really soon, I can’t wait! I hear Spring is a must for the cherry blossoms and worth the crowds of tourists. I would also love to visit Shinjuku park in the autumn- in all its orange glory!

    • The Cherry Blossoms are definitely worth the tourist crowds – you’ll absolutely love it! Have a wonderful trip Mar :)

  9. I really want to be there when the cherry trees bloom. I missed them this year when they bloomed in DC.

    I want to see Tokyo but not when it’s crowded (like that will ever happen). It sounds like a fun city to visit no matter the season.

    • Really is a fun city to visit no matter which season you decide to go – the Cherry Blossoms are absolutely spectacular, though you will hit crowds. Personally I think it’s worth bearing with the tourism to experience the blooms :)

  10. Autumn and Spring are my favorite seasons! This is very helpful, thanks for sharing. I’d love to visit Tokyo in 2017. Happy travels :)

    • Glad the post was helpful Lauren! Hope you enjoy Tokyo in 2017 :)

  11. I’d love to go in the spring to see the cherry blossoms. Granted, I’m sure all the other tourists think the same thing! But still, I think that would just be so beautiful to experience in person!

    • Yes, that’s definitely the most popular season to visit Japan! But it’s well worth dealing with the crowds to experience the cherry blossoms once they bloom :)

  12. I’m dying to visit Japan! Tokyo sure looks gorgeous in Springtime. I would love to experience seeing those stunning cherry blossoms. Great post!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Janna! I hope you have the chance to visit Tokyo soon :)

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