Planning Your Japan Adventure? Pros and Cons for Each Travel Month in Japan
As you look to plan your trip to Japan, one of the key considerations is when to travel. I would like to offer you a few pros and cons for each travel month in Japan. Certainly, this is a general list and not necessarily applicable to every prefecture in the country, but it's a quick-reference guide for you as you plan your travels here. Here we go...
Cons: Most smaller businesses are shut down over the New Year's Holiday and usually don't pick back up until between 3-7 January. Weather in January is typically cold but consistent.
Pros: You will never have clearer weather in Japan than in February. Most days are sunny and clear. This is a great time of year to see Mt. Fuji. It is also when the Plum Blossoms bloom. Personally, I believe the Plum Blossoms are much more beautiful than Cherry Blossoms, and they are far more resilient, lasting for weeks rather than days. All the stores will be geared up for Valentine's Day, so chocolate lovers will have extra reason to rejoice.
Pros: Ah, Hanami season is in full swing in early April, meaning Cherry Blossoms and beautiful weather. The interim weeks between hanami and the Golden Week holidays tend to be the calm before the storm, meaning less crowds to fight while you enjoy the beautiful weather!
Pros: If you're comfortable with a little rain, you can avoid a lot of crowds. June is rainy season in most parts of Japan, which means that nearly every day will have at least a little bit of rainfall. Still, the trade off is that certain iconic locations will have less crowds, making for some excellent photo opportunities.
Cons: September is typhoon season in Japan. Okinawa gets hit the hardest, but few places in Japan are spared from the heavy rainfall and strong winds of passing typhoons. Occasionally there will be a direct hit, which can halt your travels pretty quickly. Aside from typhoons, September can have pretty up-and-down weather as Japan transitions from the summer.
Cons: The changing leaves can be like cherry blossoms in that they can be somewhat fleeting. Just check ahead to make sure that you are timing your trip right for each area of Japan since the peak leaf viewing times will vary by a week or two depending on the area.
Pros: Christmas in Japan! Personally, I think early December is the best time of year to visit places like DisneySea and other major theme parks because the Christmas Decorations are out of this world! Further, it seems like every major commercial area in the big cities are featuring "Illumination," which is another way of saying lots and lots of Christmas lights! Finally, like other places, Japan ramps up its shopping for Christmas.
So there you have it: Pros and Cons for each travel month in Japan. If you have any additional insights, please add them in the comments section below!
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