Climate

Selections

Japan has four distinct seasons. The climate can widely vary depending on the region you visit as the country is long from north to south. Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu have extratropical climates, Hokkaido has subarctic climates, and the southern islands such as Okinawa have subtropical climates. For example, springtime skiing can be enjoyed in the northern areas between March and April, but sea bathing can be enjoyed during the same time of the year on the islands in the southwestern areas. Japan also has particular climactic events such as a rainy season and typhoons.

The Rainy Season

JRainy days and cloudy days increase as the rain front becomes active from early June to early July in Honshu and from mid-May to mid-June in Okinawa. The rain may continue to pour over a period of several days so travelers during this season should plan ahead. Please be careful of hazards such as mold and food poisoning that often result from the high levels of humidity. Hokkaido is mostly unaffected by the rainy season.

Typhoons

JCyclones over the Pacific Ocean intensify and sometimes pass near Japan from July to October. Statistics show that they move onshore the most between August and September. Typhoons cannot be prepared for appropriately as their tracks and the damage they inflict greatly differ each time they hit, but please gather necessary information when they start to approach. Public transportation may even come to a halt when they are large in scale. In most cases, they cause serious effects for two days.

Winter (December – February)

JThe temperature rarely drops below 0°C in the plains along the Pacific coast during wintertime. It is also quite dry and very often sunny. Central Japan and Northern Japan are highly reputed regions for winter sports. Southern Japan is comparatively mild and pleasant in winter.
Clothing: overcoats, sweaters, etc.

Spring (March – May)

JThe plum blossom is a good sign that the cold winter will soon end and spring is just around the corner, followed by the cherry blossom at its best in the Tokyo area between the end of March and the beginning of April to bring this beautiful season to a climax. Splendid views of mountains, fields and gardens all blanketed in gentle pink abound in this season.
Clothing: light jackets, light sweaters and other similar kinds of tops.

Summer (June – August)

JThe Japanese summer begins in June with a three to four week rainy season. This is an important time for farmers to plant rice. It becomes seriously hot and humid from July onward and many Japanese enjoy bathing in the sea and relaxing at cool resorts in mountainous areas. Summer is when many interesting festivals and other events are held all over the country.
Clothing: light clothes (cardigans and other similar kinds are handy, since indoors are mostly air-conditioned.)

Autumn (September – November)

JAutumn always brings such freshness with a light breeze and cool temperature after the hot and humid summer. All forests are dyed in glorious autumn colors. Chrysanthemums create beautiful displays with their abundance of flowers to enchant visitors to parks and gardens. Autumn is also the season for many exhibitions, music concerts and sports tournaments in Japan.
Clothing: light jackets, light sweaters and other similar kinds of tops.

Average Temperature & Precipitation in Major Cities:

Winter (Jan) Spring (Apr)
T(F) T(C) P(mm) T(F) T(C) P(mm)
Sapporo 25.5 -3.6 113.6 44.8 7.1 57
Sendai 34.9 1.6 37 50.5 10.3 98
Tokyo 43 6.1 52 58.2 14.6 125
Nagoya 40.1 4.5 48 57.9 14.4 125
Osaka 42.8 6 45 59.2 15.1 104
Fukuoka 43.8 6.6 68 59.2 15.1 117
Naha 62.6 17 107 70.5 21.4 166
Summer (Jul) Autumn (Oct)
T(F) T(C) P(mm) T(F) T(C) P(mm)
Sapporo 68.9 20.5 81 53.2 11.8 109
Sendai 72 22.2 179 59.4 15.2 122
Tokyo 77.7 25.4 154 65.3 18.5 198
Nagoya 79.5 26.4 204 64.6 18.1 128
Osaka 81.3 27.4 157 66.2 19 112
Fukuoka 80.9 27.2 278 66.5 19.2 74
Naha 84 28.9 141 77.4 25.2 153

Key: “T” stands for temperature in (F) Fahrenheit and (C) Celsius.
Average of year 1981-2010