If you are going to travel to the Land of the Rising Sun, be sure to come at the right time. Like America, Japan has four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. You may be thinking that summer is the best time to go — sunny weather, clear skies, and no rain. Well, starting around late May to mid-July, the rainy season hits Japan. During this period, if you wish to explore without having to carry an umbrella with you at all times, try to avoid this time of the year if possible. I spent 2 years living in the Kanto area of Ibaraki and experienced the ups and downs of Japanese weather.
The Rainy and Hot Season
In addition, starting around June, the weather turns from hot and muggy to oven-baking humid hot air. This is the type of heat that makes you want to strip naked and just walk around with an ice cream cone in your hand. For me, the humidity was unbearable as I stepped outside, I found my clothes instantly clinging to my body — something I did not enjoy too much. If you do come when the temperature is running high, I recommend carrying around a small hand-towel. Most Japanese do carry one, and it will come in handy. It may surprise you, but Japanese girls are especially careful about having their skin exposed to the scorching sun. They can sometimes be seen carrying around small stylish umbrellas that sometimes match their sense of fashion.
If you want to avoid the heat and rainy weather, coming to Japan at the start of the fall season is a good choice. Usually, the weather begins to cool down around mid-September. Milder weather means you won't be fighting the sweat dripping off of your forehead or having to take refuge in a 7-11 conbini when the rain starts to pour down. September was my favorite season in Japan. However, it was short. Starting around mid-October the weather became cold - dropping down to around 17 degrees Celsius. You begin seeing your breath around late-October and early-November and it stays cold until March.
Next, comes the winter season. If there is one thing I can say — the winter in Japan is very biting. By that I mean, the wind can sometimes cut through the thickest of North Face Jackets in some cases. Winter was when I found myself drinking copious amounts Oi Ocha hot green tea and hot cocoa that can be found in most vending machines and convenience stores. So, if you choose to come to the Kanto or Tohoku regions of Japan, it will be about 4-5 months of cold weather. Luckily, the southern part of Japan stays a little warmer.
Besides September, March and April makes for the best traveling and sightseeing weather. Japanese people begin to take off their surgical masks, the days get longer, and girls start to dress more scantily. I have no complaints; this span of good weather was when I had the most fun exploring new places. The spring weather does not always reach the north as quickly as the Kanto region and below. Hokkaido, for example, has cool summers, and icy winters. Okinawa, on the other hand, is perfect for a winter getaway. Being further south, means the climate will be different from that of northern Japan.
During my 2-year stay in Japan, I weathered everything from frigid temperatures to being cooked alive in the sweltering heat, but I made it out fine in the end. If you are the type of person who loves the hot weather, then maybe my slight exaggerations won't scare you away. Ultimately, the decision depends on you and what your time will allow. I hope this brief overview was helpful and I want more people to come and visit the Land of the Rising Sun.