Welcome to Japan!
Japan is a fasinating and diverse country to visit. There are regions in the north that have temperatures as low as -30°C in the winter with thick powdery snow and in contrast there’s regions in the south that enjoy balmy temperatures all year round with clear warm seas and coral reefs. In between those extreme climates, each region offers something unique and has its own distinctive charm, scenery, weather, and local produce.
Japan is known as one of the cleanest and safest destinations in the world. It has the most vending machines per person yet the least litter in the streets. Japanese people are extremely friendly and take pride in their beautiful and diverse country.
When to visit
Japan is a land of vastly different climates. At certain points of the year, the mountainous far north can be snowing while the tropical southern islands are warm and perfect for swimming. Many activities are however more suitable at certain times of year, and of course it’s best to know when the rainy season is so you can plan to enjoy any outdoor activities! Japan is world renowned for its skiing in winter whilst the summertime is perfect for visiting the relaxing mountain resorts for a swim.
Spring (March to May):
According to many, the best time to visit Japan is in the spring. As the mountain snows begin to recede and the bare trees start producing leaves, an exciting sense of tension takes over cities and towns across the country. By late March, the Japanese flock outside to reign in the season with the incoming cherry blossom. During this period, most of Japan rests at a pleasant 12°C, meaning you can travel comfortably in light outerwear and sweaters. Moving into the mountains and up the northern island of Hokkaido, you'll find chillier weather, and many Hokkaido ski resorts remain open well past March.
Summer (June to August):
Across much of Japan, the summer is characterized by hot and humid weather. Taking refuge from the heat, many locals opt for cooler climates near the ocean or up in the mountains. As the heat begins to wane in the evenings, people partake in regional fireworks displays, traditional song and dance, and centuries-old festivals. June is usually the rainy season (tsuyu) for most of the country.
Autumn (September to November):
As summer transitions to autumn, Japan begins to cool down, offering temperate weather that's perfect for outdoor walks. From mid-November to early December, the trees turn vivid hues of red, orange, and yellow. It's this combination of cool weather and striking sights that make fall one of the most popular seasons for traveling to Japan. Most of Honshu and Kyushu rest around a pleasant 16°C in October and November. As you move further up north, temperatures begin to cool down, and for most of the season, the island of Hokkaido is cold enough to require a winter jacket.
Winter (December to February):
As winter approaches, a frigid chill engulfs the whole of Japan, and while it rarely snows in most of the country's metropolitan areas, the surrounding mountains and northern regions are regularly covered by fresh blankets of powder. Pack plenty of warm clothes, then bundle up and head outside to enjoy snow festivals, skiing, and snowboarding, and relaxing onsen resorts.
Any foreign visitor entering Japan must have a valid passport for the duration of their stay, and all visitors must comply with the conditions of their visas. Citizens of 68 countries coming to Japan for tourism purposes including Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, UK and almost all European nations don't require a visa (rules and conditions apply)
Even if you are a citizen of a country that doesn't require a visa, make sure to check the official rules for Japan visa requirements as they can periodically change.
Japanese law requires that all short-term foreign visitors must have proof of onward travel (departure) from Japan. All short-term foreign visitors to Japan are photographed and fingerprinted upon arrival and must carry their passport with them in Japan at all times. Working and engaging in paid activities on a short-term stay visa is strictly forbidden.
Cherry blossoms mainly bloom from March to May. The timing will vary year-to-year depending on the weather and location.
No vaccinations are required for foreign travelers coming to Japan. However it's always reccommended to consult your doctor prior to departure.
- Ohayo gozaimasu - Good morning
- Konnichiwa - Good afternoon
- Konbanwa - Good evening
- Oyasumi nasai - Good night
- Sayonara - Good-bye
- Sumimasen - Excuse me
- Gomen nasai - I am sorry
- Wakarimasen - I don't understand
- Arigatou - Thank you
- Hai – Yes
- Iie – No
- Doko desuka - Where is ___?
- Ikura desuka - How much is ___?
- Oishii - It's delicious
- Tanoshii - It's fun
Why we love it!
While most famous for sushi and ramen, Japan's culinary delights are endless. Enjoy seasonal kaiseki multi-course meals, or explore street food options like okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza); try shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine) and a vast array of regional specialties.
No matter what time of year you visit Japan, it will be sure to delight. Walk under the iconic cherry blossoms in spring (March-April), see lively festivals in summer (July-August), go hiking amongst autumn foliage (Oct-Nov) and enjoy the Ja-POW in winter (Jan-Feb)!
Japan's train network is world-famous, and a ride on the iconic shinkansen bullet train cannot be missed. Make use of a Japan Rail (JR) Pass and enjoy unlimited travel on the incredibly well connected train system.
It's not all skyscrapers and old wooden buildings; Japan has an incredible array of nature to enjoy. From climbing Mt Fuji or hiking in the Japan Alps to scuba diving in Okinawa, get away from it all in the land of endless discovery.
Find world-famous theme parks like Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan, educational and interactive museums, and captivating pop culture like Hello Kitty and Nintendo. Plus, Japan is one of the safest, most child and family friendly countries in the world.
Whether it is meeting a geisha, visiting a temple or shrine or exploring a feudal castle, Japan's traditional culture will captivate you at every turn. Marvel at how these are integrated into the everyday life.