Japan Weather


Facts of Japan Climate & Weather

 Main Climatic Zone: Temperate Zone
 Climatic Features: Temperate maritime monsoon climate with distinctive four seasons, and high humidity throughout the year
 Hottest Month: August; Warmest City: Naha: 34℃ (93.2℉)
 Coolest Month: January; Coldest Place: Asahikawa: -12℃ (10.4℉)

Japan is made up of four major islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku) and a number of small islands, encircled by the ocean. Thus, Japan weather is highly impacted by ocean, which brings a high humidity all the year round. June and July see the rainy season in Japan, and typhoons usually come from late August to early October. It has four distinct seasons: the summer generally from June to August is torrid while the winter from December to February is freezing; spring and autumn are pleasant as a whole. 

Most places in Japan is in the temperate climate zone, with the average high temperature reaching 33℃ (91.4℉) in August, and the average low temperature of 2-3℃ (35.6-37.4℉) in January. The southeast monsoon from the Pacific Ocean blows across Japan in summer, while the northwest monsoon from Siberia sweeps over the country in winter. Japan weather also varies due to the large geographical span in north-south direction. The northerly places are in sub-frigid zone, with lower temperature; while the southerly regions are in subtropical zone with higher temperature.
3-Day Weather Forecast of Major Cities

Spring from March to May and autumn from September to November are absolutely the best time to visit Japan, due to the mild weather plus well-known cherry blossoms in spring or colorful fall foliage in autumn.
Apart from spring and autumn, the beaches in southern islands are full of tourists in summer, which is a peak season for the summer vacation. To the north, many visitors, like skiers or snow enthusiasts, rush to Hokkaido for fun in winter.
Month Travel Recommendation Season Average Temperature
January Winter -5-10℃ (23-50℉)
February Winter -5-11℃ (23-51.8℉)
March Spring -2-14℃ (28.4-57.2℉)
April Spring 3-20℃ (37.4-68℉)
May Spring 9-24℃ (48.2-75.2℉)
June Summer 15-27℃ (59-80.6℉)
July Summer 19-30℃ (66.2-86℉)
August Summer 20-33℃ (68-91.4℉)
September Autumn 16-29℃ (60.8-84.2℉)
October Autumn 15-23℃ (59-73.4℉)
November Autumn 10-18℃ (50-64.4℉)
December Winter -2-13℃ (28.4-55.4℉)
Monthly Weather of Japan – Average Temperature & Rainfall

Regional Weather of Japan

Japan can be roughly classified into three climatic zones: the north, the central region, and the south as well as the southwest. The north of Japan is dominated by temperate monsoon and taiga climate, while the south is ruled by subtropical monsoon climate. For most places in the rest of Japan, it is influenced by the temperate monsoon and broadleaf forest climate.

Northern Japan – Hokkaido & Northern Honshu

 Major Destinations: Sapporo, Otaru, Lake Toya, Aomori
 Weather Review: The north of Japan is cooler than other regions in the country, particularly, Hokkaido is much cooler. It is truly frigid in winter with frequent snows, and the snow can be very thick until March. The summer in northern Japan is cool, with less rainfall.
 Travel Recommendation: Hokkaido is a hot place to go in winter, when it turns to be a snow and ice world with colorful activities. Illuminative snow festival, ice lantern lighting up, winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, and tasteful local cuisine are all the highlights in Hokkaido. Of course, northern Honshu is also beautiful with incomparable natural beauty, onsen, and fine food.

Central Japan – Most Areas in Honshu

 Major Destinations: Tokyo, Hakone, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara
 Weather Review: The middle part of Japan has pleasant spring and autumn, muggy summer and chilly winter. There is much rain from late June to July, and typhoons also bring an amount of rainfall in September. However, it rarely snows in downtowns in winter, and only the mountains can be covered by snow.
 Travel Recommendation: The central region, including popular Kanto and Kansai, is well-known for spring cherry blossoms and colorful autumn leaves. In addition to natural beauty, there are many historical sites, especially the old capital remains in Kansai. Traditional seasonal festivals, onsen bathing, Meiji Shrine and Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Arashiyama, etc. in Kyoto are absorbing. Skyscrapers like Tokyo Tower and Abeno Harukas, and theme parks like Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios are also visit-worthy spots for fun.

 See more about  Tokyo Weather     Osaka Weather     Kyoto Weather     Nara Weather     Mount Fuji Weather


Southern Japan – Kyushu, Shikoku & Okinawa

 Major Destinations: Naha, Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Matsuyama
 Weather Review: Located in subtropical zone, the weather in the south of Japan is warmer than in other places. In particular, it’s mild and wet throughout the year in Okinawa, with neither extreme high nor very low temperature. Only the north of Kyushu and the southernmost of Honshu are perhaps a little cold in winter.
 Travel Recommendation: The southwest of Honshu houses Hiroshima for the popular sightseeing of atomic bombing sites. Kyushu is famous for its volcanoes, hot springs, the long tropical coastline, and numerous offshore islands. All these make Kyushu a destination for cruises and leisure holidays. Beppu Jigoku Onsen, Sakurajima volcanic island, etc. are the most popular to experience the extraordinary charm. The beaches of Okinawa attract numerous tourists, which makes the region crowded for seaside fun.

 See more about Hiroshima Weather

Typhoon Season in Japan

Japan is prone to typhoon attacks in late summer and autumn, specifically from late August to early October. Typhoons hit the coasts of Japan mainly in September, while there is merely a small chance of typhoon in late August or early October. The typhoon days should be avoided when planning a Japan tour. It’s necessary to watch local weather forecast if you happen to be there in the typhoon season.
- Last updated on Apr. 14, 2023 by Nancy He -