What is the best time to visit Tokyo?

Tokyo is a land of climatic extremes, with scorching summers and cold, snowy winters with blizzards. Therefore the best time to visit Tokyo, unquestionably, is during the spring (March-May) when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and autumn from October to November. The cherry blossoms, otherwise known as Sakura, are one of the biggest tourist attractions in Japan. Traditional Japanese festivals are held throughout the year, and the best ones are always held at the spring-to-summer juncture, which makes the spring ideal for a visit to Tokyo. Autumn is also an ideal time to visit Japan as the foliage is at its prime, and the scenery at the shrines is a sight to behold. Also, there is a crispness to the air in the autumn, so it is better to carry warm clothes. Summers (June - September) in Tokyo are peak tourist season, which brings with itself high lodging charges and unbearable humidity. Winters (December - February), on the other hand, are chilly but manageable but you won’t have the chance to witness the beauty of Tokyo at its full potential at this time. 

Weather in Tokyo


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Monthly Weather in Tokyo

Month High/Low (°C) Rain
January 12°/ 4° 7 days
February 13°/ 4° 4 days
March 16°/ 6° 6 days
April 17°/ 8° 11 days
May 25°/ 15° 5 days
June 26°/ 18° 14 days
July 28°/ 21° 14 days
August 33°/ 25° 11 days
September 30°/ 22° 8 days
October 24°/ 17° 14 days
November 18°/ 10° 9 days
December 13°/ 5° 6 days

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Tokyo in High Season/Peak Season

The peak season in Tokyo is from mid-June through mid-September and late April through May. The weather is rather hot and humid during the summer months while early June and July are the rainiest months of the year. However, the rainy season attracts a lot of people who come to see hydrangeas in a plethora of vibrant colours everywhere. The summer month is at its peak by August, which is also the time when students are on summer vacation, and adults also have a few days of making the crowd pretty dense.

Tokyo in Low Season

Low season in Tokyo is usually the winters which can be a pretty good time for sightseeing if you don’t mind the chilly weather. Snow is rare, and humidity is low, making the overall climate pretty comfortable for exploring the picturesque city. Accommodation rates are relatively low at this time of the year except for Christmas and New Year.

Tokyo in Shoulder Season

Shoulder season in Tokyo are the months of April through mid-June and mid-September through December and is considered as the best time to visit Tokyo. The months are marked by dry sunny weather. However, with so many attractions, Tokyo is crowded at all times. For instance, towards the end of April, tourists and residents flock parks to witness the quaint beauty of cherry blossoms. From May to mid-June, tourists can enjoy fairly discounted lodging prices.

Tokyo in Spring (March-May)

Tokyo Weather 
With the arrival of March in Tokyo comes the first sign of spring, making it the best time to visit Tokyo. Sunshine remains in abundance while the chances of intermittent showers increase. By late March, the cherry blossom or Sakura season begins, and the city parks are filled with flower-viewing parties. Early April is considered to be the best time of the year to visit the beautiful country. The temperature is quite pleasant, and with the Sakura season at its peak, it attracts a lot of tourists. The average high remains at somewhere around 17 to 18°C. With longer days and pleasant temperature, May is another great month to explore Tokyo. Temperatures during the day can be anywhere from 20 to 21°C while chances of rain are more as compared to April. A light jacket for the mornings and cold evening would be enough.

Events in Spring in Tokyo
  • The Fire-walking Festival is held in mid-March where yamabushi monks of Takao-san walk through the flames courageously chanting mantras. 
  • The Dharma Doll Fair is a festive market held annually at Chofu’s Jindai-Ji Temple on the first weekend of March and features a plethora of Daruma dolls believed to be for good luck.
  • Rikugien Garden Illumination is where the shidare zakura and the garden of the feudal Lord are lit up, which creates a picturesque spring sight.
  • Celebrated on 8th April, the Hana Festival is a floral festival that celebrates the birthday of Buddha.
  • Kanamara Festival also known as the Festival of the Iron Phallus is organised in Kawasaki and features a tall (over 32 inches) pink penis paraded through the streets. The festival is also used to raise money for HIV research.
  • The Annual Spring Festival is held at the Yasukuni Shrine during the third weekend of April and features traditional martial arts and dance performance.
  • The Golden Week is a series of 4 non-consecutive holidays timed in such a way that it coincides with the most beautiful days of Spring.
  • Earth Day Tokyo is the biggest earth-related event in Tokyo and features healthy food, musical performances, and booths that provide information on the environment.
  • The Japanese also hold blossom viewing parties, also known as the rollicking hanami parties. The blossoms are hard to time and mostly hit Tokyo or Kyoto in the first week of April.
  • Hanazono Shrine Festival is organised on the closest weekend to 28th May every year. The highlight of the traditional festival is the shinkosai procession, ceremonial rites, and food stalls.
  • Kanda Festival is held in odd-numbered years over the weekend that is closest to 15th May at Kanda Myojin Shrine. Attracting over two million spectators, it features a parade of wagons filled with over 200 mikoshi, dancers and floats.
  • Sanja Matsuri is the grandest festival in Tokyo. It is a three-day event, which is held in the third weekend of May and attracts over 1.5 million spectators. The highlight of the festival is the mikoshi parade or portable shrines which are carried by women and men in traditional attire.

Tokyo in Summer (June to September)

Weather in Tokyo
June brings with itself high heat and humidity with a substantial amount of rain. The month is the beginning of the six-week rainy season of Tokyo with about 180mm of rain. The average high temperature during this time of the year goes as high as 28°C where on some days, there would be intense downpour while on others, occasional sprinkles. August is a sweltering hot month with the average high temperature being 29°C. Tourists can pack waterproof clothing like a poncho, umbrella, and a raincoat. The rain finally subsides and sunshine returns but the high humidity can be a bit uncomfortable. Packing sweat-wicking clothes would be our best bet during this time of the month. September brings with itself the Fall season which is the wettest and darkest of all months. The heat and humidity decline but there is average rainfall of approximately 209mm. The average high temperature during this month is 26°C but it can go up to 33 °C during the first few weeks. Temperatures start to drop off only towards the end of the month.

Events during Summer in Tokyo
  • Sanno festival also called Sanno Matsuri is one of the most popular festivals in Tokyo and takes place every even-numbered year, alternating with the Kanda Festival in mid-June. 
  • The Sumida River Fireworks Display is said to be the oldest and one of the largest fireworks in the world. It takes place in the Asakusa district in late July.
  • The Tokyo Summer Festival is held the entire month of July in Tokyo and there are various shows and acts featuring international music.
  • Shiman Rokusen-nichi or the “day of 46, 000” is when people visit the Sensou-ji Temple on the 9th and 10th of July. It is believed that visiting on those days will earn you credit for visiting the temple on 46,000 regular days. 
  • The Asakusa Samba Carnival is one of the most popular and liveliest summer festivals of Tokyo that draws over 50, 000 people every year.
  • The Fukagawa Hachiman Festival is one of the three biggest festivals of the city held in mid or late August.
  • The Tokyo Game Show is Japan’s largest video game conference that attracts innumerable industry insiders and game enthusiasts from around the world.
  • Hibiya Oktoberfest is a 10-day event held in Hibiya Park, city’s oldest park and offers the chance to enjoy the German culture, drink, food, and entertainment in mid-September
  • Sumo Autumn Basho held in mid-September is a 15-day event which gives people the chance to witness a professional Sumo Tournament for the last time in that particular year in Tokyo
  • Ikebukuro Festival is organised in late September and features a mikoshi parade followed by taiko drumming, shishimai lion dance and the popular ohayashi instrumental music.

Tokyo in Spring (October - November)

Weather in Tokyo
The first half of October is dark, warm and wet quite similar to the month of September. The average high temperature is 20°C while the climate does begin to cool off gradually making it the best time to visit Tokyo. With November comes autumn and the entire city is filled with vibrant colours. From the brilliant blue sky to scarlet maple leaves, Tokyo seems to turn even more beautiful. The average high temperature at this time of the year is approximately 17°C while the weather is drier and cooler. A lot of tourists consider November to be one of the best months to be in the city. Pack a lighter jacket for cool mornings and evenings. 

Events during Spring in Tokyo
  • The Tokyo International Film Festival which is one the largest film festivals in Asia and also the only Japanese festival which is accredited by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations ).
  • Dai Ginza Festival is a week-long event which celebrates Meiji Restoration’s anniversary and features musical performances
  • Kiku kuyo is a memorial service for chrysanthemums where old chrysanthemums are replaced with new ones at the Sensoji Temple
  • The Tokyo Yosakoi Contest is a dance competition which brings a hundred teams from all over the country
  • Shibuya Festival is a fun community event and features several family events held at different venues
  • Celebrated annually on 3rd November, Tokyo Jidai Matsuri includes parade which recreates the culture and history of Tokyo. The day is a national holiday
  • Tori-no-ichi is the popular annual fair held in November and comes for twelve days

Tokyo in Winter (December - February)

Weather in Tokyo
December in Tokyo is mostly cool with the average high temperature being around 12°C and dropping as low as 4°C during the night. January is the sunniest and coldest month of Tokyo and a warm coat and sunglasses are a must if you are in the city at this time. The average temperature during the day ranges from around 7°C to 10°C while the chances of snowfall are very rare. During the night, the temperature dips to nearly above freezing whereas, during the day, there is an abundance of sunshine. The temperature hovers between 7 - 10-degree in February as well. Packing a warm coat would be advisable to keep you comfortable when exploring the city. 

Events in Tokyo in Winter
  • Setagaya no Boro Ichi is organised annually on 15th and 16th December and is Japan’s largest antique flea market
  • Gishi-sai is held on 14th December at the Sengakuji Temple to honour Akoh’s forty-seven loyal retainers.
  • The Emperor’s Birthday is celebrated on 23rd December and is a national holiday marked by banners, flags and emperor’s special address.
  • New Year is also known as Shōgatsu where the tourists can be a part of various rituals. They can take part in Hatsu-mōde festivities, the year’s first visit to the shrine or wake up early to view the first sunrise of the year.  
  • Sumo New Year Basho, a 10-day event organised during the 2nd or 3rd week of the month. This is the first of six Grand Sumo Tournaments held annually.
  • Winter sales that are held throughout the month and can be found everywhere from the popular shopping districts like Haranjuku, Shinjuku and Shibuya to small fashion retailers. 
  • Sugamo Togenuki Jizo Taisai is a major festival held on 24th January at the Kogan-Ji Temple where nearly twenty priests read the Sutra of Great Wisdom. 
  • Coming Of Age Day is celebrated every year on the second Monday of January so as to recognize all those who have turned 20 years old in the past year. This day is a national holiday and everyone can attend.
  • The Kite Market organised on the Day of Horse each year at the Oji Inari Jinja Shrine dates back to the Endo Period when kites were regarded as being lucky for preventing fires as they were believed to ‘cut the wind’. 
  • Setsubun is held on 3rd February which according to the Japanese lunar calendar is the evening before spring. 
  • Nagashibina or popularly known as the floating ceremony of paper dolls is an ancient Japanese tradition practised for over 1,000 years. It features dolls made out of plants or paper and is sent down the river to expel disasters that can strike children.
  • The Tokyo Marathon is held typically on the last Sunday of the month and comprises of over 40, 000 participants who run around the popular sightseeing spots of Tokyo.

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