WHEN TO GO
Tourists arrive year round in Japan, but most would agree it’s best to avoid Golden Week (last days of April, first week of May) when a number of public holidays fall close together and transport/accommodation is booked solid, usually with surcharges. Also the Obon festival (mid July or mid August depending on the area) sees lots of Japanese returning to their home towns.
If you are into skiing, winter is a great time to visit, if not, perhaps avoid it as some mountain bus services and tourist areas close for months, and the very cold weather makes it difficult to travel light. Similarly, Japan’s wet season /summer around June -July is not for those who dislike heat and humidity.
My favourite times in Japan are Spring and Autumn. If you are lucky you will catch sakura , cherry blossom season, late March, early April, depending on the weather and locality. There are websites which predict the start of sakura each year in the various parts of Japan - the warmer areas bloom first, and the cooler areas last. Similarly, in Autumn the leaves on trees turn colour and some people think it more beautiful than cherry blossom time.
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