Japan can be a year-round destination, depending on what your interests are!
But there are also some of the best things to do in Japan that vary by season!
👆 One of the most iconic things to do in Japan is to see cherry blossoms! You’ll need to visit Japan in the spring months to see cherry blossoms! The exact cherry blossom season will depend on the warm up of temperatures, but in general it’s the months of March and April. You can see cherry blossoms all over Japan, including the big cities. This means you can see cherry blossoms in Tokyo and you can see cherry blossoms in Kyoto. Above picture: cherry blossoms in Osaka at the Osaka Castle!
👆 One of the most iconic things to do in Japan is to see the fall colors! You may be able to see fall colors if you visit Japan in October, November, and maybe even into December. You can see fall colors all over Japan, including the big cities. Above picture: fall colors in Kyoto at Kiyomizu-dera Temple!
👆 One of the most iconic things to do in Japan is to see mountains covered in snow! The best places to visit in Japan in winter are the Japanese Alps and Hokkaido. Winter can also be a perfect time to see snow monkeys in hot springs. Above picture: winter in the Japanese Alps at the Iwatake Mountain Harbor Cafe in Hakuba Valley.
The ultimate Japan experience #1: You can read the reviews for watching sumo training!
The ultimate Japan experience #2: You can read the reviews for the samurai lesson at a dojo!
The ultimate Japan experience #3: You can read the reviews for the tea ceremony!
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Traveling around Japan and can't read Japanese? No problem! Just use the camera on the google translate app!
👆 One of the most iconic things to do in Japan is to see a rural village in the summer! Above picture: Ohara can be a day trip from Kyoto! You can make it a full-day by using the Kurama Kibune Ohara day trip ticket to see more of the outskirts of Kyoto.
Which month is the most popular time to visit Japan?
This is when you can see the beautiful colors of Japan!
This means that the spring months of March and April (cherry blossom), and the fall months of October, November, and even into December in Kyoto (fall colors), can be the most crowded months for travel in Japan.
Peak cherry blossom season and peak fall foliage season will vary across Japan.
So you will want to check for the specific destination you’ll be visiting for the best time to go to Japan for cherry blossoms and fall colors!
What is the nicest month to visit Japan?
In terms of comfortable temperatures, the nicest months to visit Japan are the spring months and fall months.
The temperatures in the spring and fall months also aren’t unreasonably hot as is the case in the summer.
This also makes the spring and fall the nicest months in Japan.
Summer months in Japan can get HOT and HUMID, which can be something that can make a lot of people miserable.
Most iconic places to visit in Japan
These are some of the places you should consider going for your first time in Japan!
1. Chureito Pagoda
For famous views of Mount Fuji, then you can make it a trip to Fujiyoshida to see Mount Fuji by going from Tokyo to the Chureito Pagoda by train.
2. Nachi Falls
For views of the most famous Japan waterfalls, then you can make it a trip to Kumano Kodo to see Nachi Falls.
One of the most iconic shrines of Japan is the Fushimi Inari Taishia Shrine.
It is known for having thousands (yes, thousands!) of bright orange torii gates that you can walk through.
Although not as dramatic as the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto, there are fushimi inari taisha shrines in Tokyo and Sapporo too.
Best places to visit for the first time in Japan
Well, Tokyo is the most famous city in Japan. It is kind of a mandatory visit, I guess. 😜 The Shibuya Crossing is one of the iconic tourist attractions in Tokyo.
2. Mount Fuji
One of the most famous things to do in Japan in the summer is to climb Mount Fuji.
It’s very reasonable to climb Mount Fuji on your own without a guide.
Because of the massive elevation change (you are literally hiking up to the highest point in Japan!), it’s better to do this over 2 days with a stay at a Mount Fuji mountain hut to break up your hike.
Although many people do climb Mount Fuji in one day, and that’s called a Mount Fuji bullet climb.
👆 The effect climbing Mount Fuji can have on you. Actually this guy was mostly kidding but the high altitude effect is something to take seriously!
You don’t need to climb to the top of Mount Fuji to have the Mount Fuji experience.
You can also go to Mount Fuji 5th Station which will get you to a lower part of Mount Fuji.
What is the best place in Japan for foreigners?
The best place in Japan for foreigners to visit is Kyoto!
As an ancient capital of Japan, there are tons of UNESCO world heritage sites in Kyoto.
This means that there are tons of temples, shrines, and Japanese gardens for you to visit in Japan, allowing you to see for yourself the historic and cultural Japan that you have imagined and seen in pictures!
This makes Kyoto the best city to visit in Japan no matter the time of year if you are interested in Japanese history and culture.
Nara is another former ancient capital Japan, and it makes for an easy day trip to Nara from Kyoto.
Nara is known for deer, and there are also UNESCO world heritage sites in Nara to visit.
Osaka is another city in Japan to visit for a glimpse of Japanese history.
You can have a walk around Osaka Castle to see what a Japanese castle is like.
Hiroshima is a must-visit for Americans.
Be sure to go to the museum too. It can be an emotionally powerful experience.
Miyajima is a popular day trip from Hiroshima, and it’s popular to spend one day in Miyajiama. It’s where you can see one of the famous Japanese shrines. For the best experience, see the Miyajima shrine at high tide and low tide! You can see deer here too.
Tokyo or Kyoto for first trip to Japan?
It is a matter of preference, but if you must choose between the 2 famous cities in Japan, Tokyo and Kyoto, personally I would go with Kyoto because of the history and culture.
But, Tokyo is popular for plenty of reasons, so it really depends on your interests!
There are lots of things to do in Tokyo!
More iconic things to do in Japan
1. Kifune Shrine
👆 One of the best things to do in Japan is to walk through a Japanese garden! There are a lot of beautiful gardens that surround some of the best temples in Japan which can make for a perfect nature walk, including the UNESCO world heritage site of Tenryuji Temple!
And those are some ideas of things to do in Japan!
HAPPY FIRST VISIT TO JAPAN!
🍵 Read the reviews of these highly rated tours:
Is a JR pass worth it?!
- Google maps can make it easy to figure out whether or not you should get a JR pass!
- In google maps, type in your departure and arrival city, and choose the transit icon. The route will come up, and so will the estimated cost at the bottom!
- Here is an example of a train route with cost on google maps.
- So do that for all of your long distance routes to figure out how much it might cost.
- Next, go here to see how much a JR pass costs from an official JR pass vendor (and partner of this website).
- And compare!
- Not all forms of public transportation are JR, but long distance shinkansen bullet trains are, and that's where the most cost savings will come.
Best of Kyoto (and Japan!)
👇 Explore the best places to visit in Japan!
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