Best Time Of Year To Travel To Japan?

Discussion in 'General Topics - Life in Japan' started by GoldenDalton, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    What's the best time of year to be in Japan? I'm particularly interested in periods of low crowding: low costs/ more upbeat atmosphere, easier travel, etc.

    I enjoy cold weather, winter is no deterrent to me. However I don't like the constant rain in Japan, and visiting in winter might possibly make travel to Nagano ( a future destination of mine) difficult.


    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    First and foremost, stay away in June-September, inclusive, and especially July-August…but you probably already knew that.

    Beyond that ironclad rule, I'd probably pick November or, if you are stay is long enough, maybe mid-Nov to mid-Dec. Typically (you can never count on the weather of course) it will be cool-to-cold but not yet freezing and snowy in most places. There can be periods of a lot of rain (can happen any time of the year in Japan), but the total washouts and blowouts from typhoons should be done for the season. Not a heavy tourism travel season. Maybe a less "upbeat atmosphere" (if I understand what you mean by that phrase) than the spring but not the gloomy feeling of mid-to-late winter. Etc.

    -Ww
     
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  3. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    Looks like mid-Dec may work for me. What about travel to the alpine/Shinano region and to Iwate in the far north during this time? Doable? I like to hike in winter and I'm hoping to get some outdoor time in next trip. Thanks for your info.
     
  4. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    I have not the slightest clue on that one. I don't like to hike much further than the distance from the ofuro to the futon in an LH in any season! :D

    Others here might be able to answer…or at Gaijinpot or Google.

    -Ww
     
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  5. Sudsy

    SudsySudsy is a Verified Member Forever blowing bubbles....

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    Not a problem, there is reliable train service all the way up, in addition to well maintained roadways. As for hiking, you may find the snow too deep in Iwate, but mid-December in Shinano is generally still not too bad if you're lower in the mountains.
     
  6. Kitty Carr

    Kitty CarrKitty Carr is a Verified Member TAG Member

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    Winter is generally dry, bright and mild in Tokyo at least, but personally my favourite season is spring. It's absolutely beautiful, and warm enough for a T-shirt most of the time. Nothing beats cherry blossom viewing getting drunk with half of Tokyo in Yoyogi park! ;)

    Japan loves to boast about its four unique seasons, and it's true that the scenery is beautiful in different ways all year round. There's pretty much no time of year that doesn't have its own charms apart from Golden Week (first week of May - you won't be able to travel anywhere domestically due to overcrowding), the rainy season (mid June), high summer (July to September), and the first week of New Year.
     
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  7. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    It is indeed a great time, but note that GD wants "periods of low crowding"!

    -Ww
     
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  8. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    Thanks. That settles it for me then. I love mountains and snow. Japan has some beautiful countryside.
     
  9. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    Believe it or not I actually flew in during golden week. Beautiful weather but as a newbie trying to get around in Japan the crowds caused some difficulty.

    Thanks for the info. I've only been in spring and summer. Summer I don't like-most of my time in rural Kyushu and Shikoku without air conditioning.

    They definitely are proud of the four season thing. I love Japan but don't get me started on that! Apparently stating that we have four seasons in Illinois doesn't deter. Granted Japan is much more beautiful than Illinios so maybe the seasons changing is much more relevant there.
     
  10. Zaphod222

    Zaphod222 TAG Member

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    I love *every* time here, except the rainy season (usually mid-June til end of July).

    Apart from that, I think it depends what you want to do. For touristy stuff like sightseeing, I`d say either spring (cherry blossom) or autumn (koyo) would be best.
     
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  11. Keiji

    Keiji TAG Member

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    I'm into outdoor activities with groups, I join after Kafunsho period is gone. For the past 10 years of my life I have spent all Japan Springs in closed locations, walked those days with mask and 100 yen shop glasses to cover my eyes. Its always four months with cheap medication...once all the polem stop flying over my face I return to the streets.
     
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  12. Serena Vincente

    Serena Vincente TAG Member

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    I am still dreaming on a tour in tokyo too but people dont seem to be open to share info other than weather forecast lol
     
  13. Zaphod222

    Zaphod222 TAG Member

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    I thought all your questions were answered? Not sure what you want.
     
  14. meiji

    Global Moderator

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    Unfortunately, you might need to reach out and make some contacts...if nobody here on TAG has seen you in person, they certainly can't recommend you, and agencies aren't going to know some random person posting, even if you have a lot of reviews. Maybe find someone local to you who has toured Japan that can make some introductions, or come out here on vacation maybe and see what the lay of the land is. The culture of Japan is very much about introductions, so you aren't going to get a land-rush of people coming to your door giving you information/vouching for you/setting you up just because you are interested in coming to Japan. Please let me know if you have any specific questions. Thanks.
     
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  15. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    @Serena Vincente

    If you find it relatively hard to make "do business" in Japan as an outsider, you will be far from the first. The society is notoriously complex and alien and difficult to "penetrate" for foreigners. And I don't mean just the p4p business; the frustrations of major international companies of all sorts and their executives in trying to work or compete with Japanese firms in Japan were cliché in the 1980s when all the money in the bubble economy was drawing nearly everyone to try to get in on the action. I have a friend, a good friend, who is literally a self-made billionaire working in international finance; he does business all over the world - on five continents and in nearly every major culture. But he gave up and closed his offices in Tokyo (years ago) after trying and failing to get something worthwhile going in Japan. He just shakes his head in exasperation if you mention it to him now.

    Bottom line - you probably won't be able to set up an economically attractive "tour" in Japan without putting a lot more time and effort into it than you are accustomed to doing for other countries. But "it is the hard that makes it great". Japan is a wonderful wonderful place and well worth the extra work imo. Gambatte and good luck!

    -Ww
     
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  16. Kitty Carr

    Kitty CarrKitty Carr is a Verified Member TAG Member

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    It might help if you replied to any of the suggestions several members gave you in your other thread. Again, I don't understand why you seem to think you need an agency to represent you. This work is illegal no matter what visa you have, so why not just strike out on your own?
     
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  17. Zaphod222

    Zaphod222 TAG Member

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    I suppose that Serena is not aware of the idiosyncratic laws about this in Japan (e.g. the Bill Clinton definition of "sex")?
     
  18. Kitty Carr

    Kitty CarrKitty Carr is a Verified Member TAG Member

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    Even if she isn't, it's irrelevant: any sex work is illegal for foreigners irrespective of the local law on what is defined as sex, unless you have a spouse/ child, long-term resident (i.e descendant), permanent resident, or spouse/child of permanent resident visa... and even though it says 'no restrictions on employment' for these, I'm pretty sure it's not something you'd want to go telling immigration!
     
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  19. Keiji

    Keiji TAG Member

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    I will have to agree with Kitty, I see Serena basically saying the same thing under different topics but without following them.
     
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  20. Ryuji Hirata

    Ryuji Hirata TAG Member

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    When it comes to Japan's sex business, prices get lower in February and November. And more sex clubs tend to accept foreigners.

    In the two months, sales figures automatically decrease in Japan's sex industry. Slack periods.
     
  21. Serena Vincente

    Serena Vincente TAG Member

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    thanks to all for replies. to the contrary as to what may think I am following. The quality of the replies did varie from post to post. Therefore it was usefull to persist and post in morethan one thread. thank you all

    Sx
     
  22. Lovein

    Lovein TAG Member

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    There are really two times of the year that I think are ideal. Late March/early April is relatively inexpensive and you have the chance to see the cherry blossoms in bloom. Wherever there are cherry blossoms you'll have crowds; but it's quite a sight. The other time of the year is late October/early November. At this time of year you have autumn colors; again, you can run into crowds in some places, but it's worth it.

    If you want to go when it's cheap and fairly un-crowded, then late May or late September are good. There aren't any local holidays to contend with (like Golden Week in late April/early may or Obon around Aug. 15), it isn't too hot, and it's a true low season. If you don't mind cold, I've found early December to be incredibly cheap, airfare-wise. It's a good season especially if you like onsen/hot springs.

    As for where to go, a lot depends on how much time you have. If you have a week, then I really believe the Kyoto/Osaka area is best; Kyoto alone takes 2 days to see the highlights, and the more time you have the deeper you can go (it's got a lot to see). You might squeeze in a trip to Hiroshima if you have a week. If you have 2 weeks then you can do Tokyo, Takayama, Kyoto, and Hiroshima as well as some other places.

    When you're looking at tickets, price a ticket that flies into Tokyo and out of Osaka; that makes things easier in many ways.


    Good luck!
     
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  23. sentaihero

    sentaihero TAG Member

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    Wow. That's a lot of useful information. I want to go to Japan next year and this will be useful. Though I just want to know, how much would be a reasonable budget for a 2 week visit? For food, transportation, and a bit of splurging? Just planning on staying and visiting near the metropolitan areas.
     
  24. meiji

    Global Moderator

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    A 'reasonable budget' depends on a large number of factors, including what your traveling budget usually is, whether you are spending most/all of your time in Tokyo, vs spending a day or two in a bunch of different cities, etc. You can pretty easily get by on ¥5000/day per person (or even less) for food, depending on where you want to eat, all the way up to hundreds of dollars US for food/day if you are used to traveling in style. Transport can be ¥1-2000/day if you are staying in Tokyo and using the train system plus a lot of walking, again up to hundreds of dollars a day if you are taking a lot of cabs, jumping on the Shinkansen every other day, etc.
     
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  25. Merritt

    Merritt TAG Member

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    As @meiji said, budget will depend on what you want to do/where you want to go/etc etc. The four years before I moved to Japan, I would come here for a yearly vacation. Spring of 11 and 12, Summer of 13, and Fall of 14. Each trip cost me about $5k US, but that included plane, hotels, food, JR rail passes, spending money, everything. I would always go back home with at least a few hundred in my pocket as well. Each year I came back, I was able to stretch my money farther because (aside from the better exchange rate) I figured out a lot more things than I knew the year before. Spring of 2011 was 10 days, 9 of which were spent in Tokyo, with a single day trip to Kyoto. November of 2014 was 18 days, spreading from Tokyo to Fukuoka, and almost everything in between.
     
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