With many festivals throughout the year that attract visitors, Japan is a destination hard not to add to any traveler’s list. Typically, the most popular times to visit Japan’s exciting country include the months of summer, late spring, and around the New Year’s holiday. Famous spring cherry blossoms and picturesque autumn foliage attract mobs of travelers in various areas of the country. If you’re looking for reduced prices to visit, times after major holidays or festivals, such as during January right after New Year’s and September right after Japan’s Obon Holiday are the vital times to book!
There are certain holiday periods that qualify as high season (higher prices, heavier traffic, etc.), including the Obon Holiday in mid-August (when travel providers partake in blackout dates), year-end holidays between mid-December and early January, and Golden Week at the end of April and early May.
Since Japan is a four-season country, travelers and habitants experience four dramatically different seasons, from a sunny hot in the summer to a harsh freezing in the winter, with nice lovely mild temperatures during the spring and fall. For most of the country, summers average beautiful temperatures (Fahrenheit) in the 70s to low 80s, while winters drop down to the 30s and low 40s. Spring and fall staytemperate with temperatures in the 50s and 60s. Japan’s rainy season is in early summer (mid-June to mid-July), and typhoons are common in late summer (September) so be sure to keep an eye out on the weather before your departure!
Many Japanese museums close from December 28 to January 3 for the New Year’s holiday. Post offices and banks, as well as many shops and restaurants, close down during January 1 through 3.
Since many of us have stressful jobs working long hours or even just struggling to find a balance between home and work life, a well-deserved break can be just what the doctor orders. Financing, however, can be another issue. But the problem doesn’t have to stop there.
It’s very important to make reservations at least two to three months in advance for travel to Japan during high seasons since all hotels and most transportation incline to sell out. If you make advanced reservations (before 14 to 21 days), during off-peak seasons, some hotels offer early booking discounts! Airfare is typicallyfixed based on seasonality, and the 14- or 21-day advance purchase rules unfortunately don’t apply for international discounts from the U.S. to Japan, so this is a very time constrained opportunity. Hotels might also offer last-minute rates, but these rates are not usually for first international travelers.
Another tip on booking is doing it through a Japanese travel agency. They tend to offer consolidator affordable rates on airfare and rates on hotels, which is a great way to save money! This is possible because many Japanese agencies have access to rates that are straight from the suppliers in Japan and are not available through American travel agencies or even the Internet!