The best time to visit Tokyo, Japan, is in mid-spring (April to early May) and in late autumn (late October to mid-November). During these shoulder season months, temperatures are still relatively mild to warm, and rainfall is lower than in the periods surrounding Japan’s hot and wet summer. In these seasons, you’ll also get to enjoy Tokyo at its most colourful as the spring cherry blossoms and fall leaves burst onto the scene.
Although summer is the high tourism season in Tokyo, it’s not the most comfortable time to travel to Japan’s capital. The summer months are marked by extreme heat and humidity and are the wettest months of the year. They also fall within Tokyo’s typhoon season, which runs from May to October, peaking between July and September.
Looking to dig into all your options for your vacation? Get your travel plans in order with this complete Tokyo weather guide, including what to expect and what to wear by season and by month!
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Weather in Tokyo: An overview
Like many popular Japanese cities, Tokyo is within a temperate, humid subtropical climate zone, giving it four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Although there’s quite a swing in weather conditions, Tokyo is mostly a year-round destination, with only a couple of caveats.
Tokyo experiences hot and humid summers, moderate springs and autumns, and mild to cool winters. Although the summer is the most popular season to visit, these months are also among the least comfortable for travellers.
Not only is the summer the wettest season, but it also falls in the middle of typhoon season. The typhoon season in Tokyo starts in May and ends in about October, with July to September seeing the highest chances of landfall. (Fortunately, Tokyo rarely gets affected heavily.)
Rain falls throughout the year in Tokyo, peaking in June, September and October. Gearing up for the wet conditions helps, but unless it’s your only option, you’ll want to avoid planning a trip to Japan during these times.
Overall, mid-spring and late autumn are better choices for travellers. During these months, temperatures are still mild to warm with less precipitation. And let’s not forget the bonus of experiencing cherry blossom season in Tokyo or marvelling at the beautiful fall colours!)
Winter is the driest time of year in Tokyo. And although the temperatures often sit in the single digits, it’s not too cold in winter to experience Tokyo to its fullest. Bundle up with a warm sweater and good outerwear, and you’ll be just fine.
Tokyo Weather by Season
- When is spring in Tokyo? Spring in Tokyo is from late March to May.
- What to expect in spring: With winter slowly disappearing, the temperatures in Tokyo leap upward beyond March. Spring is a special time of year in Tokyo, with the cherry blossoms dropping in for a quick “hello” near the end of March or early April. Unless you’re in love with crowds (and paying heavy premiums), avoid visiting during Golden Week. This string of Japanese holidays falls around the end of April and the beginning of May. During both cherry blossom season and Golden Week, plan far ahead and expect higher accommodation prices.
- What to wear in spring: During spring, wear pants, light sweaters, and long-sleeved shirts, and you should be plenty comfortable. With temperatures still cool, be sure to carry around a rain jacket (a warmer softshell jacket works well in spring) and a fleece jacket as mid-layer in a small backpack for the odd cool day and chilly nights. Dressing in layers is a good idea.
- When is summer in Tokyo? Summer in Tokyo is from June to August.
- What to expect in summer: Asia is rarely a pleasant place to travel in the summer, and Tokyo is no exception. Summer days in Tokyo are hot and sticky, with frequent downpours sullening the mood between mid-June and mid-July. Late August and early September are equally nasty as typhoon season hits Japan. Oddly enough, summer is also one of the busiest times of the year for tourists in Tokyo. Book your accommodations well ahead if you’re planning to travel at this time.
- What to wear in summer: With the heat and humidity, you’ll be most comfortable in light summer attire, including lightweight, quick-drying pants and shirts. Lightweight hiking shoes, breathable walking shoes, or travel sandals will keep your feet comfortable in the dead heat of summer. Be sure to carry a travel umbrella and ultra-lightweight rain jacket with you at all times.
- When is autumn in Tokyo? Autumn in Tokyo is from September to November.
- What to expect in autumn: Early autumn, from September to mid-October, is one of the wettest times of the year in Tokyo. Come November, the rain tapers off, and although the temperatures quickly become cooler, the prospect of seeing Tokyo erupt into beautiful fall colours makes autumn a great time to visit Japan’s capital.
- What to wear in autumn: Although September is still pleasantly warm, you’ll need to carry a light jacket, whether a softshell or fleece, into October and November as nights get chilly. Since rains are frequent, you’ll want to pack a rain jacket and umbrella for the inevitable soaking.
- When is winter in Tokyo? Winter in Tokyo is from December to early March.
- What to expect in winter: As expected, Tokyo can get chilly during the winter. The weather is, however, generally pleasantly dry and sunny. Snow does fall from time to time but often turns quickly to slush as the temperatures don’t tend to hover long below freezing. And although you’ll find fewer tourists to bump into, there’s little respite from Tokyo’s high accommodation prices, especially around the holidays.
- What to wear in winter: With the cooler temperatures, you’ll need to carry slightly heavier outerwear than in the fall. A warm, insulated jacket is great for when the temperatures dip into the single digits. Packing some warm, waterproof, and insulated winter boots is a good idea to combat the possibility of snow and slush. Most of the time, however, a pair of waterproof hiking shoes or waterproof walking shoes will be adequate.
Weather by Month
Although it’s the coldest month, January isn’t such a bad time to visit Tokyo; January also happens to be the driest month. Sunny days are the norm, and snow isn’t as common as you might think. Try to avoid visiting around New Year’s as Tokyo gets absolutely jammed with tourists.
- Average Temperature: 5°C / 41°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 2°C / 36°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 8°C / 46°F
- Rainfall: 43mm / 9 days
The mercury rises every so slightly into February, as does the amount of precipitation. Still, you should expect mostly sunny days in February. If you’re into running, consider joining almost 40,000 other runners for the Tokyo Marathon at the end of the month.
- Average Temperature: 6°C / 43°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 2°C / 36°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 9°C / 48°F
- Rainfall: 55mm / 11 days
Winter weather still persists in Tokyo into early March but tapers off into more spring-like conditions towards the middle and end of the month. At the end of March, keep your eyes peeled for the first signs of cherry blossom season in Tokyo.
- Average Temperature: 9°C / 48°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 5°C / 41°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 12°C / 54°F
- Rainfall: 94mm / 17 days
By April, spring is in full force in Tokyo. Mornings and evenings can still get a little damp and chilly, but daytime highs start to reach into the high teens, making April a pleasant month to spend time outdoors. By the beginning of April, the sakura (cherry blossoms) in Tokyo should be out in full force. Overall, April is one of the best months to travel to Tokyo.
- Average Temperature: 14°C / 57°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 10°C / 50°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 17°C / 63°F
- Rainfall: 119mm / 16 days
Like April, expect some great travel weather in Tokyo during May, particularly in the first half of the month. Average daytime temperatures finally start to climb into the twenties, marking the beginning of much warmer weather to come. It’s still a little cool in the mornings and at night; it’s hardly enough not to recommend visiting in May. Just keep in mind that rainfall picks up in the latter half of the month and that late May marks the official start of typhoon season in Japan.
- Average Temperature: 18°C / 64°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 14°C / 57°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 21°C / 70°F
- Rainfall: 132mm / 16 days
Although the temperatures start to surge, June is the wettest month in Tokyo. June marks the beginning of Tokyo’s rainy season, a miserable six or so weeks where rain inevitably hits as often as your voracious appetite for sushi will. Overall, June is hot, humid, and wet; it’s not exactly a winning combination for your trip to Tokyo.
- Average Temperature: 21°C / 70°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 18°C / 64°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 24°C / 75°F
- Rainfall: 181mm / 20 days
Don’t expect much of respite from the wet weather as you enter into July. In this mid-summer month, the daytime temperatures and humidity push to less than comfortable levels. The first three weeks or so of July still firmly grip you in the rainy season. Even when the skies aren’t opening up above you, expect some seriously hot and sticky conditions.
- Average Temperature: 25°C / 77°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 22°C / 72°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 28°C / 82°F
- Rainfall: 128mm / 20 days
With the rainy season in the rearview mirror, August is a slightly more pleasant month to visit Tokyo than June or July. Sunny days prevail, but the heat and humidity are still killer. If you’re from a more temperate country, you may find the Japanese late-summer weather still a tad unpleasant. Late August also marks the start of typhoon season in Japan. Fortunately, Tokyo rarely sees any major effects from this.
- Average Temperature: 26°C / 79°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 23°C / 73°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 29°C / 84°F
- Rainfall: 147mm / 17 days
The summer weather begins to break into fall during the month of September. While less oppressive heat may seem like a good thing, the renewed fury of rainfall (and typhoon season) that comes along with it isn’t superb. September is one of the wettest months in Tokyo, with an average of 209mm of precipitation. That means plenty of hot and wet days, pretty much all month long.
- Average Temperature: 23°C / 73°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 20°C / 68°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 26°C / 79°F
- Rainfall: 181mm / 20 days
The first half of October isn’t much better than September. Temperatures in Tokyo are still warm into October, but it’s generally fairly wet and gloomy. Although autumn is officially upon you in October, the cooler temperatures don’t tend to start rolling in until the end of the month.
- Average Temperature: 18°C / 64°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 15°C / 59°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 20°C / 68°F
- Rainfall: 158mm / 17 days
Autumn is in full swing in Tokyo come November. With the cooler temperatures, the tree leaves throughout the city’s parks erupt into a cavalcade of fall colours. With the combination of incredible scenery and drier weather, November is, along with April, an ideal month to travel to Tokyo.
- Average Temperature: 12°C / 54°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 9°C / 48°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 15°C / 59°F
- Rainfall: 84mm / 12 days
Winter may be coming, but weather-wise, December is not so bad in Tokyo. December is actually the sunniest month of the year in Tokyo and the second driest. Expect plenty of blue skies to make the crisper temperatures seem more pleasant.
- Average Temperature: 8°C / 46°F
- Avg. Low Temperature: 4°C / 39°F
- Avg. High Temperature: 11°C / 52°F
- Rainfall: 44m / 9 days
The best month to visit Tokyo is either April or November.
Why visit in April?
If you’ve ever visited Asia in the summer, you’ll understand why we’re happy to recommend the spring month of April for visitors to Tokyo. By April, temperatures are already starting to warm up nicely without inching too close to the oppressive summer highs. April is also fairly dry, leaving you to enjoy Tokyo among bluer skies than in the gloomy days of summer and fall.
And let’s not forget about the sakura! The beginning of April generally coincides with cherry blossom viewing season in Tokyo. To catch them, timing is of the essence as the blossoms disappear nearly as quickly as they sprout. Of all the reasons to visit Tokyo in April, this is the biggest. Not only is sakura a must-see for Japan, but it’s also practically a must for every world traveller!
One thing to note is that the end of April marks the start of Golden Week, a string of national holidays that send the Japanese all around the country to explore. It’s generally not a great time to travel throughout Japan as accommodation availability drops while prices climb even higher.
Why visit in November?
Next to April, we’d also recommend hitting up Tokyo in November. Like many other four-season destinations, Tokyo is absolutely beautiful in the fall. The blast of autumn colours throughout the city, especially in places like Shinjuku Gyoen, is a site to behold.
In November, the temperatures in Tokyo cool down but are still mild enough during the day to enjoy yourself outdoors without an abundance of layers. It’s a dry month, too, especially compared to the wet and dark days of September and October or the incessant rainstorms of summer.