I’ve always loved Tokyo: the street-side food stalls of Yurakucho, the dingy, narrow alleyways of Golden Gai, the upscale boutiques of Ginza, the skyscrapers of Shinjuku—all of it! That’s not to say everything about the capital of Japan will send every traveller into euphoria.
Case in point: the weather in Tokyo. Although there’s certainly worse weather in Asia (hello, monsoon season in Southeast Asia!), there are times when you might be wishing you’d just stayed at home and delayed your trip to Tokyo for another month or two.
Don’t let the ever-changing Tokyo weather get to you! Plan out your trip with our complete guide to the best time to visit Tokyo…
Table of Contents
Weather in Tokyo: An overview
Dealing with ever-changing weather is one of the most important things you’ll need to deal with when planning a trip to Japan. Like many popular Japanese cities, Tokyo experiences a true four-season climate—along with all of the fun surprises that go along with it!
Overall, Tokyo is, however, a year-round destination. Unlike other destinations in Asia, there’s no season too crazy to completely write off adding Tokyo to your next Japan itinerary.
What you’ll generally find in Tokyo is hot and humid summers, moderate springs & autumns, and mild to cool winters. For travellers, mid-spring and late autumn are the best times of year to travel.
During these times, temperatures are still relatively mild to warm and rainfall is lower than in the months surrounding the wet summer. And let’s not forget the bonus of cherry blossom season and the fall colours.)
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 visiting Tokyo during these times.
Early autumn is dark and gloomy while the summer months are both crowded and oppressively hot, humid, and wet. And let’s not forget that typhoon season hits Japan from August to September. (Fortunately, Tokyo rarely gets affected heavily.)
Winter is the driest time of year in the Tokyo. And although the temperatures often sit in the single digits, it’s not too cold in winter to experience Tokyo to its fullest—especially for all of us Northerners out there! Bundle up with a warm sweater and good outerwear, and you’ll be just fine.
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Tokyo Weather by Season
- When is spring in Tokyo: Late March to May
- What to expect in spring in Tokyo: With winter slowly disappearing, the temperatures in Tokyo leap upward beyond March. Spring’s 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, a string of Japanese holidays that fall around the end of April and beginning of May. During both cherry blossom season and Golden Week, plan far ahead and expect higher accommodation prices.
- What to wear in Tokyo in spring: During spring, stuff your travel backpack with some 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 day trip backpack for the odd cool day and chilly nights. Dressing in layers is a good idea.
- When is summer in Tokyo: June to August
- What to expect in summer in Tokyo: Asia’s rarely a pleasant place to travel in the summer, and Tokyo’s 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’s also one of the busiest times of year for tourists in Tokyo. Book your accommodations well ahead if you’re planning to travel at this time.
- What to wear in Tokyo in summer: With the heat and humidity, you’ll probably be most comfortable in light summer attire including lightweight quick-drying travel pants and travel 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: September to October
- What to expect in autumn in Tokyo: Early autumn, from September to October, is one of the wettest times of 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 for travellers to consider visiting.
- What to wear in Tokyo in autumn: Although September is still pleasantly warm, you’ll need to carry a light jacket, whether a softshell or fleece, with you 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: December to early March
- What to expect in winter in Tokyo: As expected, Tokyo gets a little chilly during the winter. The weather is, however, generally pleasantly dry and sunny. Snow does fall from time to time in Tokyo, but often turns quickly to slush as the temperatures don’t tend to hover long below freezing. And although you’ll find few tourists to bump into, there’s little respite from Tokyo’s high accommodation prices, especially around the holidays.
- What to wear in Tokyo in winter: Cooler temperatures mean you’ll need to carry slightly heavier outerwear than in 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.
Tokyo Weather by Month
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in January: 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 Years as Tokyo gets absolutely jammed with tourists.
- Average Temperature: 5ºC / 41ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 2ºC / 36ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 8ºC / 46ºF
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in February: 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: 6ºC / 43ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 2ºC / 36ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 9ºC / 48ºF
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in March: Winter weather still persists 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: 9ºC / 48ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 5ºC / 41ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 12ºC / 54ºF
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in April: 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 in Tokyo should be out in full force. Overall, April is one of the best months to travel to Tokyo.
- Average Temperature: 14ºC / 57ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 10ºC / 50ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 17ºC / 63ºF
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in May: Like April, expect some great travel weather in Tokyo during the month of May. 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; hardly enough to not recommend May as one of the best times to visit Tokyo.
- Average Temperature: 18ºC / 64ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 14ºC / 57ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 21ºC / 70ºF
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in June: 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, not exactly a winning combination for your trip to Tokyo.
- Average Temperature: 21ºC / 70ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 18ºC / 64ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 24ºC / 75ºF
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in July: 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 rainy season. Even when the skies aren’t opening up above you, expect some seriously hot and sticky conditions.
- Average Temperature: 25ºC / 77ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 22ºC / 72ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 28ºC / 82ºF
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in August: 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 see any major effects from this.
- Average Temperature: 26ºC / 79ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 23ºC / 73ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 29ºC / 84ºF
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in September: 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: 23ºC / 73ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 20ºC / 68ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 26ºC / 79ºF
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in October: Chances are you won’t find the first half of October much better than September. Temperatures in Tokyo are still warm into October, but it’s generally a fairly wet and gloomy. Although autumn’s official upon you, the cooler temperatures don’t tend to start rolling in until the end of the month.
- Average Temperature: 18ºC / 64ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 15ºC / 59ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 20ºC / 68ºF
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in November: Autumn’s 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, the best month to travel to Tokyo.
- Average Temperature: 12ºC / 54ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 9ºC / 48ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 15ºC / 59ºF
- Overview of Weather in Tokyo in December: Winter may be coming, but weather-wise December’s not so bad in Tokyo. It’s actually the sunniest month of the year and the second driest. Expect plenty of blue skies to make the crisper temperatures seem more pleasant.
- Average Temperature: 8ºC / 46ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 4ºC / 39ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 11ºC / 52ºF
The verdict: When is the best time to visit Tokyo?
The best month to visit Tokyo is either April or November.
Why visit Tokyo 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 to close towards oppressive summer highs. April’s 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 to Tokyo in April, this is the biggest. Not only is sakura a must-see for Japan, it’s 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 Tokyo in November?
Next to April, we’d also recommend hitting up Tokyo in November. Like most other four-season destinations, Tokyo is absolutely beautiful in 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.