Japan Weather and Climate

Geographical location

With an area of ​​around 380,000 square kilometers, Japan in East Asia is the fourth largest island nation in the world and consists of a total of 6852 islands. Japan is located in the Pacific and indirectly borders Russia, North and South Korea, China and Taiwan.

With around 128 million people, Japan has a fairly high population density of 337 people per square kilometer. The main islands of the state are Hokkaido in the north, the largest island Honshu and Shikoku and Kyushu in the south.

A mountain range runs almost over the entire archipelago, the highest point of which is Mount Fuji on Honshu at 3776 meters. The special geological location between the fracture zones of the North American, Eurasian, Filipino and Pacific plates ensures volcanism and the possibility of earthquakes in the region.

Tokyo, the capital of Japan and the undisputed economic center of the country, is also located on the main island of Honshu. Japan is one of the leading industrial nations in the world. Tokyo can be reached in around 11 hours by plane from Frankfurt.

Climate in Japan

The climate in Japan is very different due to its great north-south expansion and ranges from cool-temperate regions to subtropical zones in the very south. The Japanese mainland is badly affected by winds. In winter, cold air masses from Siberia blow over the country, in summer it is monsoon winds from the Pacific Ocean, which bring a lot of precipitation and typhoons.

Rainfall occurs year-round in many parts of Japan. The summer months are characterized by warm temperatures between 25 and 35 ° C. The north of Japan is relatively dry and has short, warm summers and quite long, cold winters. In winter there can be snowfalls in the western regions, and the summer is much cooler here than on the Pacific side.

In central Japan there are strong temperature differences between summer and winter, but also between day and night. Precipitation occurs only to a small extent. The Pacific coast has hot and humid summer months and cool winters with little snowfall. In the south of Japan, a subtropical climate dominates with hot summers and mild winters, the rainy season brings very heavy rainfall from June to July.

When to go to Japan

The southern and central areas of Japan are best to visit in April and May and from September to November. Here there is only little rainfall and pleasant temperatures between 23 and 32 degrees. If you want to experience the famous cherry blossom, you should choose May as the best time to travel to Japan. For around 14 days, the country is wrapped in a pink veil of cherry blossoms and offers impressive photo opportunities.

The best time to travel to the north is in summer and early autumn between May and September. This part of the country is very cold in the winter months and is therefore not particularly suitable for a trip. However, those who travel to Japan for winter sports are of course in good hands from December to March and get their money’s worth on the Japanese alpine slopes.

Optimal travel time for the regions

In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (Japan).

Place Best travel time
Tokyo April, May, July, August and October
Fukuoka April, May, August and October
Sapporo May, June, July, August and September

Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Tokyo (Japan)

Jan Feb March Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daytime temperature 10 ° C 10 ° C 13 ° C 18 ° C 23 ° C 25 ° C 29 ° C 31 ° C 27 ° C 21 ° C 17 ° C 12 ° C
Night temperature 1 ° C 2 ° C 4 ° C 10 ° C 15 ° C 19 ° C 22 ° C 24 ° C 20 ° C 14 ° C 9 ° C 4 ° C
Water temperature 14 ° C 14 ° C 14 ° C 16 ° C 18 ° C 21 ° C 23 ° C 24 ° C 24 ° C 21 ° C 18 ° C 14 ° C
Precipitation in mm 45 60 100 125 138 185 126 148 180 164 89 46
Hours of sunshine 6 5 5 5 6 4 4 6 4 4 5 5
Sunrise 6:50 6:30 5:55 5:10 4:35 4:25 4:35 5:00 5:25 5:45 6:15 6:45
Sunset 16:50 17:20 17:45 18:15 18:40 19:00 19:00 18:30 17:50 17:05 16:35 16:30

Temperatures

The annual average temperature in Tokyo is 15.6 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is August (27.1 ° C), coldest month of January with mean values of 5.2 ° C. The maximum water temperature in Tokyo is 24 ° C. Comfortable bathing is possible at these temperatures. The months of May, June, July, August, September, October and November have a water temperature of at least 17 ° C. Bathing is then possible to a limited extent. The months of June, July, August, September and October have a water temperature of at least 21 ° C and are therefore suitable for a beach holiday.

Precipitation

The annual precipitation is 1406 mm. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. The months of June and September are considered the rainy season, as more than 175 mm of precipitation can be expected per month. Overall, around 365 mm of precipitation can be expected in the rainy season. In the months of January, February, March and December snowfall is possible.

Sunshine

As our climate table shows, May is the sunniest month with an average of 5.9 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year the sun shines an average of 5 hours a day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.

Cities nearby

The following larger towns are nearby and have a similar climate: Tokyo Prefecture, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Saitama, Yono, Chiba, Setagaya, Nerima, Ōta, Sagamihara, Edogawa, Adachi, Funabashi, Kawaguchi, Suginami, Itabashi, Hachiōji, Kōtō, Ichikawa, Matsudo, Katsushika, Fujisawa, Machida, Kashiwa, Shinagawa, Machida, Kita, Kawagoe and Kōhoku-ku.

Highlights and attractions

On a trip to Japan, Fushimi Inari-Taisha in Kyoto should definitely be visited. The beautiful Shinto shrine is a highlight of the central Japanese region. The Kiyomizu-Dera, a fascinating temple complex, is also nearby. In Hiroshima, don’t miss the Peace Museum as an attraction. A magical place that stimulates thought and leaves a lot of impression on many visitors.

Nature lovers are in good hands in Kamikochi. The fascinating volcanic region offers various species of monkeys as well as black bears, which with a little luck can be observed from a safe distance. The most beautiful beach in Japan, Yonaha Maehama Beach, is located in Miyakojima (Okinawa Prefecture).

The capital Tokyo offers an inexhaustible range of sights and activities. In addition to numerous temples, The Tsukiji Market is particularly popular, it is a fish market straight out of a picture book. The Ginza shopping street is particularly popular with women, while photographers encounter great subjects at Tokyo Tower.

Japan Weather and Climate
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