Tokyo is a bustling, sprawling maelstrom of a city. You might think anytime is a good time to visit, since Japan’s capital is a never-ending symphony of activity year-round. But before you book your flight, it’s important to do a little research to know some essential weather-related details: when the rainy season stops and starts, when the summer heat is particularly unbearable, and when a rare snowstorm could possibly throw your travel plans through a loop.
In general, the guidelines for the best time to visit Japan apply to Tokyo as well. Spring is the most pleasant season, with highs of up to 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degree Celsius) and lows in the high 50s (around 14 degrees Celsius). Summers are generally hot—we’re talking 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius). The heat is typically compounded by a subtropical humidity that can feel overwhelming (though it’s not nearly as bad as it gets in other parts of Japan, like Kyoto). While winters are mild, and snow is relatively infrequent, chilly temperatures and the possibility of a snowstorm are definitely things to consider if you’re visiting in December or January.
Fast Climate Facts
- Hottest Month: August (88 degrees F / 31 degrees C)
- Coldest Month: January (49 degrees F / 9 degrees C)
- Wettest Month: September (5.7 inches)
Summer in Tokyo
The summer months begin with gentle temperatures but eventually ascend into the scorching heat. The rainy season usually hits around May or June, expect cloudy days and daily showers. Typhoon season begins the end of August and goes into September. In between are days of high humidity, and dry, very sunny days.
What to pack: If you go in late May or early June, be prepared to have a light jacket or a few sweatshirts on hand. A rain jacket and an umbrella are also probably a good idea. Otherwise, shorts and a t-shirt are in order for late June through the end of August. People in Japan dress relatively conservatively—short-shorts are rare—air on the mild side with your wardrobe choices.
Fall in Tokyo
Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Japan’s capital city. Make sure to check the fall foliage forecasts for the most ideal days to see Tokyo’s famous momiji, or red maple leaves. Typhoon season brings lots of rain in September and October, but mid-October into November is almost guaranteed to be cool and pleasant.
What to pack: A medium to warm jacket, and a scarf for November. Layering is always the smart way to travel.
Winter in Tokyo
Winter might be Tokyo’s best-kept secret. Typically, there are no (or few) crowds, and it’s the most ideal time to take advantage of Japan’s many hot spring resorts. Near Tokyo is the quaint onsen town of Hakone, where you can soak in a hot tub overlooking the majestic Mt. Fuji. Winter is not super freezing, but the lack of insulation in Japanese buildings can make it difficult to feel warm.
What to pack: Pack warm layers, wool socks, versatile winter coat.
Spring in Tokyo
If you’re down to deal with the throngs of tourists, a spring visit to Tokyo is a total dream. During sakura season’s peak bloom, locals camp out for hours in Ueno Park (even sleeping there overnight), in order to reserve the best spots for cherry blossom viewing. Temperatures are chilly to warm. The flowers—plum blossoms, cherry blossoms, azaleas—light up the whole city.
What to pack: Light winter coat or warm jacket, light sweaters, layers.
|Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours|
|Month||Avg. Temp||Rainfall||Daylight Hours|
|January||49 F||2.56 in||10 hours|
|February||50 F||2.51 in||10 hours|
|March||56 F||4.64 in||12 hours|
|April||66 F||4.96 in||13 hours|
|May||74 F||5.37 in||14 hours|
|June||79 F||6.14 in||14 hours|
|July||86 F||6.59 in||14 hours|
|August||88 F||6.1 in||13 hours|
|September||82 F||8.39 in||12 hours|
|October||72 F||8.67 in||11 hours|
|November||63 F||4.13 in||10 hours|
|December||54 F||2.2 in||10 hours|