If you want the quick answer here it’s ‘yes definitely go to Japan in autumn’.
It’s one of the best times of year to visit, depending on what you want to do.
I personally visited towards the end of autumn and loved it all.
Read on to know why visiting Japan in autumn is highly recommended.
Japan in Autumn
Japan is one of those countries that is absolutely blessed with the perfect climate.
You can have hot beach time in Japan’s southern islands like Okinawa during winter and at the same time go skiing/snowboarding in Hokkaido in the far north.
It also has all four seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
A temple in Kyoto in autumn.
In this case it all depends what you want to do in Japan.
The big cities you can visit at any time of year and not worry about getting around to see things, but certain ones will have a different vibe than others.
Matsuyama Castle at the end of autumn.
If you visit Japan in summer the hiking routes in the Japanese Alps will be open and easy to hike weather wise.
But at the same time the lower elevations, especially the big cities are crazy hot, and it can be hard to do anything because of the heat.
The Japan Meteorological website for weather info.
To be honest my favourite time for visiting Japan is in spring when the weather is cool but not to cold and the cherry blossoms are in bloom (only for a brief time).
Exercising in Ueno Park in Tokyo in autumn.
Read: Things to do in Tokyo
But autumn is definitely my second favourite time to visit Japan.
The autumn colours are just magical everywhere, and like said before the climate is perfect.
Osaka Castle with the autumn colour leafs starting to fade.
But if you’re heading to the far north it will be getting cooler for anything like hiking and snow will start to come towards the end of the season.
In the south things remain sub-tropical (Kagoshima region) and hot enough in the far south of Okinawa. (Read: Things to do in Okinawa).
The further south you go the warmer it will bevelled (obviously).
The region of Shikoku and around Hiroshima is also perfect in autumn and I highly recommend it.
Kyoto in autumn is an absolute delight for walking around to all the temples and shrines.
Kyoto in autumn colours.
The only downside to visiting Japan in autumn is if you want to head high into the Japanese Alps as the weather will be getting much cooler and the hiking season will be over.
Also climbing Mount Fuji will not be possible anymore.
Travel tip for Japan:
Take a Japan Rail Pass for your travels there to save money on the trains (especially the fast Shinkansen which cost loads otherwise).
Japan in Autumn
So go ahead if you’re thinking about visiting Japan in Autumn, it really is one of the best times to visitd epending on what you want to do.
But for most tourists it’s the perfect time to go!
Take a look at Lonely Planets Japan Guide for lots of info to help plan your trip. It’s the one I used.
Also take a look at my own ever expanding guide for Japan.
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