Translated by MATCHA_En
Spring In Japan: Traveling, Clothing And Weather In March-May
Written by MATCHA
Spring in Japan spans from March to May. This article contains information on the weather and the best things to do in Japan in the spring. Enjoy your trip to the fullest by viewing cherry blossoms and taking part in spring festivals and events!
Enjoying Spring in Japan
Picture by Pixta
Spring is an exciting season in Japan, with sakura (cherry blossoms), fresh green and plenty of beautiful things to see, as well as delicious seasonal treats. Also, in Japan, both the school year and business year start in April: spring is a season full of new meetings, activities, and liveliness.
This article introduces travel tips for those planning to visit Japan in spring, such as cherry blossom information and other fun things to do, weather, what to wear, and events that one shouldn't miss out around this time of the year.
Spring Weather in Japan
Spring in Japan is generally a three-month period, from March to May.
In March, temperatures in Tokyo are an average of 13 degrees during the afternoon, and 5 degrees Celsius during the morning and evening. In April, afternoon temperatures reach an average of 18.5 degrees, while temperatures in the morning and night are around 10.5 degrees Celsius.
In May, we can experience around 23 degrees Celsius during the afternoon, with temperatures decreasing to around 15 degrees in the evenings and mornings.
Even though it's spring, during the first half of the season there are mostly cold days, while the second half has plenty of sunny days with clear weather.
Cherry Blossom Forecast for 2020
From: Weathernews (2020/01/15)
The cherry blossoms are expected to bloom a little earlier than usual in 2020. For details on forecasts for each region, please refer to our article on cherry blossom regional forecast for 2020.
The Highlights of Spring in Japan
One of the highlights of the season is definitely cherry blossoms. They bloom in parks, along the roads, on the mountains or along riversides. Sakura trees planted in various places all burst into a light pink at the same time.
The time that the sakura bloom depends on each year's climate, but usually around March the cherry blossoms slowly start blossoming from the southern regions of Japan, working their way up to the northern areas.
Picture from Gion's Best Sakura Spots
The average time for the sakura to bloom is May 3 in the Sapporo, Hokkaido, and they should be in full bloom by May 8.
In the Tokyo area, cherry blossoms will start blooming around March 25 and should be in full bloom until around April 6.
In Osaka, the cherry blossoms will start blooming around March 28 and should be in full bloom by April 6.
In Kyoto, the dates for blooming are March 27 and the flowers are expected to be in full bloom until April 9.
As the time the cherry blossoms are actually in bloom is not very long, you should plan your trip while taking a look at this year's cherry blossom forecast.
Picture from The Weeping Cherry Trees In Okazaki, Kyoto
Sakura trees are gorgeous when they are in full bloom, but they are just as beautiful when the petals begin falling. It looks like snowfall. The cherry blossoms can be viewed not only during the day but also in the evening. This is called yozakura (night-time sakura viewing) and is another way of enjoying the beauty f these blooms.
Hanami: Cherry Blossom Viewing
In Japan, hanami (cherry blossom viewing) is the long-established custom of friends, family, and even coworkers going out to eat and drink together underneath the sakura trees in full bloom.
Picture from Kawasaki - Places To Have Fun And Visit Before Kanamara Matsuri
Spring marks the beginning of a new year for schools and companies in Japan. Accompanying this are several traditional celebrations visitors can enjoy. Look for elaborate Japanese doll displays for Girl's Day (Hinamatsuri) in early March and cherry blossom viewing festivals in April.
May is a month when many Shinto festivals are held, such as the famous Kanamara Matsuri, a festival honoring marriage and conception held in Kawasaki, near Tokyo. There is a lot to enjoy in spring.
Delicious Spring Food and Sweets
Picture from Sakura Flavored: Gorgeous Cherry Blossom Sweets
Cherry blossom season and springtime is the season of adorable cherry-blossom-themed sweet snacks. During spring you will find sakura-flavored Japanese sweets, ice cream, and even KitKats. They are generally only available in spring, so make sure to try them when you see them in convenience stores and supermarkets.
Bamboo shoots, aralia elata, Japanese butterbur, and other wild greens start growing around this time. The bitter taste of these products is said to have detoxifying effects.
Soft seaweed, clams or the Japanese halfbeak are popular spring foods, as well. Also, if there is one fruit we could say is representative of spring, it's strawberries. Strawberries in Japan have been improved upon, and feature many varieties, all of which are sweet and shiny like precious stones.
What to Wear in Tokyo in Spring
March is still quite cold, so you will need a thick coat.
In April, there are more and more warm days. However, you will need to take a cardigan, jacket or coat of some sort on bad weather days, windy days, and for when you're planning to go out at night.
May has pleasant weather. You will probably do well with a long-sleeved T-shirt and cardigan.
Spring in Japan, especially the season when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, offers pleasant weather and beautiful sights. We warmly recommend that you visit Japan during this time. To find out more about Japan’s spring festivals, please refer to the following article: From March To May - Experience Japan's Spring Festivals And Events
Main image courtesy of Pixta