HOME Complete Guide to Visiting Japan in March 2020: Weather, What to See & Do
Complete Guide to Visiting Japan in March 2020: Weather, What to See & Do

Complete Guide to Visiting Japan in March 2020: Weather, What to See & Do

Date published: 16 March 2020

Japan in spring is magical! This is common knowledge for most. Cherry blossoms, welcoming weather, festivals, seasonal food. A great time to visit the country.

Yet, most of us can’t go traveling for a whole season, and information more specific to a month or another is harder to come by, but worry not. Here we will talk about all there is to know if you are visiting Japan in March. Read on for a complete guide to visiting Japan in March.

Table of Contents
  1. What is the weather like in Japan in March?
  2. What is the weather like in March in Tokyo?
  3. What should I pack for my trip to Japan in March, and what should I wear?
  4. What to do in March in Japan

What is the weather like in Japan in March?

The average temperature in March in the country is around 10°C (or 50°F), but the temperatures can differ greatly depending on where you are visiting.

Average daily highs in Sapporo, Hokkaido, for example, are of a brisk 4.2°C/39.6°F (and the lows are at -2.6°C/27.2°F), while in Naha, Okinawa, in the same period, you would look at 21.8°C/71.2°F highs, and 16.6°C/61.9°F lows.

So, first things first! The chart above will give you an idea of what the weather and temperatures will be like in March in the area that you are visiting (or in those close to it), so you can better prepare for your trip!

What is the weather like in March in Tokyo?

What is the weather like in March in Tokyo?

The weather and temperatures in Tokyo, in March reflect the seasonal changes between winter and spring. It’s not too humid and it doesn’t rain often, and on sunny days it gets pretty warm, while in the evening you may need to wear a hoody or sweater.

What should I pack for my trip to Japan in March, and what should I wear?

What should I pack for my trip to Japan in March, and what should I wear?

If you are heading to Tokyo, or some of the other areas more within the average temperatures picture a slightly colder spring.

Pack for spring but picture it a little colder
Unless you head to the parts of Japan that are particularly cold or warm, you should not have many surprises. You will probably walk around a lot, and if that is the case, on a sunny day, it might feel a little warm, so be prepared for that, but remember that evenings and nights have much lower temperatures compared to daytime ones. We recommend, especially for long sightseeing days, comfortable clothing and jackets that you can easily carry in a backpack until you need them.

Heading to northern Japan? You are going to want to pack a little heavier
Colder areas of Japan will feel nothing like the weather in Tokyo. In fact, it will feel very much like winter, so, if you are heading towards Hokkaido or other areas in northern Japan, pack for winter. Heavier clothes and jackets (as well as socks and gloves) are generally going to be enough, but if you plan excursions at higher altitudes, do not forget heavier-duty clothing, and boots.

Some regions of Japan will be warmer than you expect
Areas like Fukuoka, and especially Okinawa, can be much warmer than the rest of Japan, so, make sure to pack some proper spring clothes. Shorts, lighter shirts, and light sweatshirts will be very useful; and do not forget other useful items:
・Portable umbrella (just in case)

Don’t forget you will be out a lot
When visiting Japan, you will probably end up being away from your hotel for extended periods of time, so, in March, just like in any other month, remember to have extra chargers or batteries for your electronics, and comfortable footwear.

What to do in March in Japan

What to do in March in Japan

1. See plum and cherry blossoms
Japan is wildly famous for its cherry blossoms, and for good reason. The whole country turns pink, as the hanami (cherry blossom viewing) starts. March is still a little early for cherry blossoms in full bloom, however, some kinds of cherry trees bloom from mid-March and you can catch them also in Tokyo, or Kyoto.

As you can see, most of the full blooms will be around the end of March, but if you are heading to Japan earlier, do not despair, as before sakura blossoms were a thing, plum flowers were king. Umemi, plum blossom viewing, used to be for centuries what hanami is now, and plum blossoms decorate Japan from February to the beginning of/mid March. If you happen to be in Kyoto, one of the most beautiful places to admire plum blossoms is at Kitano Tenmangu temple, in the neighborhood of Kamishichicken. Regardless of where you are, you won’t need to look for a place to see these beautiful trees, as they are going to be all over the place, accompanying you in your sightseeing.

2. Catch a Japanese festival
March is a time of many festivals marking the beginning of a season, or the end of another, or celebrating traditions, towns, and more.
Here are some interesting festivals for you to take a look and get you started on your selection.

Awashima Jinja Grand Festival (Uto, Kumamoto / March 1-3)
A festival around the smallest torii gate in Japan, standing only 30cm tall. Tradition says that women who are able to pass through the gate, will deliver healthy children and will not suffer illnesses.

Hina Matsuri (Nationwide), March 3
Girl’s Day, or Doll Festival, is a celebration for happiness and health for young girls, where you will be able to see and purchase traditional dolls, plus see displays and traditional clothing.

Kyokusui no Utage (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Daizafu, Fukuoka), March 2
This festival sees actors reenacting the courts of the Heian Period in Japan (794-1192 CE), with costumes, and reciting of period poetry among the plum trees of the temple.

Tsunan Snow Festival (Tsunan, Niigata) March (dates change every year)
For various snow activities and competitions and for the magical moment when 2,000 floating lanterns are released in the night sky.

Honensai Festival (Tagata Jinja, Inuyama, Aichi), March 15
A fertility festival centered around sake and giant phalluses meant to help couples conceive.

Oide matsuri (Hakui, Ishikawa), March 18-23
Horse-back archery show, and parade with traditional styles and clothes.

3. Strawberries
That’s right! This is the month in which the strawberry season starts, and you, like many Japanese people do, can also enjoy strawberry picking and tasting in many farms around Japan (and not only in the countryside. You won’t need to go too far).

4. Sumo
From March 8 to March 22 Haru Basho (Spring Grand Tournament) takes place. The grand tournaments happen 6 times a year and they are held in Tokyo (3 times) and in Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka (once per city).

5. Skiing
Yes! If you love skiing AND want to experience Japan in Spring, you will be able to do both. Many facilities in Japan, offer spring to early summer skiing. For more information, look at this thorough article on skiing in Japan.

Regardless of what activities you will decide to undertake, you will love Japan in March. Even if you are not one to plan too much ahead, just leave the hotel and you will bask in a world of seasonal food, changing colors, traditional fashion, as well as modern fashion, great shopping, sights, and more!

Written by:

Lucio Maurizi

Lucio Maurizi

Lucio Maurizi is an Italian writer, photographer, and streamer. He spent 10 years in the United States and currently lives in Japan, focusing on creating articles and channels dedicated to the Land of the Rising Sun. He loves any form of storytelling, natto, and wasabi, and is desperately trying to make time to work on his novel. On Instagram @that_italian_guy_in_japan.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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