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

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

Date published: 2 April 2020

If you ask anyone who has visited Japan (and many who haven’t as well) what their favorite time of the year in the country is, they will probably tell you spring. And among the spring months, April is king. This is when sakura trees in most parts of the country are in full bloom, but also a time of festivals, traditional food, amazing sightseeing, and a very welcoming atmosphere all around.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at everything you’ll need to know, with this complete guide to visiting Japan in April.

Table of Contents
  1. What’s the weather like in Tokyo in April?
  2. What’s the weather like in Japan in April?
  3. How to dress in Japan in April?
  4. What to pack for Japan in April?
  5. What to do in Japan in April
  6. Japanese festivals in April
  7. Visiting Japan in April? Take Photos You Won’t Believe are Real!
  8. Word on Golden Week
  9. What Japanese food should you try in April?

What’s the weather like in Tokyo in April?

What’s the weather like in Tokyo in April?

The weather in April, in Tokyo, is generally pleasantly warm. Even nighttime low temperatures are very manageable, and days are mostly sunny. There could be some anomalies, like April 2019 when temperatures were on average lower and precipitations more frequent, but it doesn’t happen often.

What’s the weather like in Japan in April?

What’s the weather like in Japan in April?

When it comes to the weather in the country, as you can see from the chart above, things change depending on the area you are visiting. While Sapporo, and the whole of Hokkaido tend to be much colder, on average, even during this generally warmer month, Okinawa sports the temperatures of a mild summer, even in colder hours.

How to dress in Japan in April?

How to dress in Japan in April?

Unless you’re visiting Hokkaido, or other colder regions, prepare for average spring temperatures and weather.
Absolutely do not forget some comfortable shoes, you will walk a lot. Bring with you a sweater or some heavier clothes just in case, but for the most part, you will be fine with shirts, skirts, shorts, and other light, comfortable clothing.

What if I’m visiting Hokkaido?
If you are visiting colder regions, prepare for a mild winter. Especially in the evening, temperatures will get pretty rigid.
We recommend heavier clothing and underclothing, winter socks, long pants, sweaters, as well as lighter clothes for the daytime. It will be useful to have jackets and sweaters easy to carry during the warmer hours so that the colder night hours won’t catch you off guard. Hiking shoes and/or boots could also come in handy.

What to pack for Japan in April?

What to pack for Japan in April?

If you are not visiting the colder areas of Japan, bring comfortable shoes, and socks, as well as shirts, and comfortable pants and skirts. When visiting other countries, there is often a lot of walking to do, but this is especially true in Japan, in April.

In addition, bring a backpack that allows you for some spare room for something to wear at night, if you’re going to be out for several hours, as well as water, sunglasses, and some snacks.

What to do in Japan in April

What to do in Japan in April

Of course, we will start with hanami (cherry blossoms viewing). Hanami can hardly be defined as an event. It’s a centenary tradition that permeates the whole country. Cherry flowers are as beautiful as they are ephemeral, and the best period to see them in full bloom varies depending on the kind of trees, and on the location in which they are.

Live Japan always offers an up to date map with the most accurate forecasts, so make sure to check it out to get the best out of your trip, regardless of where in Japan you are!

If you are in Tokyo, some of the most beautiful and popular places are Meguro river, Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoen. There are many spots in Tokyo, and also in Sapporo, Kyoto, Osaka, and virtually every city of Japan, so make sure you explore as many places as you can.
But what do people usually do for hanami?

Hanami can be simply taking a stroll among beautiful cherry trees, or make a day of it with friends, family, or dates. Every year, flocks of people look for the most beautiful places to set up a nice picnic (make sure that the location you want to visit allows BBQs if you’re looking to organize one), and enjoy food and drinks.

Some of the most popular location will have people holding the best spots for hours (even days), but the good news is that while some areas are more famous than others, Tokyo, and many other cities in Japan have wonderful spots just waiting for you. Some examples would be the area of Nishikyogoku in Kyoto, or the small towns just outside of Tokyo, which will offer a very anime-like hanami experience.

April is also the first time of the year that sees masses of people going out in warmer weather, which means also a lot of concerts, many of which outdoors. Summer is usually when most outdoors musical events happen, but also in April you will have the chance of attending various events, as well as concerts of national and international artists.

Festivals is where April really shines.
For sakura there are too many cherry blossom festivals to be all named, but here are some of them:
Hirosaki Castle, Aichi.
Ueno Park, Tokyo.
・Meguro River, Tokyo.
・Satte Gongendo Park, Saitama.
・Takada Castle, Niigata.
Odawara Castle, Kanagawa.
・Izu Highland, Shizuoka.
Look for some festivals in your area and you will surely find many.

Japanese festivals in April

Japanese festivals in April
Joshua Hawley / Shutterstock.com

April, though, is not only time for cherry blossoms-related festivals. Japan offers many other events where you can enjoy traditional food, costumes, dances, and culture.

・Miyako Odori, April 1-30 (Kyoto)
A month worth of dances, and music, performed by real maiko and geiko (who are usually hard to see performing in public).

・Onbashira Festival, April-May, every 6 years (Nagano)
The next event of this dangerous, rare, and very old event (1000 years), will be held in 2022. If you have the opportunity to go see it, you will witness people riding huge tree logs sliding down a dangerous mountain slope. Not for the faint of heart.

・Ose Matsuri, April 4 (Shizuoka)
A festival in which men dressed like women dance on boats in the harbor by Ose Shrine, accompanied by festive music.

・Beppu Hot Spring Festival, first week of April, Oita
A week-long festival that involves the whole city of Beppu to give thanks to its fantastic hot springs.

・Kanamara Festival, early April (sometimes late March), Kawasaki, Kanagawa
A unique festival that celebrates phalluses. Yeah, it’s really that odd (and fun).

・Yakumo Jinja Shunki Reitaisai, April, Tokyo
Sporting amazing floats, music, food, and colourful decorations

・Fuji (Wisteria) Matsuri, mid April-early May, Kameido Tenjin Shrine
Here you will see the beautiful flowers of the temple blooming, in a festivals of scents, colors, and light shows.

Dozens of other festivals happen all over the country for the whole month of April. When you decide your itinerary, make sure to look for the ones in the areas you will be visiting. You won’t be disappointed.

Visiting Japan in April? Take Photos You Won’t Believe are Real!

Visiting Japan in April? Take Photos You Won’t Believe are Real!

April allows you to immortalize some magical moments and landscapes in pictures that will look like images from a fantastic fictional world. In particular, if you wait for that “magic hour” moment at sunset, here are some places that will be well worth the wait.
・Meguro River (when not crowded), Tokyo
・Kamogawa River, Kyoto
Mount Fuji from Oishi Park by Lake Kawaguchi, and from ・the top of the panoramic ropeway
・Kiyomizu Dera, Kyoto
・Akagi Senbozakura, Gunma
・Matsumoto castle, Nagano
・Nagoya Castle, Nagoya
・Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto
・Maruyama Park, Kyoto
Osaka Castle, Osaka
Nara Park, Nara
・Handayama Botanical Garden, Okayama

Word on Golden Week

Word on Golden Week

Golden week is a period that contains a number of Japanese national holidays starting on April 29 and which sees the whole country going on vacation. Visiting during this time could exactly what you’re looking for or something to avoid. Many stores, museums, and other attractions will be closed. The streets, and especially touristic spots will be more crowded than usual, seeing an increase in national tourism. That also means that it will be easier to get in touch with the locals, participate to events with Japanese people, and experience a week of partying.

What Japanese food should you try in April?

April is a time of festivals and festivals are a great time to try seasonal dishes, and also familiar snacks and drinks switching to a more chrry-esque feel. For example you will find cherry-themed kitkats, chips, beers, wines, sake, and more.
April is also the time of the “king of fish,” Tai, an exquisite and delicate fish very popular among many celebratory events, and, of course in April.
Takenoko (bamboo shoots) is another very popular dish in Japan, in April, served in a variety of ways, on its own, or as a side dish, or topping.

And here you have it! Everything you need to know to enjoy your April in Japan to the fullest!

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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