Spring in Japan is a great time to visit, but each month has its own flavor and things to try. Today we’ll look at visiting Japan in May!
May feels like a welcoming summer (it’s no secret that Japanese summer between July and September can be very hot). While the sakura flowers have come and gone, you will still find a lot of gardens to visit in this nature-focused month. So, in short, May is a great month to be out!
What's the weather like in Tokyo in May?
Tokyo weather will feel like a mild summer. The humidity in May is nowhere near what it becomes in the following months, so it’s a great time to enjoy the city.
Even though the temperatures are not going to be too high, though, remember that you will likely be walking around a lot, so you may feel a little hotter than you expect if you don’t have proper clothing.
What's the weather like in Japan in May?
When it comes to Japan as a whole, as you can see from the chart above, the temperatures and weather are going to be similar across the board (with the exception of the much colder Sapporo).
Even in colder areas, like Hokkaido, the temperatures and the weather are similar to those in the rest of the country, but if you’re visiting, especially if you are planning hikes and excursion, you're still going to want to pack some heavier clothes, boots, hiking shoes, heavier socks, gloves, and warm under clothing.
How to dress in Japan in May?
If you plan to walk around a lot, pack comfortable pants, shorts, skirts, light socks, and comfortable shoes. It will help to have a backpack that can help you carry around some extra water (and snacks).
If you suffer from too much sun exposure, definitely do not forget a cap and sunglasses. Even though we are not really looking at real summer temperatures and sun, you might also want to pack some sunscreen cream.
For everyday clothing, to wear for brunch, outdoor dining, we suggest light pants, jackets, skirts that won’t feel too warm during the day but that can protect you from a night late spring breeze if you are the easy-to-get-cold type.
Along with your clothes, sun-screen, and cameras, don’t forget extra chargers. You’ll be walking a lot!
What to do in Japan in May
Spring in Japan is synonymous with sakura flowers, but actually hanami (cherry blossom viewing) is only possible for 1-2 weeks tops because sakura blossoms are as beautiful as they are ephemeral.
The good news is that as beautiful and nice to experience hanami can be, there are a lot of similar things that you can try in Japan in May.
In Tokyo alone there are a lot of gardens and parks that sport magical flower arrangements.
・Ashikaga Flower Park
・Kameido Tenjin Shrine (free)
・Kyu-Furukawa Gardens (150 yen)
・Ueno Onshi Koen Park (free)
・Ueno Toshogu Peony Garden (500 yen or 1100yen for shrine and garden access)
・Showa Memorial Park (free days change every year)
But the options are even more and possibly more amazing if you are planning to travel to other areas of Japan.
・Saika no Sato – Sasaki Farm (Hokkaido)
・Hitachi Seaside Park (Ibaraki)
・Sakura Furusato Hiroba (Chiba)
・Tanbo wo Tsukatta Flower Garden (Shizuoka Prefecture)
・Hitsujiyama Park (Saitama Prefecture)
And many more! Make sure you look into what the prefectures you are visiting have to offer, and you’ll have an amazing and truly magical outdoor experience.
What Japanese food should I try in May?
Spring seasonal food is amazing, and while some of these drinks, dishes, and snacks are evergreen, spring season is when they really shine.
・Matcha – a finely grounded green tea made from special leaves
・Strawberry – This is strawberry season and Japanese people love to go strawberry picking. Try it!
・Herring – a highly nutritious fish grounded into Japanese culinary tradition
・Udo – a spring vegetable often used as an appetizer or side dish
・Plum – this is also plum season and you will find a plethora of products from alcohol to jam to satisfy everyone.
・Wasabi – one of the most traditional dressings of Japanese cuisine (watch it, because it packs quite a punch)
And there you have it! Everything you need to know about enjoying your May in Japan! You are going to love it.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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