Japan in May 2024

Japan, a land of ancient traditions, modern innovation, and breathtaking natural beauty, is a captivating destination year-round. However, May, with its temperate climate, colorful festivals, and blooming landscapes, offers an enchanting opportunity to explore Japan’s rich heritage and natural wonders. If you’re considering a trip to Japan in May, here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your visit. We’re covering everything from weather and crowds to events, the best cities to visit, and top experiences.

Weather in Japan in May

weather in japan in may

May in Japan marks the transition from spring to early summer, bringing mild temperatures and relatively low humidity across the country. In major cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, daytime temperatures range from 20-25°C (68-77°F), offering comfortable conditions for exploring outdoor attractions. In northern regions such as Hokkaido, temperatures are slightly cooler, while southern areas like Okinawa enjoy warmer weather ideal for beach activities. Cherry blossoms may still be in bloom in some regions, adding to the picturesque scenery. Here are specific temperature ranges for some key cities:

  • Tokyo:
    • Daytime Temperature: 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F)
    • Nighttime Temperature: 15°C to 19°C (59°F to 66°F)
  • Kyoto:
    • Daytime Temperature: 20°C to 26°C (68°F to 79°F)
    • Nighttime Temperature: 14°C to 18°C (57°F to 64°F)
  • Osaka:
    • Daytime Temperature: 21°C to 27°C (70°F to 81°F)
    • Nighttime Temperature: 16°C to 20°C (61°F to 68°F)

Crowds

May in Japan sees a moderate influx of tourists, but it’s generally less crowded compared to peak seasons like cherry blossom season or Golden Week in late April. Travelers can enjoy popular attractions with relative ease and without overwhelming crowds.

Price Fluctuations

With the tapering off of peak tourist season, May offers a balance between favorable weather and reasonable prices for accommodations and transportation. Travelers can take advantage of lower rates while still enjoying pleasant weather and a variety of activities. Book one of our multi day Japan tour packages and secure all your hotels and tours in advance with one just click. Let the Japan travel experts take care of all your Japan trip planning and arrive stresss-free.

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Events and Festivals

Kanda Matsuri Festival Tokyo
  • April 13 – May 26: Fuji Shibazakura Festival near Mount Fuji – Beautiful arrangements of pink moss
  • April 29 – May 5: Golden Week – a series of national holidays during which many Japanese people travel domestically. While popular tourist spots can be crowded during this time, it’s also an opportunity to witness traditional customs and festivities.
  • Mid-May: Kanda Matsuri in Tokyo – one of Japan’s most spectacular festivals featuring colorful processions of elaborately decorated floats and traditional performances. 
  • May 17 – May 19: Sanja Matsuri in Tokyo – one of the city’s largest and most lively Shinto festivals, featuring vibrant processions and traditional performances. 
  • Mid-May: Aoi Matsuri in Kyoto  – colorful parades leading to Shimogamo and Kamigamo Shrines

Best Places to Visit in Japan in May

Best Things to Do in Japan in May

things to do in Japan in may
  • May is an excellent time to explore Japan’s rich cultural heritage, with fewer crowds compared to peak tourist season. Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of Kyoto’s historic temples and gardens, stroll through the atmospheric streets of Takayama’s old town, or witness the iconic sight of cherry blossoms in full bloom at Tokyo’s Ueno Park.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for adventure in Japan’s diverse landscapes. Hike along the ancient pilgrimage trails of Kumano Kodo, kayak through the crystal-clear waters of Yakushima Island, or cycle through the scenic countryside of Shikoku. Check out our full range of exciting nature and wildlife tours in Japan.
  • No trip to Japan is complete without sampling the world-renowned Japanese cuisine and May offers an abundance of seasonal delicacies. Indulge in fresh seafood, including succulent crab and sweet shrimp, which are at their peak during this time of year. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor seasonal dishes like sansai, or mountain vegetables, and ayu. All our Japan food tours are led by local insider foodies who will take you to all the locally favored food spots.
  • May also marks the beginning of the sake brewing season in Japan, making it an ideal time to visit traditional sake breweries and sample a variety of artisanal brews. We currently operate sake-tasting tours in Saijo, Nara, or Takayama. Tour the brewery, sample a range of sake varieties, and learn about the country’s historical association with the drink.

Combine Japan and Korea for an Unforgettable Adventure

seoul south korea tour package

May is also a fantastic time to visit Korea, the neighboring country to Japan. With similar weather, May in Korea brings sunny and dry days, ideal for enjoying the outdoors. If you’re already in this part of the world, why not combine your trip to Japan with a visit to South Korea, just a short flight away? A dual trip to Japan and Korea offers an unforgettable adventure, merging modern marvels with ancient traditions. If the idea of planning a multi-country vacation seems overwhelming, our Japan and Korea tour packages are the answer! With a simple click, we’ll arrange all your hotels and tours in both countries. Choose from our 10-day or 11-day Japan & Korea tour packages, and we’ll handle everything else! Alternatively, you can tour Japan independently and join us for the Korea segment of your journey. Our Korea tour packages, which start in Seoul, are available in 4-day, 5-day, and 6-day options.

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Tips For Traveling to Japan in May

  • While May generally sees fewer tourists than peak seasons, popular attractions can still be busy during Golden Week. To avoid crowds, consider visiting major sights early in the morning or late in the afternoon and booking your Japan accommodations well in advance.
  • Japan’s efficient public transportation system makes it easy to explore the country, with extensive networks of trains, buses, and ferries connecting cities and regions. Consider purchasing a Japan Rail Pass for unlimited travel on JR trains and Shinkansen (bullet trains), which offers excellent value for exploring multiple destinations.
  • While independent travel allows for flexibility, guided Japan tours and Japan tour packages offer a curated and enriching experience that unveils the depth of Japan’s culture and heritage. Our expert guides provide insights into local customs, traditions, and hidden gems that may elude independent travelers. With guided tours, you can navigate through Japan’s bustling cities and serene countryside with ease, ensuring a seamless and memorable journey. 

May Magic: Unveiling Japan’s Beauty in Blossom

In conclusion, May is a magical time to visit Japan, offering favorable weather, vibrant festivals, and a wealth of cultural experiences. Whether you’re marveling at traditional rituals, indulging in exquisite cuisine, or immersing yourself in nature’s splendor, Japan in May promises an unforgettable journey filled with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags and embark on a captivating adventure through the Land of the Rising Sun.

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