What To Wear In Japan For Every Season

packing suitcase travel Travel tips

One of the biggest and most common concerns when traveling to another country is probably what kind of clothes to pack and bring with you. You need to do your research on the weather and the climate of your destination and pick the best outfits that will make you feel as comfortable and fashionable as possible on your trip. It is also important to prepare for and expect the unexpected, which may include sudden rain or extreme temperature swings. You may need to take regional climate differences into consideration as well if you are planning to visit multiple destinations. Japan is a country with all four seasons, making your pack list different during every season of the year. Let us help you out and give you some helpful tips on what to pack and wear during your stay in Japan, no matter what season you are here!     

Spring (March – May)

Spring is probably the best time of year to visit Japan. You can enjoy the nice mild climate, beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom, and a variety of outdoor activities without having to worry about being too hot or cold. Spring in Japan typically runs from mid-March through May, and the temperature is usually around 15℃ – 20°C on average during the daytime on a sunny day. However, the temperature can also be a bit cooler at night or early in the morning. Make sure to bring underwear thermals which will help you stay warm if there are any sudden changes in temperature. If you forget to bring thermals, you can always purchase them for a reasonable price at stores like UNIQLO. A light jacket or coat is a must if you are traveling in early spring too. And it never hurts to bring basic rain gear like waterproof shoes and a jacket just in case you get caught in the rain. 

It is very important to pack depending on the regions that you are visiting in Japan. If you are traveling to major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto which are all located on the main island of Japan, in most cases, there are no out-of-the-ordinary items that you will need to pack. 

On the other hand, if you are visiting places like Hokkaido or the Tohoku region, you will need to prepare for the cold weather with warmer coats, gloves, scarfs, and comfortable snow-proof boots up until around mid-March when the snow finally melts and the temperature gradually starts to get warmer. It is the opposite of Japan’s warmer areas further south like Okinawa where the average temperature can be around 25℃ in April. 

Spring packing list

・Light jacket
・Long sleeve shirts
・Thermal underwear 
・Lightweight sweater / sweatshirt
・Cardigan
・Pants / jeans
・Shorts / skirts
・Comfortable walking shoes 
・Rain gear 
・Umbrella
・Sunscreen                                   

Rainy Season (June – Mid July)

Rainy season in Japan, which is called “Tsuyu” (梅雨) in Japanese, generally starts around early to mid-June and lasts for about a month. However, just like the cherry blossom season, the rainy season will start earlier the further south you go. During this dreadful season, you can expect constant rainfall no matter where you are in Japan with the exception of Hokkaido, which gets lucky and doesn’t experience this gloomy and wet season due to its geography. If you are traveling to Japan during the rainy season, make sure to save some space in your suitcase for rain gear such as a folding umbrella, a waterproof raincoat, and waterproof shoes. If you forget to pack any of these things, there is no need to panic. You can buy affordable rain gear almost anywhere in Japan. 

The temperature during Japan’s rainy season is relatively comfortable, staying around 20℃ during the majority of the day and will rarely top 25℃. The thing that makes this season almost unbearable is the heavy rain mixed with the high level of humidity. To keep your body comfortable and dry, we recommend choosing the right outfits that best suit you for this kind of weather as each person is different. However, most people do best wearing lighter permeable clothing. This will allow breathability that will help your body stay dry and comfortable even when you’re not somewhere with AC.  

Rainy season packing list

・Rain gear
・Long-sleeve shirts
・T-shirts
・Lightweight sweater / sweatshirt
・Lightweight pants / jeans
・Comfortable shorts / skirts
・Waterproof shoes 
・Umbrella
・Hand towels
・Sunscreen

Summer (Mid July – August)

To put it simply, summer in Japan is hot and humid. In Tokyo, the average temperature in August is around 27℃, but it can get up to as high as about 35℃. What many people struggle with most is the humidity which tends to be extremely high and makes most people sweat buckets as soon as they set foot outside. For this reason, you need to stay hydrated and drink lots of fluids during the summer in Japan. T-shirts, shorts, and hats are things you will need to beat the heat(and humidity) during summer in Japan. If you are planning on spending a lot of time outdoors doing things like camping, kayaking, or beach hopping, sunglasses and water-resistant sunscreen will also be a necessity.      

Summer packing list 

・Breathable underwear
・T-shirts
・Shorts / skirts
・Lightweight sweater / sweatshirt
・Hat
・Sunglasses
・Comfortable walking shoes
・Sunscreen 

Fall (September – November)

Fall in Japan is a lovely season that typically lasts from September to November. The mildly warm weather in fall is perfect for a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and cycling. Many people also enjoy observing the beautiful autumn colors which start to turn red, yellow, and orange throughout the country along with a drop in temperature around mid-November. Temperatures in the fall season usually vary depending on the month and region. Therefore, it is important to check the weather forecast and the average temperatures of the time that you are planning to visit. In early September, you can still expect the weather to be fairly hot with the average temperature around 25℃. It will still be sunny in most parts of Japan as well so be sure to pack sunscreen. You can expect the temperature to take a dip to about 15℃ – 10℃ in late November, so it may be a good idea to pack more layers like cardigans, warmer sweatshirts, or even jackets to stay warm.  

Fall packing list 

・T-shirts
・Shorts 
・Long sleeve shirts
・Sweater / sweatshirt
・Cardigan
・Light jacket
・Comfortable pants / skirts
・Hat / beanie
・Lightweight gloves
・Comfortable walking shoes 
・Sunscreen 

Winter (December – February)

Winter in Japan is full of exciting things to do as well as stunning natural beauty wherever you decide to visit. January is the coldest month of the year across Japan, and in Tokyo, the temperature high on average is around 10℃. On the other hand, the low can get down to 1℃ to -2℃ with occasional snowfall. Wherever you are traveling during winter(with the exception of Okinawa), make sure to layer up to keep warm, which will allow you to make the most of your time here while bearing with the cold weather. Wearing winter boots will also help with slipping and sliding on the icy streets and maybe something that you need if you are planning on going somewhere that gets heavy snow.       

Winter packing list

・Heavyweight thermal underwear
・Long sleeve shirts
・Warm overcoat / waterproof Jacket
・Sweater / sweatshirt
・Warm pants / jeans
・Gloves
・Scarf
・Hat / beanie
・Boots(depending on where you are going)
・Comfortable walking shoes
・Umbrella

Don’t forget to check out our private tours!

tokyo

If you need some help organizing your trip to Japan, it may be a good idea to check out our private tours with one of our knowledgeable and fun English guides. We would be more than happy to help you make your trip to Japan a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable one! 

Visit the best tourist attractions in Tokyo with one of our friendly guides! This tour is flexible and the destinations are customizable according to your requests.  

Join our private walking tour and explore the beautiful ancient city of Kyoto which is full of history and exciting experiences!  

Japan has four distinct seasons, and each season offers a wide range of unforgettable experiences as well as beautiful scenery. If you have a particular season in mind when you want to travel to Japan, be sure to choose what clothes you pack carefully according to the weather and temperature of that season. Packing your suitcase as light as possible with only the necessities is also key to making travel easier! We hope you learned a thing or two about what to wear in Japan and that you can pack accordingly for your next trip here! 

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Happy traveling!

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Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with traveling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. Also love to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.

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