Japan is a country that sees all four seasons. You can experience pieces of each season depending on what region you visit. However, Japan is not always an ideal situation depending on the time of the year. There are a few dates to keep in mind to avoid large crowds, busy train stations, and expensive prices.
Golden Week: Last Week of April and the first week of May
Golden Week is a time in Japan that the working population gets off for vacation. It begins with a national holiday and extends for about two weeks. Unless you live and work in Japan, you should avoid traveling to the country during this time frame. It can be very challenging finding train tickets, flights, and lodging along with increased prices.
School Summer Vacation: Last Week of July to the End of August
The end of the spring semester is not an ideal time to travel to Japan. When schools let out in mid-July, many Japanese families take vacations. This time frame also includes the week of the Obon Festival; another busy time for local travel. The last week of July through at least the fourth week of August are not good times to visit.
Japanese New Year: The Week of January 1st
The Japanese New Year is an important holiday in Japan. Many businesses close after New Year's Eve for a period of time. The country gets busy with local travel visiting friends and family around the holiday.
Exceptions to the Rule
If you are planning to climb Mt. Fuji, you will have to travel over the summer. Try to plan your hike during the week to avoid crowds on the weekend. Plan and make reservations well in advance; especially, lodging and transportation to the base area. Some people may want to visit over a holiday for a multitude of reasons. Ensure that the activities and sites you want to do are going to be open. Check if reservations are required for any activity and book Shinkansen seats early.
Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station
A popular spot to start from when hiking the Yoshida Trail to the summit of Mt. Fuji.