Photo by Galen Crout
Mid-March through April is peak time for Japan’s cherry blossoms. During these months, blossom viewing festivals spread throughout the country—picture picnicking, singing, and drinking beneath trees abundant with pink and white petals. Since the blossoms only bloom for a few weeks, it can be hard to predict the best time to visit. And while the cherry blossoms are worth the attention they receive, the vibrant red maples and yellow ginkgo trees of Japan’s autumn are equally mesmerizing. Fall and spring also happen to be the most temperate times of year, while July and August are sweltering and good times to avoid Japan. Also avoid visiting during Golden Week, a major holiday in Japan from April 29 to May 5, as accommodations book up fast and prices are elevated.