Tokyo
Photo Courtesy of Landon Nordeman
Tokyo has four discrete seasons, with temperatures ranging from around freezing at night during the peak of winter to the high 90s in the height of summer. While it rarely snows in the capital, the humidity during January and February can make it feel colder than the reading on the thermometer. And the city’s asphalt and concrete retain considerable heat during the summer. Japan's "plum rain" season falls in early summer—tsuyu, as it is called in Japanese, is characterized by a light drizzle reminiscent of Seattle or London. September sees the advent of typhoons originating in the more southerly Pacific. These occasionally strike the capital, bringing high winds and downpours. Spring and particularly autumn are absolutely beautiful, with relatively low humidity. Cherry blossoms bloom in March and April, and brilliant fall colors characterize November. May is also a great time to visit, as daytime temperatures average 73 degrees with low humidity and mostly sunny days. Japan's busiest and most expensive travel seasons fall during Golden Week (the last week in April and first week of May) and New Year's. During these times Tokyo tends to empty out, as many residents return to their hometowns in the countryside.