4 Seasons of Love: Short Guide for Travelling In Japan

Japanese dishesThere are so many ways to experience Japan, but with the wealth of options available, some would-be travellers are confused with what to do. Most experts suggest considering which season your travel time falls on to make your planning easier. Here are some of the activities you can do and food you should try while in Japan, depending on each season:

Spring

Spring in Japan is often packed with festivals and cherry blossom viewing parties called hanami. This is a great time to mingle with the locals and learn more about their culture and history. Some of the popular matsuri or festivals in Japan include Hana Matsuri (Flora Festival) and the Kamakura Festival. The Kite Flying Festival is also a huge spectacle wherein you can watch beautifully designed kites flying over the sand dunes.

While you’re there, make sure to try takenoko, bamboo shoots are often steamed with rice. Rice cakes wrapped in oak leaves are also in-demand during spring especially on the fifth of May, known as Kodomo no Hi or Children’s Day.

Summer

The warnings are true: summers in Japan aren’t your usual summer. It’s particularly hot and humid. This is the time when most people go out in their yukata to attend several more festivals.

To escape from the heat, look for restaurants with a nagashi-some setup. In such setup, you’ll have to catch the cold noodles flowing through a bamboo pipe. It’s refreshingly new way to enjoy a noodle dish.

Autumn

Many say that autumn is the right time to visit Japan. Apart from the cool weather which is ideal for exploring and walking around, everything around you is bursting with colours during autumn. Take a riverboat ride in the Hozugawa River from Kameoka to Arashiyama for instance and take in the breathtaking beauty of nature.

Give your tastebuds a treat with the variety of flavours you can try during autumn. From matsutake mushrooms to ginkgo nuts, to mackerel pie, you’ll have plenty of choices to satisfy your gastronomic cravings.

Winter

Ski holidays in Japan are popular among sports enthusiast for many good reasons. From the soft snow powder to stunning panoramic views, you can never get enough of the wonders of skiing in Japan. Just make sure that you have the perfect gear before you go.

Winter is a good time to eat sukiyaki, a popular nabe dish, and chanko, a staple dish among sumo wrestlers in training.

Japan offers a variety of unique cultural experiences. When planning your travel, the key is to consider the season-based activities so you can make the most of your visit.