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When is the best time of year to take my wife to Japan?

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I have been skiing in Japan for the past 3 winter seasons but my wife is not into snowsports

I keep telling her it's not just the snow, and want to bring her over in the green season to sample the culture, food,history, hospitality, onsen, scenery etc.

What time of year would be best?

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Autumn seems to be peak onsen season.

thumbsup

 

Or do cherry blossoms in the spring. But that is hard to time.

(Of course, you could come ostensibly for the cherry blossoms, and then "discover" that a few ski areas are still open... evilgrin)

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Autumn when the leaves are in full colour change, depending on area the times will be different, or spring when the cherry blossoms are out, and you still got plenty of snow on the mountains contrasting against the blue sky, again will vary a lot depending on area.

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Around these parts (Izu peninsula) spring is definitely the best season. Cherry blossoms, loads of beautiful flowers and stunning views of a snow covered Mt. Fuji.

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lol

 

Spring often ends up disappointing me. Yes it can be very pretty with the new green and blossons, but it seems to last about 3 days before it gets really hot and often the skies are hazy.

grandpa

 

Autumn lasts longer, is prettier, is cooler, winter round the corner and often sharp clear skies.

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Around here Spring seems to last forever. We usually start getting Spring-like weather mid-February which lasts until the beginning of rainy season. Then again, we don't really get winter in this area... especially by my Canadian standards. It's basically 5 months of scorching summer followed by 7 months of a mild Fall/Spring combination. People who say that "Japan has 4 seasons" haven't spent a year in Shizuoka! wink

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I suppose spring does last a long time when you say it like that. But I don't count the tail end of "winter" when there's still tons of snow around as spring. All a bit aimai - so for me it's like mid April into May and already getting hot by then.

 

Autumn is just so much more defined, round here anyway. I love it. And akiaji of course. wink

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Originally Posted By: Black Mountain
Around here Spring seems to last forever. We usually start getting Spring-like weather mid-February which lasts until the beginning of rainy season. Then again, we don't really get winter in this area... especially by my Canadian standards. It's basically 5 months of scorching summer followed by 7 months of a mild Fall/Spring combination. People who say that "Japan has 4 seasons" haven't spent a year in Shizuoka! wink


Abso-frikin-lutely.....5 months of nasty, 7 months of nothing special.

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Yakuza are scary too! veryshocked

 

I too love autumn here. Everything fits into place with so much to look forward to as well.

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Thanks for your thoughts guys and gals & for the Pics Muika.

 

I think I will make it Autumn though spring is tempting with snow still around in places. Probably harder to get past the 'ministeress for finance' though with me having just returned from Feb ski time.

 

I would like to go back to areas I have been in winter like Myoko, Nozawa Onsen and Shiga Kogen to see the difference.

 

Would there be more or less accommodation options in Autumn?

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If you're thinking Kyoto in autumn (November), the famous spots will be absolutely heaving with Japanese tourists. It's mainly oldies, so its every day of the week. You get people shaking the trees so the leaves fall in their photographs. It might be hard to feel the Zen and dig the wabisabi when that's going on. Mountainous parts of Japan in autumn (October round here) are very quiet by comparison. If you're in this general area at that time, there's a really big festival in October in Takayama. I took my folks there once and they really enjoyed it. I wouldn't come from far overseas just to see Hakuba or any other tall mountain area in autumn, but if you combine it with Matsumoto, Tsumago, Takayama, Shirakawa, etc., there's a nice little trip in there with some olde Japan and sightseeing and scenery for a break.

 

You seem to have ruled it out, but you get a lot of crisp sunny days in winter, so its not a bad time to go to Kyoto, Nara, Kamakura, etc. which are at their quietest. With snow, Shirakawa, Tsumago, etc. can be really magical. Zao looks memorable too even if you don't ski. As a general point, the Japanese tourist people have been trying to expand experiential tourism in recent years, so there's all sorts of things your missus could do if you left her for a few days to get some turns. Japanese cookery, calligraphy, printing, paper making, tea ceremony, .... Or shopping for nice ceramics, bambooware, etc, or just wacky stuff if that's her thing.

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Get up early to go to the main spots.

Still might be busy but worth it to avoid the mid-day crowds.

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Early start to go to any main sightseeing spot in Japan thumbsup

 

That said, my clearest memory of busloads of obasans shaking trees and posing under them was at about 7am at Tofukuji. I went there after an all nighter at a club.

 

I've planted our garden up for autumn colour so we don't even have to step out the door smile

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