Asia Insider Tips

The Four Distinct Seasons of Japan

May 30, 2015

I’ve been connected to Japan for almost all my life, and I have been living in this wonderful country for over 5 years. My daily adventures can be found on Instagram, but this time I would like to show you about 4 distinct seasons that are very unique in Japan. I hope my little stories will inspire you to plan your next trip to this beautiful country!

Did you know that winter is the best time to enjoy mount Fuji? The most famous pictures of this symbol of Japan as well as its world heritage are taken during this season! While most of the snow happens around the northern part of the Japanese archipelago, the rest of the mainland has an average temperature of 1-5°C with a clear and crisp weather for pleasant walking. Although many travelers prefer to visit the country during spring or autumn, winter has its own share of unforgettable activities and sights. Just don’t forget to soak in traditional Japanese hot springs (onsen) along your way! For example, one with a view of the majestic mount Fuji!

Although for most people in the world Japanese spring is a synonym to sakura, this season is so much more than just cherry blossom. Once white and pink petals from sakura trees gently floated to the ground, a season of various flower festivals will definitely catch your attention! Have you ever heard about shibazakura (“cherry lawn”)? Moss pink is a flower that grows close to the ground in bright colors of magenta, pink and white. The season for shibazakura starts from late April and lasts till middle of May taking place in a variety of locations such as Saitama or Yamanashi prefectures. If you didn’t have time to catch sakura blossom floating from above, why not catching it from the ground?

Summer in Japan is unlike summer in any other places in the world: it’s humid, it’s suffocating and it’s terribly hot. Although it might be difficult to cope with such conditions once in a while, summer nevertheless gives you a lot of opportunities for fun like fireworks, festivals, and, of course, travelling. What stop you from escaping typical boiling jungle of Japanese cities, and go, let’s say, into past? Located in the northeast of Chiba prefecture about 70 kilometers away from Tokyo (and 27 kilometers away from Narita International airport), Sawara town managed to preserve a touch of the old era with its streets remain as much as they were 200 years ago. Traditional residences, warehouses and merchant shops once flourished as a viable commercial center provide a terrific sense of nostalgia about the past.

We’ve finally made it to autumn, my favourite season of all. In Japan, colorful leaves are of the same importance as cherry blossoms in spring. Viewing of autumn leaves has been a popular activity in this country for centuries and continues nowadays. Starting from the middle of September, colors slowly changing from the northern island of Hokkaido and reach the lower elevations of central and southern Japan towards the end of November. Some trees around Tokyo and Kyoto remain colorful during December. In Japan, autumn brings a color to some strange plants as well. For example, these kochia leaves turn from green to bright red around the beginning of October creating a terrific scene of burning bushes. Just one of many more exciting views from a beautiful country of Japan!

Follow more of Katerina’s adventures here:
@life_in_tokyo

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