Why now is the best time to visit Japan

Always wanted to visit Japan but not sure when to go? This could well be the best time to visit this Asian nation...

New research shows that Japan is one of the hottest destinations for travellers this year. ICE – International Currency Exchange – has reported a 700% increase in travellers purchasing Japanese Yen when compared with August 2018.

This could well have something to do with the Rugby World Cup, which is kicking off in September 2019, or the Summer Olympic Games which will take place in 2020. But it’s likely also down to the increasing number of affordable flights now serving the region, coupled with its beguiling culture, stunning scenery and promise of the world’d best sushi.

ICE’s Head of UK, Louis Bridger, said: “It’s fair to say that Japan is looking like the top trending holiday destination for 2019. “We’re expecting that interest in Japan will continue to skyrocket after the World Cup as it’s sure to inspire holidaymakers to tick it off their bucket lists.

“Japan often has a reputation for being an expensive place to travel, but with a bit of planning ahead it’s absolutely possible to have an affordable trip to Japan and it can even be a cheaper holiday destination than several places in Western Europe.”

It seems that now is the time to visit Japan, so we’ve got tips on how to beat the crowds, get a great deal, and see the cherry blossom on your Japan holiday. Here’s why you should visit Japan now (or as soon as possible!).

1. There’s a party going on

September 2019 sees Japan host the Rugby World Cup, and in 2020 the Olympics are coming to town. Both events will put Japan on the world stage – so expect a great show! Investment in entertainment, infrastructure and tourism has never been higher – and if you visit in 2019, you’ll reap the rewards.

The crowds won’t arrive until the rugby (Sept-Nov 2019) and Olympics (July 2020) kick off – so until August 2019 you’ll have the place to yourself (relatively speaking), making it a great time to visit Japan.

2. It won’t be as expensive as you might think

Japan is wildly misunderstood when it comes to money. It has a reputation for being expensive to get there and expensive to stay. But while Rugby World Cup and Olympics will make it much pricier during those seasons, it doesn’t have to be unaffordable. Lots of cheap flights serve Tokyo’s airports, often requiring a stopover in Europe, and with more accommodation than ever before, you’ve got much better options for where to stay.

Plus, if you book now – and travel outside of the sporting seasons – you can still lock in a great price if you’re quick.

Book it: Riviera Travel run spectacular 13-day escorted tours from £3,659 

3. You’ll get the pick of the good weather

The best time to visit Japan is in late spring (March-May) and late autumn (September-November) for mild temperatures and low rainfall. You’ll be cutting it fine to plan a holiday (and get a good deal) for this autumn, but book ahead for spring 2020 and you’ll be laughing.

More like this: Postcards from Japan: 13 photos that will make you want to visit right now

4. It’s your next chance to see the cherry blossom

Cherry blossom season (March to May) is the most spectacular time to visit Japan, and the pink blooms are celebrated all over the country with festivals and picnics.

You won’t just find cherry blossom (sakura) on the trees: it’s in snacks, on souvenirs, and even sprinkled on Starbucks. The arrival of the blooms is forecast on television: a petal-by-petal analysis of Japan’s most enchanting season.