Things to Do in Japan in October
October is one of the most pleasant months to discover Japan, in regards to the weather. There are no national holiday weeks, and the Japanese people stay home or at school to study. Schools and universities enjoy this month to organize sporting events. Fall is right around the corner, and it starts from the northern part of Japan flowing to the south.
Tourism attendance is pretty high, close to the levels in April. Just like for the spring 🌸 vacation, the European fall school vacation times are when Japan sees an increase in the number of tourists for approximately two weeks, which is shorter than the summer break. Therefore, we recommend travelers to book in advance for accommodation and activities in popular cities, such as Kyoto and Hiroshima.
Note that during this season, traditional lodging, such as ryokan with onsen ♨️ (hot spring waters), are also rare, as Japanese or foreign tourists love to benefit from the unique ambiance in the mountain towns.
Climate and weather
Japan’s October weather is ideal for visiting. While morning temperatures may be a little chilly with the arrival of fall, the day is partly sunny with warm, beautiful light. Rainy ☔️ days become scarce, moving aside for drier weather without clouds, ideal for enjoying family days out in the cities or countryside.
In Honshu’s heart, visitors can still experience temperatures up to 20 °C, while the island of Hokkaido will have some morning temperatures below 10 °C. Southern parts of Japan enjoy a gorgeous Indian summer, including Okinawa where the heat still allows for bathing in the ocean, despite a quite high humidity rate. As a general rule, the sun rises at approximately 6 a.m. and sets between 5 – 5:45 p.m., depending on the region.
National public holidays
As a general rule, one unique public holiday is not worked in October:
- Second Monday of October -- 体育の日Taiiku no Hi, Undô-kai, Health and Sports Day
Top things to do
The number of matsuri (festivals) is diminished compared to summertime; however, each city celebrates the gradual changing of the seasons. The last bit of heat allows visitors to enjoy the leaves changing colors, as well as days out in parks and gardens.
Below is a list of Japanese seasonal attractions and events in October:
Travel packing tips
Mid-season clothes are wise for October, when temperatures greatly vary between the day and when the sun sets in the evening. Therefore, it is preferable to layer several clothes that can be removed according to the temperature. Cotton pants and long-sleeved shirts are perfect for this period, as well as a windproof vest for hiking.
Shoes should be comfortable and waterproof for a good walk, along with an urban pair of shoes for evening in the cities. It is still too early for winter boots.