Things to Do in Japan in September

September means the end of summer and the back to school period for the second trimester of the Japanese school year. Japanese inhabitants enjoy the last warm days during annual school festivals or during sport meetings. The tourist season becomes quieter while the fall season slowly appears at the end of the month.

Tourism statistics

After the peak tourism of summer, September sounds like an off-season. Western families are focused on back to school needs, but late travelers remain in Japan.

The decrease in tourists can also be explained by the weather, which can be varied. Indeed, hiking lovers in the middle and high mountains do not favor this period.

Climate and weather

Summer is still here at the beginning of the month with temperatures around 25 °C or more. The humidity rate remains high because the typhoon season occurs until mid-September, which is why sunny days can be rare in this season. However, after a typhoon, the days are clear and offer nice sunlight.

Read more about:

A Guide to Typhoons in Japan

Progressively, the change to fall arrives with a colder but quieter climate. The first autumn foliage can be observed at the end of the month on Hokkaido Island in the north.

National public holidays

As a general rule, one unique public holiday is not worked in September:

  • Third Monday in September -- 敬老の日 Keirô no Hi, Respect for the Aged Day

Recently, the "Silver Week" notion appeared and resulted in declaring a short "Golden Week" of 2–3 days, combining (when the year’s calendar allows it) the only public holiday day and the fall equinox that occurs September 22 or 23 of each year.

Top things to do

Big cities still offer numerous events each weekend day, whether they are traditional or based on sports. There is also a resurgence of annual conventions, especially in Tokyo. As for nature, it is still possible to enjoy beautiful days in the mountains or parks when the weather is dry.

Below is a list of Japanese seasonal attractions and events in September:

Date What to do Where Related
First week in September Enjoy the last days of Mount Fuji’s climbing season Mount Fuji Hiking
September 9 Attend Karasu-zumo in the Kamigamo Shrine, which is a priest ceremony imitating the movement and sound of a raven, followed by a tournament of sumo starring young boys from the surrounding schools Kyoto Event
September 9 Go to Horin-ji temple, near Arashiyama, for the day of the chrysanthemum to listen to traditional songs Kyoto Event
September 10 to 24 Attend the last annual sumo tournament in the capital city Tokyo Tradition
September 14 Marvel at Hirano Jinja Shrine in front of 800 lanterns Kyoto Event
September 14 to 16 Participate in Reitai-sai Matsuri, which is horseback archery ritual, yabusame, in Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine Kamakura Event
September 15 Watch a martial art performance honoring samurai Minamoto-no Yoshitsune Kurama Event
Three days in mid-September Discover Soh Odori Matsuri, which is a great traditional dance festival on Sea of Japan coast Niigata Event
Weekend in mid-September Admire the famous Kishiwada Danjiri Festival renowned for its impressive float races across the city’s streets. Kishiwada (Osaka) Event
Weekend in mid-September Visit the Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair at Miyako Messe Kyoto Event
September 20 Discover the Okuma Kabuto Festival on Nakajima Island with the float parade where masts are ornamented by a red flag and driven by the deity Sarutahiko, recognized by a Tengu mask Nanao (Ishikawa) Event
September 23 Attend the grandiloquent professional fireworks championship of Huis Ten Bosch Park at the beginning of the evening Sasebo (Nagasaki) Event
End of the month Go to the Tokyo Game Show for Japanese video games lovers Tokyo Event
End of the month Take photos of the first fall colors of Japan in Daisetsuzan National Park Asahikawa (Hokkaido) Hiking
Fourth Monday in September Walk in the Gion area around 2 p.m. to see the parade of 50 women in traditional clothing and hairstyles during Koshi Matsuri, including one ritual event in Yasui Shrine Kyoto Event
Last weekend in September Participate in the popular Fukuro Matsuri in Ikebukuro Tokyo Event
September 29 Celebrate Maneki-Neko’s day by going to the dedicated temple, Gotoku-ji Tokyo Tradition
All month long Enjoy a nice day by going to Tokyo DisneySea Tokyo Leisure

Travel packing tips

A vast range of summer and mid-season clothes are essential to plan for all kinds of weather in September. Waterproof shoes, along with a lighter pair of shoes, are wise to take.

Mosquitoes are still present, and Japan has a lot of repelling products. Sensitive people can take their own products in a suitcase or use green clay, which is an anti-inflammatory.

In case of typhoon, travelers are advised to stay inside: reading a good book or manga, playing video games or watching movies are good ideas.

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