Spring has the famous cherry blossoms, summer has its fireworks, autumn has autumn foliage and winter has illuminations.
Every season in Japan has its highlights. Some are better known than others. But all are amazing experiences just waiting to be discovered by you!
In this post you get a great overview of all the things you can experience only during certain times of the year, to make it easier for you to find the best time to visit Nagoya.
Nagoya Climate and Weather in Nagoya
Nagoya, located right in the center of Japan’s biggest island Honshu enjoys the same climate as other major cities located close by such as Tokyo and Osaka.
The climate in Nagoya can be described as humid temperate with cold winters and humid and hot summers.
There is a yearly rainy season which usually lasts from June to July. Typhoons are a regular occurrence during the months of August and September which can bring heavy rains and strong winds to the city.
Winters are cold, but not cold enough for snow. Winter is also the dry season with very little rain from November to February.
Nagoya in Spring
Spring in Nagoya is from March to May. The highlights of a visit to Nagoya in spring are the different flowers like plum and cherry blossoms as well as spring festivals.
Nagoya Spring Weather
Spring is the most pleasant season temperature-wise. In March it is already pleasantly warm and generally sunny with the daily high around 14 degrees Celsius. April and May see even warmer weather with 20 to 24 degrees Celsius during the day on average. Perfect for sightseeing.
Spring is generally dry and sunny with about 9 rain days per month on average.
Plum Blossoms in Nagoya
While technically not in spring, the plum blossoms are the first sign of the warmer season. They usually start blossoming around the middle of February and are the sign that winter is finally over.
While not as popular as cherry blossoms, plum blossoms are undeniably beautiful and there are many sports around Nagoya where you can enjoy them such as the Nagoya Castle and Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden.
Cherry Blossom Viewing in Nagoya
Cherry blossom viewing or Hanami is a yearly highlight not only for the locals but also for many travelers visiting Japan in spring. In Nagoya, the cherry trees are in full blossom around the end of March to the beginning of April each year.
If you want to avoid the crowds that usually flock to Japan during the cherry blossom season a visit to Nagoya might be a better option than a visit to more popular places such as Tokyo or Kyoto.
The Japan Meteorological Corporation publishes a yearly cherry blossom forecast about the expected peak blossoming dates. The dates for 2020 have not been announced yet but you will find the newest information on this website. The first official announcement is usually around the end of January and is then updated regularly.
Nagoya Spring Festivals
There are different festivals in Nagoya worth attending if you visit in spring. The festival that welcomes spring is called Setsubun and is celebrated every year on the 3rd of February. Celebrations take place at temples and shrines all across Japan. If you want to experience Setsubun in Nagoya you should check out the Osu Kannon in Osu District.
Another festival highlight in spring is the Wakamiya Festival, held in May at the Wakamiya Hachiman Shrine in Sakae for more than 300 years.
Nagoya in Summer
The summer in Nagoya is from June to August. Highlights in summer include fireworks, festivals and Bon dancing.
Nagoya Summer Weather
Nagoya is famous for its especially hot and humid summers. June is the start of the rainy season in Japan, which sees temperatures rise to around 27 degrees Celsius during the day. With the rain comes humidity which makes it feel even hotter.
July and August have temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius and in recent years it isn’t uncommon for temperatures to reach almost 40 degrees Celsius regularly.
Rain is abundant first because of the rainy season, then in the late summer come the yearly typhoons which can bring heavy rain. Average rain days in June and July are around 12 days per month, in August this number is slightly lower at around 9 days.
Summer in Japan is the time for fireworks. All major cities and even many smaller ones have a yearly fireworks display.
These fireworks take place on weekends in the evenings and can take between 30 minutes and almost 2 hours.
Everyone is welcome to join in the fun, and you can view the beautiful fireworks for free. There is usually no need to pay for the designated seats as you will find a spot where you can enjoy the fireworks in your own way.
Nagoya and the surrounding cities have fireworks displays every weekend between July and September. Some are bigger, others are smaller and you can usually reach these events conveniently via public transport.
Here you can find a list of upcoming fireworks festivals.
Another fun summer event are the Bon dances held in different places during August each year.
You can participate in Bon dancing at the Nagoya Castle Summer Festival which takes place each year in August for two weeks or join some of the other events at shrines all over the city.
Gujo Hachiman has a famous Bon dancing tradition. Between July and September on more than 30 nights Bon dancing will commence somewhere in the city.
Summer festivals are another fun highlight. Game and food stalls pop up around the city for different festivals where you can eat delicious festival food such as Yakisoba and Okonomiyaki.
There are parades or performances such as dances or shows, fireworks, and other amazing acts.
Shrine festivals have gigantic floats and portable shrines which are carried or pulled through the streets by strong and shouting men, and unforgettable and energetic atmosphere every visitor to Japan should experience once.
Some of the highlights are the Osu Summer Festival, Nagoya Castle Summer Festival, Nippon Domannaka Festival, and the Hirokoji Summer Festival.
Fireworks, Bon dancing and summer festivals are best enjoyed dressed in a Japanese summer Kimono called a Yukata.
You can rent one of these at many shops around Nagoya and will only pay around 3000 yen (30 US dollars) for a one-day rental.
Choose a colorful design you love and have the staff bind your Obi belt in a beautiful bow at your back, wear some wooden slimmers on your feet and feel like you belong while enjoying Japanese culture all around you.
Dressing in a Yukata to join a festival is also a perfect opportunity to take some beautiful pictures!
You can book your Yukata rental here.
Only in summer at certain locations in Central Japan, you can become the witness to a thousand-year-old tradition called Ukai, cormorant fishing.
The fisherman use cormorants to catch small river fish, they then make them spit the fish back out.
It’s a fascinating practice which you can experience in Inuyama on the Kiso River for example.
To make a reservation you have to call, but they speak Japanese only. This is the website.
Nagoya in Autumn
Autumn in Nagoya is from September to November. Highlights in autumn include autumn foliage, food, and Onsen.
Nagoya Autumn Weather
September, technically the first month of autumn call be quite hot in Nagoya with temperatures above 30 degrees not too uncommon. It starts cooling down in October, with the daily high at 23 degrees Celsius and 13 degrees Celsius at night. The temperatures really drop in November when they only reach 17 degrees Celsius during the day and 7 degrees Celsius during the night.
September is one of the more rainy months with around 10 rain days, October and November usually see much less rain.
Nagoya Autumn Festivals
Tsukimi or moon viewing is a Japanese tradition that celebrates the beauty of the harvest moon. It takes place on the 15th day of the eight’s month of the lunar calendar which usually falls in September.
In Nagoya, Tsukimi events are held at Shirotori Garden and Tokugawa Garden.
On the first Sunday of October, the Arimatsu Float Festival is held in Arimatsu. Three floats are pulled around Arimatsu.
Nagoya Castle also has a yearly autumn festival with different events. Don’t miss the Osu Street Performing Festival or the Nagoya Festival which are both held in October.
Autumn Foliage in Nagoya
The end of November is the peak for the yearly autumn foliage when the trees in and around Nagoya finally change from lush green to shades of red, orange and yellow.
To experience the autumn colors you can visit the Tokugawa Garden, Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden, Shirotori Garden and Meijo Park in Nagoya.
If you have time for a day trip you should visit the Korankei Valley one of the most beautiful places in Japan to enjoy the autumn colors.
Autumn Foods in Nagoya
Autumn is also the season for warm food in Japan, and you will appreciate Kishimen or Miso Nikomi Udon even more after you just took a walk in the crisp autumn air.
Other seasonal foods include chestnuts and sweet potatoes. You will find delicious sweets using these two ingredients everywhere. In Nagoya, the most famous are Oni Manju (sweet potato rice cakes) and Uiro (a sweet confectionary) with chestnut.
Onsen in Nagoya
When the temperatures drop you will really appreciate the Japanese hot springs fully.
Nagoya itself isn’t really famous for Onsen but you can reach popular hot spring town within a short train ride such as Nishiura Onsen, Kira Onsen and of course Gero Onsen.
Nagoya in Winter
Winters in Nagoya are from December to February. Highlights are Christmas and New Year celebrations as well as winter illuminations and of course winter sports.
Nagoya Winter Weather
Winters, between December and February, in Nagoya, are cold, but not cold enough to see snow. Temperatures are between 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) at night and 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day.
Winter is also the dryest season in Nagoya with almost no rain, only around 5 rainy days per month.
Wear a thick down jacket, put on a scarf and warm hat and explore Nagoya in winter.
Winter Sports in Nagoya
Nagoya is a great base if you are looking to do some winter sports. In the mountains north of Nagoya you will find ample opportunity to do some skiing and snowboarding. In just a couple of hours, you can reach multiple ski resorts with the deep powdery snow Japan is so famous for.
You can rent your equipment on the spot, no need to bring anything from your home country. Lift tickets are especially cheap during the week when the slopes are almost empty and you can really enjoy the fresh snow.
Nagoya has an ice rink each year from November to March inside the Oasis 21 bus terminal in Sakae. It’s not actually made from ice but a special kind of plastic material that lets you experience ice skating in Nagoya.
Winter Illuminations in Nagoya
If you aren’t sporty but you want to have some special wintery experience in Nagoya you should check out one of the illuminations in and around the city.
The absolutely most amazing illumination not only around Nagoya but in all of Japan can be found at the Nabana no Sato flower park in Mie Prefecture. Every year from October to May this park lights up with millions of lights under a different yearly changing theme.
It is a romantic place to go with your significant other, but also a lot of fun for the whole family with delicious food and countless picture opportunities.
Christmas in Nagoya
Did you know that Christmas has found its way to Japan? It’s not celebrated like in western countries, but it has definitely found a place in the Japanese event calendar.
In Nagoya, you can find Christmas markets at multiple locations in December such as the German Christmas market at Hisaya Odori Park in Sakae. Gigantic Christmas trees also pop up all over the city.
New Years Celebration in Nagoya
If you are looking for a New Years’ countdown party you will find an unforgettable one in or around Nagoya. Nagoya Castle opens its doors on the 31st of December, as do the Nagashima Spa Land and Laguna Ten Bosch amusement parks.
You could also watch the first sunrise of the year from the outdoor observatory at Midland Square Sky Promenade, Nagoya’s highest building.
For something more traditionally Japanese join the New Years celebrations at the beginning of January. The first shrine visit of the year is called Hatsumode and most Japanese participate in this tradition.
For an unforgettable first shrine visit, you could join the thousands of people who make their way to Japan’s most sacred shrine, the Ise Jingu not far from Nagoya.
Make a wish for the new year, ask the gods for good fortune and eat the delicious food available at the stalls leading up to the shrine.
The Best Time to Visit Nagoya?
As you can see, there really is no one best time to visit Nagoya. Each season has its highlights, and you will make unforgettable memories when you visit Nagoya.
So, what are you waiting for?
Start planning your trip to Nagoya today!
Ready to Book your Trip to Nagoya?
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If you are ready to dive in check out the Nagoya Travel Guide which gives you a great overview of travel to Nagoya. For more Nagoya travel tips click here. You can find the best places to stay in Nagoya here and find a list of things to do in Nagoya here.
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In love with Japan and its amazing food, Lena wants to share her passion with the world. That’s why she started Nagoya Foodie. To teach about Nagoya, her adoptive home online through blog posts and offline through unique food tours.