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In an archipelago stretching over 3000km from north to south you'd expect the average temperature and weather patterns to vary greatly. The main influences on the climate on Honsh0 are the mountains and surrounding warm seas, bringing plenty of rain and snow. Winter weather differs greatly, however, between the western Sea of Japan and the Pacific coasts, the former suffering cold winds and heavy snow while the latter tends towards dry, clear winter days. Regular heavy snowfalls in the mountains provide ideal conditions for skiers.
Despite frequent showers, spring is one of the most pleasant times during which to visit Japan, when the weather reports chart the steady progress of the cherry blossom from warm Kyushu in March to colder Hokkaido around May. A rainy season (tsuyu) during June ushers in the swamp-like heat of summer; if you don't like tropical conditions, head for the cooler hills or the northern reaches of the country. A bout of typhoons and more rain in September precede autumn, which lasts from October through to late November and is Japan's most spectacular season, when the maple trees explode into a range of brilliant colours.
Also worth bearing in mind when planning your visit are Japan's national holidays. During such periods as the days around New Year, the "Golden Week" break of April 28 to May 6 and the Obon holiday of mid-August, the nation is on the move making it difficult to secure last-minute transport and hotel bookings. Avoid travelling during these dates, or make your arrangements well in advance. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Published in February 2011, the Rough Guide to Japan is a comprehensive guidebook offering tourist tips and suggestions (including basic Japanese phrases and etiquette) and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by I Read, Therefore I Blog
Bought an earlier edition of this guide when visiting Japan in 2000, and needed this updated version for a planned visit this coming autumn. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Max M
Clear and consice, covers all basis and has really good tips for options if you are short on time. Would definitely recommend it but then again I have found over the years that I... Read morePublished 13 months ago by LR Nutt
Having had a quick scan through it, the only thing I could criticise it for (so far) is that museums neither appear to listed under 'M' in the general index, nor in the individual... Read morePublished 14 months ago by davido6552
I bought this Guide on a kindle, which explains my disappointment. Finding one's way around a Guide on Kindle is extremely confusing. The search engines - i.e. Read morePublished 21 months ago by P.A.,Fanning
We thought this book was so useless, we left it at a hostel in japan and carried on with the local guides given by the tourist office.. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Nil Desperandum
Generally quite good in descriptions. Maps are not very informative. Very good first time read on Japan. Shall use it before my trip in October.Published 23 months ago by Ases Sengupta
I got this as it was more up to date than lonely planet but I actually prefer to the layout and design of the latter. Totally a matter of preference though. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Ms Taylor