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Best/cheapest time of year to visit??

UK
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Best/cheapest time of year to visit??

Hi

Never been to Japan before but my mate and we want to visit in 2009.

When is the best time to visit and when is the cheapest time to visit (ie cheapest flights/hotels season)

Obviously we don't want to visit in Monsoon season!!

Also as a first timer in Japan where would be best to visit? Tokyo?

Your help and advice appreciated.

Tokyo and California
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for Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shinjuku, Japan
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1. Re: Best/cheapest time of year to visit??

The most expensive times are: The Golden Week (end April-early May) Obon (mid August) and Christmas/New year's. You'll want to avoid the rainy season that starts in mid June, followed by awfully hot and humid summer. The typhoon season usually ends by mid September. Spring and autumn are great. My favorite time to visit is the cherry blossom season (usually from the last week in March to the first week of April in Tokyo and Kyoto.) There is nothing like it.

Nashville, TN
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for Himeji, Kobe, Osaka
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2. Re: Best/cheapest time of year to visit??

There are really two times of the year that I think are ideal. Late March/early April is relatively inexpensive and you have the chance to see the cherry blossoms in bloom. Wherever there are cherry blossoms you'll have crowds; but it's quite a sight. The other time of the year is late October/early November. At this time of year you have autumn colors; again, you can run into crowds in some places, but it's worth it.

If you want to go when it's cheap and fairly un-crowded, then late May or late September are good. There aren't any local holidays to contend with (like Golden Week in late April/early may or Obon around Aug. 15), it isn't too hot, and it's a true low season. If you don't mind cold, I've found early December to be incredibly cheap, airfare-wise. It's a good season especially if you like onsen/hot springs.

As for where to go, a lot depends on how much time you have. If you have a week, then I really believe the Kyoto/Osaka area is best; Kyoto alone takes 2 days to see the highlights, and the more time you have the deeper you can go (it's got a lot to see). You might squeeze in a trip to Hiroshima if you have a week. If you have 2 weeks then you can do Tokyo, Takayama, Kyoto, and Hiroshima as well as some other places.

When you're looking at tickets, price a ticket that flies into Tokyo and out of Osaka; that makes things easier in many ways.

Good luck!

John W.

Guildford, United...
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3. Re: Best/cheapest time of year to visit??

I like April and October; not too hot, not too cold, not too wet. Where to go depends on your interests. For big city life, shops, clubs and night life, you can't beat Tokyo. For Japanese history and culture Kyoto is the place to go.

People are more relaxed and friendly in Western Japan, so Osaka/Kyoto is a good combination too.

I hope you know that the weakness of the pound means that Japan is expensive again?

4. Re: Best/cheapest time of year to visit??

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