Choosing when to visit Osaka can turn into a difficult moment especially for first-timers due to the big number of events all year round as well as the different kind of seasons and weather that can make or break your trip to the city. We wrote this guide as the definitive resource you’ll need to understand what are your options and what you can expect from the city regarding the weather, the events, the tourists density, and all the little details you’ll have to take into consideration to choose the best time for you to go to Osaka.
With bright neon lights, some of the world’s coolest bars and the best food in Japan, Osaka attracts a huge number of tourists every single year.
The cool capital of Japan, as some people call it, is one of the country’s most exciting destinations. In fact it’s the second most visited city in Japan after Tokyo (source), and one of the most visited cities in the world!
But your Osaka experience can vary a lot depending on when you visit. With four distinct seasons, and a big program of annual events, it’s important to choose the right time of year for your trip.
If you’re planning a trip to Osaka but you’re not sure when you want to visit, this guide is exactly what you need.
In this guide, we’ve assembled details and facts about weather, events, and popular periods to help you decide on the best time for you!
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When is the Best Time to Visit Osaka? Quick Answer
The best time to go to Osaka is in April. Though Osaka has a huge number of tourists in April, it’s an incredible month to visit the city. With picnicking families, beautiful weather and the unparalleled pink of countless cherry blossoms, April is the perfect time to take a trip and discover Osaka at its most iconic period.
During April, Osaka also has around 13 hours of sunlight per day, giving you plenty of time for sightseeing. Unless you particularly want to avoid large crowds of other tourists or you want to see a particular event/activity in another month, this is the time to go.
When to Visit Osaka: the Weather
Osaka has four very distinct seasons, which all offer different weather, events and atmospheres. Here’s what you can expect:
Summer: June to August
Summer is Osaka’s hottest period, with temperatures ranging from around 28ºC to 36ºC. If you’re not a fan of high temperatures, it’s best to avoid this month. August in particular is very hot, you don’t want to stay outside especially at noon in Osaka during August, trust me!
Nights are typically a little cooler though, so summer sleeping isn’t too uncomfortable in Osaka, even in the hottest months. Despite the hot temperatures, summer still brings some rain, especially in June, making it a poor month to visit.
If you want to visit Osaka in the summer, July is the best choice – it offers a good compromise between manageable temperatures and bearable amounts of rain.
In summer, Osaka plays host to Summer Sonic Festival, one of Japan’s best music festivals. It’s also the season of Tenjin Matsuri, a huge cultural extravaganza with boats, parades and lots of exciting insights into Japanese heritage and history.
Fall: September to November
Fall is a fantastic time to visit Osaka. There aren’t too many tourists, and the weather is pretty good. Temperatures range hugely from around 9ºC to 29ºC.
October brings some rain, making it the worst of the fall months, but September and November are excellent months for an Osaka adventure. Osaka has many beautiful parks – and at this time of year, they burn with beauty, offering vivid and vibrant hues of autumnal orange and red.
If you like cooler temperatures and fewer tourists, fall is a great time to visit Osaka.
Winter: December to February
Winter can be a great time to visit Osaka. While many other Japanese cities are painfully cold in the winter months, Osaka’s temperatures are very tolerable, typically ranging from 2ºC to 14ºC. Winter is also a pretty dry period in Osaka.
The coldest month is January, which also has the shortest days.
If you’re hoping for snow, you probably won’t get it – some parts of Japan have lots of snowfall in winter, but that’s not the case in Osaka.
Famously, Osaka is one of Japan’s most illuminated cities. In winter, the city shines even brighter, with lots of beautiful winter illuminations to celebrate the time of year. If you like winter lights and cosy illuminations, this is a great time to visit Osaka. It’s also an excellent choice if you want to witness Japanese New Year celebrations on 1st January.
Spring: March to May
Cherry blossom season! If you want to visit Osaka for cherry blossoms, this is the time. The blossoms typically hit full bloom at the beginning of April, so time your trip accordingly! Because of Osaka’s countless parks and green spaces, it’s one of the best Japanese cities for enjoying these beautiful blossoms.
Spring is when Osaka is at its busiest, as endless tourists flock to the city for good temperatures and their fix of flora.
Temperatures range from 5ºC to 24ºC, and there’s little rain, especially in March and April, but nothing to be scared of.
Climate Charts for Osaka
Data source: weatherbase.com
Travel Seasons in Osaka
High Travel Season in Osaka
The high season in Osaka is spring, from March to May, when tourists from all over the world travel to the city to enjoy good temperatures and beautiful blossoms.
Here are the best things to do in Osaka in spring:
- Cherry blossoms: one of Japan’s archetypal attractions, you haven’t fully experienced Japan until you’ve indulged in the sights of this iconic season. While the cherry blossoms peak at the very beginning of April, March sees the equally-attractive plum blossoms bloom.
- March Sumo Tournament: if you want to see sumo while you’re in Japan, this is one of the best tournaments to attend. One of only three of its size held outside of Tokyo every year, it’s a traditional extravaganza of grappling and gasping.
- Golden Week: with four national holidays in the space of seven days, this is a great time to get a sample of Japanese tradition. These four holidays are Constitution Day, Greenery Day, Children’s Day and Showa Day, which celebrates the birthday of a former Emperor.
Low Travel Season in Osaka
Osaka’s low season is typically in summer, from June to August. During this period, temperatures can be very high and the rain can be very disruptive. That said, summer also means less travelers, less crowds and better prices, so it can still be a good time to visit if you don’t mind the perils and pitfalls of Osaka’s worst weather.
Though Osaka is less busy in the summer, the city plays host to many interesting and exciting events during this season:
- Tenjin Matsuri: one of Japan’s greatest annual festivals, this offers a fantastic insight into Japanese history and heritage. The highlights are the processions, which take place both on land and on sea. Other exciting attractions include fireworks, street food and traditional clothes and dances.
- Obon: an annual event in honor of ancestral celebration, Obon involves lanterns, costumes, dances, special foods and even haunted houses!
- Yodogawa Fireworks Festival: for over 20 years, this festival has been bringing some of Japan’s best fireworks displays right to the banks of Osaka’s Yodo River. For a combination of sumptuous skylines and explosive light displays, it doesn’t get much better than this. Check out this video to get a taste of the show.
Shoulder Season in Osaka
Osaka has a very long shoulder season from September to February. During these six months, Osaka has less tourists than the busy spring period, but more tolerable weather than the summer. Because the weather in Osaka is never very cold, any of these months can make for a good time to visit if you want to avoid spring’s crowds.
Some highlights during these six months include:
- Koyo: though cherry blossoms are Japan’s most famous foliage, koyo is the season’s polar opposite. Koyo refers to Japan’s autumnal period, which is almost as beautiful as its blossoming one. Every year, November and December’s koyo enshrouds Osaka in beautiful tones of red and yellow (look at the picture below).
- Illuminations: every winter, Japanese people embrace the magic of the season by draping countless lights throughout the entire country. Osaka is home to many of the best displays, which are a wonderfully cozy way to enjoy the season.
- Oshogatsu: the Japanese new year, Oshogatsu is one of the country’s best insights into Japanese tradition. Rich with custom, this period consists of shrine visits, family events and traditional decorations. It’s a very interesting time to visit Osaka, as the ultra-modern city becomes atypically traditional.
When to Visit Osaka – Depending on the Type of Traveler You Are
The Best Time to Go Shopping in Osaka
Though shopping in Osaka can always be fun, the best time is in winter.
During winter, temperatures are low, making shopping a pleasantly sweat-free experience. The streets are also adorned with endless illuminations, so it’s a beautiful time to stroll and explore the city’s stores.
And because winter is home to Christmas and New Year, you can find lots of interesting oddities to purchase on your shopping trips!
The Best Time to Spend Your Honeymoon in Osaka
There are two types of honeymoon to enjoy in Osaka – and they’re both flower-filled.
The first of these periods is early April, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Yes, it’s busy and there may be too many crowds, but there aren’t many experiences as romantic as strolling through the blossom-lined parks of Osaka.
If you want a less busy (but equally leaf-heavy) honeymoon experience, autumn is fantastic. Osaka’s autumnal hues are bold and beautiful – and because this season offers great temperatures and few crowds, it’s a great time to enjoy time with your brand-new spouse.
The Best Time to Visit Osaka for Culture and Museums
Here, you have two options.
The first is to visit during New Year, when you’ll see local people visiting temples, cleaning their homes, and making traditional decorations. Though Osaka is a modern city – even by Japanese standards – this period sees its citizens embrace the simplicity of tradition for a while.
For a traditional Japanese festival, visit during July’s Tenjin Matsuri. There aren’t many festivals with processions of countless boats. But this is one of them. The festival also includes dancing, music, portable shrines and a real insight into Japanese traditions. One of the best and biggest festivals in the whole of Japan, many visit Osaka just to witness the festivities.
The Best Time for Sightseeing and Outdoor Activities in Osaka
If you really want to enjoy Osaka’s outdoors to their full potential, early April is the only time. You’ve only really enjoyed Osaka at its best when you’ve seen it covered in cherry blossoms.
If you’re more interested in sightseeing, fall is your best time. Osaka still looks great in the fall, but it also brings fewer crowds, making it a relaxing time to see all the sights.
The Best Time to Go to Osaka on a Budget
Between September and February.
During other months, there are lots of other tourists – both local and international – which make the city very busy and very expensive. Japan can be an expensive destination any time of year, but it’s particularly pricey from March to August.
But if you visit during the quieter period between September and February, you’ll get better deals on hotels, hostels, attractions and even food and drink.
The Best Time to Visit Osaka with Family and Kids
The best period to visit with your kids is early fall. During this period, the temperatures are good and the crowds are low. This means you can enjoy all of the excellent kid-friendly attractions without huge queues or weather complaints. At this time of year, queues for Osaka Aquarium and Universal Studios are relatively pretty small.
You should also consider visiting in May, when Japan celebrates the annual holiday of Children’s Day. With events, attractions, decorations and special food, it can be a really fun time to visit with kids.
The Best Time for Beaches in Osaka
Though few people visit Osaka for a beach vacation, there are some great beaches within an hour of the city. If your plan is to enjoy some sun and sand on a day trip from Osaka, your best time is August.
August is both the warmest and driest summer month, so it offers the perfect weather for lapping up the sun. July is pretty good too, but June’s heavy rainfall makes it a bad time for beach adventures.
That said, if you simply want to stroll along the beach without bathing in its bask, all months can be good – except the rainy periods of September and June.
The Best Time for Surfing
Though very few tourists in Osaka ever visit the city to surf, it’s still an option for those who want to catch some waves. The best waves – though pretty far from Osaka – can be found in Wakayama. The beaches are usually pretty secluded, making them a great spot for some solitary surfing.
The best waves are found in the summer, making June, July and August your best options for surfing near Osaka.
The Best Time for Hiking Near Osaka
Osaka has some incredible nearby hikes, including Minoo Park, Mount Rokko, and Mount Ikoma. All can be tackled within a few hours, making them great day-trip options from Osaka. The best months for these hikes are March, April, October and November, when temperatures aren’t too hot and rainfall is pretty low.
These months also bring the best flora and foliage. While March and April are full of blossoms and bloom, October and November offer the crisp hues of fall leaves.
If you hike outside of these months, the weather can be unpleasant.
Osaka Events and Weather by Month
Osaka in January
This is Osaka at its coldest. Often Osaka’s chilliest month, January has low (but very tolerable!) temperatures. Sometimes frosty, but rarely snowy, January can be a great time to visit Osaka if you’re okay with low temperatures. There’s not much rain in January.
You’ll experience around 10 hours of daylight per day.
Make sure you pack lots of warm layers, including a very warm coat. Though you should pack a waterproof, you might not need it.
January is one of the best times to visit Osaka if you’re interested in tradition – Japanese New Year is a fantastic insight into Japanese culture, heritage and family life.
- Average Temperature: 6ºC / 43ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 3ºC / 37ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 9ºC / 48ºF
- Average Rainfall: 50mm / 16 days
Osaka in February
February is pretty similar to January, but the rainfall is a little heavier. In February, you’re very unlikely to experience any snow at all. The last month of winter, the end of February offers very small glimpses of the blooming flowers set to arrive March.
Again, you should pack very warm clothes. And you should definitely bring a waterproof, as there’s some chance of slightly heavy rain.
February offers around 11 hours of rain a day.
There aren’t many events in Osaka in February, though Valentine’s Day is a pretty big deal.
This lack of events – combined with relatively cold temperatures – makes Osaka pretty quiet, so it’s a great time to visit if you’re keen to avoid crowds of other tourists.
- Average Temperature: 6ºC / 43ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 3ºC / 37ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 9ºC / 48ºF
- Average Rainfall: 70mm / 15 days
Osaka in March
In March, Osaka waves goodbye to winter with warmer temperatures, blooming flowers and the beginnings of picnic season. After a long winter, lots of local people start enjoying Osaka’s outdoors again, making it a great time to visit the city’s countless parks.
By March, there’s an average of around 12 hours of daylight per day.
You should still pack warm clothes, but you won’t need too many layers. That said, you’ll definitely need that waterproof coat, as rain starts to pick up in March.
March is an exciting time in Osaka. It heralds the start of the cherry blossom season, and marks the best part of the plum blossom period. It’s also the beginning of the sumo season, which is marked by a huge must-visit tournament at the end of the month.
- Average Temperature: 10ºC / 49ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 6ºC / 43ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 13ºC / 55ºF
- Average Rainfall: 110mm / 17 days
Osaka in April
April is Osaka’s busiest period: the cherry blossom season, or as they call it here, the Sakura season. During this period, Osaka is crammed with crowds, all keen to get their fix of Japan’s most famous flowers. If you want to see Osaka covered in cherry blossoms, this is the only time to visit.
But if you don’t like the chaos of countless crowds, you’ll find this period intolerable.
Temperatures in April are excellent, they’re warm and enjoyable without being too hot. Rainfall does start to increase in April, but it’s pretty manageable. For comfortable weather, this is one of the best times of the year to enjoy Osaka. You also get around 13 hours of daylight per day, which offers plenty of time for exploration.
You should pack warm-weather clothes along with a light waterproof layer.
- Average Temperature: 15ºC / 59ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 11ºC / 52ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 19ºC / 66ºF
- Average Rainfall: 130mm / 14 days
Osaka in May
For weather, May is one of Osaka’s best months. It’s warm without being overbearing, and it’s much drier than the coming June, which is Osaka’s wettest month by far. If you want to enjoy spring without crowds, this is the perfect time to visit the city.
Though a little rainy and a little humid, May’s weather is very rarely disruptive in any way. Temperatures average around 24ºC, making for excellent climes.
Make sure you pack light clothes. With around 14 hours of daylight per day, along with the hot temperatures, it’s very unlikely you’ll need warm clothes.
In May, locals celebrate three national holidays – Constitution Day, Greenery Day, and Children’s Day. This can create many crowds of local vacationers, which isn’t great for those who like quiet vacations. But it also means that it’s a great time to watch Japanese culture and tradition in action.
- Average Temperature: 20ºC / 68ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 16ºC / 61ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 24ºC / 75ºF
- Average Rainfall: 150mm / 14 days
Osaka in June
As summer arrives in Osaka, temperatures rise and the rainfall becomes very heavy. If you don’t like rain, June absolutely isn’t a good time to visit. Bring an umbrella along with waterproof clothes!
When it’s not raining, the temperatures are pretty high, so whether it rains or not, June is not the best time to walk around the city. That said, the days are long – you should expect around 14 hours of daylight per day.
June doesn’t have many big, exciting or interesting events. Overall, June really isn’t a great time to experience all the best things that Osaka has to offer, but you should consider it if you want to avoid the crowd while having some sunny weather from time to time.
- Average Temperature: 24ºC / 75ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 20ºC / 68ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 28ºC / 82ºF
- Average Rainfall: 230mm / 17 days
Osaka in July
In July, Osaka’s rain begins to die down a little – but the wetness doesn’t, as July is very humid and hot. If you’re accustomed to high humidity, this is an okay time to visit. But if you’re not accustomed to such weather, you won’t enjoy Osaka in July.
Osaka in July feels like a tropical month, so you should dress accordingly. You’ll get around 14 hour of sunlight per day.
Though the weather isn’t great for exploring the city, Osaka in July plays host to Tenjin Matsuri, one of Japan’s most exciting and interesting festivals. With parades both on land and on water, it’s an excellent insight into many parts of Japanese culture. If you can handle the heat, it’s one of the greatest events that Osaka has to offer, and absolutely worth the trip.
- Average Temperature: 28ºC / 82ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 24ºC / 75ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 31ºC / 88ºF
- Average Rainfall: 140mm / 15 days
Osaka in August
Osaka’s hottest month, temperatures are high and the air is humid, making for another tropical month. But if you can tolerate the heat, it’s not a bad time to visit, since rain is low.
Though a limited number of foreign tourists visit Osaka in August, there are many crowds of local people, as the country celebrates Obon, a period in which the Japanese celebrate their ancestry and heritage. Amongst other things, Japanese people use this period to mark the passing of loved ones.
This can be a very interesting time to visit Japan. Though busy, it’s a great time to experience the fascinating traditional period of Obon – and join the hordes as they enjoy riverside picnics.
If you visit in August, you should wear cool clothes. Though you should take a waterproof, you’re unlikely to need it. Small amounts of rain might even be a welcome respite from the searing heat. August has around 13 hour of daylight per day.
- Average Temperature: 29ºC / 84ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 25ºC / 77ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 33ºC / 91ºF
- Average Rainfall: 90mm / 13 days
Osaka in September
In September, Osaka begins to cool down a little, but the city still retains much of summer’s warmth for now. As the seasons change, there’s a lot of rain, so September is a very wet month in Osaka.
You won’t need heavy clothes but you’ll definitely need something waterproof!
There aren’t many events in September, so it can be an uninteresting time to visit Osaka. That said, similarly to month of June the lack of events makes the city fairly quiet, so if you’re interested in exploring without the chaos of many crowds, this can be a good time.
Before the days begin to get short, September offers around 12 hours of daylight per day, so you get plenty of time for sightseeing.
- Average Temperature: 25ºC / 77ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 21ºC / 70ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 29ºC / 84ºF
- Average Rainfall: 170mm / 16 days
Osaka in October
In October, temperatures and rainfall both drop. Even so, it’s still fairly warm, so October – as far as weather is concerned – can be a great time to visit Osaka.
In October, you can enjoy around 11 hour of daylight per day.
There aren’t too many tourists in Osaka in October, so if you want to explore the city without too many crowds, this can be a great time.
The lack of crowds is partially due to the lack of big events. While there’s nothing major happening in Osaka during October, Halloween is a big deal.
If you like the season of ghosts and ghouls, you’ll love Japan’s interpretation of the spooky spectacular. There are many Halloween-themed parties and events across Osaka in October, which offer a fantastic insight into Japan’s fascination with kooky costumes.
- Average Temperature: 19ºC / 66ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 15ºC / 59ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 23ºC / 73ºF
- Average Rainfall: 110mm / 14 days
Osaka in November
Temperatures and rainfall drop again in November. If you like cool weather, November can be a great time to visit Osaka. It’s also a great time to visit if you like outdoor adventure. During this time of year, fall dominates Osaka, leaving the city draped in fiery tones of red and orange.
If you’re planning to do some hiking in Osaka’s beautiful November colors, you’ll have more than ten hours per day to do it.
Bring a waterproof, though you may not need it. And though the days are fairly temperate, nights can bring some chills, so pack a couple of layers.
For those who like nature, November is second only to the period of March and April. Fall in Osaka is almost as beautiful as cherry-blossomed spring. And because it’s pretty quiet, it can be an ideal time for outdoor exploration.
- Average Temperature: 14ºC / 56ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 10ºC / 50ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 17ºC / 63ºF
- Average Rainfall: 70mm / 12 days
Osaka in December
Fairly cold and very dry, December is a fantastic time to visit Osaka if you don’t mind low temperatures.
You’ll need warm clothes but you’re very unlikely to need any waterproof stuff, which is excellent news for exploring the city and its parks.
Christmas time in Osaka is very exciting. Full of winter illuminations, the city looks even more magical during December than it usually does. If you like cozy winter nights and bright Christmas illuminations, this is a fantastic time to visit the city – especially given the comfortable weather.
- Average Temperature: 9ºC / 47ºF
- Low Temperature (Average): 5ºC / 41ºF
- High Temperature (Average): 12ºC / 54ºF
- Average Rainfall: 30mm / 14 days
The Best Time to Go to Osaka – Final Thoughts
Osaka is incredible. One of Japan’s most fascinating cities, its neon-soaked streets are full of great food, friendly people and cool venues. With some of Japan’s best meals, morsels, bars and parks, it has something for everyone.
But your experience can vary depending on when you visit. And these experiences vary wildly and widely, from winter illuminations to boat-filled parades to a traditional festival to honor the dead.
Our top pick is April, Osaka’s busiest period. The beginning of April is the cherry blossom season, Japan’s most iconic flower. Osaka is one of the best places to experience the hot-pink hues of the season. If you don’t mind big crowds, you should absolutely visit Osaka in early April.
But whenever you choose to go, you’ll fall in love with the city. For many, it’s the best city in Japan. If you visit, you’ll see exactly why that is. But before traveling to Osaka, make sure to learn some common phrases in the Japanese language that will help you communicate with locals and enjoy your stay even mire.
Paul is a handsome and hilarious travel writer and travel journalist from the UK. He’s hiked, hitchhiked and laughed his way through more than fifty countries, and he’s always looking for a new place to call home. Originally from Newcastle, he’s lived all over the UK, spent more than three years in Asia, and most recently lived in Vietnam. Here’s his website.