Japan is back at its best now as temperatures drop to much more comfortable levels with less rain and the autumn scenery comes in to its prime. Typhoon season is also ending in the south and Okinawa Islands now making the country generally warm and sunny with spectacular landscapes.
By October, Autumn is in full swing and Hokkaido’s National Parks are awash with the reds and golds of the season, especially at O-numa Quasi National Park on the southwestern end of the island and around Mt. Jozankei.
October is one of the best months of the year to visit Hokkaido: days are typically sunny, crisp and dry, with comfortable temperatures (avg temp: 16°C) making this an ideal month for hiking, especially around Sapporo and Niseko.
Autumn arrives in Honshu and the warm, rainy days of summer turn cooler and drier as the month progresses (avg temp: 22°C). Tokyo sees more rain this month than the city of Osaka, and Hiroshima is drier again with more sunshine.
The ‘koyo front’ progresses southwards during October, with some of the most spectacular Autumn colours experienced in Tohoku, northern Honshu, notably around Lake Towadako. The town of Nikko and central Honshu’s National Park regions are also perfect spots to witness the koyo colours. If you’re planning on walking a section of the Nakasendo Highway, October is arguably the most picturesque time to do it.
For something completely different, the Saijo district of Hiroshima holds a sake festival in October, offering visitors the opportunity to wander from brewery to brewery sampling Japan's famous rice wine.
Autumnal days can be expected across the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu in October (avg temp: 22°C), with evenings still warm enough to make the most of Fukuoka’s famous ‘yatai’ (food stalls).
Typhoons are still a distinct possibility at the beginning of the month, but this doesn’t stop Nagasaki’s energetic Kunchi Matsuri celebrations (7-9 October) when dancing Chinese dragons fill the city’s streets.
With typhoon season past its peak in October across Okinawa and Japan’s southern islands, strong winds are still possible but the rains start to recede, and days are generally warm and sunny (avg temp: 25°C). Water temperatures begin to cool as the month progresses, but diving conditions remain good.
Wander along the ancient trails of Kumano Kodo and its spiritual shrines, enjoying the peaceful, and enchanting surroundings as well as taking in the hospitality of local families along the way.