04 Aug 20

When to Trek Japan’s Nakasendo Way

Chris Kavanagh Japan

Japan’s Nakasendo Way can be walked year-round. There are four very distinct seasons. The best months to visit are April–May and October–November. If you wish to travel during this time, you’ll need to book well in advance to secure the best accommodation along the trail. Other good options are the end of March, all of June and the end of September.


March, April, May

If you want to walk the Nakasendo Way in spring, April and May are the best months to go. If you walk in April you will have the chance to see the cherry blossoms. In May the weather is a bit warmer. You can walk in March; however, it can be quite cold, so most people who travel in March tend to walk in the later half of the month.


September, October, November

Autumn is a great time of year to hike the Nakasendo Way. October and November offer perfect walking conditions – temperatures in the high teens with little chance of rain. If you are seeking the autumn colours, aim to walk in early November. September has a higher chance of rain and typhoons are common, especially in the first half of the month.


June, July, August

Summer in Japan is hot and humid with temperatures around 30 degrees during the day. It is also the wet season in Japan so there is a high chance of rain (although this region does not get as much rainfall as other parts of Japan). If you do want to walk in summer, we recommend June as it’s not as hot and humid as July and August, and there is less rainfall. July and August also have a higher chance of typhoons.


December, January, February

Winter can be magical in Japan with the chance to experience snow in the old post towns of the Nakasendo Way. It can also get very cold with temperatures below 10 degrees during the day and overnight. If you do wish to walk in winter, it is very important to have the appropriate clothing and footwear. Daylight hours are also shorter, so its important to plan your hike each day with this in mind.


Written By

Chris Kavanagh

Chris is a seasoned hiker and RAW’s Japan expert. If you’re looking for the best advice about Japan’s walking trails, Chris is your go-to. With a background in personal training, Chris champions active travel. She loves hitting the gym, exploring local trails and immersing herself in a good book.

sign up to our newsletter

explore the world with Raw