When should we visit Tokyo?
Mac here. Amongst the many questions I receive from prospective visitors to The World’s Greatest Metropolis, one of the most common is “When should we visit Tokyo?”.
There are plenty of webpages, blog posts and YouTube videos out there devoted to answering this. Almost all of them will come to the cliched conclusion that the best times to visit are for Cherry Blossom season and the changing of the leaves in Autumn. They will tell you that the summer is hot and humid, and that the winter is cold and nothing is in bloom. Avoid the rainy season (June, July and August depending on where you look). September is typhoon season. Rain is more likely in spring. Avoid Golden Week (end April/start May) if you want to travel around the country. The city is dead in Obon (mid-August) and at the start of January. The summer is prime tourism season. Hotel rates are through the roof at New Year’s, during Cherry Blossom season and in Autumn… hang on, I thought that was when I should go!?!
Trying to come to any conclusion from all this conflicting ‘guidance’ is like looking for health advice online. If you read and try to distill it all you can easily come to the conclusion that you are wasting your time if you are not in Tokyo on 1 April or 23 November… if you can afford it that is.
As someone who guides full-time and sees the city day by day, I can tell you this is complete nonsense.
Yesterday, I spent the last of four days guiding Jose, Karen, Emilia and Josefina around Tokyo and beyond. We spent our final day together in Kamakura, visiting both the infamous and less well-known temples and sights there, eating great food in some amazing spots, and making some truly local connections.
The sun was out, the sky was a dazzling blue and as I looked around the mere handful of people at the Giant Buddha, I thought to myself that this is a perfect time to visit Tokyo. Sure, the temperature is lower, but it is nothing a coat doesn’t solve. The advantages far outweigh any perceived negatives. The crowds are thinner, and if you know not just where to go but when to go you can have some magical contemplative experiences in some important sights with just you and your loved ones. You are never far away from a warming bowl of ramen or cup of third-wave coffee. There is plenty of space for kids of all ages to run around and explore this diverse city.
Tokyo’s peak periods are of course deservedly amazing. However, with travelling at that time comes congestion and higher costs.
There is a great reason to be in Tokyo every day of the year. That’s why I live here! It is the ethos behind our “One Day Only” Limited Edition tours. So far they have been available exclusively through word-of-mouth, but we will be rolling them out to a wider audience soon. On these tours, we target only events which are happening on that day. Festivals, exhibitions, pop-up cafes, limited-time seasonal foods, omakase menus… a (by definition) truly unique experience never ever to be repeated. We pride ourselves on never having run the same itinerary twice, ever. On a “One Day Only” Limited Edition tour, you take that philosophy to the next level.
Whenever you visit us, Maction Planet can introduce you to local sports, seasonal blooms, outstanding cuisine, unique festivals and more… all part of the tapestry that makes Tokyo the World’s Greatest Metropolis, all year round.
About Maction Planet
Maction Planet is a Travel and Apparel business based in Tokyo. They run private, fully-customised tours and travel experiences in Tokyo, and beyond. Guests have described them as “reinventing custom travel” in The World’s Greatest Metropolis. Since the launch of their website in February 2017, and growing their business away from solely ‘word-of-mouth’ recommendations, Maction Planet is now ranked in the Top 10% of all Tokyo Tours on TripAdvisor, with 100% 5-star reviews – ahead of many long-established Tokyo Tour companies. They were chosen as Official Hospitality Provider to “Brave and Bold”, Tokyo’s premier Artist Alley event. They have developed a loyal fanbase, with over 3500 Instagram followers. Alongside the travel arm, Maction Planet Apparel designs unique T-shirts inspired by the city they love.