Planning a trip to Japan? To make sure that you're packing the right items, check out our tips for what clothes to wear according to the seasons here in Kyoto! Japan’s four seasons could be more distinct than you’re used to, depending on your home country, so let’s see to it you come prepared!
Period: March – May
Temperature: The beautiful cherry blossoms are the perfect sign that the city is warming up from the winter cold. In springtime, temperatures reach around 18.9°C (66.1°F) in the afternoon, with an overnight temperature of about 8.4°C (47.1 °F). Since nights can still retain some of that chill, you may want to carry a light jacket.
- Light jacket
- Light scarf
Spring Tips: Spring also ushers in hay fever season, which means it brings a lot of discomfort to poor seasonal allergy sufferers. If you’re one of the unlucky people who get hay fever, you can buy face masks and nose sprays from convenience stores and drugstores in Kyoto.
Period: June – August
Temperature: Brace yourself for some warm… well, hot temperatures. During summer the average high temperature can reach up to 30.5°C (86.9°F), and the average low is 21.5°C (70.8°F). Though the temperatures alone might not seem that daunting, when coupled with Kyoto’s high humidity it can make for an uncomfortable day if you aren’t expecting it. June and July in Kyoto can be pretty wet in general due to the rainy season (tsuyu), but don’t let the rain put you off from enjoying the beautiful city. You can easily buy umbrellas and rain jackets at the convenience stores. The hottest month of summer will be August, so make sure you bring some light clothes.
- Uchiwa/sensu fan
- Sweat wipes/mini towel
Summer Tips: Understandably you’ll want to dress as lightly as possible because of the heat, but if you plan to visit religious sites like shrines and temples you may want to be a bit more conscientious about your clothing.
Japan is known for cranking up the air conditioning in the summer, particularly in department stores, large shopping areas, museums and theaters. You may want to carry around a light jacket or a cardigan, because while there might be a heatwave going on outside, inside can feel like a whole different story.
Period: September – November
Temperature: Come autumn, temperatures decrease to average highs of 22.5°C (72.4°F) during the day and lows of 13.1°C (55.5°F) at night. The coming chill means that you may want something heavier than a light jacket, depending on your tolerance for cold. Covering your neck and head with something warm is also recommended.
- Warm hat
- Jacket or coat
Autumn Tips: Even if it’s not that cold during the day, if you’re going to stay out after sunset, we advise taking a scarf, a hat or an actual warm jumper or sweater with you just in case. Nights can get a bit chilly so you’ll be thankful that you did.
Period: December – February
Temperature: Although snow is rather rare in Kyoto, it does get pretty cold here in the valley, so make sure you bring some warm clothes – and that includes those thermals. The wintertime records indicate day temperatures reach 9.7°C (49.4°F) on average, falling to 1.1°C (34°F) overnight. The coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 5°C (41°F). If you packed too light, don’t fret. You can buy disposable heater packs and basic thermal underclothing in most convenient stores.
- Thermal clothing
- Heavy coat
- Woolen hat
Winter Tips: Disposable heater packs (kairo) will possibly be your best friend during your winter trip to Kyoto. You can buy these kairo at any convenience store or drugstore in Kyoto. Simply take the pads out of the packet, shake, and in a few moments it will begin to warm up. Some types are meant to be kept in pockets, gloves, or shoes, while others come with one adhesive side so you can stick it to the inner lining of your clothing for areas like your back or stomach.