There are four well defined seasons, varying in intensity across the four main islands of Japan.
Usually warm, but with periods of rain and wind. Spring starts with the appearance of plum blossoms, followed by peach blossoms. Towards the end of March, the famous cherry blossoms begin to bloom.
Starts with a damp rainy season know as baiu. By the middle of July this gives way to sunny, hummid days with the temperature rising to more than 30 degrees centigrade.
In Tokyo summer temperatures can rise to about 35 degrees C (95 degrees F), and it is extremely humid.
Early Autumn can be very wet as it is hit by typhoons. On average Japan is hit by 4 a year, and they can cause great destruction.
By October, Japan enjoys generally clear mild weather. Many of the trees take on bright autumn colours, making this one of the most beautiful seasons.
A cold northwesterly wind blows over Japan in the Winter, dropping rain and snow on the western side of Japan. The Hokuriku region (Fukui, Ishikawa, Toyama, and Niigata prefectures), which faces the Sea of Japan, and is separated from other regions of Japan by high mountains, is known for its deep snows at this time of the year.
The Pacific side of the country in contrast enjoys long spells of bright sunny weather. In Tokyo, despite the clear skies, winter temperatures average around 5 degrees C (41 degrees F).
The islands of Okinawa Prefecture in the far southwest have a subtropical climate with less of the seasonal temperature differences experienced in the rest of Japan. Winters there are much warmer than in other parts of the country.