Make the most of your business trip by following these tips for booking travel to Japan.
Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, behind only the United States and China. It’s also the epicenter of commerce in the Asia-Pacific region. For these reasons and others, you may find yourself needing to book travel to Japan.
But when is the best time to visit Japan if you want to maximize your trip? When is the most affordable time to visit Japan if you want to keep costs down? And are there bad times to visit Japan that you should avoid altogether?
To help you plan your business trip to Japan, here are answers to those questions plus other important information on traveling to this important business destination.
Good Times to Visit Japan
The best times to visit Japan are spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). Visiting during these time windows helps you avoid Japan’s cold winters and hot, humid summers. Rainfall is also low during these months, so there’s less chance of weather events disrupting your travel plans. As an added bonus, if you visit in spring, you’ll get to see the bloom of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms.
The months of October, November and December may be slightly busier than other times of year. During these months, many Japanese citizens living abroad travel home to visit family and friends. While you can find great weather by visiting Japan in October and November, you may find airports and hotels more crowded.
If your business thrives on trade shows and conferences, you may also want to plan around a significant event. Here’s a list of major trade shows that take place in Japan each year:
- Mobile Solutions Expo (February): A tradeshow for mobile technologies.
- World Smart Energy Week (February): An exhibition and conference for the energy industry.
- Beautyworld (February): A conference for the cosmetics and beauty industries.
- Forestrise (August): A wood-related conference that brings visitors from around the world.
- IREX (November): A robot-focused exhibition.
- Mass-Trans Innovation (November): A tradeshow for railroad technologies.
Of course, there are many other conferences and tradeshows for various niches. It might be a good idea to build your trip around a tradeshow for your industry, allowing you to schedule other meetings and client visits before or after the show.
Cheap Times to Visit Japan
Japan isn’t a budget destination for business travel. Most visitors fly in and out of Tokyo, which is one of the largest and most expensive cities in the world, so expect to pay a premium for airfare, hotels and other travel services.
If you’re looking to save, plan your visit for the beginning of the year. The number of visitors to Japan is at its lowest from January to March, which means prices tend to be low during this period, too.
Always check calendars and schedules for major events, though. Japan is an important international destination, which means often hosts events for international audiences (like the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Tokyo). If you try to visit Japan during an international event, you may have a hard time getting flights and hotels — and you’ll likely pay exorbitant rates if you do find them.
Bad Times to Visit Japan
Bad times to visit Japan depend on where you’re going within the country and what’s most important when you get there. For example, destinations in the southern portion of Japan (like Osaka and Hiroshima) are going to be hot in summer but mild in winter. Conversely, destinations in the northern portion of Japan (like Sapporo) are going to be mild in summer and cold in winter. Also, different parts of Japan experience rainy season (June and July) to varying degrees.
Weather might not be a priority for you, though. In fact, business travelers that embrace particularly cold, hot or rainy times of year may find that travel is cheaper during those seasons and that airports and hotels tend to be less crowded.
If you’re traveling for business, it’s a good idea to avoid holidays, too. The most important time to avoid is around the Golden Week Holidays, which happen across seven days in late April and early May. Many people travel around the Golden Week Holidays, which makes airports and train stations incredibly crowded. Also check for one-day holidays during other times of year before booking travel to Japan.
Get Help From JTB Business Travel
Planning and booking travel can feel like a full-time job — especially when you’re trying to balance the best times to go with the most affordable times.
At JTB Business Travel, we help companies save money on trips while ensuring that travelers find itineraries and accommodations that best meet their needs. We use a common sense approach to business travel to give our clients the tools and guidance needed to make fast, effective decisions.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help as your corporate travel agency.