What to Wear in Japan in Spring

Japan in Spring is magical. The cherry blossoms, the sunshine (and plenty of rain) over the temples. It’s the perfect weather for all of the udon and ramen soup you’re going to be eating. If you’re wondering what to wear in Japan in Spring, look no further.

I spent two blissful weeks exploring Japan in Spring. I started in Osaka, then headed to Kyoto and Hiroshima before finishing in Tokyo. In total, we spent about two weeks in Japan.

It’s a country I’ve dreamed of visiting for so many years and to actually see those flowers in bloom in the flesh was pretty special. 

Photos of temples in Japan

What’s the Weather Like in Japan in Spring?

It depends hugely on what part of the country you are visiting. If you are going to be in Okinawa, it will be much warmer than say, Tokyo or further north in the country.

If you plan to visit the main areas around Osaka. Kyoto, and Tokyo, then this article will be most helpful to you. 

The weather in March and April is still chilly. You’ll want sweaters and long pants with temperatures ranging from 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day (15-21 Celcius). At night the temperature doesn’t drop much more, maybe down to 55 degrees. 

The thing that I really wasn’t prepared for was just how much it rained in April. April showers and all that, but it really is true in Central Japan. We bought a really cheap umbrella at a shop outside a train station. We then left it at our last Airbnb so hopefully someone else can get some use out of it! 

If you have a small umbrella that you can pack for your spring trip to Japan, then I highly recommend packing it. If you don’t then consider buying one before coming to Japan because a good quality travel umbrella will be much cheaper elsewhere (they were quite expensive here in Japan).

What to Wear in Japan in Spring

When thinking about what to pack for a trip to Japan in Spring, you’ll most likely have to consider a few main things: what sort of suitcase are you bringing? How many different places in Japan will you be visiting? Will you be going to any fancy meals or events while you’re there?

If you do forget something worry not, you can find just about ANYTHING you want in Japan. Especially Tokyo. 

two week japan itinerary

Rain Jacket

The number one thing you don’t want to forget to pack is a rain jacket. I only brought a flimsy windbreaker with me thinking that the spring weather wouldn’t be too bad. I was woefully wrong.

The rain isn’t exactly heavy or tropical in any way. But it spits this sort of very wet mist which can last all day long. If you don’t have a good rain jacket, then it won’t take long to get totally soaked through.

So many of the places and things you’ll want to explore in Japan are outside – temples, forests, cobbled streets, parks, and castles. The best part of each of these places are the gardens and little paths around them, so you’ll want to make sure you stay dry and warm. 

My absolute favorite rain jacket is the Rain to Fame jacket from Columbia, which is unfortunately no longer available, but you can find a similar style here. If you want to be dry and stylish, you can always opt for a waterproof trench coat or a quilted jacket like this one.

High-Cut Blouses

Like many countries in this part of the world, low-cut cleavage-filled shirts just aren’t the done thing. Feel free to wear micro-mini-skirts and shorts, but getting the girls out it sort of frowned upon. 

I felt most comfortable and stylish in crew-neck t-shirts or high-neck blouses paired with skirts or jeans. It helps that it’s not particularly hot in Japan in Spring, so you’ll be quite happy to be more covered up anyway.

Midi/Maxi Dresses & Skirts

While you can, by all means, wear whatever length of dress or skirt you like, I prefer this length. The reason being that most temples require you to be covered to a certain extent. This meant that if I left the house already dressed and ready, I didn’t have to worry about buying something or bringing a scarf. 

I also preferred this style thanks to the windy city streets. Between the rain and the wind whipping between the tall buildings in Osaka and Tokyo, I really preferred keeping my legs more covered up. On cloudy days, I even wore tights under my dresses.

two week japan itinerary

Jeans (or Other Trousers)

I love me a good pair of jeans and the pair that I packed for this trip were indispensable. I wore jeans pretty much every day whether it was for a day of touring or for an evening out to dinner. I brought a darker pair of skinny jeans which looked cute with converse and also paired well with a pair of ankle boots for a nice dinner.

The only trouble with jeans is that they don’t dry quickly. They are pretty uncomfortable to wear if it’s raining and they get a little bit wet. So on rainy days either opt for a lighter fabric trouser or go with a skirt or dress.

Light Layers

It’s not particularly cold in Japan in Spring, it’s just sort of damp. Each morning, I would leave our Airbnb in either jeans and a sleeveless blouse or a lightweight midi-dress. In my purse, I’d stuff a cardigan and be fine until sunset. I liked having the cardigan to cover my shoulders in certain places and also for the moments when the sun would go behind the clouds. If it started to rain, but it was still warm, I would just throw on my rain jacket and leave my sweater in my purse.

I recommend packing a few different light jackets or sweaters that are easy to take with you for the day and won’t weigh your bag down too much.

Photo of Temples in Japan

Comfortable (and Cute!) Waterproof Shoes 

I packed a few different pairs of shoes for Japan. I wanted to be comfortable walking around all day, but still feel stylish and put together. I opted for my favorite flats from JCrew which you can find here. They’re great for walking during the day or to pair with my jeans for dinner.

I also brought a pair of Converse because I find them to be really fun and great for walking. My boyfriend hates walking in his Converse and finds that they give him achy feet. Choose a pair of comfortable and stylish sneakers that work best for you.

A pair of shoes that I wish I’d brought was my favorite rain boots. My Sam Edelman Tinsley rainboots are stylish and incredibly comfortable to walk in and most importantly, they keep my feet dry in all types of rain. They come in a few colors and the style doesn’t seem to change much over the years. These are a really great investment for traveling anywhere during rainy seasons (hello Mexico in summer).

miyajima Japan photos

Other Essentials?

One of the things I love about Japan is that women aren’t afraid to play around with makeup. I never felt over-done with my red lipstick or bright blush. I love wearing makeup when I’m at home and so I always make sure to bring my favorites with me when I travel so I can still feel like myself. I packed three or four lipstick colors and wore them all while I was there over the course of two weeks.

I brought an eyebrow pencil, concealer, mascara, bronzer, and blush and it hardly took up any room in my luggage. I wore most of it every day. I recommend going with some waterproof brands because of the rain and moisture that seems to be forever in the air at this time of year. 

As I mentioned, you may want to grab yourself a good quality umbrella that fits easily into your purse to take with you so you don’t have to spend half a day of your trip trying to buy one.

I brought a cross-body bag that had enough room for my phone, a bit of makeup, my sweater (and usually my boyfriend’s sweater), and a water bottle. It was big enough that if we wanted to buy a snack or something, that could fit, too. But it wasn’t so big that I was carrying around a backpack-sized bag all day. 

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