Can you enjoy summer & autumn both at the same time!!
Yes, that’s what September in Japan represents. Here, you can still hit the beaches to enjoy the hot summer while autumn is approaching with vibrant color.
Now the question is, what to do in Japan in September, right?
So, to give a detailed answer to this query, I have listed the most exciting things to do in Japan in September here.
Thus, if you have a plan of visiting Japan in September, go through this writing without any further ado.
Top 13 Impressive Things to Do in Japan in September
September in Japan has many things to offer, like colorful flowers and entertaining events. Also, there are some must-see sights that you simply can’t miss out on.
As I have given you a little peek at this month’s specialties, aren’t you excited to know more and more!
Hence, if you don’t want to miss anything about what’s happening in Japan in September, keep exploring each segment one by one.
1. Feel The Thrill of Kishiwada Danjiri Festival
In Osaka, one of the best things to do in September is to witness the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri. It is one of the most energetic feasts of this city that draws over 300,000 spectators every year.
This fiesta is held for two days in mid-September in Kishiwada town.
During the celebration, a parade of hundred plus men rushes down the street, pushing and pulling attractively decorated danjiri floats.
A man stands above the float and keeps shouting and dancing to increase the excitement. He also bounces back and forth, which seems dangerous to do but fun to watch.
But, you don’t need to be worried about safety because it is 300 years of tradition, and those men know how to do their job finely.
The climax of this two days feast is the journey to Kishiki Shrine when several floats are pulled one by one up the slope that leads to Kishiwada castle. They have to take the floats to the top in one go.
Although it’s a thrilling sight for the audience, a little unsafe for participants because they run at high speed crossing the corners, and the slightest mistake can lead to injury.
That’s why the regions around the street corners are restricted and closed-off. Even the viewers aren’t allowed to stand on ladders or benches to see the floats race.
I will say it’s safe to watch from the dedicated audience seats installed every year near the Kishiwada Harbor.
Till now, you knew about the daytime attractions, but what this feast has to offer you in the nighttime, right?
Surprisingly, nighttime marks a total change in the environment. You will find these danjiri floats being decorated with hundreds of paper lanterns.
This time some children also ride on the floats.
Wait!! Wait!! Are you worried after hearing about children?
Well, you shouldn’t because during this time, the floats move slowly, and the environment is more relaxed, and there is no way that the kids will get hurt.
I will say that this festival is one of the cool things to watch in Japan, where you can experience the culture of this country as well as enjoy a thrilling atmosphere.
2. Admire The Beautiful Higanbana Flower
Like I said before, September in Japan is a mixture of summer and autumn.
From mid to late September, the Higanbana flower (red spider lily) blooms over the country, symbolizing the arrival of the colorful autumn.
Now, the question is, where will you go to admire these flowers?
Well, there are many places, but the most attractive one is Kinchakuda Higanbana Field. It is located in Saitama Prefecture and is also the biggest Higanbana field in Japan.
Here, you can enjoy about 5 million burning hot red-colored Higanbana that start to flourish from mid-September.
Luckily, Saitama is only 1 hour away from Tokyo, so if you stay in the capital city, you may plan a day trip to this field.
So, if you wish to see the colorful autumn of Japan, you should visit this place without any second thought.
3. Welcome The First Autumn Leaves in Hokkaido
Who doesn’t love the stunning autumn leaves?
Just imagine yourself in a place where the winds are blowing and autumn leaves showering from above.
Your partner is capturing instagrammable moments when you are trying to catch these leaves or just letting them fall on you like flower petals.
Although this sounds cheesy, deep down, we all want to capture some candid moments.
Don’t you too?
Now, if you wish to catch a sight of these leaves, you may visit Hokkaido. It’s because when the mainland of Japan is waiting to greet the warm autumn colors for another month, Hokkaido welcomes their first autumn leaves in September.
Although there are numerous places in Hokkaido where you can see the early autumn leaves, my personal favorite is Daisetsuzan National Park.
The hiking trails of this park give some stunning views of autumn leaves from mid to late September. Nature seems calm here, and the moment you see this spot, you are going to fall in love with its beauty.
A part of this national park is Sounkyo Gorge, which has plenty of waterfalls along its sheer cliffs. But, two of these waterfalls stand out the most.
One is Ginga no Taki (Milky Way Waterfall), and the other is neighboring Ryusei no Taki (Shooting Star Waterfall).
In September, hundreds of trees surrounding these waterfalls come to life with autumn leaves. They offer a bright and colorful panorama and seem to shimmer under the sunlight.
Another spot in Hokkaido that is famous for its stunning view is Blue Pond. It’s situated near Biei Town and is a highly recommended unique place to visit all year round in Japan.
However, if you wish to experience the charming contrast of deep blue water, white birch wood, and yellow leaves, you must come here in late September.
4. Experience The Scary & Fun Halloween
When the witches come out riding and black cats are seen, the moon laughs & whispers, “It’s near Halloween.”
Doesn’t it sound scary and fun at the same time?
I guess your answer is yes, cause who doesn’t love Halloween!!
Well, if you want to add an exciting ride of thrill and horror experience to your Japan trip, you may visit Universal Studio Japan (USJ) in Osaka.
From September till November, a Halloween event is organized in this theme park, which is arguably the best Halloween celebration in this country.
The event features horror shows, merchandise, foods, and many more fun activities.
But, my favorite event is The Street Zombie, which features many zombies roaming around the streets after the darkness.
The most fun part is the Zombie de Dance, when the zombies and other dressed-up characters dance along with the EDM song.
When I was there last time, I totally enjoyed every moment with my friends jumping and cheering the dancers. It was such a crazy night for us.
So, if you want to experience the same, you should definitely attend this fun event and meet these zombies.
Now, what if you are coming to Japan with your kids?
Well, in that case, this theme park also offers children-friendly shows and activities.
They can meet adorably dressed-up characters and also can collect candies from different crew members by saying “trick or treat” at numerous locations of this park.
I will say if you want to boost the Halloween mood, you may just drop by Universal Studio Japan.
5. Drop By Mount Fuji to See Cosmos Flowers
Most people think that Japan is all about Cherry Blossoms, but the truth is rather different.
Our country has so many other flowers that are equally beautiful.
Here I am talking about the lovely cosmos a.k.a “the cherry blossom of autumn.” Luckily, they are in full bloom from September to mid-October, so you can easily see them in their best form.
Lake Yamanaka Flower City Park is a famous flower field nearby Mount Fuji, where you may head to see these flowers.
The amazing thing about this flower park is that there is no entry fee required to explore it.
You may need to pay for entrance in some parts, but the flower field is absolutely free.
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6. Explore The Ishigaki Island’s Attractions
While thinking about the best places to visit in Japan in September, Ishigaki Island of Okinawa Prefecture just popped into my mind.
As most people don’t know about this place, they just miss out on the opportunity to explore this delightful island. But that’s not gonna happen to you as I have put the spotlight on it.
Although it’s a small island, there are many things to do here that you might not have expected at all!!
This island has several beaches where you can spend a relaxing day and try out water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving.
You can pay a visit to Kabira Bay (swimming is not allowed here), Ishigaki Limestone Cave, Mount Omoto, Miyara River, Cape Hirakubozaki, Nosokodake, Nagura Bay, and many other spots.
Also, you may taste the Ishigaki Beef, which is high in quality and nicely marbled with healthy fats.
7. Watch The Brightly Shining Full Moon
Even the full moon finds a way to shine in the darkest night!
Although the clouds try to hide it, the moon always comes out at some point to show us its bright smile.
It indicates that even with hardship, we can rise and shine with our strength and desire.
And to appreciate the full moon, we Japanese celebrate Tsukimi, which means “moon-viewing.”
As in Japan, the beginning of summer is marked by the Tanabata Festival in July, the onset of autumn is greeted by Tsukimi or moon viewing feast.
The celebration of this full moon takes place on the 15th day of the 8th month. As per lunar calendar, it falls in either September or October (the date varies each year).
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The traditions of Tsukimi include displaying decorations made out of Japanese pampas grass and eating dumplings.
However, you can admire the full moon in your own way, whatever you want.
In case you are traveling with your sweetheart, you may arrange a romantic date where you two can ride a boat at night and watch the shimmering moon.
Or, you may set up a picnic in a park and enjoy the moon with some delicious foods.
But, my style of enjoying the full moon is setting up a camp in the countryside. There, I can admire the beauty of the shining night by laying on the ground. No city lights to interrupt, just me and a bunch of my friends.
Therefore, you may do so if it seems catchy and fun to you.
I recommend you add Tsukimi Dango, a mochi that is considered a must-try item in Japan for a moon-viewing party, as well as BBQ.
What!! Are you craving mouth-watering foods after hearing about mochi & BBQ??
Well, there are more yummy dishes available in Japan that you should not miss out on anyway.
So, check out the following segment to know more.
8. Attend Tokyo Wagyu Show
Tokyo Wagyu Show is an outdoor food event organized in Hibiya Park in mid-September. It offers delicious wagyu dishes.
You might not know that Wagyu beef is one of the most popular things to try in Japan, along with sushi and tempura.
At the event, you can taste various kinds of wagyu beef in different styles from all over Japan.
From delicious steak to yummy burgers, you are going to find a dish that will go well with your taste and choice both.
9. Visit The Sacred & Serene Kyoto
In Japan, one of the must-see cities is Kyoto. This city is believed to be sacred as it holds numerous well-known shrines, gardens, and palaces.
To name a few top attractions of Kyoto are Nijo Castle, Fushimi Inari Shrine, The Golden Pavilion, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Philosopher’s path, The Byodo-in Temple, Geisha District, and many more.
If you are not much into temples and shrines, there are also natural spots like Sagano Bamboo Forest. In every season, this forest adorns with different beauty.
So, while visiting Kyoto in September, you will be able to catch the autumn attraction of this forest and the surroundings.
Now, in September, several events take place in Kyoto. One of them is the Seiryu-e Festival which I described in the below section.
10. Enjoy The Dragon Show in Seiryu-e Festival
I think you already know that Japanese people welcome each season with different activities all over the country.
Seiryu-e Festival is just another example of this tradition.
This feast is celebrated twice a year: One during spring and the other in autumn.
In Kiyomizu-dera, a famous Buddhist temple situated in eastern Kyoto, a blue dragon appears on September 14th to 15th to welcome the autumn season.
The dragon show usually starts at 2:00 PM and marches from Okuno-in to the temple’s streets.
This blue dragon is believed to be one of the four deities that protect Kyoto city.
Besides the dragon, you will see several men dressed up in traditional warrior clothes, and the streets are filled with spectacular dancing & music.
The scene is truly magical and you should not miss the opportunity to see it at all.
11. Join The Craziness of Japan’s Biggest EDM Festival
Do you want to miss a chance of meeting world-famous DJs & artists?
Well, if you are a music enthusiast and looking for every chance of joining the craziness of music festivals, here is your treat!!
Ultra Japan, the biggest electronic dance music festival in Japan, first started in 2014. Each year, this event attracts approximately 100,000 audiences.
The former shows featured some of the world’s greatest artists and DJs like Steve Aoki, DJ Snake, David Guetta, Alesso, Tiesto, Skrillex, Martin Garrix, and many more.
The debut show was held for two days, from September 27 to 28, in Tokyo Odaiba Ultra Park. In the following years, the event took place at the same place but on different dates in September.
So, I suggest you check out their website to know the latest updates about the event schedule.
Also, make sure to purchase the tickets in advance, cause it’s a highly famous event and tickets may be sold out soon.
12. Participate in Tokyo Game Show
In case you love video games, especially the Japanese ones, you shouldn’t miss the Tokyo Game Show.
This event focuses on showcasing Japanese games, yet several international video game developers attend to promote new releases.
In the general exhibition area, you can play the latest video games. And if you love the thrill of VR (Virtual Reality), then there are opportunities too.
Besides this, you can also experience AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality) games.
Usually, it is held in Chiba prefecture from 30th September to 3rd October, where the first two days are for press and business and the last two days are open for the public.
So, if you are coming to Japan in late September and willing to stay till October, you may grab the opportunity to show off your skill in some video games here.
13. Witness The Sumo Tournaments in Tokyo
The Grand Sumo tournaments are organized six times every year in Japan. It is held in Tokyo three times (January, May, and September).
The September tournament is arranged in Ryogoku Kokugikan, in Tokyo.
Many tourists find it impressive to see some giant men fighting with each other. So, if you find it interesting, you may attend too.
But, in case you don’t like these kinds of stuff, you may skip it.
And, I have already suggested some activities in Tokyo in this writing before that you may consider too.
Additionally, as Tokyo is one of the best cities to visit during September and all year round, there is always something happening that will go with your interest.
Anyway, I have completed describing all the popular things in Japan that September has to offer.
Now it’s time to learn about the weather details of this particular month.
Japan’s Weather in September
Early September in Japan is still considered summer, while late September is autumn. Generally, temperatures are pretty high but comparatively cooler than heated July and August.
Anyway, I think you need detailed data on the average weather in Japan. And that’s what the following table represents.
As shown in the chart, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Fukuoka stay warm in September. Further north, Sapporo (capital of Hokkaido) is always cooler than Japan’s southern part.
On the other hand, Okinawa remains quite hot this month.
Anyway, the heat might not be a problem for you, but the rain could be.
September’s rains are a little distinct from the earlier months (July, August). It’s because there’s a higher risk of typhoons in September.
Although typhoons can happen during the other months, the chance is greater in September.
Now you may wonder whether September is a good time to visit Japan or not.
Well, the answer totally depends on the weather.
On a clear day, you will be able to visit places without any trouble and see the vibrant colors of nature.
On a light rainy day, you may drop by the indoor attractions like museums, shopping, restaurants, and indoor parks.
But, unfortunately, if a heavy rainstorm or typhoon occurs, I suggest you remain at your accommodation for that time. You can spend this leisure time reading manga or watching movies.
Usually, the effects of typhoons pass within a couple of days, so you may enjoy the rest of your time exploring Japan’s attraction.
However, if you want to avoid the storms, I recommend you check out the weather forecast beforehand and then decide the travel date accordingly.
Travel Packing Suggestions
A wide range of summer and mid-season clothes are required to pack for different kinds of weather in September.
When it rains, you will need:
- Waterproof backpack & shoes.
- Umbrella or raincoat.
For the sunny and warm days:
- Light shirts, dresses, skirts, short pants.
- Open sandals or lighter pairs of shoes.
- Sunglasses, hat.
- Sunscreen, wet tissue.
- A mini hand fan.
For the nighttime when the weather will be a little cooler:
- Long-sleeved shirts, long dresses, and pants.
- Comfortable shoes and socks.
Some necessary items like:
- Travel documents.
- Mobile charger, power bank, camera, and other gadgets.
- Skincare products and toothbrushes.
- Basic first aid kit.
- Swimsuit (if you wanna spend a beach day).
Expected Crowds & Costs
September is a comparatively quiet month in terms of tourism statistics in Japan. The schools go back to the regular schedule, and there are no major holidays this month.
Although Japan sees a common stream of foreign visitors throughout the whole year, September is less famous than later months in the autumn.
Hence, if you visit our country during this month, you don’t need to worry about huge crowds at the popular sightseeing spots.
But, some parts of Japan are always crowded, such as bigger cities like Tokyo.
Thus, the hotel price in these regions won’t be lower than other times.
Nevertheless, if you choose to stay in smaller cities, then the accommodation price will be lower.
By far, you have gained enough knowledge about which sights to see in Japan and what type of festivals and fun activities can be enjoyed during September.
So, it’s time to move forward to the conclusion.
In this journey of knowing the best things to do in Japan in September, I hope you had an excellent experience.
Now, it’s up to you to select what to do and what not.
Lastly, feel free to travel to Japan anytime because our country has a wide range of attractions every month, every season, and every day. And, you will feel the thrill of Japan throughout your whole trip.