Best Time to Visit the Far East of Asia

Seasons and Weather

Shrouded in mystery, the Far East is one of the most intriguing regions in the world and certainly deserves a place on everyone’s to-go list. Of course, one of the most important factors to take into account when travelling is the weather. This means that choosing the right time of the year to travel can make the difference between a good trip and a great trip. Check out our guidelines to work out when will be the ideal time for your holiday.

Spring flowers in front of Mt Fuji - Japan - On The Go Tours
The spring months herald the blooming of pink flowers across Asia

Spring in the Far East

One of the main reasons that people travel to the Far East during spring (March to May) is to witness the stunning cherry blossoms that bloom all over Japan and South Korea. However, if you are planning on visiting Japan in spring, try and avoid travelling during ‘Golden Week’, which falls at the end of April or beginning of May. Transport during this time can be extremely busy and many offices are closed. Entry to Tibet is usually not possible in March because of the Tibetan New Year but April and May are excellent months to visit as the ice has melted but the summer crowds haven’t arrived yet. The most northern parts of China are still best avoided at this point as they will still be very cold but the central and southern areas will be ripe for visiting.

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Spring Tours

SignatureCherry Blossom Festival | Japan

Cherry Blossom Festival

13 days FROM $8,595
Tailor-madeSeoraksan National Park | South Korea

Spectacular South Korea

12 days FROM $10,995
Tailor-madeTravertine pools | Sichuan | China

Sizzling Sichuan

8 days FROM $4,195
Yangshuo-Yu-Long-River-Rafting-China-Tours-On The Go Tours
The summer months are a good time to visit China's natural landscapes

Summer in the Far East

During the summer months (June to August), most places in the Far East experience pleasantly warm weather – perfect for outdoor activities such as exploring the countryside and chilling at the beach. However, be aware that summer is also the busiest time of the year to travel to this part of the world and so tourist sites are likely to be at their most crowded. There are also a number of big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu that are unbearably hot and best avoided. It is also important to note that rain falls periodically across the region during this season and South Korea and Japan become quite damp and muggy. However, visiting rural China, Tibet and the more northern parts of the country are excellent during this time, despite the potential for more crowds. When it comes to Tibet, summer is ideal despite it being the busiest time of the year (the crowds in Tibet never get too big anyway). With the sun shining, the oxygen content at its highest and the sky clear, conditions are perfect for trekking around the roof of the world.

Summer Tours

Tailor-madeSera Monastery in Lhasa | Tibet

Highlights of Tibet

8 days FROM $3,795
SignatureThe Kyoto Basin | Kyoto | Japan

Land of the Samurai

12 days FROM $6,895
SignatureLijiang River | China

Fine China

13 days FROM $2,445
Gyeongbokgung palace in autumn Seoul - South Korea - On The Go Tours
The autumnal foliage makes this time of year a particularly good time to visit

Autumn in the Far East

The autumn months fall between September and November. September will usually see a residual heat still warming up much of the region but by November this will have, for the most part, completely dissipated. Many will consider this the best time to travel to the Far East as the summer crowds will have died down and the heat and chaos of the big cities will be much more manageable. Now is the perfect time for sightseeing in China as the entire country will have pleasant weather from the big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Chengdu to the national parks and rural zones. Autumn is also ideal for checking out the scenery in Japan and South Korea, which will by this point be bathed in reds and oranges as the leaves start to change colour. Things start to cool down dramatically in Tibet but trekking in early autumn will still be a great experience and a clear sky makes for some awesome photo opportunities.

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Autumn Tours

SignatureThe Torii Gate on Miyajima Island | Hiroshima | Japan

Tokyo to Takayama

13 days FROM $7,395
SignaturePotala Palace | Lhasa | Tibet

Nepal to Tibet

13 days FROM $3,695
SignatureGreat Wall of China | China

Great Wall & Warriors

9 days FROM $1,995
Harbin Ice Festival - China - On The Go Tours
The city of Harbin in China becomes a magical wonderland in winter

Winter in the Far East

Far lower numbers of travellers opt to visit the Far East during the winter months (December to February) of the year as temperatures drop considerably and in many places snow falls and settles. However, it is cheaper and less crowded than the rest of the year. It is not recommended to visit Tibet during this time as many routes will be inaccessible because of ice and snow and it is very cold. South Korea takes on a rather magical feel during winter, making it a good time for sight-seeing if you can brave the cold. Ski resorts in northern Japan and South Korea open during this time so if you are a snow-sports fan, this is a great time to visit. When it comes to China, winter produces a mixed bag of results. The northern areas are usually too cold to visit but the southern areas are still reasonably mild and the lack of crowds makes exploring much easier. Alternatively, if you don’t mind the notable chill, seeing Beijing under a blanket of snow is pretty spectacular. Of course, the main reason travellers go to China during the winter is to see the Harbin Ice Festival.

Winter Tours

SignatureThe Harbin Ice Festival | China

Harbin Ice Festival

11 days FROM $2,295
Tailor-madeBulguksa Temple | Gyeongju | South Korea

Seoul & Silla Kingdoms

6 days FROM $4,895

Further Reading

If you're after more detailed information on when best to visit the countries we cover in the Far East of Asia, check out our comprehensive guides to the weather and festivals for China, Japan, South Korea and Tibet.