Hokkaido: Live Weather
Live weather in Hokkaido
The latest and today's weather in Hokkaido, Japan updated regularly
- Sunrise 06:56
- Sunset 15:54
|Temp feels like:||-8°C (18°F)|
|Length of Day:||8h 58m|
|Pressure:||29.92" (1013 hpa)|
|Visiblity:||9 miles (14 km)|
Latest Hokkaido Holiday Reviews
Hiking across Hokkaido
Boiling hot and dry. Sun up at 3.30am and setting at about 7pm....
Historic Temperatures for 17th December in Hokkaido
|Average High||-3°C (27°F)|
|Record High||5°C (41°F) (2008)|
|Average Low||-9°C (16°F)|
|Record Low||-15°C (5°F) (2002)|
Weather in Hokkaido
Hokkaido is the northernmost island of Japan, of which Sapporo is the capital, and it is a holiday destination brimming with exquisite natural, cultural and historical wonders. A sublime mix of East meets West, this eclectic isle is dotted with rice fields, innumerable national parks, charming Swiss-style chalets, skiing hubs, charming historic towns and rustic hot springs, something for which this formidable country is world renowned. Due to its varied activities and attractions, Hokkaido is a fantastic place to visit at any time of year.
Most of Hokkaido enjoys a continental climate, of snowy cold winters and moderately warm summers. The western half of the island tends to enjoy slightly warmer temperatures than the eastern side and, due to its vertiginous peaks, the temperature variances between its highest points and sea level plains can be considerate. Although Hokkaido is not all that large, thanks to its mountain ranges and the fact that it is bathed by three different seas on three shores, the climate between north, south, east and west (as well as inland), can change dramatically depending on where you go.
However, Hokkaido is largely unaffected by the mid-year rain season that batters down the rest of the country, which makes it a much revered destination for local tourists as well as foreigners, especially in the warm summer season.
Hokkaido is home to some lovely beaches and, although they may not compare to ones found in the idyllic Caribbean, they are beautiful nonetheless, and arguably the best in the whole country.
Winter (December to February)
Hokkaido is said to be at its best in winter, when perfect powder falls on its highest peaks and attracts skiers from all corners of the globe. The coldest months of the year in Hokkaido are January and February, with average temperatures not usually going above -4°C. December is third of three freezing cold months on the island—it has an average temperature of -1°C. In January and February, the mercury doesn't rise above an average high of 0°C in the afternoon. At night, it drops to averages low of –7°C.
The sea temperature ranges between 10°C in December and 6°C in February. So, if you want to test your level of endurance, you can take a swim during the month with the coldest sea temps, February, and take a swan dive into the bone-chilling waters. Additionally, these winter months are ideal if you wish to see the surreal sight of floating icebergs on the Sea of Okhotsk.
If you're looking for an unforgettable skiing holiday, then your rewards for travelling to Hokkaido in winter, and coping with the harsh climate, will be near endless. Head to the northern region of the island and enjoy 11m snowfalls, which is the norm most years. Precipitation is around the annual average in winter, ranging between 63mm and 86mm per month across about 24 days.
When it comes to sunshine, winter is the least sunny season of the year. December, the month with the shortest days, has only 2 hours of sunshine per day on average. January and February are a little bit better off, with 3 and 4 hours of sunshine respectively.
Spring (March to May)
Spring is characterised by swiftly rising temperatures. Both the nighttime averages low and daytime average high temperatures increase rapidly now. Although March still has freezing cold nights, with temperatures averaging -3°C, by May they will have risen to 7°C. The average highs increase from 5°C in March to 11°C in April and 16°C in May. When looking at the overall average temperatures, spring becomes gradually warmer—they rise from merely 1°C in March to 12°C in May.
Spring is no exceptional month in terms of rainfall. The total amounts range between 64mm and 74mm per month. What is remarkable, though, is the rapid increase in sunshine hours in spring. While March has 5 hours of daily sunshine, May has 7 hours—May, incidentally, is the sunniest month of the whole year.
Summer (June to August)
The Japanese flock to Hokkaido during the summer months, from late-May (the month with the highest amount of daily sunshine) to August (the hottest month of the year), due to the island enjoying much drier and cooler temps than the rest of the country at this time of year.
Summers here are neither extravagantly long nor hot, and the first months of the season, May, but especially June, are the best time of year to see the amazing cherry blossoms in full bloom. The uncomfortable humidity, which is the norm in the rest of Japan, is largely missing in Hokkaido in summer, unless you choose to visit the inland regions.
August is the absolute warmest month of the year, with an average temperature of 22°C. July is a beautiful second, with a 20°C average, while June is significantly cooler, with an average temperature of 16°C. However, temperatures peak between 23° and 26°C at this time.
Although this is the warmest period of the year, it is also by far the wettest. Although September is the wettest month, summer is the overall wettest season. The amount of rainfall roughly correlates with the temperature—August being the island's second-wettest month, July the third-wettest, and June the fourth-wettest. This relatively high amount of rainfall results, of course, in more cloud cover. This, in turn, limits the amount of sunrays that are allowed to reach the island. July and August both have 5 hours of sunshine per day on average whilst June has 6 hours.
If you want to hit the beaches of Hokkaido, there's no better time to do it then late-summer and early September. The sea temperature reaches its annual maximum of 22°C in August. In comparison it averages 19°C in July. If you want to check the beach weather in Hokkaido, you can check out the weather forecast page.
Autumn (September to November)
September is the wettest month by far with an average rainfall of 171mm whereas precipitation drops significantly in October, to a total of 101mm.
Temperature-wise, autumn starts off great. September still has a pleasant average temperature of 18°C. However, it rapidly gets cooler as the weather moves toward winter. November, for example, has an average temperature of merely 5°C.
September is still a great time to go sunbathing and swimming—the sea temperature averages a comfortable 21°C then. October is also one of the most beautiful times of the year. This is when fall foliage peaks on the island, a natural spectacle that attracts thousands of visitors, so if you don't mind cooler temperatures this may be the best time to visit.