I understand that both can refer to time or a period of time, but I don't really get the difference. I've been told they aren't interchangeable, and that 時期 has a relation to seasons, but unless 時期 is used exclusively when talking about the time between seasons, I don't really get it.

1 Answer 1


Yes, 時期 is closer to "season", and it typically refers to time in the order of weeks or months.

  • クリスマスの時期: Christmas season (roughly November to December)
  • クリスマスの時間: certain hours on the day of Christmas, e.g., クリスマスの時間を家族と過ごす
  • 卒業式の時期: roughly March in Japan
  • 卒業式の時間: time during a certain graduation ceremony

時期 also means "good time (in the future) for doing something", and in this case it can even refer to a time point years later.

  • 時期が来たら答えを話します。
    I'll tell you the answer when the time comes.
    (It may be 2 weeks or 2 years from now.)

  • 時間が来たら答えを話します。
    I'll tell you the answer when time is up.
    (It may be 20 minutes or 2 hours from now.)

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