Yields decrease when soybean is sown later than recommended in the cool climate of the Tohoku region of Japan. However, the factors responsible for this decrease are not fully understood. We investigated the effects of late sowing on growth, phenological development, yield, yield components, and radiation interception of three soybean cultivars in two consecutive years and analyzed the relationships of those variables with temperature and soil volumetric moisture content (SMC). Averaged across years and cultivars, yields decreased significantly when plants were sown approximately three weeks late. Yield reductions were partially due to reductions in node number per plant, dry matter production, and capture of cumulative irradiance, resulting from slowed canopy development during vegetative and early reproductive stages. The number of seeds per pod was one of the major determinants of the variation in yield. Owing to the delay in sowing date, the reduction in seeds per pod was likely due to low temperatures during the 20 days after seed filling began. Occasional lower SMC during reproductive stages did not affect yield, yield components, and growth parameters. However, these results were obtained from the two years&rsquo / experiments. Therefore, further investigations of the relationship of yield with temperature and SMC under different years and sites are needed.