If you are traveling in Japan in the winter, what type of trip is best? If you have never experienced a cold winter, I would recommend Hokkaido first. Next, I recommend the Tohoku region and some Chubu regions. On the other hand, in urban areas such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, you will be able to enjoy sightseeing trips as well as other seasons without suffering from snow. On this page, I will introduce the tourist spots I recommend especially in winter.
Table of Contents
- 1 Enjoy Japan in December, January, February
- 2 Snowy mountain: Experience skiing and snow boating
- 3 Large cities in Hokkaido and Tohoku : Enjoy snow festivals and more!
- 4 Traditional Japanese snow scenery: Shirakawago etc.
- 5 Drift Ice in cold sea: Abashiri, Shiretoko etc.
- 6 Experience Onsen (Hot Spring) in the world of snow
- 7 Experience the winter life in Japan
Enjoy Japan in December, January, February
I gathered articles for each month on Japanese winter. If you want to know such details, please look at the slide below and click the month you are planning to visit. If you want to know what kind of clothes the Japanese are wearing in winter, I also wrote articles that introduced it, so visit the page if you do not mind.
In December, Japan gets cold all at once. At this time of year, Japanese cities are beautifully colored by Christmas illumination each year. There are few Christians in Japan, but Japanese love the event, so enjoy the Christmas atmosphere. If you visit Japan in December, you can enjoy such beautiful illumination. Of course, snow begins to fall in some areas, so you can go see the snow scene. Information of Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido in December If you plan on going to Tokyo, Osaka or Hokkaido in December, please click the image of the slider below and go to see more information. illumination Huis Ten Bosch = Shutterstock In major Japanese cities, Christmas illuminations are beautiful in December. Many street trees have a lonesome atmosphere as the leaves are scattered. Illumination changes such a lonely atmosphere and makes our hearts bright. Christmas songs can be heard around the city. It may be strange from the people of the Christian country, but for Japanese people, Christmas is an important time. Japanese people give presents each other at their families and have a good time. Lovers spend a special time at a beautiful restaurant colored with Christmas illumination. The above picture shows the illumination held in December every year at Huis Ten Bosch Theme Park in Kyushu. Every year, Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan in Osaka have similarly beautiful illumination prepared. Please take a look at these Christmas illuminations by all means. When Christmas is over, people in Japan will be busy preparing for the New ...
In January, many Japanese take a New Year holidays in early. Temple and shrines are crowded at this time, so please be careful. In January, snow begins falling down not only in Hokkaido but also in the Japan Sea side of Honshu and mountainous areas in earnest. If you go to such an area, you will be able to enjoy the snow scene in Japan. After the latter half of January, some temples and shrines have the usual winter festival. It is also recommended to see such festivals. Table of Contents1 Information of Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido in January2 Temple and shrines are very crowded in early January3 Go for a real snow scene4 Representative winter festivals to be held in January Information of Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido in January If you plan on going to Tokyo, Osaka or Hokkaido in January, please click the image of the slider below and go to see more information. Temple and shrines are very crowded in early January In early January, the New Year events are held every year in Japan. People are going to visit a temple or a shrine to pray that they can spend the year well. If it is a big temple or shrine, millions of people come to visit every year during the New Year period. If you go to such a temple or shrine at this time, you will be surprised that there are too many people. Instead, if you do not care about congestion, you can observe the sight of the Japanese ...
February is the coldest time in Japan. Except for a limited area such as Okinawa, you need a coat or jumper when walking in the city. At this time, ski resorts are in the best condition. In snowy areas, you can see the beautiful snow scene like that on the guide book. In addition to these things, there is another fun thing when you travel in February. Winter festivals are held in various parts of Japan. On this page, I will introduce mainly the representative winter festival. Information of Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido in February If you plan on going to Tokyo, Osaka or Hokkaido in February, please click the image of the slider below and go to see more information. Representative winter festival held every February Well then, I will introduce the representative winter festivals I would like to recommend to you. Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival First of all, let me introduce it from the famous festival held every year in Yokote, Akita Prefecture in northern Honshu. In mid-February every year, locals hold the "Yokote Kanakurasa Festival" as seen in the top photo. "Kamakura" is a small dome made of snow. Since there are a lot of snow every year in Yokote City, people harden the snow and cut through it to make "Kamakura". During this festival period, in Yokote City, "Kamakura" with a height of 3 meters or so is made in total of 100 pieces. As can be seen in the picture below, small "Kamakura" are also made a lot. In Kamakura local people welcome you ...
When traveling Japan in winter, what kind of clothes should you wear? If you do not experience a cold winter in your home country, you may wonder what you should wear. On this page, I will introduce you helpful information about clothes when you travel in Japan in winter. I also prepared photographs of winter clothes below. If you are going to Hokkaido, please refer to the following article. You better wear a coat or jumper in winter In general, Japanese living in Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku are wearing coats or jumpers from December until late February. Meanwhile, when we are in a warm building, we take off our coat and are wearing a jacket such as a sweater on our shirt. Japanese living in Hokkaido will wear coats or jumpers by November. In December they are wearing a slightly thicker coat than Japanese people like Honshu. When it is cold, such as in the evening, they wear a woolen cap or wear gloves to keep it cold. On the other hand, in Okinawa, there are a lot of people who do not wear coats even in winter. Every year, the Japanese archipelago will be quite similar in temperature everywhere (hot everywhere!), But in winter the temperature will vary considerably depending on the location. In winter, I recommend that you prepare the most suitable clothes according to the place you go. Examples of clothes to wear in Japanese winter Below are the photographs of winter in Japan. I guess these are mainly photographs taken in Honshu, ...
From here on, I will introduce the tourist spots you would like to recommend when traveling Japan in winter. I added a lot of videos and images on this page, so if you do not mind, please look at them and enjoy the atmosphere of winter in Japan.
Snowy mountain: Experience skiing and snow boating
First of all as a winter destination, I recommend mountain areas such as Hokkaido, Tohoku region, and Chubu region.
For example, it is as follows.
· Niseko (Hokkaido)
· Tomamu (North Sea layer)
· Zao (Yamagata prefecture, Miyagi prefecture)
· Hakuba (Nagano Prefecture)
· Tsugaike Plateau (Nagano Prefecture)
· Kusatsu Onsen (Nagano Prefecture)
· Naeba (Niigata Prefecture)
These spots have a large ski resort. So you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding. There are also courses for beginners, so even those who have never skied or snowboarded can enjoy it. Skis and ski clothes can be rented.
There are gondolas and lift in the ski resorts, you can easily go to the top of the snowy mountains. The snowy landscape that you can see from the top is really amazing.
When it is sunny and the temperature is very low, if you're lucky you can see the diamond dust as in the first video above. Water vapor in the air turns into ice crystals and it looks shiny.
The second video was taken at the ski resort of Hakuba (Nagano Prefecture). Hakuba is an attractive ski resort comparable to Niseko in Hokkaido.
At Zao etc. in the Tohoku region, you can see a tremendous snow scene like the one introduced In the first picture above.
These large ski resorts also have places where children can play snow and warp.
Because Kusatsu Onsen and Naeba are all representative hot springs in Japan, you can also experience hot springs. Regarding hot springs, I will describe it later.
If you want to experience snowy areas more easily, I recommend Karuizawa (Nagano Prefecture). From Tokyo to Karuizawa is about 1 hour by Hokuriku Shinkansen. Karuizawa is a luxury resort area representative of Japan.
In Karuizawa there is not much snow, but there are a ski resort using artificial snow. There are also one of Japan's leading outlet mall and luxury spa hotels, so Your family will be pleased as well
Conversely, if you want to climb a real snowy mountain, the mountain area around Matsumoto city in Nagano prefecture is recommended. The second picture above was taken at the snowy mountain near Matsumoto. However, even veteran climbers in Japan may be distressed. It might be difficult if you are not a person accustomed to climbing a snowy mountain.
Large cities in Hokkaido and Tohoku : Enjoy snow festivals and more!
If you feel that it is a bit hard to go to ski resorts, I recommend you to visit the big cities of Hokkaido.
I also recommend the big cities of the Tohoku region, and some Central regions (Nagano prefecture, Niigata prefecture, Ishikawa prefecture, etc.) .
If you are a person who has not seen much snow, it may be fun just walking in the cities. In winter, sushi and crab dishes are very tasty, so gourmets can taste a very happy mood.
In many of these large cities, festivals are often held in winter. If you go there at that time, you will be able to enjoy the world of fantastic snow and ice.
Especially recommended cities are as follows.
· Sapporo (Hokkaido)
· Asahikawa (Hokkaido)
· Yokote (Akita Prefecture)
However, there are many tourists everywhere in the festival period, you may not be able to book the hotel. You should prepare for quite a while and make a reservation earlier.
Traditional Japanese snow scenery: Shirakawago etc.
In winter, traveling to visit the village of Japan's heavy snowy zone is also very popular. For example, a large number of tourists are pushing Shirakawago of Gifu prefecture appearing in the above video.
People living in the heavy snow area have made various efforts such as making the roof diagonal and making snow hard to pile up, and have overcome the harsh winter. When you actually visit in winter, you can see such traditional Japanese living.
Even in big cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, snow falls occasionally. In those big cities, if snow falls even a bit, transportation will be delayed and confusion will arise.
However, as snow falls on sightseeing spots, you can enjoy beautiful scenery different from usual. The pictures below are taken of Kifune shrine (Kyoto) and Kinkakuji (Kyoto). You can not come across these snow scenes easily.
If you were traveling in Kyoto and it snows, you are very lucky. I would recommend going to see it early in the morning when snow falls in the night.
If you want to experience a really cold winter, it is also advisable to visit ice floes in northern Hokkaido (Abashiri, Monbetsu, Shiretoko Urotro Rausu).
From the beginning of February to around the middle of March, you can see ice drift from Siberia on the coast of northern Hokkaido every year.
What I would like to recommend most is to take a dedicated sightseeing boat and sightsee ice.
In Abashiri etc., you can also look down on drift ice from the hill. The sea covered with drift ice, the waves disappeared, it is very quiet. A majestic, fantastic scenery will fascinate you.
However, the temperature drops to around freezing point 20 degrees so it is very cold. Especially when the wind is strong, you can experience a very cold winter as you wish! Please make sure to wear a lot of clothes!
Experience Onsen (Hot Spring) in the world of snow
If you are going to travel Japan in winter, I also recommend that you experience hot springs. Your body will probably get very cold in the cold outdoors. The hot springs will warm your body.
On the Japanese archipelago, hot springs are gushing from here and there. Go to the famous hot spring resort and stay in a hotel or traditional Japanese accommodation (inn) and enjoy the hot spring.
In snowy tourist areas in Hokkaido and the Tohoku region, you can also enter the hot spring while watching the snow. I certainly think it will be a wonderful memory.
In Nagano prefecture and Hokkaido, you can see wild monkeys are in the outdoor hot spring in winter.
The monkeys really enter the onsen feeling comfortably. Even if you take pictures, do not mind, please visit nearby.
Experience the winter life in Japan
If you visit the northern part of Japan in winter, please observe how the Japanese live with snow.
In the rural areas, when the snow piles up, people rise up to the roof and remove snow. I call this "a snowfall."
In large cities such as Sapporo, we have a large aisle in the basement so that even if snow falls it will not have a big impact on our lives.
Children in Japan play with snow when it snows. I also want you to look at the smiling appearance of children.
I appreciate you reading to the end.
Bon KUROSAWA I have long worked as a senior editor for Nihon Keizai Shimbun (NIKKEI) and currently work as an independent web writer. At NIKKEI, I was the editor-in-chief of the media on Japanese culture. Let me introduce a lot of fun and interesting things about Japan. Please refer to this article for more details.