best things to do japan winter

Top 10 Places in Japan to Visit During the Winter

Looking to travel to Japan this winter? Japan is a country of contrasts, and nowhere is this more evident than in the winter months.

On the one hand, December and January are some of the coldest months of the year, with temperatures regularly dipping below freezing.

However, on the other hand, this is also the time when Japan comes alive with festive lights and decorations.

Against a backdrop of sparkling snow, Japanese cities are transformed into fairy-tale wonderlands. For visitors from warmer climates, taking a winter trip to Japan can be a truly magical experience.

From picturesque scenery to unique winter festivals, there’s plenty to see and do in Japan during the colder months.

So Bundy up and get ready for an unforgettable adventure! Here are some of the best places to visit during the season!

1.  Sapporo Snow Festival

The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan’s most popular winter events. Held annually in early February, the festival features hundreds of life-size snow and ice sculptures.

Visitors can also enjoy a variety of snow-related activities, such as sledding, snowball fights, and even ice sculpting.

japan in winter sapporo winter snow festival

2. Nagano Winter Festival

The Nagano Winter Festival is held every year in February. The festival features a wide variety of events and activities, such as ice sculpting, snowshoeing, and winter sports.

Visitors can also enjoy traditional Japanese performances, such as taiko drumming and kabuki theater.

3.  Onsens

Onsens are a quintessential part of the Japanese winter experience. These traditional baths are typically located in scenic areas, such as forests or near hot springs.

Soaking in an onsen is said to have a variety of health benefits, and it’s also a great way to relax after a day of exploring in the cold weather.

best hot springs in the world takaragawa onsen japan

4.  Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort is a great place to visit year-round, but it takes on a special kind of magic during the winter months.

The park is decorated with festive lights and decorations, and visitors can enjoy special holiday-themed events and shows.

From mid-November to early January, Tokyo Disney Resort is the perfect place to get your fill of holiday cheer.

japan in winter disney tokyo

5.  Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival

Held annually in early February, the Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival features hundreds of kamakura, or snow huts.

These small huts are traditionally used as overnight shelters by hunters and hikers, but during the festival they’re transformed into works of art.

Visitors can stroll through the kamakura, admiring the intricate designs and enjoying the festive atmosphere.

japan in winter Yokote festival
The ‘snow huts’ at the Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival

6.  Nara Winter Festivals

The Nara Winter Festivals are a series of events held throughout February in Nara City. The festivals feature a variety of traditional and modern activities, such as light shows, parades, and performances.

One of the highlights is the Todai-ji temple, which is illuminated by more than two thousand lanterns during the festival.

7.  Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park is one of Japan’s most popular tourist attractions. Located in the Nagano prefecture, the park is home to a troop of wild Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys.

These adorable creatures can often be seen soaking in the park’s hot springs, making for a truly unique winter experience.

japan in winter snow monkeys

8.  Kitain Temple

Kitain Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the city of Kawagoe. The temple is known for its stunning autumn leaves, but it also boasts a beautiful winter illumination display.

From mid-November to early February, the temple grounds are illuminated by more than two thousand lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere.

japan in winter Kawagoe temple festival

9. Ski resorts

With some of the best skiing in Asia, Japan is a top destination for powder hounds from all over the world. The country is home to dozens of ski resorts, many of which are located in close proximity to major cities.

This makes it easy to hit the slopes for a day or two before heading back into town for some shopping and sightseeing.

japan in winter skiing

10.  Hakone Snow Wall

The Hakone Snow Wall is a natural phenomenon that occurs every winter in the Hakone region of Japan. The wall is formed by the accumulation of snow on the side of a mountain, and it can reach up to 20 meters in height.

Visitors can hike to the wall for a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains and valley.

japan in winter hakone snow wall

If you’re looking for an amazing winter vacation destination, look no further than Japan.

With its world-famous hot springs and array of delicious winter dishes,such as miso soup and yakitori chicken skewers, Japan is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the snow.

So come and visit Japan in winter – we promise you won’t be disappointed!

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