Winter in Japan: 10 Best Things to Do in 2020-2021
Top Things to Do in Japan in Winter
Are you planning to visit Japan in winter?? During winter in Japan, there are many things that you can only experience in this time of the year. From winter illuminations to bathing monkeys, here are the best places to visit and things to do in Japan in winter!
A large number of tourists visit Japan during the winter months (from December to March) for snow activities, mainly ski and snowboard. The most popular area is Hokkaido as there are several great ski resorts with fine quality powder snow. Also there are some ski resorts where you can easily access from Tokyo even for a day trip! Check the listed links below for more great ski resorts in Japan!
From north to south, there are numbers of Onsen resorts across the country. Onsen (hot spring) is a popular tourist attraction through the year, yet it feels much better when it’s cold, and even better outdoor. During winter, Onsen in northern area of Japan is really special as surrounding area is covered in snow and you can enjoy really beautiful scenery while bathing. Also enjoy staying at traditional Ryokan inn and hot Japanese dishes.
3. Snow Festivals
Various snow festivals are held in Japan during winter, especially in northern part of the country. From artistic snow/ice sculptures to natural phenomena such as snow monsters and icicles, don’t miss the most spectacular winter scenery in Japan! Here are some of the most popular snow festivals held in Japan this year!
-Sapporo Snow Festival <<CANCELLED>>
The greatest winter festival in Japan, Sapporo Snow Festival is scheduled to be held from 31 January to 11 February in 2021. The event features spectacular snow and ice sculptures, and attracts over 2 million visitors.
Another spectacular winter event, featuring the winter tradition of northern part of Japan, Kamakura (snow huts). Two most spectacular Kamakura Festivals in Japan : Yokote Kamakura Festival and Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival are both held annually featuring numbers of Kamakura statues and lanterns.
4. Winter Illumination
Winter illumination is the most popular attraction during winter, and light-up events are held across the country. Some events end after Christmas but, most of them continue through the whole winter, so it’s still not too late for winter illumination viewings.
5. Ice Skating
No time to go for skiing? You can still enjoy a winter activity in town! Tokyo has several outdoor ice skating rinks which open during winter in central areas. Especially recommended for families and couples!
MORE INFO ▶ 5 Best Ice Skating Spots in Tokyo
6. Jigokudani Monkey Park
One of most unique and famous winter sights of Japan, bathing snow monkeys can be found at Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano Prefecture. The monkeys inhabit in this park and can be seen all year round, but most people visit there during winter when snow covers the sites.
7. Shirakawago Village
Shirakawago is a beautiful traditional village which is on UNESCO World Heritage list. It’s recommended to visit all year round and the village displays gorgeous view on each season, but I must say that winter time is especially spectacular as the village is covered in white snow, and light-up events are held occasionally during winter time.
8. Sumo January Grand Tournament
The new year tournament of Sumo begun at the capital city, Tokyo, and it lasts for 2 weeks from 10th January 2021. Sumo is one of most iconic and traditional things in Japan, and becoming more popular among foreign visitors.
CHECK TICKETS AVAILABILITY ▶
Get Tickets for the Sumo Wrestling Tournament in Tokyo
9. Early Viewing of Cherry Blossoms
Don’t wait till spring to see cherry blossoms! First cherry blossoms of the year can be seen at Kawazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture in early February as the city is known for early blooming cherry trees, Kawazu Sakura. Also these cherry trees bloom longer than other cherry trees and lasts for about a month!
10. Eat Crab
There are some seasonal dishes recommended to eat during winter such as hot pot dish, mochi (rice cake), etc, and crab is one of them. Of course, the best place to eat crab is Hokkaido, but there are also great places in Tokyo, too including crab all-you-can-eat. Check the link below for recommended crab restaurants!
Have you enjoyed the list?? If you are looking for travel info for different seasons in Japan, please check out listed articles, below!
For more exciting things to see in Japan during winter, please check out links below!
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