Winter in Japan : 10 Best Things to Do in 2019-2020
top things to do & places to visit in Japan 2019-2020 winter
A large number of tourists visit Japan from December to March for winter 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!
2. Open-Air Onsen
Onsen is 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.
▼MORE ONSEN INFO▼
3. Snow Festivals
-Sapporo Snow Festival
The greatest winter festival in Japan, Sapporo Snow Festival is scheduled to be held from 31 January to 11 February in 2020. 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.
▼MORE SNOW FESTIVALS IN JAPAN▼
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!
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 12th January 2020. Sumo is one of most iconic and traditional things in Japan, and becoming more popular among foreign visitors.
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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!
▼ CRAB ALL YOU CAN EAT▼
For more exciting things to see in Japan during winter, please check out links below!
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