10 Best Places to Visit in Japan in Winter 2019-2020

Most Beautiful Places in Japan in Winter 2019-2020

The most beautiful places in Japan in winter

Japan has beautiful winter! From snow events to winter illuminations, I have picked some of the most spectacular winter scenery in Japan which you probably want to visit once in your lifetime! Check out 10 best places to visit in Japan 2019-2020 and find out why you should visit Japan in winter!!

1. Abashiri Drift Ice

Winter phenomena: Drift Ice can be seen in Hokkaido

Several kinds of spectacular winter phenomena and scenery can be captured in Hokkaido during winter, and the drift ice is one of them. The Sea of Okhotsk along Abashiri City, Hokkaido is known as the southernmost point see drifting sea ice just like in the Arctic.

2. Sapporo Snow Festival

Sapporo Snow Festival at night

Winter in Hokkaido is really cold, yet it’s definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. The world’s famous Sapporo Snow Festival takes place in the capital city, Sapporo for 2 weeks and turns the whole city into the dreamy winter wonderland.


3. Kamakura Festival

The row of small Kamakura in Yunishigawa Onsen

Not only Sapporo Snow Festival, but several snow events are held in the northern park of Japan during winter. Kamakura is one of the traditional winter items in Japan which is a snow dome in various sizes. Yunishigawa Kamakura Festivals features countless small Kamakura domes lightened up fairily during the night.


4. Ginzan Onsen

Ginzan Onsen: one of the most scenic Onsen towns in Japan

Winter is arguably the best season for Onsen (hot spring bath), and the best way to enjoy it is to visit an authentic Onsen town, preferably in snow. Ginzan Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture is one of the most historical and picturesque Onsen towns in Japan.


5. Zao

Illuminated snow monsters in Zao

Winter phenomena can be captured in Japan, not only in Hokkaido. Zao’s ice trees (Juhyo) is one of the most unique and spectacular snow arts made by nature. Hundreds of snow monsters covered the slope at Zao Ski Resort, and visitors can actually enjoy skiing and snowboarding by the trees.


6. The Icicles of Misotsuchi

The natural art in winter: icicles of Misotsuchi

Another winter phenomena in Japan, and this one is more accessible from Tokyo. The icicles of Misotsuchi is gigantic icicles created by flowing water over the cliffs upstream from the waterfall in Chichibu area in Saitama Prefecture, which is located next to Tokyo. During the peak season, the special light-up event is held and lightens up the icicles mystically.


7. Jigokudani Monkey Park

Snow monkeys bathing at Jigokudani Onsen Park

Besides Mt Fuji and Cherry Blossoms, one of the most iconic and unique scenery of Japan is Snow Monkeys. The sight of wild monkey bathing in hot bath surrounded by white snow can be captured at Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano Prefecture. The monkeys literally live around the park so you can meet them through the year, but the best season to visit is definitely winter.


8. Nabana no Sato

The light of tunnel at Nabana no Sato

Numbers of illumination events are held across the country through winter, and it’s now a top tourist attraction in Japan. One of the most spectacular and popular winter illuminations is held at Nabana no Sato in Mie Prefecture. Approx 8 million LED lights are used to create the stunning arts of lights at the vast park including the famous the “Tunnel of Lights”.


9. Shirakawago

Illuminated Shirakawago Village in snow

Shirakawago Village is a charming and rustic traditional Japanese village located in the Central Japan. The village displays the beautiful scenery in each season collaborating with the surrounding nature. In winter, the whole village is covered in white and thick snow that creates a wonderful view. The special light-up events are held several times during winter.


10. Kifune Shrine

The approach of Kifune Shrine covered by snow

Kyoto is the top tourist destination in Japan through the year, and there are hundreds of historic sites to visit. Kifune Shrine is one of the best hidden gems in Kyoto. The shrine can be enjoyed all year around but winter could be the best time to visit. The light-up event is held at night during January and February only when it snows.