This Japan Winter Travel Guide introduces you through fun Japanese winter. Lovely and wintery Christmas lights, New Year’s events and hot springs. All of these things are special to winter, aren’t they?

Winter, especially new year’s holiday season is one of the busiest seasons to travel in Japan. People spend their new year’s season in Japan. Japanese winter is from December to February. Many events cheer up the mood in Japan. Some red leaves remain in Early December, but when Christmas rolls around, Christmas illuminations get lit up and it gets really wintery. People go out to see large scale illuminations in Tokyo and many other places. Japanese Christmas is celebrated, mainly Christmas eve, by many people. The classic way to spend around that time of year is to have dinner or attend an event.

Especially in this cold weather, people go to onsen (Japanese hot spring) for a vacation. Onsen and ryokan (traditional hotel) is one of the tourist attractions, exclusive in Japan and the quality of them is marvelous. If you are visiting japan in the winter, you should stay in ryokan for once. People spend in so many different ways on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Some spend time at their home, relaxing, or go for a countdown event. After the arrival of New Year’s Day, almost every department store and apparel shop start “new year’s sale”. You should check the special deal, especially if you are into shopping.

The initial three days of a new year, Japanese go to a shrine and pray. This practice is called “Hatsumode”, meaning “the first pray”. Almost few million people visit some of the famous shrines in these three days.

Travel Tips for Winter in Japan

It snows sometimes in Japan. Your train may be gets affected by it, so you should be careful when it’s been snowing or snowed. Also, event or restaurant reservation schedules get tighter than ever around Christmas, so be hurry. Ski ground that has a high-quality powder snow which would be world’s top class is located in Niseko, Hokkaido or Hakuba, Nagano. There are some ski resorts where it takes only an hour to get there from Tokyo, which can be a great one-day trip.

Just note that when it gets REALLY cold, the temperature gets under 0℃/32℉. If you are not used to such cold weather, you could easily get a coat or an outer wear at affordable clothing stores, so it should not be an issue.

Here, we have the average temperature in Tokyo in these three years. Please refer this when you are considering what to wear.

Average Temperature in Tokyo

December: 8℃/46.4℉

January: 5℃/41℉

February: 6℃/42.8℉

Let’s go out and experience the breathtaking Japanese winter trip!

THINGS TO DO

Winter in Japan: 10 Best Things to Do in 2023-2024

SKI

Best Ski Resorts in Japan
5 Best Ski Resorts near Tokyo 2023-2024
5 Best Hokkaido Ski Resorts in 2023-2024
5 Best Ski Resorts near Osaka 2023-2024
Mt.Fuji Ski Resorts: 3 Best Ski Resorts near Mt.Fuji 2023-2024

SNOW FESTIVALS

7 Best Snow Festivals in Japan 2024
6 Best Hokkaido Snow Festivals 2024
Guide to Sapporo Snow Festival 2024
Tsunan Snow Festival in Niigata
Zao Onsen Ski Resort and Juhyo Light Up 2024

WINTER LIGHTS

Best Winter Illuminations in Japan: Japan Illumination Map 2023-2024
Tokyo Winter Illumination Guide 2023-2024
Best Winter Illuminations in Western Japan 2023–2024
Best Winter Illuminations in Hokkaido 2023–2024
Best Winter Illuminations near Tokyo 2023-2024

EVENTS/ATTRACTIONS

Best Christmas Markets in Tokyo 2023
Best New Year’s Eve Countdown Events in Japan 2023–2024
Best Onsen in Japan
10 Best Temples and Shrines for the First Visit of the Year (Hatsumode) in Japan
5 Best Ice Skating Spots in Tokyo 2023-2024
Plum Blossoms in Japan: Best Places to See 2024
Best Early Blooming Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan 2024
Hokkaido: Best Things to Do in Winter
Jigokudani Monkey Park: Meet Snow Monkeys

TRAVELLING IN WINTER

What to Wear in Japan in Winter: December, January and February
Winter Holidays in Japan: Christmas and New Year Season
6 Tips to Survive Winter in Japan
14 Days Winter Itinerary in Japan for Skiing
Top 10 Things to Do in Japan in December
Top 10 Things to Do in Japan in January
Top 10 Things to Do in Japan in February

LATEST INFORMATION

10 Best Things to Do in Osaka in February
10 Best Things to Do in Osaka in January
Japanese Fortune-Telling: 2024 Horoscope and Key Events in January
Starbucks Japan 2024 New Year Tumblers and Mugs
New Year’s Eve in Tokyo: Best Countdown Events in Tokyo 2023–2024
SPY×FAMILY Waku Waku Park Exhibition 2023-2024
Best Strawberry Buffets in Tokyo 2024
AZABUDAI HILLS CHRISTMAS MARKET 2023
Tully’s Coffee x Harry Potter Collaboration Winter 2023
Best Christmas Dessert Buffets in Tokyo 2023
Art Aquarium Museum Ginza Christmas 2023
Harry Potter Studio Tour Tokyo Christmas 2023
Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2023 Disney DREAMS & WISHES
Okinawa Southeast Botanical Gardens Illumination 2023–2024
Universal Studios Japan Countdown Party 2024

Other seasons

Spring

Spring

Summer

Summer

Autumn

Autumn