Japan has been a country that experiences all four seasons in full force, and winter is no exception. Check out our article to see the top 5 winter destinations of Japan.
Japan is an interesting island nation that has the privilege to have all four seasons happen in full force. The summers are hot and humid, the falls are cool and experience beautiful changes of color, and spring is famous for the beautiful sakura cherry blossoms. The winter is also strong with many areas experiencing full force winter snow and chilling temperatures. Winter is a great time to visit the country as many travelers tend to steer clear of traveling during this time. Some areas near the southern part of the island experience lighter winters and have mild or cool days, while the northern parts become winter paradises that see meters upon meters of snow. Some of the towns and cities in Japan become winter hot spots and have many interesting things to see and do. We will look at the top 5 places to visit when you visit Japan during wintertime.
One of the best places to experience winter in Japan is Hokkaido. It’s one of the biggest cities in the north and it sees many different events during the winter. One of the biggest attractions is the Abashiri ice drift which allows visitors to ride on the ice-breaking ships. You can see firsthand how the ship moves through the field of ice, slowly breaking it apart to allow for better sailing. It is said that it is like seeing arctic ice being broken by large ships. The tour is only open for a short time, but it has garnered attention over the years. Another big event is the Sapporo Snow Festival. The entire city joins in the festival and it truly transforms the way the city looks. You can enjoy ice sculptures scattered about the city and some fireworks display draws over 2 million people every year. It is constantly gaining in popularity so it would be best to reserve your hotels early. The area is known for its great food, and more specifically its seafood dishes.
The Hokkaido take on classics like ramen, rice bowls, and onigiri will appease many seafood lovers’ tastebuds. There are ski resorts and onsen littered about the prefecture and the snow wall is another sight that you can’t experience in many other places. The winter season officially starts at the beginning of December and ends in mid-March so you have plenty of time to plan a full winter vacation.
The prefecture of Gifu is a landlocked area that covers a large part of Honshu. One of the largest attractions in the area is fishing and it has the geographic areas to ensure you have the best experience. It has some of the best old towns and villages in Japan, and they come alive during the winter months. Many of these villages are tucked away in the mountains and experience hard winters. They are set against the natural beauty of the mountains and looks stunning when they become covered with snow. Some of the more notable towns are Takayama, Shirakawago, Gokayama, and Furukawa. Shirakawa is well-known for being one of the most snowed in areas of Japan. There is a lot of untouched nature in the area and houses of the area have special building designs to them. You can get a great sense of traditional Japan when you go there. With all of the natural beauty you can see and experience you may wonder what is the best way to see it all. The Shinhotaka Ropeway is a great way to see the vast amount of natural beauty during the wintertime. You can see the Okuhide Mountains and the surrounding areas. Other villages have the same kind of feeling and appeal, and the regional foods and dishes keep your body warm in the cold.
Nagano is another landlocked prefecture That is in the center of the main island of Japan. The capital city Nagano City was home to the 1998 Winter Games. Nagano is known as a prefecture that has many winter destinations to visit. Due to its location, Nagano is one of the more popular destinations to visit in Japan. The most popular attraction is the Yamanouchi hot springs which showcase Snow Monkeys who bathe in the natural hot springs during the winter. The Jugokudani Monkey Park offers visitors the unique experience of seeing wild monkeys enjoying bathing in the natural springs. and the nearby villages and towns have onsens, or bathing facilities, that thrive from the natural hot springs. The mountains of the prefecture have offered some of the best ski areas in the country. One place that is the most popular is Hakuba. It is easy to reach from many places and it contains ten major ski resorts. They have banded together to create a Hakuba Valley Ticket that allows you to use the ticket at any of the ski lodges. They have different tickets that be extended to allow you to visit more lodges over a longer period. You can visit old temples and towns and enjoy traditional Japanese cuisines as well.
Set I Kansai, Hyogo is bordered by the Seto Inland Sea and the Sea of Japan. It can become a winter wonderland that can be great for anyone looking for a nice winter getaway. The city of Kobe is one of the biggest places to experience winter illumination during the winter months. They have a large array of lights and projection shows that will be great for young and old alike. The biggest celebration of the wintertime there is the Kobe Luminaire. This event is meant to commemorate the Great Hanshin Earthquake. The area was without electricity for a long period and they light up the area as much as possible to show that there is a sense of hope and renewal.
Another popular place to visit there in the Takeda Castle Ruins. All that remains of the old Japanese castle is its foundations, and the park around it has been a popular place for visitors. It said that in the morning that the remains look to be floating on the clouds. The area is known for its hot springs as well, and the most well-known is the Kinosake Hotsprings. The old Japanese town has many onsen and is stationed near the Sea of Japan. Many of the bathhouses are still in their original spots and have served to keep the popularity of the area high. The area becomes chilly thanks to the sea and it has prompted the area to create many winter dishes. You can enjoy traditional and modern Japanese cultures.
It may not seem like much of a winter destination in terms of the amount of snow, but the largest city in Japan has many attractions to enjoy. One of the best features of the city is the transportation. Even when the temperature drops to freezing you can use public transport to its fullest efficacy. The most prominent thing to enjoy in the city is that illuminations. Each area of the city has some kind of illumination that is available to the public. Some are presented in parks and others are strewn across the buildings. Even the Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower become illuminated in seasonal colors. The theme parks are especially bright and one of the best lit places is Yomiuriland. It has an illumination park and the entire park has different light themes. Disneyland and Disney Sea have some of the most entertaining light shows in the country, too. The onsen becomes busier and there are more options for you to enjoy Japanese bathhouses. You can enjoy traditional Japanese winter festivals and many world versions of the holiday. Tokyo has a large mix of cultures and it is easy to find groups to enjoy your home countries traditions.
These areas should be on any travelers list when they want to experience Japan in Winter. You can be guaranteed to enjoy a slower-paced experience with a reduction of tourists. It can be a wonderful time to get out of your home and enjoy the many wonderful sights, tastes, and sounds of the Japanese winter.