Escape the busy tourist season. Don't let the cold weather fool you in as you're planning when to travel to Japan. Traveling to Japan during the winter season can be exciting, adventurous, and also magical.
Winter season in Japan generally falls during December and February, especially in most parts of the main island of Japan. Some exceptions are made for regions in the northern island of Hokkaido where winter is longer.
After enjoying Japan's various winter attractions, come discover an oasis of serenity by relaxing in a natural hot spring at the end of your day.
Explore the outdoors by visiting the ski resorts all over Japan. Actually there are currently approximately 500 ski resorts from Hokkaido to Kyushu, including Niseko and Hakuba.
Niseko in Hokkaido is one of the most popular travel destination during the winter months for winter activities. Travelers can either take a bus directly from Sapporo Chitose airport or take both the local bus and train if traveling from Sapporo City. The resort is comprised of 4 different resorts, offering some of the best skiing and snowboarding trails. Visitors may also catch Santa enjoying a run down the slopes before he starts his annual trip around the globe on Christmas Eve.
Have you've ever experienced going to an onsen? Actually, there are over 3000 hot springs in Japan.
Also, did you knows that humans aren't the only ones that enjoy the warm onsens in Japan? Snow monkeys, or Japanese Macaque, also enjoy the natural hot springs during the winter season.
Don't end your travel plans to Japan without an itinerary to visit an onsen, or hot spring, in some of the beautiful countryside of Japan. How about Yufuin or Beppu Onsen in Oita Prefecture or Ginzan Onsen in Obanazawa, Yamagata Prefecture? If you're planning a trip around Tokyo , don't worry as there are plenty of famous hot springs in the Kanto region, including Kusatsu and Ikaho Onsen in Gunma Prefecture.
Need reasons to travel to Hokkaido during the winter season? Besides the delicious bowl of miso ramen, fresh seafood, and tour to the local brewery, we would like to highlight two "must-see" festivals in particular.
1.The 70th Sapporo Snow Festival (February 4-11, 2019)- come see one of the largest snow and ice sculptures lined up along the streets of Sapporo. The festival attracts about two million visitors to the venue each year. Enjoy over 250 snow and ice sculptures and other activities at 3 different sites: Along the Odori Park, a 1.5 km stretch of downtown Sapporo; Susukino Site, or Suskino Ice World; Tsudome Site, hosting various winter activities, including a large snow slide and snow rafting.
2.Otaru Snow Light Path Festival (February 8-17, 2019)- enjoy the peaceful glow of the candlelights and snow sculptures placed along the beautifully preserved old warehouses by the Otaru canal. Otaru is a port city located approximately 30 minutes by train from Sapporo and is well-known for their glassworks and sake and whisky distilleries. Discover the charms of this snow-covered winter wonderland by planning a guided tour on a rickshaw.