Christmas is just around the corner, and other than our local celebrations, a trip to another country would also be great! We checked out places in Japan to tour during the holiday season. Experience snow, cold temperatures, delicious food, and a fantastic view! You can check out some foods best eaten during winter here.
What do the Japanese do during the winter holidays? As we live in the tropics, we don’t experience snow and negative temperatures in the negatives that happen in a temperate country like Japan. Let’s see what they often do during this season. Christmas, for the Japanese, is a season for friends and couples, while it is for families to bond on New Year. Christmas eve has the same feels as Valentine’s Day in Japan, the most romantic time of the year. If you walk around the streets on Christmas eve, you will most likely see couples everywhere.
- Sapporo Snow Festival – This festival began in the 1950s when local students created snow sculptures in Odori Park. The first time they celebrated it, there were only snow sculpture exhibitions, snowball fights, and a carnival.
- Disney – This year will be the first “Disney Christmas” since the pandemic. It will have a giant Christmas tree, parades, a fireworks display, good food, and merchandise.
- Ginzan Onsen – The picturesque town was once a silver mine and turned into an onsen resort town with plentiful ryokans or traditional Japanese inns.
- Jigokudani Monkey Park – This park has an outdoor onsen where you can bathe. But don’t get surprised once a monkey swims beside you! The natural hot spring often attracts monkeys during winter to warm themselves.
- Kifune Shrine – During winter, as the snow falls, the shrine looks different and turns into a winter wonderland. Visitors often come to the shrine to offer prayers and admire the scenery.
- Nabana no Sato – This botanical garden/theme park showcases a variety of flowers and vegetation with decorative illustrations at night.
- Kamakura Snow White Village – Another illumination in Tochigi Prefecture, hundreds of Kamakura or a small snow house with lightened candles at night, turning the magical village into a winter wonderland.
- Misotsuchi Icicles – The naturally made icicles reach 10 meters or more. A light-up of the icicles also happens from January to February.
- Shirakawa-go – This beautifully preserved village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with various gassho-zukuri farmhouses. They have converted the farmhouses into hotels, restaurants, and museums.
With various places to visit in Japan, where will you go? What catches your eye the most? We think seeing the Kamakura Snow White Village, trying out skiing, and visiting Disney will be on our Christmas travel list! What about you? Let us know which places you would want to see!