Japan is the winter destination for you who are currently looking for a country in Asia to where you will spend your winter holiday? Well, in Europe most of the winter holiday is just about to end but not in Japan because winter in Japan is started in the late of December, so January is actually the peak of winter in Japan which will end in the middle of February. That’s why January is month full of winter festival and the best month to experience the truly and magical winter.
Where to Go and What to Do
It is kind of difficult to answer because there’s so much to do and places to visit but so little time.
- Japan in winter is offering you a very thick snow and just perfect for you who love ski or snowboarding, Hokkaido is where you should go for this experience.-
- You want a peaceful night like you are in fairy tale, just stay at least one night in one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shirakawago, in a farmhouse which is especially design like two hands joined in prayer.
- Visiting onsen is a must if you’re in Japan during winter. Onsen is hot-spring where you could enjoy the beauty of winter surrounding you while you are bathing in hot-spring water, just like heaven. Go to Hokane in southwest of Tokyo to reach this piece of heaven.
- Shopping is supposed to be on your ‘to do’ list. Where you should go is depending on your budget. If you are coming with ‘shopping budget’ and then places like Omotesando in Harajuku street, Ginza and Rappongi are highly recommended but for you who don’t have specific shopping budget, places like Takeshita Dori and Nakasime Dori are for you where you could find high quality second hand stuffs.
What to Eat
Winter in Japan means you have a very long list of food to eat but one you’re not supposed to miss is nabe or traditional Japanese food served in hot pot. During winter usually Japanese people will enjoy nabe in group while the food is cooked with gas burner in front of them. Foods like Sukiyaki, Youdofu, Ankake Udon, Oden and Ramen are some choices of food you should try during your winter in Japan.
Which Festival to Attend
Winter also the festival time in Japan. There are a lot of festivals are held for the sake of the winter destination and some of those have been done since the ancient time like Sapporo Snow Festival where you could enjoy a spectacular illumination with more than 200 figurines made from ice available for you to enjoy. For an experience like you are entering a different dimension, visit Yokote Kamamura Festival or for more extreme experience don’t miss Snow Monster Zao Mountain Festival. Well, there is no real monster there but from the height, pine trees covered by snow will look like big giant monsters or juhyo.
It is actually an easy question, though winter in Japan is relatively short but there are a lot of things to do, places to visit or festival to attend and don’t forget a lot of traditional Japanese’s cuisine that will make the freezing winter worth it.
More to remember, winter in Japan could be really extreme, so you should aware that perhaps arranging your itinerary in flexible schedule is important to do because surely you cannot just stay in the guest house and waste your time watching TV which uses language that you don’t understand just because you cannot go skiing, instead, use the time to hunt for winter food or shopping in Harajuku street. Furthermore, winter in Japan could be really dry, making sure you bring all stuffs required and vitamin bottle so you could survive the cold.