Winter in Japan

Winter in Japan Mount Fuji
December to February brings on the winter season in Japan. From skiing to snow sculpture building, Japan has a ton of winter activities to enjoy (also check out our post on what to do in Japan in spring).

Here’s our rundown on things to do in Japan in winter and some outstanding winter photographs from Flickr.


In comparison to Canada, winters in Japan are mostly mild with little snow until you head up north.

Temperatures average between -1 C (30F) in the north to 19 C (66F) in the south. Tokyo hovers in the 2 C (34F) – 10 C (50F) range.

Although you may not need a winter jacket, you’ll want to pack some warm sweaters as weather can be crisp, cold and wet.


There is plenty to do in Japan during the winter season as you’re never too far away from the snow.

Here are some of the top winter activities:


Ski Japan

Japan has plenty of world-class skiing opportunities. And if you think Canada’s slopes had a lot of Australians, just wait till you ski Japan =)

For recommendations on some of the top ski spots, check out this Australian news website’s article Japan’s Best Ski Resorts.

Hot Springs

Winter Japan Onsen

Nothing take the edge off winter like taking a soak in one of Japan’s many natural hot springs.

For a complete list of the best hot springs check out our articles on the Top 5 Ryokan With Private & Public Onsen.

Winter Festivals

Japan Sapporo Snow Festival

If you enjoy seeing the amazing art that can be made out of ice and snow, you won’t want to miss the Sounkyo Ice Festival.

From ice sculpture to frozen water falls lit in various colors, there is plenty to see in this festival that runs from the end of January through to March.

The small town of Sounkyo can be found in Hokkaido.

Also, be sure to head over to Sapporo (also in Hokkaido) to see the famous 7-day Sapporo Snow Festival. Highlights include huge snow and ice statues and figurines. The festival starts in February. This years (2011) dates are February 7 – 13.

Winter Photos from around Japan

And here are a few excellent photos from Flickr to get you excited about winter in Japan:

Japan Winter

Japan Winter

Japan Winter

Japan Winter

Japan Winter

Japan Winter

Japan Winter

5 Responses to “Winter in Japan”

  1. RSA Online  on January 7th, 2011

    Oh I’d forgotten how pretty Japan was in the winter (it’s been about 10 years!) Excellent photo selection :)

  2. Travis  on January 7th, 2011

    Thanks! :)

  3. Tweets that mention Winter in Japan | i heart japan - Travel tips and info about Japan --  on January 10th, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrea, RadixExtreme (World). RadixExtreme (World) said: Japan News: Winter in Japan: December to February brings on the winter season in Japan. From skiing to sn… […]

  4. LarasIndonesia  on May 31st, 2012

    Waaaw…. a wonderful Japan, wanna go there!

  5. cheng johjima  on September 5th, 2012

    it’s a big WOW!AMAZING WINTER in JAPAN….’ wish i could go again & experience 4 seasons there…i love every minute of my stay there,it’s priceless!

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