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Let’s Enjoy Winter in Japan!

Magazine

UpdateNovember 28, 2018
ReleaseNovember 27, 2018

In Japan, you can enjoy various activities besides winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Why not make a special winter memory of Japan?

 

・Hokkaido

 

Asahikawa Winter Festival

February 6—11, 2019

One of the famous winter festivals is the “Asahikawa Winter Festival”! You can enjoy the world’s largest snow statues that are over 130-meters high and all kinds of activities at the festival, which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary this winter. The 100-meter-long slide is the longest in the world and it will entertain not only children but adults as well. There is also an impressive show performance combining fireworks, snow statues and lights.

 

Snow Crystal Museum

 

This is a museum where you can enjoy the world of snow and ice the whole year. After opening the museum door that looks like a castle-door, you will wander into a fairy-tale-like snowy world all surrounded with white. Inside the museum, you can enjoy the sculpted ice art figures throughout the year, and 200 snow crystal photos taken from a microscope, displayed in a motif of stained-glasses, are exhibited. You can also turn into a princess by putting on a princess dress.

 

Asahiyama Zoo, Asahikawa City

Late December—mid-March

This northernmost zoo in Japan attracts visitors from all over the world with its exhibition style that shows the natural animal life much as it is in natural habitats.

The “Penguin Walk” will be held during the snowy season. Penguins will be taking a walk in the zoo twice a day to overcome inactivity. They will be walking in a group and their adorable appearance is a must-see.

 

Tsurui-Ito Tancho Sanctuary

Nature Center Opening Period: October—March

About 200 Japanese cranes fly to Tsurui Village every year and you can see them from the nature center using telescopes, from December through February. Souvenirs are sold as well.

 

・Aomori Prefecture

Show Nebuta Lantern

December 1, 2018—March 31, 2019

The very famous summer festival in Aomori Prefecture is “Aomori Nebuta Festival.” Here you can enjoy the sight of gorgeous vivid floats called “Nebuta” made of fragile washi paper, hand-designed wire and bamboo frames. Usually, you can only see them during the summer seasons but here at “Hoshino Resorts Aomoriya” you can enjoy Nebuta made by four different Nebuta artisans even in the winter season. The 2-meter-high and 1.5-meter-wide brightly-colored floats will put on display and the contrast with the white snow scene is just fantastic.

 

・Fukushima Prefecture

Yellow Falls in Urabandai Ski Resort

 

A snowshoe trekking tour that heads out to see the Yellow Falls. The huge 10-meter-high, 8-meter-wide Yellow Falls only appears at the explosion crater of Mt. Bandai in midwinter, so it is called the “Phantom Falls.” The water contains sulfur and iron, and during the midwinter it freezes one layer after another and creates a frozen waterfall that shines in a unique golden color.

 

・Nagano Prefecture

Restaurant Kamakura Village

January 25—February 28, 2019

How about having a delicious meal in a warm kamakura (snow hut) in Nagano Prefecture? Kamakura is a large hut made from snow and you can enjoy “Noroshi Nabe,” a hot pot made with Nagano miso-based soup filled with locally produced pork meat and vegetables. It will warm you up!

 

・Yamagata Prefecture

Snow Monster Illumination

December 22, 2018—March 3, 2019

Zao is known for its juhyo (“snow monsters”), or trees that are glazed with snow and ice. At ski resorts in Zao, these snow monsters are lit up and you can enjoy these prodigious art works of nature.

 

・Fukui Prefecture

Skijam Katsuyama

 

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, there will be big events at Skijam Katsuyama. Not only can you enjoy skiing or snowboarding, but you can also make huge snowmen, participate in a sports festival on the snow field, watch the fire-performances on the mountains, and many other entertaining performance events that are planned.

 

・Niigata Prefecture

Tsunan Snow Festival

March 9, 2019

Tsunan Snow Festival is a snowboard straight jumping competition (SNOWWAVE) held at Tsunan Town in Niigata Prefecture. You can enjoy both the snowboard competition and the sky-lanterns. Go on a treasure hunt in the snow or watch some stage events and grab your favorite local dish at the food booth. The main event will be the fantastic collaboration with fireworks and thousands of floating lanterns, which are hot air balloons released into the night sky.

*Reservation of tickets in advance is necessary in order to participate in the lantern launch.

 

Hokkaido

Sapporo Snow Festival

Odori and Susukino Sites: February 4—11, 2019

Tsu Dome Site: January 31—February 11

One of the biggest and most popular winter events in Japan, and many people visit from all over the world. At Odori Park in the heart of Sapporo, which is the main site, both small and large snow sculptures are located along the 1.5-km-long park. The beautiful light up service starts from sunset time and it is a must-see. At the Tsu Dome site you can enjoy the huge snow slides and various events where you can interact with snow.

 

Akita Prefecture

Inukko Matsuri

February 9—10, 2019

This is a festival with a 400-year history. Snow statues of Japanese dogs and temples are displayed around the city and people join the festival with their dogs to pray for good health.

 

Gifu Prefecture

Okuhida Winter Illumination and Kamakura Festival

Late December,2018—Late February,2019

This festival takes place in five areas in Gifu Prefecture: Hirayu, Fukuji, Shin-Hirayu, Tochio, and Shin-Hotaka. Enjoy the spectacular winter scenery and the frozen water falls with illumination!

 

Winter seasonal gourmet

Nabe (Hot Pot)

 

Hokkaido

Ishikari-nabe

Hot pot gourmet seasoned with miso soup with salmon and vegetables.

 

Yamaguchi Prefecture

Fugu-chiri (Blowfish-nabe)

High class hot pot gourmet using natural blowfish.

 

Hakata Prefecture

Motsu-nabe

Cheap and delicious hot pot gourmet that enhances stamina using pluck meat of beef or pork.

 

Yamanashi Prefecture

Houtou Udon Noodles

Flat wheat noodles cooked with vegetables in Miso-based soup.

 

Kyoto Prefecture

Yudofu (Hot Tofu)

Tofu cooked in seaweed broth. A healthy hot pot gourmet seasoning with ponzu sauce (citrus based vinegar) and other spices.

 

Nara Prefecture

Botan-nabe

A miso soup based hot pot using ginger and Japanese spices to rid the smell of wild boar meat, which is the main ingredient.

 

Fukuoka Prefecture

Mizutaki

A hot pot gourmet that contains chicken meats and vegetables cooked in chicken and seaweed broth.

 

Akita Prefecture

Kiritanpo-nabe

A typical local hot pod gourmet in Akita using Kiritanpo (mashed rice wrapped around a stick and baked), vegetables and chicken meat cooked in soy-sauce based soup.

 

Niigata Prefecture

Zuwaigani-nabe (Snow crab hot pod)

Snow crab is one of the winter delicacies in Niigata, and the sweet crab meat will enhance the flavor of the hot pot.