Transfer over cherry blossom – take a hike autumn leaves; winter is definitely the very best time to go to Japan. Right here’s why…
11 Causes Why Winter is the Time to Go to Japan
1. Fewer crowds
Let’s get this straight: Japan is crowded, it doesn’t matter what the season. With so many individuals crammed into so little area (Japan is over 70% mountainous, so most of its inhabitants lives within the different 30%), crowds are simply a part of the Japan expertise – particularly in huge cities like Tokyo and Kyoto. However head to Japan within the winter and also you’ll discover far fewer individuals than at every other time of yr – actually, you may even have some sights to your self.
Like we stated, Japan is overwhelmingly mountainous – which implies it’s a paradise for snowsports. Hit the slopes in world-class Niseko on Hokkaido Island, swoosh down ex-Olympic runs in unbelievable Hakuba, or go for old-world Japanese appeal on the beautiful Nozawa Onsen. Plus, there’s no higher apres-ski than soaking in a sizzling spring bathtub after a protracted day on the slopes.
3. Snow monkeys
Even when you understand little about Japan, you’ve in all probability heard of those lovely residents: the snow monkeys of Jigokudani Monkey Park, close to Yudanaka Onsen. These resourceful macaques have found that the easiest way to stave off the winter chilly within the mountains is to soak within the pure sizzling springs that bubble up by means of the rocks right here – they usually don’t have any objection to you paying them a go to.
4. Heat sake
You’ve in all probability had mulled wine – even perhaps mulled cider – however have you ever tried heat sake? It’s to not everybody’s style, however this quintessential Japanese beverage is warming in additional methods than one, and we like it.
5. Onsen sizzling spring baths
Sizzling spring baths are the most effective issues about visiting Japan – at any time of yr – however there’s merely nothing like a protracted, sizzling soak in winter. Get your kecks off and shuffle outdoors within the snow earlier than sinking into the steamy water, snowflakes drifting round you: the right finish to any day.
Ever heard of a kotatsu? When you’re tried one, you’ll be questioning why everybody doesn’t have one. A kotatsu is principally a low desk fringed with a thick quilt with a heater beneath it. Sit cross-legged with the quilt over your knees to heat your toes, or lie down beside it for a beautiful heat nap. Some Japanese bars even present kotatsu so you’ll be able to sit outdoors and be toasty heat in winter. Pleasant.
7. Sapporo Snow Pageant
For those who’re heading to Japan in February, it’d be against the law to not go to the Sapporo Snow Pageant – known as Yuki Matsuri in Japanese. Held within the metropolis of Sapporo on northerly Hokkaido Island, the competition is widely known by constructing large sculptures out of ice and snow – to not point out loads of festive meals, drink, video games and enjoyable. Ever needed to see an enormous reproduction of the Nice Pyramids in snow? Now you’ll be able to.
8. Purple-crowned Cranes
A bit-known however totally enchanting sight, the mating dance of the red-crowned cranes in Tsurui, Hokkaido, needs to be one of many world’s most lovely pure shows. Purple-crowned cranes had been as soon as considered extinct in Japan, however right here they’re performing their astounding, choreographed mating ritual each winter – and you’ll be aware of it.
No-one does winter illuminations fairly like Japan. As quickly because the Halloween decorations are out of the outlets, each tree, constructing and store entrance is festooned with twinkling lights in each conceivable shade, and a few parks and gardens placed on really unbelievable spectacles utilizing tens of millions of bulbs. Tokyo Midtown within the capital, the Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest in Kanagawa, and the Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination close to Nagoya are all notably good.
This lovely, chocolate-box-worthy village within the Japanese Alps is a UNESCO World Heritage Website – and it’s by no means extra lovely than when cloaked in a blanket of snow, its steep-pitched wood farmhouses wanting just like the gingerbread home out of Hansel and Gretel.
11. You’ll be able to really see Mount Fuji
Final however not least, winter is your finest probability to catch a glimpse of the notoriously camera-shy Mount Fuji. Japan’s iconic mountain sits stubbornly behind a thick haze for many of the yr, however the cool, crisp winter air means fewer clouds and a a lot better probability of seeing one of the lovely sights in Japan.