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GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

Best Things To Do In Japan During Winter

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by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Amy D.

Last updated : Jan 15, 20247 min read

Things To Do

Japan's winter is very snowy and cold. There are many great things to do during the winter months such as the famous Sapporo Snow Festival, going to a Christmas market, skiing, eat Japanese winter foods and see the Christmas illuminations. You could even celebrate New year like a local by visiting your local temple or taking a steam in a hot spring to warm up.

Sapporo Snow Festival

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Photo by Planetyze

A snow festival featuring snow statues and illumination centering around Odori Avenue in Sapporo
One of the largest events in Hokkaido, for which more than 2 million people visit annually. Plenty of events where you can encounter huge snow and ice sculptures only to be found in an environment rich in snow.

The Odori Avenue venue The Sapporo Snow Festival takes place mainly at 3 venues, and the events held there can vary depending on the venue. First, the most well-known part of the festival which involves the gigantic snow and ice sculptures is held on Odori Avenue. This is the main venue for the snow festival. Spanning from Odori Avenue Nishi Itchome to Juu-Nichome, there are snow sculptures so large that you have to look up, as well as citizen-made sculptures all over that are small and cute. There are also interactive events such as a snow...

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Price
- Free
Varies according to the event
Website
www.snowfes.com

Myoko Highland

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Photo by Planetyze

The great amount of snow is the biggest attraction. A highland resort where you can truly enjoy skiing and an onsen
Myoko Highland is famous for its 8 distinct areas for winter skiing. Spreading out at the foot of Mt. Myoko is a resort land that can be enjoyed throughout all four seasons so that soaking in the hot spring and summer climbing are also fun activities.

Enjoy some dynamic skiing in the heavy snowfall zone of Niigata Myoko Highland which is famous for its heavy accumulation of snow is separated into 8 ski areas, each of which has its own attractive and individualistic courses. There are facilities such as the Super Giant Course with the steepest angle of 45 degrees, the Myoko Suginohara Resort with its 8500m-long course, and the Ikenodaira Ski Resort which boasts one of Japan’s most prominent snowboard parks; in fact, all the areas allow snowboarding. There are courses that can be en...

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Phone
0255-86-3911
Website
www.myoko.tv

Manza Onsen

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Photo by Planetyze

The superb scenery of an outdoor bath packed with the attractions of a high mountain hot spring, such as the landscape and the cloudy hot waters
Japan’s highest onsen at 1800m and water quality that has the country’s highest concentration of sulfur. This double impact that Japan’s No. 1 Manza Onsen has is great in the summer as a resort and in the winter as a snowboarding resort.

Enjoy the hot springs with plenty of character and elaborate ideas Within Joshin'etsukogen National Park, Manza Onsen is Japan’s highest mountain hot spring village that is located at an altitude of, 1800m. In summer, it is a resort area that doesn’t need air conditioning, in autumn it has the changing leaves, and it has skiing in winter so that the area is lively with tourists all year round. The source spring has a plentiful daily output of 5.4 million liters per day and is a sulfur spring which has a high temperature of around 8...

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Phone
0279-97-4000
Price
Differs depending on the facility \

Niseko Village Ski Resort

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Enjoy sports, shopping and cuisine as you enjoy nature on Mt. Niseko Annupuri
The super popular ski resort will satisfy even the most advanced of skiers. The high-quality powder snow is the selling point. In 2014, a shopping area reminiscent of an old Japanese town was also opened.

It’s not just about skiing! You can enjoy a variety of activities at Hokkaido’s Niseko. The lovely natural scene that spreads out there is especially full of winter sports, and during that season, many tourists visit so that they can enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Among the numerous ski resorts on Annupuri, the Niseko Village Ski Resort has a lot of slopes with a high degree of difficulty so that the advanced skiers can enjoy them to their hearts’ content. Furthermore, besides skiing and snowboarding, a...

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Phone
0136-44-2211
Price
8-hour lift ticket (for all mountains in Niseko) Adults: 5600 yen Children: 3100 yen
1-day ticket Adults: 5000 yen Children: 3100 yen
(Peak season 12/13-3/22)
1-day ticket Adults: 4600 yen Children: 2850 yen
(Off season 12/1-12/12, 3/23-4/7)
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Website
www.niseko-village.com

Enjoy Hotpot

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Hotpot also known as nabe in Japanese is the best way to warm up in winter. Japanese people love eating hot foods like nabe which are filled with meat and vegetables during the cold.

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Check out the Omotesando Illuminations

A trendy area. A neighborhood where you can encounter cutting-edge fashion and various other items. 

A sophisticated sense of high class engulfs the pedestrians walking there. From the main street to the backstreets, there is a variety of shops. Even walking through the back alleys brings an air of celebrity

How Omotesando developed into a trendy area Its origins lay in the opening of an avenue leading to Meiji-Jingu Shrine in 1920. There are a number of reasons behind its birth as a trendy area. One reason is the appearance of the Doujunkai Aoyama Apartments where high-ranking officials and people of culture had resided and the Washington Heights (the facility that housed GHQ officers) that was constructed after the 2nd World War. The Washington Heights was then opened as the Athletes’ Village at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics...

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Website
www.gotokyo.org

Jigokudani Monkey Park

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Photo by Planetyze

Famous worldwide! Japanese macaque monkeys soaking in a hot spring in a bitterly cold and snowy valley
Wild Japanese macaques looking for warmth dive into an onsen in a valley deep with snow. The park has been popular with many people from around the world visiting as a response to those pictures of monkeys.

Japanese macaques living in a snowy valley Jigokudani Monkey Park is located in the beautiful Yokoyugawa Valley in northern Nagano Prefecture. At an altitude of 850m and surrounded by steep cliffs which are covered in plenty of snow in winter, the area is so desolate that it has been referred to as being “hellish” due to the spewing steam from the fountains. The wild macaques have been living here in this mountain area since long ago, but with the felling of the forests, their natural habitat was eroded and damage was done to thei...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
0269-33-4379
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 250 JPY
Website
www.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp
Gifu Tour Guide - Akiko W.

Akiko W.

5.00 / 5
(8 reviews)
Japan

Hello! My name is Akiko from Gifu prefecture. I am a National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter. I like going out with my family, talking with my friends over coffee at a cozy cafe, reading books, baking bread and cake when I have time. I passed the national tour guide test in 2017 and have worked as a guide since then. I have guided in Gifu city, Seki city, Takayama city, Shirakawago , Mino city and Nagoya city. I have lived in Gifu for more than forty years. Gifu prefecture is rich in nature so you can enjoy the rural atmosphere. Gifu city has a beautiful river 'Nagara river' and Mt.Kinka which has Gifu castle on the top. You can go up the mountain on foot or use a ropeway. The view from Gifu castle is so fantastic. At the foot of the mountain , there are many places to visit such as parks, a temple having a big image of Buddha, and a street preserving the historic atmosphere. At Nagara River, you can enjoy seeing a traditional way of fishing ‘cormorant fishing’ which is thought to have started 1300 years ago. Many cafes have unique service called 'morning service' in Gifu along with Aichi In the morning (until about ten thirty or eleven) when you order a cup of tea or coffee, they serve toast and salad ! Near Gifu park , you can find a nice Japanese style cafe where you enjoy good coffee and seeing a Japanese style garden. Seki city is a small city but so famous for its cutlery. At Japanese sword museum in Seki, you can see authentic Japanese swords! Mino city next to Seki city is well known for its hand made Japanese paper 'Hon minoshi' designated as intangible cultural asset by UNESCO . Until recently it was not easy to guide guests because of COVID-19 pandemic; however the situation is getting better. Some strict rules about COVID-19 have been lifted. Please visit Gifu. I am looking forward to seeing you. Please feel free to ask me when you need information about Gifu. Thank you for reading my introduction.                                                                                                                                 

Shimizu Tour Guide - Sayori H.

Sayori H.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)
Japan

Hello, I can show you the real Japan. You can taste, see and feel the country. I'd like to show the beautiful culture for you to experience. I can organize the day tour from Shimizu port for Cruise customers. Tea ceremony, strawberry picking experience, anything you are interested, I would love to help you plan your tour. I can communicate in both English and Japanese. I look forward to welcoming people from different parts of the world. Thank you                                                                                                                                 

Shiga Tour Guide - Koichi W.

Koichi W.

4.94 / 5
(51 reviews)
Japan

Hi! I'm Koichi. I was born in Osaka, I studied in Kyoto when I was a university student. Now I live in Shiga next to Kyoto. I am a national government licensed tour guide. I have been guiding about 160 groups over the past twelve months. I usually guide my customers mainly in Kansai region including Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Shiga by public transportation systems. Well, I am curious about Japanese history, especially the history of Japan's ancient times since I was raised next to the world biggest mausoleum of the ancient Emperor called "Nintoku" in Sakai city Osaka which has just become one of the world cultural heritage sites. I dug out some ancient earthen ware vessels around there when I was a primary school student like the adventure archaeologist “Indiana Jones" (It’s our secret!!). That was my hobby. Now, one of my hobbies is outdoor activities such as mountaineering, kayaking, skiing and others. So I would like to take you to some good places where you can enjoy Japanese unique nature. I love to guide foreign visitors from all over the world. I think it is my calling or heavenly given job. Let's go and enjoy together! I hope to see you soon.                                                                                                                                 

Okinawa Main Island Tour Guide - Tateo U.

Tateo U.

4.99 / 5
(68 reviews)
Japan

My name is Tateo. I am officially registerd English tour guide and introducing about Okinawa's history,culture, and nature.I am elderly person but have gone through lots of expericences that happened during US occupation after WW2. For the example, change of monetary system(US dollar to Yen),Change of traffic regulation(driving vehicle from right to left).The reversion of Okinawa to main land Japan was biggest historical event.The US administered Okinawa for 27 years. As a result, thing were Americanized in many aspects. Historically, Okinawa was once independent nation until 1872.During Kingdum era, Okinawa actively traded with China, South Asia Countries, Korea, and Japan. In the end, our culture is quite differ much from main land Japan. For instance, architectural technique, daily customs, and culture are also unique. Okinawa is the only prefecture belong to subtropical climate zone. Even winter time, it's neither hot nor cold. People can enjoy marine sport all through the year.Canoeing, Kayaking, Diving, and Snorkeling are popular. Besides, beatiful white sand beaches and attractive coastline are abundant. Green sea water and blue sky have been lured people from all over the world. Traditional music and dance are worth seeing. Please visit Okinawa and enjoy extraordinary trip. I will be looking forward to seeing you soon.                                                                                                                                  

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