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The Best Things to Do In Tokyo In The Winter


by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Amy D.

Last updated : Jan 16, 20246 min read

Things To Do

Winter in Tokyo is a beautiful spectacle of Christmas illuminations and winter festivities. The best things to do if you come to Tokyo during the winter are enjoying the Christmas markets, illuminations, hot spring, sumo and yummy winter foods. Some visitors may be deterred by the cold weather, but it is a very good time to visit Japan. Japan receives a lot of rain during the summer but very little throughout the winter. There are also many limited edition events and foods which you can only experience during the winter.

Christmas Markets

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During the month of December, several Christmas markets open. These markets are all European themed and have stalls selling Christmas trinkets, toys and many traditional often German foods such as bratwurst, fruit cake, mulled wine and soft pretzels. They are a great place to take a date as the fairy lights create a romantic atmosphere. 

The most notable markets take place in  Roppongi Hills, Marunouchi and  Yoyogi park.

Omotesando Illuminations

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The trendy streets of Omotesando light up for the festive season. So if you happen to be in Tokyo during December, it is more than worthwhile to visit Omotesando after dark to take in this gorgeous spectacle that takes place only once a year. 


Christmas Illuminations

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Japan is not a Christian country but they still go just as hard for Christmas decorations. There are incredibly light displays set up all around Japan. The gorgeous European styled Tokyo tower becomes one of the best loved spectacles of Christmas and in Odaiba you can see one of the largest Christmas trees in Japan.

The most notable illuminations are located at Tokyo towerTokyo stationMarunouchi and Shiodome.

Tokyo Dome Natural Onsen Spa LaQua 8

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Photo by Planetyze

Why not warm up during the cold winter by heading to an onsen? Don't worry, you don't need to travel to Hakone to go to an onsen. Laqua spa resort is located in central Tokyo!

A spa with a resort-like atmosphere right in the center of the city
In addition to an open-air bath and a huge public bath, the onsen facilities also include a variety of low-temperature saunas, a relaxation area and restaurants. This is an onsen with the sensation of a resort where you can spend a relaxing day.

A natural hot spring rising from underneath Tokyo Dome City Spa LaQua is located right beside Tokyo Dome. The spa, which is situated in the middle of a multipurpose complex including a shopping center, is a place of healing where you can enjoy a natural onsen in the middle of the metropolis. The operating hours extend right to 9am the next morning, so it has the special feature of being able to enjoy the onsen on the way home from work. The Spa Zone is where you can luxuriate in the high-quality waters which are amply used from the natural h...

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Business hours
- Everyday
11:00am-9:00am(the next day)
11:00am-11:30pm(Baden Zone)Opening times may vary afterwards depending on the facility since some areas will only be open to women so please check the homepage

- Adult: 2634 JPY
- Child: 1836 JPY
Additional surcharge on late-night and holiday usage

Celebrate New Year's In The Japanese Way

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Japan has its own unique traditions for New Year's. Typically, people will go and visit their nearest shrine to pray. The most popular shrine in Tokyo to celebrate New year is Meiji Jingu in Harajuku. If you go here, be prepared to line up!


Watch this 360º VR Video of Meiji Jingu Shrine and feel like you are walking there yourself.

Warm Up With Food!

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Winter has some of the best foods! Why not enjoy a warm hot pot like Motsunabe or a bowl of Ramen from famous ramen chains such as Ichiran? Another speciality is Oden, which can be easily bought from convenience stores during winter.

There are correct ways of enjoying your ramen, and special ramen such as the Tsukemen Ramen. Learn about all of these things in the following video: How to eat ramen in Japan and what not to do!

In this video you will learn you how to eat and appreciate ramen, specially tsukemen, what to do when eating and what not to do when eating any kind of ramen in Japan! It also mentions about the ingredients and curiosities about the Tsukemen ramen!

This is from the Japan Fan channel where you can learn more about Japan: Japan Fan youtube Channel

Watch Sumo

From January, the first of six sumo tournaments begins! This is a special event that is not to be missed!

Ryogoku is the place for sumo. See the full intensity of the sumo wrestlers (rikishi) up close!
Encountering the many wrestlers during a sumo tournament in Tokyo feels like you’ve slipped back in time to the Edo Era. You can see their lifestyle and eat like them through the many haberdasheries for these king-sized men and restaurants with their huge portions.

Enjoy sumo in Ryogoku In the Edo Era, Ryogoku became an area comparable to Ueno and Asakusa due to the development of Ryogoku Bridge. Sumo started to flourish from Kanjin sumo (tournaments to raise the necessary funds to build and restore temple buildings) at Eko-in Temple. The major sumo tournaments are held in January, May and September at Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena. In addition, the 1st floor of the arena is a sumo museum where material on sumo such as woodblock prints, banzuke (rikishi rankings), and ornamental mawashi aprons...

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Tokyo Tour Guide - Yasuro C.

Yasuro C.

4.80 / 5
(64 reviews)

Hello, my name is Yasuro (Mr). I was born and brought up in Kansai, graduated from a univ in Kobe city, after moved into Kanto, 30 years in Tokyo, 2.5 years in Nagoya city, 7.5 years abroad (KL & S'pore) as a rep of a construction company and I got the National Guide Certificate in 2011. My hobbies are making Haiku poems, singing various songs (voice-training for 18 years), playing the folk-guitar, trekking in mountains like Takao and Okutama in the West of Tokyo, visiting museums like in Ueno Park and travelling around Japan to make Haiku poems. Thank you for your attention.                                                                                                                                 

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Haruo T.

4.90 / 5
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I live in Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture. I have a license to teach in high schools and was admitted to the degree of Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language in the University of Birmingham. Until 2015 I had been teaching English at public high schools in Kanagawa for 37 years. During that time, I had some experience of guiding students from overseas through sister-school relationship around Tokyo and Kanagawa. Therefore, I had good command of English with the TOEIC score of 935. As for a tour guide experience I earned the certificate of National Government Licensed Guide-Interpreter in English and since then I have guided tourists to the popular sites around Tokyo, Yokohama, Kamakura and Yokosuka. My guiding focuses on introducing not only Japanese historical and cultural backgrounds but also giving tourists some tips to travel Japan only by themselves, such as how to use trains and subways, find good restaurants, reserve tickets, buy survenier, and speak basic Japanese. In addition, my tour includes opportunities to experience Japanese culture like Zen meditation, ninja performance, visiting anime's location sites based on tourists' request. Besides, by means of my hobbies of writing English Haiku and Waka (traditional Japanese poems) and performing Rakugo (traditional Japanese funny story telling) in English, I can surely entertain tourists during the tour. My moto as a tour guide is let the tourists have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Japan with my profound, intelligible and interestiog guiding.                                                                                                                                 

Tokyo Tour Guide - Grant A.

Grant A.

5.00 / 5
(14 reviews)

My name is Grant I lived more than 10 years in Japan. I graduated University and translation school in Tokyo. I am fluent in Japanese. I have a degree in Asian studies and have expert-level knowledge of Japanese culture and history. I have memorized the JR rail system across all of Japan, I use the same train timetable calculators as the station staff, and I have experience using bullet train passes that are exclusive to foreign visitors. I can optimally navigate the Tokyo underground and maximize value from a Tokyo metro pass and also understand Tokyo above ground which will allow for seamless transitions between different metro stations and landmarks with minimal backtracking. *There will be a price revision at the end of June* My tour fee is Half-Day Tour: 30,000yen for 1-5hours Full-Day Tour: 50,000yen for 5-12hours The time transiting to and from your hotel for pick up or drop off within Tokyo 23wards does not count towards the time. I am also able to guide historical sites and cities such as Kyoto, Kanazawa, Nikko, and Kamakura on request if you pay my rail fare. If your group is not a tour company and you simply ask me kindly for a 10,000yen discount and I will reduce the price of your tour until the end of June.                                                                                                                                 

Kanagawa Tour Guide - Kaneo U.

Kaneo U.

4.98 / 5
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I’m so excited to have a chance to show you around my favorite spots in Kanagawa prefecture. I was born in Kanagawa. I spent my whole school life, including university, here in Kanagawa. I worked as a high school English teacher here for 40 years. I love Kanagawa so much. We have many interesting tourist spots, like Hakone, Kamakura, Enoshima and Yokohama. I got my tour guide license in English in 2009. I am still an English teacher. To give an interesting and impressive lesson to young high school students, I’ve learnt and gathered many kinds of information. I also have a license to teach social studies, so I have a wide range of knowledge about Japanese culture and history. I’m sure to provide you an interesting tour.                                                                                                                                 

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