Travelling to Japan in the Winter


While perhaps not the first choice of those that count Dubai, Florida, or the Las Vegas desert as their usual holiday selections; travelling to Japan in winter can be a breathtaking adventure for all the senses that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetimes.

So besides the usual mayhem of securing warmer clothes despite ever tighter luggage limitations, organizing the best deals on travel insurance, and browsing the newest translation apps, what are some of the top, must-do activities in Japan in winter, and the most important travel hacks only a veteran global nomad would know?

Why Visit Japan in Winter?

There are endless reasons to visit Japan. Whether you are just getting around to a long put off business trip, seeking to tap into the best aquaponics technology, have had a lifelong dream of scooping an authentic samurai sword, need some new hiking scenery, have always wanted to witness the architectural wonders of Japanese temple architecture in person, or are even for seeking the hottest in new real estate investment developments and trends, it’s an event you’ll never forget.

Even most amateur martial arts film enthusiasts have certainly seen their fair share of beautiful autumn cherry blossoms. While they are amazing, there is something extra special and rare about visiting Japan during the winter.

Anyone who has been will tell you the experiences available will remove any concerns about the weather. Plus, one of Japan’s unique quirks offers popular western brand drinks served warm via vending machines.


Special experiences awaiting travelers in this season include; drift ice tours off the coast of Hokkaido, the Kamakura snow festival with its snow carved huts, viewing the ‘Ice Monsters of Zao’, and the illuminated Nabana-no-Sato theme park on Nagashima Island which even features a 100 meter long cherry blossom tunnel light show.

cherry blossom

The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan’s most famous, and takes visitors close to the legendary Niseko ski resort. Niseko has been ranked as one of the top 5 resorts in the country and offers some of the most magnificent skiing and snowboarding in the world.

However, without question an absolute must for every traveler is visiting the snow monkeys, at the hot springs of Jigokudani Monkey Park.

japan monkeys

Organizing Your Trip


Organizing your trip to Japan during winter can take a little extra planning. Tokyo is particularly under the weather, and getting snowed in for days here isn’t the most restful. Consider alternative airports for reliability, and accurate scheduling.


There are still some very popular resorts where vendors only accept cash, and cash machines can be miles away. Not very efficient in the snow.


Budget extra time for getting lost in the city. Tokyo has many hidden gems from boutique coffee shops, to manga, to specialist incense creators, and much more. Just recognize that even with the best mobile apps these can be tough streets to navigate quickly. Give yourself the luxury of a couple extra days, and discover more.


Whether planning to cruise on ice breakers, snowboard the highest points and deepest snow, dive into hot springs, hike, or even just explore the city, travel insurance is clearly a necessity. However, just because you need insurance doesn’t mean you have to cut deep into your spending money. The key is finding the just match in travel insurance. Do you just need single trip travel cover, serious adventure travel coverage, or do you need a friendlier provider that will welcome your pre-existing medical conditions?

Whatever your choices, just go. The experience of a lifetime awaits…

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About Ella

Becky, Steve or the other two useless ones (shhh they won't read this) form part of the Openstories team, a collaborative travel blog that we use to dump our ideas, plans and experiences onto the worldwide web. We're honored that you're hear reading this, and we'd love to hear from you. Thanks for dropping by!