Japan Winter Festivals Overview
Follow the Winter Festival Trail around Japan’s northernmost island. See the world’s biggest snow sculptures in Asahikawa, bask in the glow of lanterns in Otaru and discover the secrets of Hokkaido’s stunning capital.
- 2015-01-01 - 2015-12-31
Experience Japan’s remarkable winter festivals, travelling from Sapporo to Otaru and Asahikawa
Be entranced by winter in Japan. Experience the sensational Sapporo Snow Festival, be awestruck by the size of snow sculptures and watch the soft lantern light cast its magic over festival-goers in Otaru. These are some of the best and biggest winter festivals in the country! Try your hand at ice-hole fishing, hit the slopes or don some snowshoes and go trekking in beautiful Furano. Don’t forget to have a relaxing onsen afterwards. This is an adventure of natural, cultural and artistic delights that celebrates the splendour of Japan’s far north.
What's included in this trip
Japan Winter Festivals SummaryAdd to Shortlist
Situated on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido, Sapporo is best known as the host of its annual snow festival and for the beer produced by its famous brewery.
Day trip out to the quaint harbour city of Otaru for the Snow Light Path Festival. See sparkling ice statues and glowing lanterns transform what was once the region’s most important trade and fishing port into a vista of fairytale proportions.
Once the largest settlement of the native Ainu people, Asahikawa was one of the first areas in Japan to be developed as a ski resort.
Located in the geographical centre of Hokkaido, Furano is often referred to as Heso no Machi (‘the belly-button town’). Spend the day as you wish: try your hand at ice-hole fishing, go snowshoe trekking, pull on your skis and hit the powder, or participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Return to Sapporo to enjoy the final days of the tour in this fascinating city. How you spend this time is up to you: maybe sample the incredible seafood at the open-air Curb Markets or visit the Sapporo Beer Museum to learn all about (and taste!) one of the country’s oldest and most popular beers. Perhaps take a stroll around the Hokudai Gardens, wander through the Ainu Museum or check out the Sapporo clock tower – one of the oldest buildings in the city.
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