Winter Festivals in Japan

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From December to March, the Land of the Rising Sun is dressed in a thousand colors under the Christmas decorations. Winter in the archipelago is a fantastic season with its snowy landscapes, sliding sports, onsen, good food and popular festivals. Indeed, winter festivals in japan They are events that you cannot miss! On the program, light shows, ice sculptures, matsuri and release of paper balloons without forgetting the Japanese New Year. In these cold months, you never get bored in Japan.

?Christmas lights in Tokyo

christmas illuminations tokyo

you have the opportunity to celebrate christmas in japan ? In winter, the city of Tokyo shines brightly with its garlands and its bright lights. During this festive period, the large shopping centers, working-class neighborhoods and christmas markets they come to life under the winter decorations and the smells of seasonal cooking. Every year, the illuminations are more and more spectacular in the capital. This is an opportunity to fully experience the magic of Christmas. Marvel at the giant illuminated Christmas trees, snowman and other themed decorations that illuminate cityscapes.

From November to mid-February, you can admire the long avenue of luminous trees and temporary sculptures in the Marunouchi district near Tokyo Station. This year the theme will be magical make reference to Harry Potter 20th Anniversary. Also, until the end of December, Roppongi Hills It will be the ideal place for a romantic walk on Keyakizaka Street with its blue-lit trees. You can also enjoy the warm atmosphere of the Christmas market at Christmas in the Ronpongi Hills.

marunouchi mall tokyo

Marunouchi Shopping Mall, Tokyo – Harry Potter illuminations Credit: Keisuke Tanigawa

At the same time, the famous shopping center loggerhead turtle shiodomelocated in Minato-Ku offers a great attraction in disney theme. While I was at the complex downtown tokyoin the Akasaka district, you will have the pleasure of contemplating the starling garden, a sound and light show particularly colorful.

Also, other places like the Tokyo Mega Illuminationthe tokyo dome city et omotesandoa large avenue located in Shibuya, it will make your eyes shine!

? japanese new year

japanese new year

If you like atypical parties, you will be served. In Japan, New Year’s Eve rhymes with traditions. Discover the 100% local customs of japanese new year such as the great end-of-year cleanup, the famous plate of toshikoshi sobathe rite of 108 chimes or even the first sunrise. The first days of the year are marked by visits to sanctuaries and temples, sake and Japanese cuisine with a good dose of superstitions. Yes, at the beginning of the year the Japanese invite luck and wealth into their homes with prayers, Toso (sake) and Omamori (a kind of charm).

Sapporo Snow Festival

sapporo snow festival


Since 1950, the city of Sapporo celebrates the Yuki Matsuri, Japan’s biggest winter festival which attracts millions of visitors from all over the world to the island of Hokkaido. Every year, at the end of January and until the beginning of February, the city exhibits magnificent snow and ice sculptures. Some creations reach spectacular heights. Also, the park Stench as well as the sites Twisted et Tsudome are the three places of the snow festival in Sapporo. During this event, you will also be able to attend a large International competition snow sculptures Admire monuments and famous people while you savor local products ! And above all, don’t miss the night illuminations and the video mapping !

? Yokote Kamakura Festival

yokote kamakura festival


In Akita Prefecture, in mid-February, the city of Yokote is adorned with a multitude of small luminous iglooslike a constellation. For two or three days you can see a hundred snow houses kamakura. Each of them houses an altar in honor of the god of water. Visitors are invited to enter the huts to pray to the deity. the Yokote no Yuki Matsuri It is a magical show that dates back more than 450 years. Take a night walk among the illuminated igloos in Komyoji or Doro Koen Park and try the rice cakes (mochi) with a glass of sweet sake, for a romantic evening.

? The Zao Snow Monster Festival

Zao Snow Monsters


On top of the splendid Mount Zao, in Yamagata Prefecture, strange monsters inhabit the mountains in winter. These named creatures juhyo, are the result of Siberian winds and heavy snowfall. The conifers are completely covered in a thick white coating that gives them funny monster silhouettes. From the end of December to March, when these natural sculptures are well supplied, the Zao Juhyō Festival, a world famous event. At night, the creatures light up for an extraordinary show! Ski down the many ski slopes of Zao Olsen, admiring these shapes by lantern light.

? The Kamihinokinai Ballon Festival

Montgolfières Kamihinokinai Festival


Every year in Akita Prefecture, takes place the hot air balloon festival kamihinokinai. To celebrate the Lunar New Year on February 10, residents of Semboku City have a tradition of releasing large, beautifully decorated paper balloons. The origins of this japanese winter festival they date back more than a century and it is believed that the lanterns were an offering to the gods for good rice harvests. Thus, sumptuous images of illuminated geishas and samurai take off in the night sky offering an exceptional show. Everyone can also participate in a collective release with small handmade paper balloons on which a wish is written. Do not miss this wonderful night show.

? The Glace du Lake Shikotsu Festival

Glace Lake Shikotsu Festival


Every year on the island of Hokkaido, the sumptuous Lake Shikotsu is adorned with giant ice sculptures with bluish reflections. Located west of Chitose, the lake is so deep that it does not freeze even in sub-zero temperatures. The lake’s water, of rare purity, is recognizable by its blue colour. During the ice festival or “Hyoto Matsuri”, columns are created several months in advance with water projected onto the structures to form ice towers. Admire these works of art, illuminated at night and enjoy a magical moment !

The Tokamachi Snow Festival

tokamachi snow festival


Every year, around the third week of February, the city of Tokamachi (in Niigata Prefecture) celebrates its snow party. On the program are sculptures, traditional music, fireworks and many activities to the delight of those attending the festival. You can enjoy hot drinks like the amazon offered to visitors or attend a tea ceremony after hitting the toboggan runs. However, the main attraction takes place at night on a large ice stage. During this famous show, you will see a large kimono parade. This winter, savor the japanese folklore at the Tokamachi Snow Festival!

Le Chichibu Yomatsuri

chichibu yomatsuri


In the city of Chichibu (Saitama), on December 2 and 3 we celebrate Chichibu Yomatsuri Festival, a major Japanese float festival that has existed since 1713 to worship the gods. This UNESCO-listed winter matsuri attracts no fewer than 200,000 visitors each year. In the heart of the festival you can enjoy folk dances and the traditional music as well as many food stalls. Under the fireworks, feel the frenetic atmosphere with the nightly parade accompanied by drums taiko.

In winter in Japan, the atmosphere is full of festivities and traditions. In addition to the Japanese New Year, the winter festivals last from December to March. Whether it’s the elegant illuminations of Tokyo, the masturi or the magnificent snow festivals, Don’t miss out on these unmissable events!

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