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3 winter festivals in Japan to experience

Partners Information: Winter has arrived in Japan! Today we’ll introduce three unique winter festivals to visit on your next trip. This article is brought to you by Tobu Japan Trip.

1. Sapporo Snow Festival

Undoubtedly one of Japan’s largest and most famous festival of snow and ice, Sapporo Snow Festival celebrates its landmark 70th event in 2019.

More than 2.5 million people are expected to attend the event. The three venues will showcase not only large, impressive works but also smaller original works. One of the event highlights is the ice sculptor’s competition.

Towering snow sculptures of the Sapporo Snow Festival



Odori/Susukino Site: February 4 (Mon) – February 11 (Mon. holiday), 2019

Tsudome Site: January 31 (Thu) – February 11 (Mon. holiday), 2019

Official site

Suggested accommodation

Sapporo Tobu Hotel – located in the heart of the city, this hotel is close to Nijo Fish Market and the Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade. It’s a great base to access all parts of the city.

Yunni no Yu – a 60 minute drive from the city in the spa district of Yubari, Yunni no Yu is a great option for both day and overnight onsen (hot spring) trips.

2. Ouchi-juku Snow Festival

Ouchi-juku is a post-town in Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture. A visit will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time. The village holds a snow festival each year, where you can enjoy the picturesque scenery covered in deep snow. Sample local delicacies and enjoy traditional local performances as well as a fireworks display.

If travelling from Tokyo, the Tobu Railway’s Limited Express Revaty Aizu is a convenient public transport option. The Yuttari Aizu Tobu Free Pass allows travellers to get on and off at any stop within the Kinugawa Onsen and Aizu Areas.

Ouchi-juku in Aizu, Fukushima



February 9 (Sat) – February 10 (Sun), 2019

Official site

3. Yunishikawa Onsen Kamakura Festival

This winter marks the 26th Kamakura Festival in Yunishikawa Onsen. Kamakura are Japanese snow-huts and the illuminated mini-kamakura of the festival are registered as an official “Night View Heritage of Japan”. In the larger kamakura, visitors can enjoy the unique experience of a winter barbecue!

The Marugoto Nikko Kinugawa Free Pass allows travellers unlimited bus and train rides within the Nikko area, helping you visit is festival more comfortably and conveniently.

Mini kamakura snow-huts of Yunishikawa Onsen



January 26 (Sat) to March 3 (Sun), 2019

Official site




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