Illuminated Snow Huts in a Winter Wonderland

Enchanting night views at this winter festival in the hot spring paradise of Yunishigawa

Nestled in a narrow mountain valley not far from the famed shrine complex of Nikko (also a National Park), you'll find Yunishigawa Onsen, a hot spring resort perfect for resting your weary body after a day of exploration.

From late January to early March, the area plays host to one of Japan's most unique and delightful winter events, the Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura (Snow Hut) Festival. A true winter wonderland awaits visitors, with abundant snowfall and a host of delightful structures set up by local residents, including miniature snow huts (called kamakura), snowmen, slides, and more!

Little snowmen line the shopping street, and long rows of snow huts with lanterns set inside illuminate the town with a warm and lovely glow that’s sure to take your breath away. Children are sure to love the snow slide, or⁠—if you want something more exhilarating⁠—try sledding down snowy hills. Looking to warm up and fill your stomach with a tasty meal? The snow huts may also be rented for barbecuing.

Designated as one of Japan’s Night View Heritages, the otherworldly sight of hundreds of miniature snow huts lit up at the Sawaguchi Riverbed event is considered a special one by the Japanese people and international visitors alike. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018, it's sure to remain an enchanting tradition for years to come.

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