Best things to do in winter in Japan

Among the most popular times to visit Japan is the spring when the cherry blossom season is active, and the summer. However, the winter months can be spectacular with New Years an especially is a great time to visit.

There are a variety of fun activities and things to do in winter, including:

  • Skiing
  • An open-air Onsen (check guidelines beforehand as they may not allow tattoos)
  • Winter lights
  • The Sapporo Snow Festival
  • The Jigokudani Monkey Park

If you do plan on enjoying winter sports, ensure that you take out travel insurance which covers in case you need emergency medical attention or face cancellations. Taking out Holiday Extras' specialist winter sports add-on can also provide you with cover for things like piste closure and lost, stolen or damaged ski equipment.

How cold does it get in the winter?

In comparison to some countries, winter in Japan is incredibly mild. Even in the northernmost parts of Japan, where skiing is popular, average temperatures rarely dip below -10°C.

What months are Japan's winter?

Winter in Japan is quite short, lasting from December to February. As the peninsula of Japan is quite long, temperatures can vary from the north to the south.

In Tokyo, located relatively near the middle of the country, temperatures in December can average out to 12 °C whereas, throughout January and February, this average is 10 °C. In the north, temperatures drop to below zero, and in Hokkaido, one of the northern regions, you can find the best examples of snow and even enjoy a day at a world-class ski resort.

What is the coldest month in Japan?

The coldest month in Japan is between January and February. In Hokkaido, the average daily temperature in these months is -4 °C, with the average low being -7°C.

Related content

If you enjoyed this article and would like more info on travel to Japan, check out our other posts on the topic.

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is sold and administered by Holiday Extras Cover Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 828848.

Holiday Extras™ is a Trading Name of Holiday Extras Cover Limited

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is provided by Taurus Insurance Services, an insurance intermediary licenced and authorised in Gibraltar by the Financial Services Commission under Permission Number 5566 and authorised to passport general insurance intermediary services into the UK and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under registration number 444830.

The insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE. Great Lakes Insurance SE is a German insurance company with its headquarters at Königinstrasse 107, 80802 Munich. UK Branch office: 10 Fenchurch Avenue, London, EC3M 5BN, company number SE000083. Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch, is authorised and regulated by Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht. Deemed authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number: 769884. Subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.