If you’ve made it here you’re probably trying to weigh up the when’s the best time to travel to Japan. The most popular time of year is in spring, over the cherry blossom season but more and more travellers are choosing to travel to Japan in Winter. Read our reasons for why they are doing this below.
Beat the crowds and travel Japan at a quieter time
One of the best reasons to travel to Japan in the winter is that it is the quietest time of year to explore the country’s highlights. In winter, it’s much easier to find your zen in Japan. You won’t have to battle for that crowd-free shot or get up early to beat the crowds. Travelling at this time of year, also allows those that works in the tourism industry to gain an income over low-season.
It’s the best time of year to tour Japan’s onsens
There are dozens of onsens throughout Japan and there is no better time to take a tour of some of the best ones than in winter. Traditional onsens are outdoors and in the mountains making the most of some of Japan’s thousands of hot springs. There is nothing like soaking up your surroundings while steam rises off the water, melting the nearby snow.
Food tours and restaurants focus on ramen and noodle soup
Sushi may be what Japan is best known for when it comes to food but noodles and noodle soups are some of the country’s most popular dishes. Best known is ramen, a soup normally flavoured with miso or soy sauce but the winter treat enjoyed by most locals is oden. It may not look as appetising as some of Japan’s other national dishes but the dish promises to warm you up on a cold day.
Drink hot sake to warm you up
Sake of any temperature promises to warm the body, especially after a couple of glasses but travelling to Japan in Winter gives you an excuse to try sake hot. Sake is traditionally a winter drink and has until recently, been served hot. Trying hot sake may not be on your bucket-list for a trip to Japan if you are planning on visiting in the height of summer but it’s definitely recommended when there is snow outside.
Try winter sports at Japan’s best ski resorts
If you are a ski or snowboard enthusiast, travelling to Japan in winter to chase the powder will definitely be on your radar. Three quarters of the country is mountainous terrain so there is a plethora or world class resorts to choose from. The best resorts even allow you to combine a day’s ski with an onsen to ease the soaking muscles. On a rest day (if you have one) visit a snow monkey park.
Best time to see Mount Fuji
Undoubtedly the best time to see Mount Fuji in all her glory is in winter. It is Japan’s tallest mountain and the most iconic of the country’s landmarks. In winter, the views of Mount Fuji are clear as the air is cleaner and colder. The best time to enjoy views of the mountain are early in the morning or late in the afternoon and in winter, the peak will be snow-capped.
You will be mistaken to think that the above photo is of a quintessential village in the Swiss Alps but it’s actually of Shirakawa-go. Shirikawa-go is a traditional village in the prefecture of Gifu and most likely to be snow-covered in the winter months. Spending the night here promises a truly authentic stay in the Japanese countryside.