Start of Winter Season in Japan

Japan’s winter season is December through February. Depending on what part of Japan you are traveling to, winter in Japan can be vastly different. Big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka generally experience short winters with cold but sunny days and an occasional snowfall. But the further you head into the mountainous regions and Northern parts of Japan the more the temperature starts to drop and the winters can be long and cold with high levels of snowfall for many months of the year.

In Tokyo, December temperatures tend to be around 12ºC (54°F) in the afternoon and drop to about 5ºC (41°F) in the morning and at night. By January, afternoon temperatures drop to 10ºC (50°F) and morning temperatures tend to hover between 2ºC~3ºC (35°F~37°F).

The large amounts of snow that fall each year make conditions perfect for skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports. Winter festivals, such as the Sapporo Snow Festival held in Hokkaido, are a must-see. Various snow and illumination events are held across the country during the winter season creating breathtaking views in this winter wonderland which draws just as many tourists as during the warmer months.


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