10 Winter Activities In Japan To Add To Your Itinerary Featuring Snowshoeing, Whale Watching & Illuminations Galore

Klook
2020-03-14
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Winter fun in Japan

Looking for some winter activities to add to your Japan itineraries? Get ready for a winter snowdown in Japan like no other. From getting pranked by snow monkeys at the Jigokudani Onsen to mastering the art of snowboarding in front of the majestic Mount Fuji, these 10 best winter activities are a much-needed winter break you’ll thank us for.

Japan Must-haves

Here are a few essentials to prepare you for your winter trip to Japan!

Don’t want the hassle of navigating through Japan’s confusing transport systems by yourself? Pre-book yourself a day tour or a day trip instead to your favorite winter attractions!

1. Snow Monkey Day Tour with Sukiyaki Lunch from Tokyo

Photo credits: Koji Ishii on Flickr

If you’re still monkeying around, struggling to come up with a killer itinerary for your upcoming holiday in Japan, slot a Snow Monkey Day Tour in!

P.S. Authentic Japanese beef sukiyaki lunch is included too so you don’t have to fret about not being able to order in Japanese!

At Jigokudani Onsen, witness a mass gathering of snow monkeys enjoying a luxurious hot spring dip. While any contact with these cheeky ones is prohibited, they are unafraid of strangers and may even surprise you with their funny poses and priceless expressions.

Photo credits: Koji Ishii on Flickr

Like we said, they sure know how to pose in front of the cameras.

Itinerary

6:55am: gather at The “LOVE” statue in front of

I-Land Tower in Shinjuku

7:10am: depart from Shinjuku

11:20am: arrive at the restaurant and enjoy beef

sukiyaki lunch (around 50 mins)

1:00pm: arrive at Nagano Kamibayashi Station and

walk to Jigokudani (around 40 mins)

1:40pm: visit Jigokudani Onsen in Nagano and spot

snow monkeys (around 40-60 mins)

7:00pm: arrive at in Shinjuku

2. Snowmobile Experience with Shuttle Bus Transfer from Sapporo

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If you’re a true blue adrenaline junkie, we know just the perk-me-up you’re craving for this winter! Speed through the snow-drenched forest on a snowmobile in Sapporo!

This fast and furious alternative is a huge winner amongst families as well – with options for 2 persons per snowmobile, you don’t have to worry about your little ones riding alone. The 60-minute thrill is one hell of a ride, with sweet potatoes on sale for a toasty warm finish.

Itinerary

Morning Departure

Afternoon Departure

9:00am -10:00am: meet at designated Sapporo

City hotels for departure

11:00am -12:00pm: snowmobiling (includes snow raft)

12:30pm -1:00pm: board the service bus bound for

hotels in Central Sapporo City

1:00pm -1:30pm: arrive at designated Sapporo hotels,

Tour ends

1:00pm - 2:30pm: meet at designated Sapporo

City hotels for departure

3:30pm-4:30pm: snowmobiling (includes snow raft)

5:30pm-6:00pm: board the free pick-up/drop-off

service bus bound for hotels in Central Sapporo City

6:00pm-6:30pm: arrive at designated Sapporo hotels,

Tour ends

3. Snow Monster Tree Watching and Snowshoeing Tour in Noboribetsu

japan-winter-chase-zao

Photo credits: jnto.org.au/

Venture into a sinister world of snow monsters at Noboribetsu this winter vacation! The troop of monsters are not just a natural phenomenon of coated frost, they are much more menacing-looking in real life too.

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Snowshoes are your best choice of weapon to making it out alive. That’s not all; keep in mind to bundle up in warm clothing and capture plenty of insta-worthy snaps for bragging rights.

#Klooktip: Other than the snow monsters, check out more unique winter festivals and illuminations happening in Japan!

Itinerary

10:30am: depart from selected hotels in Noboribetsu

11:15am: start of the tour (around 60 mins)

1:00pm: return to selected hotels in Noboribetsu,

Tour ends

4. Snow Field BBQ and Snow Rafting Experience with Optional Snowmobiling in Sapporo

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Snowmobile Land Sapporo is a resort you can snowmobile, snow raft, and experience the winter to your heart’s content!

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japan-winter-activities-snow-field-bbq

To seal the deal, head into one of the Japanese Kamakura snow igloos for a free-flow feast of Genghis Khan grilled lamb BBQ! Fuel after an action packed day in the snow with piping hot meat.

P.S. We will not be held responsible for any post buffet food comas.

Itinerary

10:00am-11:00am: meet up with the staff at the

hotel you selected meet up location and depart

11:30am: arrive at Snowmobile Land Sapporo

11:35am: ride a 25km-long snowmobile (optional)

or have fun in the snow park (about 60 minutes)

12:40pm: ride a snow raft (about 10 minutes)

12:50pm: all-you-can-eat Genghis Khan BBQ lunch

inside a Kamakura snow hut (about 60 minutes)

2:00pm: end of the activity

2:30pm: board the shuttle bus and return to your

selected meet up location

3:00pm-4:00pm: get dropped off at your selected

meet up location

5. Okinawa Winter Whale Watching Tour

japan-winter-activities-whale

January to March spells the season of whale-watching in Okinawa. We don’t mean short snippets of tail whipping in the air or catching waves a second too late. Okinawa’s humpback whales will be making a comeback this winter for mating and calf-rearing.

And if you’re betting on capturing a mini humpback whale on camera – chances are pretty high!

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Should luck run dry and there’s no whales in plain sight, you’ll be thrilled to know that full refunds or second tickets reimbursement will be issued to make up for the lost time.

#Klooktip: Better late than never; make sure to stock up on pills for sea-sickness. Avoid falling ill as many regretful travelers did on this whale-watching tour.

Itinerary

Depart from Naha

[Catamaran] Depart from Naha

Depart from Chatan

8:30am/1:00pm: meet in the Naha Miegusuku Port

9:00am/1:30pm: departure

Whale watching tour (maximum 3 hours)

12:00pm/4:30pm: back to the port, disband

8:30am/1:00pm: meet in the Naha Miegusuku Port

NEWS meeting point

9:00am/1:30pm: departure

Whale watching tour (maximum 3 hours)

12:00pm/4:30pm: back to the port, disband

9:00am/1:00pm: meet in the Chatan Hamagawa Fishing Pier

9:00am/1:30pm: departure

Whale watching tour (maximum 3 hours)

12:00pm/4:30pm: back to the port, disband

6. Obihiro River Cruise in Tokachi

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Photo credits: visit-eastern-hokkaido.jp

Cruising along snow-laden fields, delicate frosted trees, and the fresh scent of morning dew in the cold? SIGN US UP!

#Klooktip: The Obihiro River Cruise in Tokachi is also available at night, a laidback activity to add after a day trip!

japan-winter-activities-obihiro

Photo credits: asoview.com

Hokkaido’s clearest water bodies will offer a tranquil escape every city dweller has been itching for. Adding a mystical touch to the white paradise are white whooper swans migrated from the other side of the globe. These Siberian earthlings will make a great ethereal addition to your selfie and are mostly spotted from December to March.

Itinerary

7:40am/7:10pm: meet up and head to the departure

point

Safety briefing and warm up (20 min)

Experience cruising (50 min)

Eating desserts and drinking at Tokachi Yell Center

(45 min)

End of activity

Itinerary is subjected to changes depending on

situation

7. Snow Town Yeti Ski Trip with Round-trip Transfers for Mount Fuji from Tokyo

japan-winter-activities-snow-town

Mount Fuji will always be one of Japan’s most iconic monuments – and a bucket list item that never expires. Aside from nailing down every popular viewing spot for a picturesque snapshot, level up your experience with a skiing trip at the iconic mountain!

Featuring 2 gentle slopes for amateurs and experts, a snowboarding park, a snow stadium with tubing, sledding and other must-do winter cliches, Snow Town Yeti is a winter haven for all families and children to roll in the snow or flex their skills.

japan-winter-activities-snow-town

Any regular traveler would know that a trip to Mount Fuji is best done via a day tour. The perks are endless; a detailed itinerary sans the planning, less time spent on the road and of course, saving bigger bucks. Likewise, cast all travel worries away and enjoy roundtrip transfers on us to Snow Town Yeti!

All there’s left to do is to layer up for a full-body workout later on!

Roundtrip Transfers

From Tokyo

Meet-up Timing: 7.20 am (bus departs at 7.30 am)

Meet-up Location: Shinjuku Station West Exit, in front of Kogakuin University

From Snow Town Yeti

Meet-up Timing: 3.50 pm (bus departs at 4 pm)

Meet-up Location: Snow Town Yeti

8. Strawberry Picking, All-You-Can-Eat-Crab and Ashikaga Flower Park/Lake Sagami Light Show from Tokyo

japan-winter-activities

Winter marks the season of strawberry-picking! Japanese strawberries are famed for being succulent, juicy and incredibly sweet. Each bite is guaranteed to pack a punch and have you begging for seconds. This is also a great chance to score brownie points with your family back at home.

#Klooktip: Deformed strawberries with cracks are often left off the shelves. Don’t let its ugly looks fool you! These are usually the sweetest finds!

Photo credits: Daigo Harada on Flickr

After over-indulging in an All-You-Can-Eat-Crab buffet, keep your eyes peeled and your cameras ready for the Ashikaga Flower Park Illumination. This year’s line-up boasts an impressive 5 million LED lights that are not only stunning in the night but eco-friendly as well! Needless to say, pictures or it didn’t happen!

Check out more winter illuminations at Shirakawa-go and in Tokyo!

Itinerary

9:35am: meet up at Shinjuku Station West Exit

Shinjuku Center Building

9:50am: depart from Tokyo

12:30pm: strawberries and mushroom picking in

Gunma Prefecture, Numata City (around 30 minutes)

All-you-can-eat crab lunch (around 50 minutes)

3:00pm: shopping at Michi no Eki Den-en Plaza

Kawaba (around 30 minutes)

4:00pm: tofu skin scooping experience

(around 30 minutes)

6:00pm: Ashikaga Flower Park/Lake Sagami light show

(around 80 minutes)

9:00pm: arrive at Shinjuku, end of tour

9. Furusato Matsuri Tokyo

japan-winter-activities-furusato

If you’re in Hokkaido from 10 January to 19 January 2020 early next year, you’re in luck! Furusato Matsuri Tokyo will be kickstarting the day with traditional Japanese performances you’ve only seen in movies and firing up your tastebuds with food from all over the country.

Now you can conquer all 47 prefectures and taste a huge variety of Japanese cuisine in just a single day!

japan-winter-activities-furusato

After binge-feasting, wash down your meal with plenty of booze and elaborate parade performances in bona fide Japanese style.

Dates: 10 January 2020 to 19 January 2020

Opening Hours: 10 am to 9 pm (Closes at 6pm on 19 January 2020)

Address: 1 Chome-3-61 Kōraku, Bunkyō-ku, Tōkyō-to 112-0004

Nearby Stations: Korakuen Station, Suidōbashi Station, or Kasuga Station

10. Shinhotaka Ropeway

Photo credits: Jon Connell on Flickr

Overlooking the Northern Japan Alps, the Shinhotaka Ropeway promises an unrivaled winter view. The double-decker gondola takes you through the Sengokuenchi Nature Park, where you’ll be cruising along a ‘snow corridor’, encased with a formidable 3-meter high snow wall!

The Shinhotaka Ropeway ticket on Klook includes roundtrips for just a fraction of the original cost. Snow enthusiasts will also love the postcard-worthy snow cap mountains and a knee-deep powdery paradise for a snowball fight!

Address: (Shinhotaka Ropeway) 710-58 Okuhida Onsengo Kansaka, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture 506-1421

Directions:

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Summary