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Favorite winter destinations for Japanese travelers

By Staff Writer
November 18, 2022
When people in Japan go on vacation, they often travel to places where they can enjoy the pleasures of winter. In winter, many people enjoy taking a hot spring bath, eating and drinking seasonal foods, and seeing winter landscapes such as drift ice and the Northern Lights, as well as snowy scenery. But where do travelers from Japan like to go?

Hokkaido

A stand of trees in a snowy field
Hokkaido landscapes in winter
Many people in Hokkaido enjoy snow festivals, drift ice, and other things that can only be seen in Hokkaido in winter. One of the biggest events in Hokkaido is the Sapporo Snow Festival. The dynamic snow sculptures and delicate ice sculptures in Odori Park and other areas of Sapporo are beautiful. The Sapporo Snow Festival is so popular that it attracts more than 2 million visitors from Japan and abroad every year.

Nagano

The main hall of Zenkoji temple in Nagano city
Zenkoji temple in Nagano
Zenkoji Temple, the main tourist attraction in Nagano, is a famous spot that cannot be missed even in winter. There are several ski resorts in Nagano, but the most popular in Nagano is Togakushi Ski Area. There are 19 courses for various levels of ability, and visitors can enjoy skiing and snowboarding while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Togakushi mountain range.

Nigata

A wicker basket filled with fresh seafood
Seafood that are popular in wintertime
Fresh seafood is a gourmet specialty during winter sightseeing in Niigata. The abundant fishing grounds of the Sea of Japan provide shrimp, yellowtail, salmon and many other varieties. which are especially delicious in winter.
In addition to seafood, famous local cuisine such as Hegisoba (buckwheat noodles) and jumbo fried tofu, as well as ramen noodles to warm you up during the cold winter months, are also popular.

Gunma

An outdoor hot spring at night, in front of a brightly illuminated hotel building
Kusatsu Onsen, Yubata Night view
Gunma is blessed with a natural environment with many mountains and clear streams. Gunma is rich in natural blessings such as hot springs and agricultural products, and there are many sightseeing spots that take advantage of them. Kusatsu Onsen, one of the most popular hot springs in Japan, is always ranked high on the national hot spring ranking list and is a popular destination for families and couples.
Source: JTB survey: "Destinations to visit in winter”
Questionnaire survey on " Destinations to visit in winter”
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