7 most beautiful Japanese destinations in winter

The Golden Temple in Kyoto, the Blue Lake in Hokkaido or Sapporo, the city with the largest snow and snow festival in Japan, are hard to miss winter destinations.


Biei Blue Lake, Hokkaido

Biei is a small village, surrounded by beautiful nature. Green Lake is actually a man-made structure, formed after the dam was built in 1988 to block the flow from the Bieigawa River. The blue color in the lake water is caused by aluminum hydroxide compounds. In addition, depending on the time of day, depending on the season, the water is dark green or not. The landscape of the lake in winter is even more magical when the trees are covered with snow, the branches are reflected in the flat and green surface of the lake. Photo: Kent Shiraishi.

Sapporo, Hokkaido 

Sapporo is the 4th largest city in Japan located on the island of Hokkaido. If you’re looking for a place to have some winter fun in Japan, Sapporo and the ice and snow festival are the perfect place. This is the biggest winter event in Japan, held in February every year, attracting millions of visitors from all over the world. Sapporo during this festival will display a lot of art made from ice and snow. Photo: pandotrip.

Tadami, Aizu, Fukushima

This is a village located in the mountains with many corners for visitors to see. Besides the mountains and lakes, the village also has two rivers Ina and Tadami flowing through. A very famous railway bridge is called the Tadami line. The snowfall in Aizu is among the top most in Japan, so the forests and mountain slopes will be covered with a thick layer of snow, creating a beautiful scene like a fairy. Photo: Hide Ktg.

Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto

This is the Golden Temple – the most beautiful destination in the ancient capital of Kyoto. The building is even more beautiful when the winter snow covers all four sides, while the temple stands out in yellow. The work was built in 1397 and is a sacred Buddhist destination. After centuries of historical events, the current Golden Temple is a reconstruction in 1955. Gold leaves are added to the temple to protect the deceased from bad energy. Photo: Tim Czajkowski.

Shirakawago, Gifu

Shirakawago is an ancient village that is recognized as a world heritage site. Although each season has its own beauty, winter snow is still the best time for visitors to admire. Especially in the evening, the village shimmered. Shirakawago is truly a photographer’s paradise. Photo: japanbook.

Winter in Shirakawago. Video: Shabrina Hazimi.

Hakuba, Nagano

The mountains in Hakuba are covered in white snow with many wide, gentle slopes, ideal for sightseeing, relaxation, and especially skiing. Hakuba has many resorts that mainly cater to visitors to skiing, but it is also indispensable to traditional onsen baths. Photo: Gdayjapan.

Ginzan Onsen, Yamagata

Once a place famous for its silver mining, Ginzan Onsen is now a popular resort destination in Yamagata, in the Tohoku region. In winter, the traditional wooden houses here stand out with golden lights, snow-covered tiled roofs, and the Christmas atmosphere floods the streets. Photo: jnto.

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