People love visiting Japan for plenty of reasons. Japan is beautiful throughout the year and never seems to lack sights to see and things to do. If you are visiting Japan in January then you are definitely in for a treat. Since it will be winter at that time of the year, Japan in January weather would be cold with temperatures dropping to 10 degrees Celsius. At this time of the year, there are plenty of Winter festivals that take place. The country is usually lit up by the end of August and the lights stay on till the end of January. There are beautiful ice sculptures that are illuminated, parades around town, and delicious food sold at this time of the year.
The Weather In Japan In January
Japan in January weather is quite cold and the temperatures drop to about 10 degrees Celsius in the afternoons. The night and early mornings tend to be about 1-2 degrees Celsius. Although most of the places around Japan tend to experience snowfall, Tokyo experiences very little snow and rainfall. Before you plan your trip, make sure to find out Japan in January temperature just to be on the safe side.
Best Things To Do In Japan In January
If you are wondering about the things you can do in Japan at this time of the year, then worry not. If the weather is on your side, there are plenty of ways for you to experience the best of Japan. Here is a list of the top 10 things you can do that should definitely be a part of your trip in January itinerary:
1. Take part in the Kitami Yakiniku Festival
This winter BBQ festival is a great way to beat the cold weather since this place in January weather 2019 will be quite freezing and possibly dropping below 10 degrees Celsius. It would seem rather strange to do this in the open rather than inside closed doors but people seem to enjoy this outing where there is a little show put on and there are about 100 or more tables where people come from all over the city just to enjoy the food. A play is put on while you get your chopsticks ready!
2. Spend the day relaxing at Takaragawa Onsen
This hot spring is one of the most ancient and popular one available in Japan. Although almost every city in Japan has several hot springs, this would definitely be worth a visit. Japan in January temperature would be dropping pretty low, and this is a great way to warm yourself up. It is located right next to Takaragawa river and you can be sure that the sight from there is absolutely stunning. Apart from painting a pretty picture, the place offers different kinds of baths and services. There are plenty of spa treatments and massages that you can go for here.
Suggested Read: Travelers Will Now Have To Pay A Sayonara Tax When Leaving Japan
3. Join in on Hatsumode
Hatsumode is a very popular Japanese tradition. It is the first shrine visit of the year. The temples and shrines tend to get crowded at this time of the year as everyone will be praying for a good New Year. You can pray as well for whatever you like or you can stay and observe. There will be vendors and shops in most of the temples, they will be selling amulets, and other pieces of religious decoration. You will also be able to find food vendors just in case you get hungry.
Best place to visit: Meiji-Jingu Shrine, Sensoji, and Naritasan Shinshoji
4. Check out the snow art festival at Sapporo
Snow art festivals are quite popular in Japan. Some go on for a few weeks and some tend to go on for over a month. Massive snow sculptures are created and illuminated at night. If you visit one, you can find thousands of ice sculptures of either mythological creatures or animated characters. You can even find religious sculptures such as Buddha. The sculptures can also reach up to a height of about 20m. The contest had participants from within Japan but now teams have started coming from international countries as well. You should check this out if you are visiting Japan in January and February.
5. Go snowboarding or skiing
If you feel like taking part in sports during the month of January, then you can go skiing or snowboarding. Since January is definitely the coldest month of the year, that would mean that the snow is stable enough for any sport. Any mountain that experiences wet snow would more than likely have a powdery dry snow during the coldest months. If you enjoy the rush and you love nature then there are plenty of skiing resorts that you can find that can help you get started. This should definitely be a part of your Japan in January itinerary.
Best place to visit: Hakuba and Niseko
6. Enjoy the winter illuminations in Tokyo
Winter illuminations are rather popular around Japan. The best places for that would be Ginza, Shinjuku, and Roppongi. The most popular one would be that of the Tokyo Station. The trees are lit up with champagne colored lights since all the trees would have already shed their leaves. The illuminations cover about 200 trees and surrounding historical buildings as well as skyscrapers. This way the celebrations let you appreciate both the old and the new. This is the most popular illumination event and it is loved because it goes on all around town.
Dates: November 11th to February 15th
7. Visit the town of Tadami in Aizu
This town is tucked away in the mountainous area. The town offers picturesque views which include the lakes, mountains and the two rivers, Tadami and Inna. Tadami has a railway bridge which is a part of the Tadami railway line. Aizu experiences the heaviest rainfall in Japan and so the forests tend to get thick with snow. It is because of this that the entire area looks like something out of a storybook in Winter. The train line lets you experience a scenic ride and also lets you explore the rest of the area. Once you’re in the town, it is all yours to explore!
8. Be a part of Hatsuhinode
Hatsuhinode is another one of those seasonal events that Japanese people love so much. It is also known as the first sunrise of the year. This might seem a little strange but it is actually a very popular event in Japan. There are spots that are specifically recommended so that you can get a good view of the sunrise. It is best to visit a mountaintop to get a great view. Goraikou is the act of climbing up a mountain just to watch the sunrise. It is considered to be good luck. The most popularly visited mountain would be Mt. Fuji. The top tends to get so crowded that people aren’t even able to climb the mountain.
9. Be amused at the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park
If you find the time, you should definitely check out this park. What you will find here is an amusing and unique sight. You will find Japanese macaques or monkeys bathing in hot springs. Although there are plenty of hot springs for humans, in this particular park, monkeys enjoy doing human-like things. Since it tends to get quite cold in the winter, they love warming themselves up. The monkeys bathe in groups and are not afraid of people so you can enjoy the hot springs as well. If you are visiting Japan in January and February, you should not miss the chance to see this amusing sight.
10. Attend a Dondo Yoki
This is an event that is held at thousands of shrines all over Japan and it involves burning the past year’s lucky items at a large bonfire. You don’t have to go to any special place, it usually happens all over Japan. Since these lucky items are purchased the previous year and contain the Japanese zodiac symbols, it is considered bad luck to throw it out. So the items are thrown into the fire. You can watch the event or add your own ornaments as well. If you are planning a Japan in January itinerary, then this should definitely be added to the list.
Best place to visit: Machida’s Oyama Dairi Park
If the list above has already got you excited, why not book your trip with TravelTriangle now for a hassle free holiday in Japan in May! Be a part of the festivals and events in January in this beautiful island nation!