Is December the right time to visit Japan
Is December the right time to visit Japan – December can be a great time to visit Japan for some travelers, but it depends on your preferences and what you want to do during your trip. Here are some things to consider:
Pros of Visiting Japan in December
- Winter illuminations: Many cities in Japan light up their streets and buildings with beautiful holiday illuminations in December. Some popular places to see these lights include Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills and Osaka’s Midosuji Avenue.
- Winter sports: If you enjoy skiing or snowboarding, December is a good time to visit Japan’s northern regions, such as Hokkaido and Nagano, where you can find some of the best snow in the world.
- Fewer crowds: Compared to the busy summer months, December tends to be a quieter time to visit Japan, so you can potentially enjoy popular attractions with fewer crowds.
Cons of Visiting Japan in December
- Weather: December is winter in Japan, so temperatures can be cold, especially in the northern regions. If you don’t enjoy cold weather, this may not be the best time for you to visit.
- Limited opening hours: Some tourist attractions may have shorter opening hours or be closed entirely during the holiday season, so it’s important to check ahead of time.
- Holidays and peak travel: The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a peak travel period in Japan, so expect higher prices and more crowds during this time.
Overall, if you enjoy winter activities, don’t mind the cold, and want to see Japan’s beautiful holiday illuminations, December can be a great time to visit. Just be aware of potential crowds and limited opening hours during the holiday season.
Things to do in Japan during December month
Japan offers a variety of activities to enjoy during the month of December and see if “Is December the right time to visit Japan”, here are some suggestions:
- Winter illuminations: As mentioned before, many cities in Japan light up their streets and buildings with beautiful holiday illuminations during December. Some popular spots to visit include Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills, Kobe’s Luminarie, and Osaka’s Midosuji Avenue.
- Winter sports: Japan has some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world, with excellent snow conditions in northern regions like Hokkaido and Nagano. Popular ski resorts to check out include Niseko, Hakuba, and Furano.
- Visit an onsen: Japan’s hot springs are a great way to warm up and relax during the colder months. Some recommended onsen towns include Hakone, Kusatsu, and Beppu.
- Attend a winter festival: December is home to several winter festivals in Japan, such as the Sapporo Snow Festival, which showcases beautiful snow sculptures and attracts millions of visitors every year. Other festivals include the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival and the Shirakawa-go Winter Light-Up.
- Try winter food: Japan has a variety of seasonal dishes during the winter, such as hot pot (nabe), oden, and mochi. These dishes are especially delicious during the colder months and can be found at restaurants and street vendors throughout the country.
- Explore museums and indoor attractions: If the cold weather is too much to handle, there are plenty of indoor attractions to visit in Japan. Some popular museums include the Tokyo National Museum, the Kyoto National Museum, and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities or indoor attractions, Japan has plenty to offer during the month of December.
Weather of different regions of Japan During December month
December is winter season in Japan, and the weather can vary depending on the region. Generally, the northern regions of Japan are colder than the southern regions, and the coastal areas tend to be more temperate than the inland areas.
Here’s a breakdown of the weather in different regions of Japan during December:
- Hokkaido: Hokkaido is the northernmost region of Japan and is known for its snowy winters. In December, temperatures typically range from -2°C to -9°C (28°F to 16°F). It is also common to experience heavy snowfall during this time of year.
- Tohoku: Tohoku is a region located in the northeast of Japan. In December, temperatures range from 2°C to -5°C (36°F to 23°F), and snowfall is common in the mountainous areas.
- Kanto: Kanto is the region surrounding Tokyo, and it experiences a relatively mild winter compared to other parts of Japan. In December, temperatures range from 5°C to 12°C (41°F to 54°F), and there is little to no snowfall in the region.
- Chubu: Chubu is a region located in the central part of Honshu, the main island of Japan. In December, temperatures range from 3°C to 10°C (37°F to 50°F), and there is some snowfall in the mountainous areas.
- Kansai: Kansai is a region located in the western part of Japan, and it experiences a mild winter similar to Kanto. In December, temperatures range from 6°C to 13°C (43°F to 55°F), and there is little to no snowfall in the region.
- Chugoku: Chugoku is a region located in the western part of Honshu, and it experiences a mild winter similar to Kansai. In December, temperatures range from 6°C to 13°C (43°F to 55°F), and there is little to no snowfall in the region.
- Shikoku: Shikoku is the smallest of Japan’s main islands and is located to the south of Honshu. In December, temperatures range from 7°C to 14°C (45°F to 57°F), and there is little to no snowfall in the region.
- Kyushu: Kyushu is the southernmost of Japan’s main islands and is known for its mild climate. In December, temperatures range from 9°C to 16°C (48°F to 61°F), and there is little to no snowfall in the region.
Overall, Japan experiences a range of winter weather during December, from heavy snowfall in the northern regions to mild temperatures in the southern regions.
List of festivals in December month in Japan
Japan has many festivals throughout the year, including in December. Here are some of the festivals that take place in Japan during December:
- Chichibu Night Festival: This festival is held in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture on December 2nd and 3rd each year. The festival features a procession of ornate floats called yatai, which are illuminated with lanterns.
- Omisoka: Omisoka is a New Year’s Eve celebration that takes place on December 31st. Many people in Japan visit temples and shrines for hatsumode, the first shrine visit of the year.
- Toshi-no-ichi: Toshi-no-ichi, also known as the Year-End Market, is held at various shrines and temples across Japan on December 31st. The market features food stalls, traditional crafts, and other goods.
- Hiwatari Matsuri: This festival is held at Mount Takao, outside of Tokyo, on the second Sunday in December each year. Participants walk across hot coals to purify their souls.
- Awa Odori: Awa Odori is a traditional dance festival that takes place in Tokushima, on the island of Shikoku, from December 12th to 15th. The festival features thousands of dancers, dressed in traditional attire, performing the Awa dance.
- Hagoita-ichi: This festival is held at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, from December 17th to 19th each year. The festival features the sale of hagoita, decorative paddles used in a traditional Japanese game.
- Sapporo White Illumination: Sapporo White Illumination is a winter light festival held in Sapporo, Hokkaido from late November to late December each year. The festival features illuminations and light displays throughout the city.
These are just a few of the many festivals that take place in Japan during December. Each region and city may have its own unique celebrations and traditions, so it’s worth checking local listings to see what’s happening in your area.
Frequently asked questions to travel to Japan in December ?
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