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Gems of Japan: Amazing Winter views

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Layer up, we're going to explore.

As the plane begins to descend, your heart starts to race; each second feels like it's passing extremely slow, yet at the same time, everything is happening so fast. As the aircraft door begins to open, you take your first full breath of air, in awe. Yes, the fateful day has finally come, you're in Japan.

As you run around the streets of Tokyo, you realize that you haven't broken a sweat. That, my friend, is winter in Japan. Now, drop off your luggage (or backpack) at your accommodation place, we're going to explore some of the best winter views of Japan.

First up, let's explore Tokyo. But before we begin, keep in mind that it doesn't snow too often in Tokyo, nonetheless the southern parts of Japan. The real snowball party is located north of Japan, located in Hokkaido. If the long distance is a concern (from Tokyo: 10 hours via the shinkansen; 2 hours via plane), you may want to consider Yuzawa, located in Niigata prefecture (about 3 hours via the shinkansen).

However, Tokyo doesn't allow its lack of snow to slow it down. If you head over to Tokyo Tower in the evening, you'll bare witness to much of the illuminations lit throughout the city. If it does manage to snow during your stay, then head over to Shibuya crossing to witness the vast amount of people, illuminations, and snowflakes.

If you're in Kyoto and it happens to snow, be sure to head over to Kinkakuji to get a glimpse of the golden pavilion topped with clear, white snow. The combination of white and gold is astonishing. If it doesn't snow, no worries. Head over to Fushimi Inari Shrine to observe the city & night sky.

Located in Hokkaido, the prefecture holds a winter festival in both Sapporo & Asahikawa. These festivals include snow and ice sculptures, ranging from detailed sculpts, such as Taipei City & Kasuga Shrine to recognizable characters from Star Wars & Yo-kai Watch. If in Sapporo, another great view of the city would be the popular Mt. Moiwa, where you'll also be able to use the rope-way to get a wider view of the city.

As for skiing & snowboarding, one of the best views you'll be able to catch is from Niseko's mountain range. And if you've never heard of it, I'm sure you'll keep it in mind once you realize that it's referred to as the "Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido" by travelers and residents alike. In addition, you'll be able to witness/walk across the powder snow (its purest form) before it turns into crud or crust, which is the type usually seen in city areas.

And finally, you can check out Tokomachi, located in Yuzawa, to view some of the highest snowfall rates in Japan, in addition to witnessing the Tokamachi Snow Festival.


(Above photo: Snowfall in Japan. The bus ride from Kyoto to Tokyo brought me to pretty rural rest stops. It allows one to appreciate the natural surroundings topped off with snow.)

Bonus:
If you find yourself to be in the south of Japan, specifically Beppu, be sure to check out Mt. Tsurumi. The mountain overlooks Beppu and, if you're lucky, you may even catch some snow. If it does snow, you'll have the best of both worlds: experience winter and snow in Japan's most southern area and conclude the night by soaking in one of Beppu's famous hot springs.

If you know other great viewing spots, please speak up. Engage in the comments below.

[Photo credit: Lindo Korchi]


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Lindo Korchi
Lindo KorchiContributor   gamer profile

Osu! I'm Lindo, a writer focused on philosophical thought, travel, & storytelling. I aim to look beyond the lens given to us by our culture, understand new perspectives, and create awesome storie... more + disclosures


 



Filed under... #gallery #japan #travel

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