2024 Coto Travel Guide: Things To Do In Japan In February

February in Japan is a time of contrasts. The chill of winter still lingers, yet hints of spring begin to peek through. Snow blankets the northern regions, while plum blossoms paint the southern landscapes in delicate hues. Whether you’re seeking snowy adventures or a taste of early spring, Japan in February has something for everyone. This blog will list things you can do in Japan during this cold February.

A Quick Jump To…

さっぽろ雪まつり Sapporo Snow Festival

The undisputed king of winter festivals, Sapporo’s Snow Festival is a must-see spectacle. Witness towering ice and snow sculptures, explore whimsical snow mazes, and indulge in delicious local food. There are three different sites: the Odori Site (snow sculptures in different sizes, projection mapping, Sappori citizen snow sculptures, and snow slide), the Susukino Site (ice sculptures, ice sculptures contest, character ice sculptures, and ice sculpture with fish inside), and Tsudome Site (snow siding and other attractions). Each site has its own unique exhibitions. Also, the roads are often frozen and slippery, so winter boots or shoes with ice-traction soles are recommended. You can also buy 滑り止め suberidome, cleats attached to rubber bands, which can be attached under the soles of regular shoes.

  • Date:  2024 February 4th – 11th
  • Location: varies depending on each site. Click the site’s link to know where to go!
  • Fees: Free

小樽雪あかりの路 Otaru Canal Candlelight Festival

Immerse yourself in the fairytale-like atmosphere of Otaru’s Canal Candlelight Festival. Stroll along the snow-covered canal, illuminated by thousands of flickering candles, and soak in the tranquil beauty of 19th-century architecture.

  • Date: 2024 February 10th – 17th 17:00 ~ 21:00
  • Location: 小樽運河
  • Fees: Free

Winter Sports Paradise

Photo By Powderhounds

Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. Hit the slopes at these ski resorts, known for their powdery snow and stunning scenery, or try your hand at cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the pristine wilderness.

Niseko United

Hakuba Valley

Resort APPI

Check out our blog for more about ski resorts: 2023 Coto Travel Guide: Things To Do In Japan In December.

熱海梅まつり Atami Plum Blossom Festival

February marks the beginning of plum blossom season in Japan. These delicate pink and white flowers symbolize perseverance and hope, offering a glimpse of spring amidst the winter chill.

河津桜祭り Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival

Experience an early taste of cherry blossom season at the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival. Located in southern Japan, Kawazu boasts rows of weeping cherry trees that bloom a month earlier than their northern counterparts, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The festival runs from February 1st to March 10th, 2024.

節分 Setsubun

Photo By Japan Reference

According to the old lunar calendar, this traditional festival marks the beginning of spring. On February 3rd, households throw roasted soybeans out their doors to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck for the coming year. You can also participate in bean-throwing ceremonies held at temples and shrines throughout Japan.

Onsen Bliss

Photo By TimeOut

Escape the winter chill and soothe your body and soul in a traditional Japanese hot spring. Onsens come in all shapes and sizes, from 露天風呂 outdoor rotenburo baths surrounded by snow-capped mountains to luxurious indoor spas.

Tenzan Onsen 天山温泉

Hakone Yuryo Onsen 箱根湯寮温泉

Check out our blog for more about Japanese onsen: 2023 Coto Travel Guide: Things To Do In Japan In November.

西大寺会陽 Saidai-ji Temple Eyo

Photo By OH! MATSURi

This festival is also called the naked festival. This unique festival involves men wearing only loincloths running through the streets while being splashed with cold water. Besides there are also performances involved, such as drumming.

Tips for Traveling in Japan in February

  • Pack warm clothes and layers; temperatures can vary depending on the region.
  • Be prepared for snow and ice, especially in the northern areas.
  • Book your accommodation and transportation in advance, as February is a popular time to visit Japan.
  • Learn some basic Japanese phrases to enhance your experience.
  • Most importantly, be open to new experiences and embrace the unique charm of winter in Japan.

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