Top 5 Japanese Snow Festivals Taking Place in 2019

04.January.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

People often travel to Japan in the spring for the cherry blossoms or fall for the gorgeous colours as the leaves turn yellow and red. But if you’re coming here in winter then we recommend hitting up one of the many snow festivals that take place across the country. Here are 5 festivals set to take place this new year.


Sapporo Snow Festival – Hokkaido

Taking place in the heart of Sapporo, the annual Sapporo Snow Festival stretches across a 1.5km area and brings in millions of people from both Japan and overseas who go to see its hundreds of huge ice sculptures and snow statues.



Odori Park: February 4, 2019 – February 11, 2019 (Illuminations until 22:00)

Tsudome: January 31, 2019 – February 11, 2019 (9:00-17:00)

Susukino: February 4, 2019 – February 11, 2019 (Illuminations until 23:00 but until 22:00 on February 11)




Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival – Akita Prefecture

The Yokote Kamakura Festival is centred around the deity of water and has been running for more than 450 years. Around 100 igloo-like structures called “kamakura” are built where people sit and enjoy sweet rice wine and mochi. When the kamakura are lit up it creates a very magical atmosphere.



Running: February 15, 2019 – February 16, 2019 (18:00-21:00)

Locations: Yokote City Hall Road Park and Yokote Park, Hagurocho Bukeyashiki Street, Futabacho Street, Yokote East, Yokote, Akita Prefecture



Yunishikawaonsen Kamakurasai – Tochigi Prefecture

Taking place at Yunishigawa Onsen, this event was designated as a Night View Inheritance site in 2009. It sees hundreds of candles lit up across the entire area that create a mysterious atmosphere.



Address: 1042 Yunishigawa, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

Running: January 26, 2019 – March 3, 2019

Candle Lighting: 5:30pm-9:00pm

*Subject to cancellation depending on weather conditions.

Closed: Wednesdays & Thursdays

TEL: 0288-22-1525




Tsunan Snow Festival – Niigata Prefecture

Located in Tsunan, Niigata this snow festival is host to the snowboard straight jumping competition SNOW WAVE. The festival is also iconic for the 3,000 or so sky lanterns that are lit and sent up into the clouds. The lanterns that rise into the night sky together with the fireworks is a must-see spectacle.



Running: March 8, 2019 – March 9, 2019 (11:00-20:00)

Location: New Greenpia Tsunan

Sky Lanterns: 1,000 to fly on March 8 and 2,000 on March 9.




Yamanakako Fujisan Snow Festival

Whether it’s the hover crafts that ride on top of the snow or the snow slide, the Yamanakako Fujisan Snow Festival is a must-visit. From early to mid-February you can see the sun setting above the peak of Mount Fuji, a sight which has been called “Diamond Fuji.” A romantic scene will also unfold when lots and lots of ice candles are lit up.



Running: Late January 2019 – Mid February 2019 (9:00-16:00)

Location: Yamanakako Koryu Plaza Kirara

*Full details TBA.

*Fireworks scheduled for the days on which the ice candles are lit up.



No matter what season you visit Japan during there is always something to be enjoyed. Don’t pass up the opportunity to experience one of its many snow festivals during wintertime.