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Which of these places are better in winter? 2019/11/10 20:59
Hello!
This is a really good site with great resources about Japan and a very knowledgeable community.
I plan to visit Japan for 16 days and 15 nights starting from late December to the middle of January.

It is my first time in Japan and I want to sample different things. For instance Japan food, see classic Japan culture and art as well as nice landscapes and modern things.
For this reason I decided not to go to Northern Japan, as I would not like to encounter to much snow or ski.

I am thinking to follow either the 16day 15night itinerary or the Best of Japan 14 days itinerary.
However these itineraries do not say which of the suggested places are best suited for winter or other seasons.
For this reason I created a list with places found in these itineraries. excluding Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka which I think will be fine in winter. I like the description of all the places in the list but given the fact that I will be in Japan from late December to the beginning January would it be wise to skip some and focus my time in other parts?

The places are:
Nikko
Kamakura
Hakone
Nara
Miyajima
Kanazawa
Hiroshima
Shirakawago
Takayama
Mt Koya
5 lakes

Looking forward for suggestions on where to go or where to avoid in winter!
by SpyrosJapan  

Re: Which of these places are better in winter? 2019/11/11 07:10
If you want to avoid snow entirely, don't go to Shirakawago, Takayama or Kanazawa.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: Which of these places are better in winter? 2019/11/11 07:53
Thank you for your reply.
I will clear that a bit, I am OK with some snow. But I would not want to go for ski, which is a specific activity.
Since time is limited I would like to select the best places to visit for the winter and avoid places that are only better to visit on summer.
by SpyrosJapan rate this post as useful

Re: Which of these places are better in winter? 2019/11/11 08:16
I found Kanazawa very wet and slushy over the new year period and I think that is pretty typical. Takayama was better. Essentially wet and slushy makes it pretty painful, I'd rather no snow or heaps of it. Takayama is pretty that time of year and the feeling of the town is good. Hotel Associa is excellent because you can have your onsen on the balcony overlooking the town, really pretty if it is snowing.

Shirakawa-go is pretty that time of year but can be very icy and it will be very, cold. It was -10 celsius when we were there around Christmas one year. Nikko will possibly be snowy but it is very pretty under snow. I dont know if I would bother with Miyajima, the wind gets terribly cold there. On the other hand, I'd always recommend Kamakura and Enoshima any time of the year.

If I had to cut it back to a few places, I'd say Kamakura and Enoshima (a 2 day thing), maybe Karuizawa, Takayama.

by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Which of these places are better in winter? 2019/11/11 17:01
Kamakura and Enoshima are also an excellent choice for New Year celebrations, particularly Hatsumode.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: Which of these places are better in winter? 2019/11/11 21:33
Thank you for your answers so far.
Is there any opinion about Mt Koya and 5 Likes?
Regarding Mt Koya I really think staying at a temple would be an excellent experience, however I would like to understand how temple lodging facilities are heated, and what temperatures I expect to find there.

Similar with the Fuji 5 Lakes and Ryokan, are 5 lakes worth a visit for onsen and Ryokan lodging from Tokyo or should I invest this time for somewhere else?
by SpyrosJapan rate this post as useful

Re: Which of these places are better in winter? 2019/11/12 18:22
I loved Koyasan. Fuji Five Lakes is a great idea too. You'll find you'll be warm in a shukubo or ryokan, especially when you have a bath and get cosy in the yukata.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: Which of these places are better in winter? 2019/11/13 01:30
I went to Koya-san in late November one year. The temple I was staying in was plenty warm, but I was freezing when I was walking around outside. I had not brought warm enough clothing for the temperatures because it was so mild everywhere else on my trip. (I'm usually fine with the cold, where I use to live it got quite cold (-10 to -15 C) in the Winter, but I think a lot of us don't normally sightsee where we live. There were also a few random piles of snow about, as if a storm had come through a week or two ago, and most of the snow was gone except these piles. So if you go to Koya-san, it will be colder than Tokyo or Osaka so be prepared for it.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

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