Best weather to visit Japan

Japan Weather: Snow Season

Observe magical fairy tale lanscapes that you can only find in Japan during the winter

Best time: mid-December–March

Snow Season
Snow Season
Snow Season

While the biggest cities of Japan such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kioto don't experience much snow during the winter, there are plenty of places along the eastern and northern coast of the country that have abundant snowfalls. The mountains along the coast of the Sea of Japan boast 3-6 m snow depths.

Generally, snow season in Japan is mid-to-late December to the end of March, but it may differ depending on the region. Hokkaido is usually the first place to receive snow in Japan. Cold air from Siberia meets the humidity of the Sea of Japan and brings snow as early as the first week of November. In Sapporo City, the snow starts to melt in mid-March, while in the mountains it can stay until May.

But if you don't plan to travel as far as Hokkaido, you can enjoy snow country much closer to the capital. Niigata Prefecture is famous for its abundance of snow and winter activities, such as skiing. It also has a large number of hot springs. The first snow usually gets there in December, sometimes towards the end of the month.

The same can be said about Nagano Prefecture, which hosted Winter Olympics, and is famous for its ski resorts. You can expect snow there in late December. However, the peak of snowfall and the best season for winter activities there is February. In March temperature raises, and snow already starts to melt.

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin