How to Enjoy Winter in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

How to Enjoy Winter in Japan

By Guidable Writers Feb 14, 2020

How to enjoy winter~~~~~~~~~~


Have you ever experienced freezing cold and dry weather before? If the answer is no, staying in Japan during winter can give you exactly that sort of experience.

Winter in Japan starts in December and ends after February. Different places in Japan have a different experience during winter. For example, it snows during winter in Hokkaido while in the Kanto area, it only snows occasionally.

No matter where you are, winter always brings the frigidness that affects not only your health but also your mood.

As such, it might be a good idea to learn how to tackle the cold.

Here are is a to-do-list that you might wanna tick off to help you enjoy winter in Japan!

To do

1. Stay warm

One of the best things about winter is enjoying the coziness of your warm  room even when it’s freezing outside. Let’s see how we can keep ourselves warm in winter.

Fashion: The cold can’t do anything to prevent us from dressing up! Coming to this country, you can find clothes that are not only warm and comfortable but also fashionable.

Thermal wear clothes: These products are sold by many brands such as Uniqlo, Shimamura, etc. All of them are relatively affordable with excellent quality. Uniqlo, selling of Japan’s famous HeatTech clothing is a great choice this winter. Developed with special technologies, their products can keep you warm in winter without the need to wear too many layers! So feel free to wear anything else you like without feeling cold.

Besides heat-tech, Uniqlo also sells light-weight coats that are not only light and comfortable to wear, but also efficient in keeping your body warm in winter. They have coats for both men and women. If you happen to be shopping at Uniqlo, why don’t you try them on? Once you are used to them, you may want to say goodbye to your heavy jackets.

Moreover, fluffy fur products like scarves and coats are big hits when winter comes. Fur keeps you warm in winter, and in Japan, it never seems to be out-of-fashion.

Boots also substitute for regular shoes in this season because they are perfect for keeping your feet warm when the temperature is below freezing point. Buy a pair of boots and use them every day to avoid the cold. Some boots also have fluffy fur added to bring your legs extra warmth.

2. Keep your house warm

Things to buy to have a cozy bed:

Electric blanket: using electricity, these items can keep your bed and room warm during winter days and nights. There are many types of these blankets with affordable pricing. However, beware of the heat because sometimes it can reach a high enough level to cause burns. Go to Amazon or a specialty store to get one for your bed, and you won’t ever want to leave your bed again.

Warm blanket or bed sheet: Nowadays, it is easy to find blankets and bedsheets that can warm your bed. They can be made from all sorts of materials such as cashmere,  cotton, microfiber, and so on. However, some products with cheap quality can be destroyed after washing so be careful when choosing! These blankets are usually sold in  100 Yen shops too.

Kotatsu: traditional heater that is popular in Japan. It includes a table with a heater attached and a blanket cover above. Kotatsu not only keeps your room warm, it can also save your electricity bill!

Heater: These heating machines come at affordable prices. Ceramics can also be used to warm up a small space such as the bed area or small rooms.

Air-conditioning: It is crucial not only in the summer but in winter too. If you don’t want to use ceramics, turn on the air-conditioner (warm mode), and it can warm your whole room.

Hot pack: A pack filled with hot water that keeps you warm. However, make sure to tighten the lid carefully so hot water does not leak and burn you. You can find it online or in many drugstores.

Kairo – thermal patch: This stuff is very popular in Japan. When winter starts, it can be seen in every drug store and supermarket. You can stick the patches to your clothes to keep yourselves warm when going out, but don’t stick to your skin because it can cause burns or irritation. Moreover, there are the non-sticky type that you can hold in your hand. Besides these, there are also patches specifically to warm your feet. Visit the nearest store and get some warm patches for winter, and you will be less afraid of going out.


Skincare: When winter comes ushering dry air with it, it leaves your skin dehydrated. It is sometimes followed by chapped skin, which might hurt you and prevent you from enjoying winter. Therefore, keeping your skin moist and hydrated is more important than ever when winter comes. There are products that help moisten your skin and add water to your skin to prevent dryness. Moreover, drinking enough water is equally important. And last but not least, sunscreen cannot be skipped even in this season! The ultraviolet radiation can penetrate clouds and windows to damage your skin, so be sure to put them on!

3. What to eat

Ice cream is for summer, so what is it for the winter? In Japan, for years, people have many kinds of food in winter that help warm the body. Here are lists of some food for your winter:

Oden: If you have no time to cook hot pot, try Oden. Sold in almost every convenience store at a low price, this food can warm you from the inside during winter. It is a combination of eggs, fish cake, and many other things deeply cooked in a special broth and served hot!

Nabe: A pot filled with broth made from miso soup, and when eating, people can add whatever they like, such as mushroom, meat, etc. It can be cooked at home or eaten at restaurants. The pot is normally filled with vegetables, meat, tofu, egg or seafood. Vegetarians can also enjoy this food if they don’t eat meat or seafood. Sukiyaki and shabu shabu are the most famous nabe nowadays.

Yudofu: Basically hot pot with tofu. Originating from Kyoto, it is a type of Nabemono that is eaten by monks during winter. However, different from other hot pots, Yudofu does not contain vegetables (tofu only). The tofu is dipped into dashi broth with kombu and eaten with Shouyu or ponzu sauce.

4. Where to go

Ski: It is hard to ski in Tokyo because it only snows once or twice during winter, so book a ticket to Hokkaido or Nagano to enjoy skiing. There are famous ski resorts like Niseko (Hokkaido) and Hakuba (Nagano) over there!

Winter festival: Some festivals only take place during the winter, so don’t miss the chance to join one of them.

After skiing in Hokkaido, you can join the Sapporo

Snow Festival, or if you are visiting Nagano, Nozawa Onsen Dosojin Matsuri is the festival you should join. There are other festivals in the winter, so check out the internet for something you are interested in!


Illumination: Can’t afford a ski resort or leave the city? The magical light of winter illumination will heal your soul. It takes place in many cities besides Tokyo like Kanagawa, Nagasaki, or Nagoya, so find the nearest illumination festival to join this winter!


Winter comes and goes, but memories stay with us forever. Let’s make unforgettable memories this winter!





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