The culturally rich nation of Japan boasts plenty of beautiful landscapes and archaeological sites, a remnant of its rich heritage and traditions. Whether you are keen on discovering history, enjoying the scenic beauty, or a tech-savvy, Japan has something for almost everybody.
As Japan has four distinct seasons, every season has something unique to offer to you. While you can savor the beautiful cherry blossom and plum festival in the spring season, autumn is all about the splendid display of colors on the leaves. But perhaps the greatest festivals in Japan can be found during the winter and summer seasons.
Japanese people love to have fun and frolic during the festival seasons. They congregate at the festival hot spots and enjoy them to the fullest with family and friends. Most of the tourist destinations are also packed during the peak season.
Sapporo Snow Festival at Hokkaido
Held in the month of February for one week, Sapporo Yuki Matsuri is one of the most sought-after festivals in Sapporo. In 1950, a bunch of high school students erected statues made of snow in Odori Park, central Sapporo. Over the years, this festival has grown very large and commercialized. There used to be around a dozen large-sized sculptures along with many smaller ice and snow sculptures sprawled across the town for the festival. A number of other events and concerts are also organized during the festival week.
Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival
The northernmost ice-free lake Shikostu is almost 363 meters deep. The Lake Shikostu ice festival features a cave covered with moss. The cave is draped evergreen inside and ice-covered. Visit the Lake Shikotsu prefecture from late January to mid-February to participate in the festival. Ice sculptures of small and large sizes are prominent in the festival. As the night sets in, sculptures are illuminated with lights in different colors. A fireworks show is also held and admission to the festival area is free.
Nango Summer Jazz Festival
Artists from around the Tohoku and further regions perform at The Nango Summer Jazz Festival every year. Beginning in 1989, this festival has evolved into Tohoku’s largest open-air jazz concert. It was for the first time held in a small indoor venue but owing to the huge response from the fans, it was expanded into an annual festival and started being held at the larger venue. The admission ticket that you receive to enter does not cost you anything.
Lake Towada Snow Festival at Yasumiya
Held in early February, the Lake Towada Snow Festival takes place in Yasumiya town. This festival is held on the south side, near the wooden statues, of the lake. Though open all day long, one can enjoy various activities like a snow maze, Japanese igloo, and foods from Aomori and Akita prefectures only after 5 PM. Several events and fireworks shows are held on the ice stage.
read also my article about How to Survive in Japan if you are on a Tight Budget