Ohayo, Japan: Where To Go And What To Do In Tokyo, Osaka, And Niseko After Christmas
While many people can argue that the best season to go to Japan is in the Spring, when the much-coveted cherry blossoms are in full bloom, visiting the culture-rich county is also quite a delight during the winter months of December to February. In fact, here are some reason why we encourage you to visit the tourist-friendly cities of Tokyo, Osaka, and Niseko right after the Christmas rush has died down.
One of the upsides of visiting the capital city of Japan in the Winter is that there is considerably less tourists than the Spring and Autumn seasons. That means that you get to take advantage of tourist spots when they are less crowded than usual.
As one of the world’s shopping meccas, Tokyo is a great destination after the Christmas shopping rush has died down. This means that you can scour the streets of Akihabara, Shibuya, Ginza, Harajuku, Shinjuku, and Nihonbashi at a more leisurely pace since everyone else has exhausted their shopping means and energy before Christmas time.
Visiting Tokyo at the last Saturday of this year will also let you witness the Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks for an amazing out-of-season fireworks display. Position yourself right in front of the Decks shopping center and you’ll get the best seats to the fireworks that will light up the sky between Odaiba and the Rainbow Bridge.
For Otakus, the winter edition of one of the biggest anime and comic-related events of the year will happen at the end of the month from December 29 to 31. Winter Comiket brings together a massive influx of cosplayers, amateur and professional manga artists all over Japan, and a wide display of dojinshi or independently published manga.
When you think Japan and Japanese food, the first two things that immediately come to mind are sushi and ramen. And what best season to enjoy a bowl of steaming hot ramen than winter? People from all over the world, when in Osaka, make sure to stop by Ichiran Dotonbori for their famous bowl of tonkotsu ramen. And this legendary ramen shop has a branch right at the heart of Osaka.
From November to January, a four-kilometer stretch in the central district of Umeda is dedicated to the Osaka Festival of Light. The whole area will be illuminated by beautiful lights that can be appreciated best at night and is one of the world’s grandest and largest illumination events. For a breathtaking multimedia show, catch the Osaka Castle 3D Mapping Super Illumination from December 15 to February 26 for a cutting-edge audio-visual show at the Osaka Castle.
Ice skating is really popular in Japan and come winter time, many open-air public rinks pop up throughout the region so it is best to take advantage of these seasonal rinks. In Osaka, check out the Tsurun Tsurun, Naniwa Ice Skating, and Grand Front Osaka Ice Skating rinks for the best ice skating experience.
Winter activities are the best and most popular kind of activities in Niseko, Hokkaido, and the winter fun continues way after the holidays subside. In fact, if you’re not a fan of huge crowds, enjoying winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding in Niseko is best after the influx of holidaying tourists has subsided. Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village, and Annupuri resorts combine to make Niseko United, one of the largest ski areas in the Hokkaido island. Experience snowmobiling and snow shoeing in Niseko, as well, while you explore the snow-covered forests, ice-covered lakes, and the scenic countryside that Niseko has to offer.
For first timers, trying out winter activities in Niseko in December right after the Christmas rush is most recommended since there is less snowfall, the days are warmer, and the slopes are open.
After a long cold day of skiing and playing with snow, unwind in a steaming hot bath in an onsen or hot spring. Onsen bathing is best in winter season since it’s not as comfortable and comforting if you try it out in the hotter months, and Niseko is home to many beautiful hot springs such as the One Niseko Resort Towers Onsen, Hilton Niseko Village Onsen, Niseko Goshiki Onsen, and Kiranoyu.