Traveling to Japan in February? We’ve listed the most amazing things to do in Japan in February! Check it out!
February in Japan unveils a wonderland of icy wonderlands, blooming blossoms, and fiery traditions.
From skiing down snow-dusted slopes to chasing illuminated ice sculptures, and indulging in sake-soaked Setsubun bean-throwing, this guide unlocks the magic of Japan’s winter wonderland.
Get ready to witness dazzling displays, soak in geothermal bliss, and savor unique experiences that will warm your soul even in the chilliest air.
So, pack your warmest layers and adventurous spirit, because unforgettable February adventures await in Japan!
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Things To Do In Japan In February
Many people wonder whether February is a good time to go to Japan or not.
If you have the same concern, I will give you a proper answer to this query first.
Okay, the thing is, only in February you can enjoy some of the best festivals in Japan like Sapporo Snow Festival & Kamakura Festival.
Hence, yes, it is surely one of the best months to visit Japan.
Actually, there are more than just these two feasts that you may have no idea about.
That’s why you need to check all the activities and places that I am going to mention here one by one. And, after that, you will get an in-depth answer.
Alright, it’s time to begin our journey of finding the amusement of February in Japan.
Exciting February 2024 Events in Japan
First, I will talk about all festivals and events that take place in Japan.
The Sapporo Snow Festival
Coming to Japan in February and missing the famous Sapporo Snow Festival, it can’t happen!!
This feast is held once a year at Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, in early February and lasts for over one week.
Attracting about two million visitors every year, Sapporo Snow Celebration represents impressive artworks that are made with ice and snow.
You will find hundreds of ice sculptures in various sizes, covering more than 1.5 km of the downtown park.
As the showcase area is so long, you may get tired of watching all the pieces of artistry, but trust me, it will be worth your time.
Sapporo Snow Festival started back in 1950, and the scale has been getting larger every year.
The celebration is divided into three sites: Tsu Dome, Odori Park, and Susukino.
Among them, the Odori Site holds the main attraction of the fiesta, where you will see over 100 ice/snow statues, including 10 m tall larger ones.
Soon after the sunset, the festive lights are turned on, making the statues look like what you expect in a dreamland.
You know what, I have no words to explain how beautiful the view is in real life.
Yokote Kamakura Festival
Held in Yokote City, Akita Prefecture, Tohoku Region, the Yokote Kamakura Snow Feast features hundreds of small and large snow domes that are placed in different locations of the city.
Usually, this festival takes place on 15th and 16th February every year, when the whole city turns into a winter wonderland with snow covering up everywhere.
Anyway, during the daytime, special events, food stalls are found at several locations.
You will find a lot of large Kamakura domes (small snow-made houses), where you can enter and enjoy various Japanese traditional foods like Mochi (soft rice cake) and drinks.
When the darkness spreads around, over 100 small snow domes are set by Yokote River with candles inside.
And that’s where you will experience the much-awaited walking on the fireflies feel.
I will say it is one of the must-see winter events that you should not miss anyway while being in Japan in February.
If you wish to stay in Yokote City during the celebration, make sure to reserve a hotel room in advance as many travelers come here at this time.
Kawazu Cherry Blossom Feast
The Kawazu Sakura is an early cherry blossom that starts to flourish from mid-February and lasts till mid-March.
Personally, I like this cherry blossom because of its large petals and beautiful pinkish color.
So, if you want to capture some stunning photos with the spectacular pink view, head to Kawazu City, Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture, where over 8,000 Kawazu Sakura trees are lined along the river.
Besides this, you will also find the pretty yellow canola flowers alongside the riverbanks, making a breath-taking view of two distinct colors.
Kawazu Sakura Festival has been held since the 1980s in February. And, now visitors from outside the country even enjoy it.
At night, a light-up event of the cherry trees takes place.
So, if you are traveling with your bae, it can be a perfect spot for setting up a romantic date.
Nagasaki Lantern Festival
The Nagasaki Lantern Festival takes place in Nagasaki City every year to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year depends on the new moon, which occurs between January 21 to February 20, according to the international calendar. So, please check whether it will match your traveling year or not.
The celebration features over 15,000 lanterns that light up the whole city for 15 days.
It was initially started by the Chinese residents of Nagasaki City’s Chinatown in 1994, and now it has become an official annual event.
The main fest area is Chinatown, and the surrounding area like the central park, the popular spectacle bridge, and shopping arcade.
Various Ume (Plum Blossom) Fest
Since the Japanese flower season slowly kicks off from February, you have the opportunity to see the early Cherry Blossoms.
And, one of the most renowned flowers in Japan that start blooming in February is Ume, known as Plum Blossoms.
Numerous Plum Blossoms events are organized across Japan in February and March.
Some of the significant places where Ume can be seen are Inabe Plum Grove (in Inabe City), Suzuka Forest Garden (in Suzuka City), and Kairakuen Garden (in Mito City).
Personally, I like the festival held in Inabe Plum Grove, where over 100 types and around 4,500 plum trees are available.
Moreover, during the Inabe Plum Festival, various delicious plum foods are sold, like plum juice, plum extract, and plum jam, that you can consider trying out.
Usually, this celebration is held in late February, but I suggest you check out their official site for any latest updates before heading there.
A Traditional Event “Setsubun”
Setsubun no Hi (Bean-throwing Festival in English) takes place four times a year on the last day of each season.
According to the lunar calendar, 3rd February is the last day of winter when this feast is arranged.
Once we Japanese had the belief that “oni”, a kind of folklore creature which is similar to western demons, appears at the time of changing seasons.
And, in order to scare those away, we throw dried soybeans while yelling “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi” that means “Demon out, the fortune in.”
In temples & shrines, it is celebrated more seriously and traditionally by following the rituals.
Here in the video, you can see the Setsubun Festival at the Heian Shrine in Kyoto.
So, what are you thinking, let’s scare these demons away by attending the ceremony in February.
Otaru Snow Light Path Festival
Every February, the snowy town of Otaru in Hokkaido arranges Japan’s most attractive candlelight festival.
You will find snow-covered streets glowing with over 120,000 candles.
And to give the candles a more magical touch, the flames are protected with hand-made lanterns.
During the fest, these glittering candles are lined up by the Otaru canal, creating an eye-catching view.
Mainly there are two areas in the city, Temiyasen Kaijo & Unga Kaijo, where this light event happens.
But, the good thing is, both of these areas are within walking distance, so you can easily visit both.
Besides, as Otaru is a picturesque Japanese town with the vibe of 1950, you can stroll around the whole village and capture some beautiful moments on your camera.
The Much-Awaited Valentine’s Day!!
Japanese Valentine’s Day is quite unique compared to other countries.
On this day, women present chocolate to men to show affection.
Many shops sell special chocolate & dessert during this period. So, if you are a chocolate fan, it is surely one of the best things to buy in February.
So, if you are a girl, give them to someone who holds a special place in your heart.
Mount Fuji Day
On February 23rd, we celebrate “Mount Fuji day” to protect and promote Japan’s tallest mountain.
Usually, around 2,000 fireworks are set off on Lake Kawaguchi on this day.
Mount Fuji is situated in Shizuoka of Honshu Island, which is around 100 Km away from the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area.
With its graceful pyramidical form, it has become recognized worldwide and even considered as a sacred symbol of Japan.
Mount Fuji and Fuji Five Lakes have many things to offer, and the most famous ones are climbing and hiking.
Nevertheless, if you are not willing to hike, then I will advise you to see the view of the mountain from Chureito Pagoda.
Winter illuminations are one of Japan’s most anticipated winter events, which is held in many places across the country.
Most of the illuminations start from December, and many long-run events continue till February.
As all of my previous festivals are organized outside the capital city, you are probably feeling sad if you are only looking for things to do in Tokyo in February.
So, here is the good news for you!
There are numerous illuminations events in Tokyo that are worth visiting, such as Marunouchi Illumination, Meguro River Minna no Illumination, Tokyo Illumilia, Nihonbashi Illumination, Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, and Yomiuriland Jewellumination.
Fun Activities to Do in February
You are coming to Japan in February and missing winter activities; it can’t happen!!
So, let’s see what type of fun is waiting for you.
Take A Bathe in Hot Onsen
Onsen is one of Japan’s traditional things that you should experience once at least.
And winter is definitely the best season to soak up your body in a hot bath to stay away from the cold.
Now, tell me, are you going to travel with your lover?
Then I recommend you stay at an authentic Japanese Ryokan or hotel that has a hot spring inside.
Anyway, you can also choose to visit various onsen towns like Kusatsu (in Gunma Prefecture), Hakone (in Kanagawa Prefecture), and Ikaho (in Gunma Prefecture), where some of the top-class hot springs are available.
Another fabulous onsen town is Beppu which is one of the favorites that you can consider checking out too.
Enjoy World-Class Skiing & Snowboarding
It’s time to become cool by showing some crazy ski & snowboard tricks!!
With some top-class ski resorts, Japan welcomes you to feel the thrill of these winter sports.
Even if you have no skills, these resorts’ instructors will help you learn the basics.
So, no worry, my friend!!
To name a few best ski resorts are Niseko (in Hokkaido), Zao (in Yamagata), Hakuba (in Nagano), Gala (in Niigata), and so on.
Many travelers don’t know about it and only head to Hokkaido, which is, of course, a paradise for skiing.
But, you have options like Rokkosan Ski Resort (in Hyogo), Hachi Kita Kogen Ski Resort (in Hyogo), and Gransnow Okuibuki Ski Resort (in Shiga) that can be easily reached from Osaka.
So, while looking for things to do in Osaka in February, dropping by these resorts will be a great treat for you.
Shirakawa-go & Gokayama
Announced as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, Shirakawa-go and neighboring Gokayama are popular for their traditional gassho-zukuri houses.
Some of these farmhouses are over 250 years old.
The whole village covers up in snow during February, and the night view will definitely make you fall in love with the appearance.
When you enter the Shirakawa-go village, you will feel like wandering in a Disney movie land!!
The best way to adventure the town is to stay overnight at one of the farmhouses in or around Ogimachi.
An open fireplace is found in the common dining room that keeps the house warm in winter and sometimes for cooking.
The guest rooms come with a low table and tatami mat floors. However, the baths and toilets are typically modern but shared.
The cost per night on these houses is around 10,000 to 30,000 yen ($88 to $264) per person.
And, for reservations, you may check out this website.
I will say, Shirakawa-go & Gokayama are some of the top places to visit in February that you should not skip at all.
Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano
This park has Japanese Macaques, which are also well-known as Snow Monkeys.
During the cold season, these monkeys soak themselves in hot springs just like a human in a man-made pool.
They live in a large group, and it will be quite entertaining to watch them interact with each other, even sometimes with the visitors.
But, remember that it is prohibited to touch or feed the monkeys.
And, for further information, kindly visit their official site.
The Typical Weather of Japan in February
The climate in Japan varies a lot according to different areas. The average temperature is about 6 degrees Celsius in February.
Here is a chart of temperatures for February in Japan.
Expected Crowd & Cost of Stay In February in Japan
As February holds some of the biggest festivals in Japan, like Sapporo Snow Fest and Otaru Light-Up Event, organized in Hokkaido, you should expect a lot of crowd in this region.
Also, this island is popular for skiing and other snow sports, so before traveling there, you are advised to book flights and a hotel room in advance.
As many travelers stay overnight in Sapporo (the capital of Hokkaido), the cost of hotel rooms will be a bit higher than usual.
Other destinations such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima are not that busy with tourists in February. Yet, you should not ignore the fact that these areas have a lot to offer generally.
Okay, this is the end of my writing.
Let’s put an end to this topic here.
By now, I hope you have settled which things to do in Japan in February.
Whatever you end up putting on your bucket list, be assured that you will not regret any.
Lastly, as February is the month of love, I want to teach you a line in Japanese that you can try saying to your sweetheart.
“Itsumo arashi no ato no watashi no niji de itekurete arigato”, which means “Thank you for always being my rainbow after the storm.”
Is February a good time to go to Japan?
Weather in February is not too snowy nor is it sunny – so it’s not too cold but it’s not hot either. I think this is the perfect weather to visit Japan. February is the low season so you won’t find many tourists. The only downside I can think of is that the days are shorter.
Where are some great places to visit while in Japan in February?
Some great places to visit while in Japan in February are: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima, and Hakone.
What should I wear in Japan in February?
As the weather in February is cold, you need to wear warm clothes. Here is a list of things to pack while traveling to Japan for this month.
- Padded coats, sweaters, or jackets.
- Long-sleeved tops.
- Woolen socks, hand gloves, hats, scarves.
- Ear warmers.
- Long pants & trousers.
- High boots and trekking shoes.
- Lip balm & moisturizer.
After reaching Japan, I advise you to buy a heat pack too.
Does it snow in February in Tokyo?
Yes, usually Tokyo has 9 to 10 snow days on average each year.
The snow generally falls from December to March, but January & February are the two months with the most snow days.
What is the climate in Japan in February?
The climate in Japan in February is cold, with average temperatures ranging from 6°C (48.2°F) in the south to -1°C (30.2°F) in the north. There is a possibility of snow in the northern and mountainous regions, but the weather is generally sunny and dry.
Here is a breakdown of the average temperatures in some major cities in Japan in February:
- Tokyo: 10°C (50°F)
- Osaka: 9°C (48.2°F)
- Kyoto: 8°C (46.4°F)
- Sapporo: 0°C (32°F)
- Okinawa: 15°C (59°F)