Japan in December is a captivating destination that offers travellers a unique blend of traditional and contemporary experiences. As the country transitions into winter, the landscapes transform into a picturesque wonderland of snow-covered mountains, tranquil temples, and festive city streets adorned with dazzling illuminations. From the serene beauty of snow-capped landscapes in Hokkaido to the vibrant energy of Tokyo's Christmas markets, Japan in December has something to offer every type of traveller.
In this guide, we will explore some of the best places to visit in Japan and the best hot springs in December in Japan, ensuring that your winter adventure is filled with unforgettable moments and cherished memories. Whether you're a fan of winter sports, cultural explorations, or simply seeking a warm cup of sake in a cosy izakaya, Japan in December is a destination that promises to leave you with a deep appreciation for its rich history, natural beauty, and festive spirit.
Kyoto is a historical city in Japan known for its well-preserved temples, traditional tea houses, and stunning gardens. It's a cultural treasure trove with modern and traditional elements. Kyoto is wonderful in December, with its historic streets and temples adorned with winter illuminations.
Sapporo is the largest city on Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido, and is famous for its winter festivals. The city transforms into a winter wonderland with impressive ice sculptures and snow events. The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of the most popular winter festivals in Japan and is a sight to behold, featuring intricate ice and snow sculptures.
Nara is famous for its serene deer-filled parks, ancient temples, and rich cultural heritage. Nara Park is home to hundreds of friendly deer that roam freely and interact with visitors. The winter ambience enhances Nara's tranquil atmosphere and stunning temples.
Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a bustling metropolis known for its modernity and tradition. Tokyo seamlessly blends the futuristic and the historic, creating a unique urban landscape. In December, Tokyo dazzles with festive illuminations and the Tokyo Tower is lit in seasonal colours. Tokyo Christmas markets are a must-visit during this time.
Hiroshima is a city that rose from the ashes of the atomic bombing in 1945, now symbolising peace and resilience. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial, A-Bomb Dome, is a poignant reminder of the past. The city is beautifully lit up during December, offering a hopeful message of peace and reconstruction.