26 Oct 2016

Winter in Tokyo is a beautiful spectacle of christmas illuminations and winter festivities. The best things to do if you come to Tokyo during the winter are enjoying the Christmas markets, illuminations, hot spring, sumo and yummy winter foods. Some visitors may be deterred by the cold weather but it is a very good time to visit Japan. Japan receives a lot of rain during the summer but very little throughout the winter. There are also many limited edition events and foods which you can only experience during the winter.

Christmas Markets

Best Things to Do in Tokyo in the Winter

During the month of December several Christmas markets open. These markets are all European themed and have stalls selling Christmas trinkets, toys and many traditional often German foods such as bratwurst, fruit cake, mulled wine and soft pretzels. They are a great place to take a date as the fairy lights create a romantic atmosphere. 

The most notable markets take place in  Roppongi Hills, Marunouchi and  Yoyogi park.

Omotesando Illuminations

Best Things to Do in Tokyo in the Winter

The trendy streets of Omotesando light up for the festive season. So if you happen to be in Tokyo during December it is more than worthwhile to visit Omotesando after dark to take in this gorgeous spectacle that takes place only once a year. 


Christmas Illuminations

Best Things to Do in Tokyo in the Winter

Japan is not a Christian country but they still go just as hard for Christmas decorations. There are incredibly light displays set up all around Japan. The gorgeous European styled Tokyo tower becomes one of the best loved spectacles of Christmas and in Odaiba you can see one of the largest Christmas trees in Japan.

The most notable illuminations are located at  Tokyo towerTokyo stationMarunouchi  and  Shiodome.

Tokyo Dome Natural Onsen Spa LaQua 8

Best Things to Do in Tokyo in the Winter

Photo by Planetyze

Why not warm up during the cold winter by heading to an onsen? Don't worry you don't need to travel to Hakone to go to an onsen. Laqua spa resort is located in central Tokyo!

A spa with a resort-like atmosphere right in the center of the city
In addition to an open-air bath and a huge public bath, the onsen facilities also include a variety of low-temperature saunas, a relaxation area and restaurants. This is an onsen with the sensation of a resort where you can spend a relaxing day.

A natural hot spring rising from underneath Tokyo Dome City Spa LaQua is located right beside Tokyo Dome. The spa, which is situated in the middle of a multi-purpose complex including a shopping center, is a place of healing where you can enjoy a natural onsen in the middle of the metropolis. The operating hours extend right to 9am the next morning, so it has the special feature of being able to enjoy the onsen on the way home from work. The Spa Zone is where you can luxuriate in the high-quality waters which are amply used from the natural h...

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Business hours
- Everyday
11:00am-9:00am(the next day)
11:00am-11:30pm(Baden Zone)Opening times may vary afterwards depending on the facility since some areas will only be open to women so please check the homepage

- Adult: 2634 JPY
- Child: 1836 JPY
Additional surcharge on late-night and holiday usage

Celebrate New Year's the Japanese Way

Best Things to Do in Tokyo in the Winter

Japan has its own unique traditions for New Year's. Typically people will go and visit their nearest shrine to pray. The most popular shrine in Tokyo to celebrate New year is Meiji Jingu in Harajuku. If you go here, be prepare to line up!


Warm up with Food!

Best Things to Do in Tokyo in the Winter

Winter has some of the best foods! Why not enjoy a warm hot pot like Motsunabe or a bowl of Ramen from famous ramen chains such as Ichiran? Another speciality is Oden, which can be easily bought from convenience stores during winter.

There are correct ways of enjoying your ramen, and special ramen such as the Tsukemen Ramen. Learn about all of these things in the following video: How to eat ramen in Japan and what not to do!

In this video you will learn you how to eat and appreciate ramen, specially tsukemen, what to do when eating and what not to do when eating any kind of ramen in Japan! It also mentions about the ingredients and curiosities about the Tsukemen ramen!

This is from the Japan Fan channel where you can learn more about Japan: Japan Fan youtube Channel

Watch Sumo

Best Things to Do in Tokyo in the Winter

Photo by Planetyze

From January the first of six sumo tournaments begins! This is a special event that is not to be missed!

Ryogoku is the place for sumo. See the full intensity of the sumo wrestlers (rikishi) up close!
Encountering the many wrestlers during a sumo tournament in Tokyo feels like you’ve slipped back in time to the Edo Era. You can see their lifestyle and eat like them through the many haberdasheries for these king-sized men and restaurants with their huge portions.

Enjoy sumo in Ryogoku In the Edo Era, Ryogoku became an area comparable to Ueno and Asakusa due to the development of Ryogoku Bridge. Sumo started to flourish from Kanjin sumo (tournaments to raise the necessary funds to build and restore temple buildings) at Eko-in Temple. The major sumo tournaments are held in January, May and September at Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena. In addition, the 1st floor of the arena is a sumo museum where material on sumo such as woodblock prints, banzuke (rikishi rankings), and ornamental mawashi aprons (a type of...

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Have more questions about Japan?

 If you have any questions about anything related to Japan, you can ask in Planetyze Japan Forum and get a quick reply by either the community members or by professional tour guides.

Best Things to Do in Tokyo in the WinterIt's a forum that guarantees you will get a response in under 24h!

You can also find more information about Japan in these youtube channels:


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