Things to do winter activities Japan > Tokyo (prefecture) > Tokyo

10 Most Fascinating Things To Do In Winter In Tokyo, Japan - Updated 2020

10 Most Fascinating Things To Do In Winter In Tokyo, Japan - Updated 2020
Villy
Villy
Updated

You don’t need a plethora of reasons to visit a place when the weather is pleasant enough, but things get trickier if you are visiting a place in the cold winter. Japan’s busy capital, Tokyo, is one such place, but no worries, because you can’t easily feel discouraged once here, even during the winter! Tokyo can only captivate you with the contrast of skyscrapers and historic temples that beautifully decorate the city, while a number of museums and theatres make the city artistic. In the winter, you will find yourself playing with the snow in nearby resorts, enjoying the Christmas atmosphere all around, visiting exhilarating festivals, or tasting hot local delicacies, so keep reading to discover what Tokyo looks like in the winter time and don’t hesitate to pay a winter visit!

1. Have fun in the snow (from USD 110)

If you suddenly feel like you’ve missed the child within you, then this is the right tour for you. Ideal for anyone who is a child in body and soul, this full-day tour takes you to Norn Minakami snow resort and ends with a visit to Harada strawberry farm, and as such, it operates between December to March. While on the tour, you’ll get the chance to build a snowman or try the funnier sledding, enjoy a tasty endless buffet lunch, and pick your own strawberries for dessert. Remember to bring all the winter equipment along on the trip.

Tambara Snow Land with Lunch plus Strawberry Farm from Tokyo

Duration 10 hours

2 reviews

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Tokyo and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Tokyo

3. Learn the sumo culture (from USD 108)

Consider yourself lucky if you book a tour to see these sumo giants, as the sumo wrestling tournament takes places only three times annually. Feel the excitement to enter the Ryogoku Kokugikan, a famous Tokyo sumo stadium, and watch these enormous warriors trying to kick each other out of the ring. The price includes only the entrance fee to the stadium, however, an English-speaking guide will prove very beneficial, since they are normally quite knowledgeable about the sumo culture.

Sumo Wrestling Tournament Experience in Tokyo

Duration 3 hours

6 reviews

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Tokyo and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Tokyo

4. Don't miss the Chichibu Yomatsuri


This spectacular Night Festival takes place every year on the 2nd and 3rd of December, right in the heart of winter, an hour and a half from Tokyo. As a float festival, you will see large floats beautifully decorated with lanterns, and wood carvings, pulled through the streets, while performances are given for the public. During both evenings, complimentary fireworks light the winter sky and give a magical essence to the festival. Food and local drinks to warm you up are available at the street stands.

Chichibu Yomatsuri

Dates: 2-3 December each year

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Tokyo and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Tokyo

5. Comic fan? Check out the Winter Comiket


Yes, you guessed it right. This is a comic-related event (in fact, one of the biggest in Japan), and what’s better than spending the last days of the year in the company of your much-loved mangas. The event takes place from morning till late afternoon (free entry), during which thousands of manga artists will display their creations for you to enjoy. If you wish to bring your costume, you might have to pay about 800yen (7USD), while it is advised to be in good health and dressed accordingly.

Winter Comiket

Where: Tokyo Big Sight

When: 28-31 December 2018

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Tokyo and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Tokyo

6. Experience the enthralling Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks


If you are heading to Tokyo this December, then don’t miss out the Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks, that is probably a favorite festival for the photography buffs as well. This impressive fireworks display is held every Saturday in December at 7pm, and the closer you get to New Year’s, the more crowded it gets. About 2,000 fireworks are expected to light the sky between Rainbow Bridge and Odaiba on the first Saturday of December, while a good spot to watch them is in front of the Decks shopping center.

Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks

Where: Odaiba

When: Every Saturday in December at 7pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Tokyo and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Tokyo

7. Go souvenir shopping at Boroichi Market II


If you wish to buy a souvenir that reminds you of Japan, or you would like to capture some incredible photos, or you simply love strolling through huge markets, then you can`t ignore Boroichi Market. This super old event lasts two full Christmas days, during which more than 700 vendors gather to sell anything you can imagine; from quirky antiques to fascinating handicrafts, and of course, delicious food along the streets. To end the event, firecrackers are usually exploded.

Boroichi Market

Where: Setagaya

When: 15-16 December from 9am to 9pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Tokyo and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Tokyo

8. Gear up for ice skating


Whether you are visiting Tokyo for holidays or you call this place home, ice skating is always a good idea if you get on well with ice in general. There are quite a variety of ice skating rinks to choose from, depending on your preferences. Some of them are family-friendly and do have a separate kids` rink, while others have live music or even a light show on the ice to keep visitors entertained. Other rinks are ideal for professionals or skating lessons, but the majority of them are open during the winter time only.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Tokyo and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Tokyo

9. Feel the winter at the Jingugaien Itcho Festival


Tree lovers, make sure you don’t pass by this naturally colorful festival if you happen to be in Tokyo from mid-November to early December. The autumn is approaching its end, and the best spot to see the tree leaves turning into a magical yellowish color is the Icho Namiki avenue with the ginkgo trees. Of course, the avenue is open all day for visitors to walk through, however, between 10am to 8pm you will also be able to satisfy your appetite with festival-type delicacies.

Jingugaien Itcho Festival

Where: Jingugaien

When: 16th November - 2nd December 2018, from 10am to 5.30pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Tokyo and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Tokyo

10. Spoil yourself with a treat to nabemono (from USD 98)

No trip in Tokyo is complete unless you try the extraordinary special locality, called Nabe, or else Nabemono. Nabe literally means hot pot and it is an ideal dish to warm you up during the cold winters. They usually cook it in a large pot and add ingredients such as vegetables, meat, or shellfish, while they place it in the center of the table where everyone may pick what they want. Except for being delicious, nabe is also a great way to socialize, so give it a try if you are around.

Tokyo: Sumo Wrestling Demonstration & Chanko Nabe Lunch

21 reviews

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Tokyo and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Tokyo

2. Sparkle at the Tokyo illuminations (from USD 63)

You can’t miss this very special night tour if you visit Tokyo in the winter. Hop on an E-assist bike, and with the help of a professional local guide, explore the best illumination spots of Tokyo, admiring the colorful lights displayed in buildings, trees, and landmarks of this wonderful city. With the electric bike, you don’t have to worry about slopes, just bring your positive energy, your friends and family, and enjoy the tour! Bicycle and helmet rentals, together with the guiding fee are included in the price.

December 1st Tokyo Illumination Night Cycling Tour by Electric Assisted Bike

Duration 3 hours (Approx.)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Tokyo and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Tokyo

Boring winter? Not in Tokyo

Even if you can’t possibly do all these fun things when in Tokyo for your winter holidays, you must acknowledge that Tokyo doesn’t sound like another boring destination where low temperatures keep you indoors. So, are you ready for Nabe gatherings?

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

0a
Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Curious to see the world and eager to learn, I grew up trying to find ways to escape my comfort zone. Starting from my home country, Greece, I went on to explore many European countries. Then, I...Read more

Top 3 activities to book in Tokyo

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Tokyo
Good things are meant to be shared!