For some travelers, a winter wonderland of snow is what this season is all about. For others, the escape from sub-zero temperatures is a must. Whatever your preference may be, these trips inspired by our Expeditions and Lodges, will have just what you are looking for.
Imagine bright red torii gates blanketed in white, snow monkeys lounging in Nagano hot springs, and steamy cups of Ujicha tea. Japan in winter is a dream, and festivals only add to the magic. Sapporo’s weeklong Snow Festivalboasts giant snow slides and more than 200 night-lit snow sculptures. Wander through colorful illuminated ice caves at the Sounkyo Hyobaku (Ice Waterfall) Festival. Or warm up at the dramatic Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival before heading to the Shiraoi Ainu Museum, where indigenous Ainu dance performances mimic the graceful mating ritual of Hokkaido’s endangered red-crowned cranes. The Otaru Snow Light Path’s lantern-lit canal makes for a perfectly romantic farewell stroll. Go with Nat Geo: Enjoy the winter festivals and snow monkeys of Japan.