Things to Do in Japan in January 2025

Last Updated: July 11,2024

Japan is a place where you can enjoy a variety of landscapes in all seasons due to its small size and long north-south stretch. No matter how many times you come here, you will find fun things to do in Japan every time, and you will have different experiences at different times of the year and in different places, which is really fantastic. How will it be when you visit Japan in January? Here is our travel guide to Japan in January 2025. Don't forget to contact us to tailor the personalized trip for you if you are interested!

Table of Contents

1. What to Do in Japan in January 2025

2. Where to Go in Japan in January 2025

3. Weather in Japan in January 2025

4. What to Wear in Japan in January 2025

Japan in January

1. Things to Do in Japan January 2025

Is it worth visiting Japan in January? January is the beginning of the year and a symbol of the new year, and during the period of New Year in Japan, you can feel the New Year's atmosphere everywhere, with many stores and department stores offering goody bags and various discounts. January is also known as "Mutsuki" (むつきin Japanese), and it is a month for family and friends to get together to celebrate the New Year and strengthen their relationship. Wondering what to do in Japan in January? Check out our list of Japan things to do in January 2025.

Ice Sculptures in Sapporo, Japan in Jaunary

Attend the Sapporo Snow Festival: One of the Top 10 Things to Do in Japan in Winter

Before going to Japan, you may ask does it snow in Japan in January or where to see snow in Japan in January? Yes, if you head to Sapporo in January 2025, you will have the chance to see snow. And don't miss the Sapporo Snow Festival 2025, which is an annual winter festival that takes place from early February until mid-February, but preparations begin in January when snow and ice sculptures are created for the event. It's one of the most popular events in Hokkaido, with over two million visitors each year. Enjoying massive sculptures made of snow and ice, live music performances, food vendors, and fireworks displays at the snow festival is one of the best things to do in Sapporo Japan in winter.

Fireworks at Odaiba, Tokyo

Enjoy New Year Festivals: Having Fun in a Lively Atmosphere during January in Japan 2025

Many cities hold special events and festivals like the famous Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival in Nagano on 15th January. And attending the Toka Ebisu Festival in Osaka on Jan 9-11, 2025 is one of the things to do in Osaka Japan in January. The New Year's Eve Fireworks at Tokyo Tower or Odaiba Seaside Park is also highly recommended, which is to celebrate the start of a new year with stunning fireworks shows overlooking Tokyo Bay. It usually takes place on December 31st but continues into the first few days of January in Japan as well, making it also one of the things to do in Japan in December and January. Don't miss these important New Year festivals in Japan January 2025

Enjoy Hatsuhinode, the first Sunrise of the Year in Japan Janury

Experience Traditional Japanese New Year's Celebrations: Immersing Yourself in the Japanese Culture in January 2025

You must feel that the New Year is a major Japan holiday in January 2025. Yeah, many people will celebrate it by visiting temples or shrines on New Year's Day (January 1st) to pray for good luck and happiness for the year ahead. Some popular temple visits include Meiji Shrine in Tokyo and Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto. And don't forget to witness Hatsuhinode, the first sunrise of the new year, which is a tradition and one of the exciting events in Japan January 2025.

Enjoy the Fresh Powder in Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan in Janaury

Go Skiing or Snowboarding: One of the Best Things to Do in Japan in Winter to Enjoy Outdoor Adventure

Winter sports are popular in Japan, especially in places like Niseko, Nagano, Yuzawa, and Hakuba, where offer excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions during January. Popular destinations include Nozawa Onsen and Myoko Kogen. Just enjoy the ultimate thrill of winter in Japan January 2025.

Try Your Hand at Ice Skating Rink: Also One of the Fun Things to do in Japan in Winter

Although outdoor rinks are rare in Japan due to the cold weather, there are plenty of indoor rinks available. Whether you're an experienced skater or a complete novice, it's a fun activity to enjoy in January. If you are eager to experience the outdoor skating rink, don't miss the Tokyo Dome City Ice Skating Rink from late November through February, it is one of the things to do in Japan Tokyo winter too.

Admire the Winter Charm of Kinkaku-ji during January in Japan

Explore Historic Temples and Shrines: One of the Best Things to Do in Japan in January 2025 to Avoid Crowds

Not as crowded as other times of the year, January is a quieter time to visit cultural landmarks such as Kyoto's Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) or Nara's Todai-ji, the world's largest wooden building. Many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines are decorated beautifully with lanterns during the winter season, among which, Asakusa Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo has thousands of small lanterns hanging throughout its grounds, which is one of the must-visit attractions in Japan in January 2025.

Taste the Delicious Nabeyaki Udon to Keep Warm in Janaury

Indulge Yourself in the Seasonal Foods: One of the Top Things to Do in Japan in Winter for a Foodie Tour

Winter brings with it some unique Japanese dishes that you won't find any other time of year. From hot pot dishes like oden and nabeyaki udon to warming drinks like amazake and mugicha, you will have plenty of delicious winter foods to try in Japan January 2025. And if you're in Hokkaido in January, Don't forget to sample fresh seafood caught from frozen lakes and rivers! 

Illumination in Japan during January

Visit Illuminated Gardens and Parks: One of the Things to Do at Night in Japan in January 2025

During January in Japan in 2025, many parks and gardens around Japan light up their trees and buildings with beautiful displays of lights. Among these, don't miss the Yoyogi Park Illumination in Tokyo and the Nihonbashi Street Lightup in Chuo City, both are must see things to do in Tokyo in January 2025 at night.

Take Part in Coming of Age Day: One of the Japan Holiday in January 2025 for Adults not to Be Missed

If you're ready to turn 20 when you visit Japan in January, highly recommend you experience the Coming of Age Day on 13th January 2025. This is one of the holidays in Japan January 2025, and is celebrated on the second Monday of January in Japan, honors individuals turning 20 the prior year as they assume adult responsibilities. Young adults dress traditionally in furisode and attend ceremonies at city halls, showcasing respect for societal norms and values.

January Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo Is Unmissable

Watch Sumo Wrestling Tournaments: Experience the Traditional Japanese Sport during January in Japan 2025

What are the top things to do in Tokyo in January 2025? Watching the January Grand Sumo Tournament (Tokyo) 2025 must be on the list. Sumo is a traditional Japanese sport that involves large men pushing each other out of a ring. Major tournaments take place several times a year, including the January Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Jan 12th - Jan 26th, 2025. If you're lucky enough to attend a tournament, you might even get to see a live match!

Take a Dip in the Private Onsen in Kinosaki, Japan

Soak in Hot Springs: Drive away Fatigue after Your Daytime Sightseeing in Japan January 2025

What better way to stay warm in January in Japan 2025 than soaking in a natural hot spring? There are many choices across Japan where you may soothe yourself in mineral waters with breathtaking views of snowcapped mountains or starry nights, including Hakone Onsen near Tokyo or Kinosaki Onsen in Hyogo, etc. Pick the best onsen resort in Japan before you bring a yukata (light cotton kimono) and washcloth for your visit!

Winter Sales Shopping for Souvenirs: One of the Exciting Things to Do During a Trip to Japan in January 2025 for Shopaholic

If you love shopping, shopping, shopping, you must take advantage of New Year sales (fukubukuro) at department stores and shops across Japan for great deals on fashion, electronics, and more! Stores and markets offer unique winter merchandise such as handmade wooden toys, woolen clothing items, Japanese sweets, and sake sets wrapped up in traditional designs. Check out department stores like Mitsukoshi, Isetan, or Takashimaya for gift ideas, which will make your tour in Japan January 2025 more satisfying and happier!

Mount Zao in Yamagata also Worthy Exploring during January in Japan

Explore the Country's Colder Regions: One of the Best Things to Do in Japan during Winter for Outdoor Enthusiasts

If you want to enjoy as much as quieter landscapes in Japan in January 2025, head to lesser-known areas like the northernmost island of Hokkaido, the mountainous region of Yamagata, or the coastal prefecture of Iwate. Here you might witness natural wonders such as aurora borealis, ice fishing, or even wild deer grazing peacefully amidst frozen forests.

Admire the Earliest Sakura: Catch the Beauty of the First Batch of Cherry Blossom in Japan in January 2025

Okinawa Sakura is an enchanting annual springtime bloom that takes place on the southernmost islands of Japan's Ryukyu archipelago in late January rather than April like in the rest of the country. Unlike typical cherry blossoms in Japan, these flowers come in shades of pink, white, yellow, and coral, courtesy of Okinawa's tropical climate. Check the Sakura forecast to pick the best time to enjoy the earliest cherry blossom in Japan in January 2025.

Viewing Okinawa Cherry Blossom Is One of the Best Things to Do in Japan in January

For this list of Japan in January things to do 2025, which one do you hope to experience? Leave us a message and we will cater to your private Japan tour itinerary! 

2. Where to Visit in Japan in January 2025

What is Japan like in January? Is Japan good to visit in January? January in Japan is characterized by stunning snowy scenery that looks like a white world, various snow festivals, monkeys bathing in hot springs, and many other winter beauties. It is undoubtedly worth visiting! But do you know where to visit Japan in January 2025? Here are our handpicking attractions for your Japan 2025 tour in January.

Ginzan Onsen in January

Ginzan Onsen in Yamagata

Ginzan Onsen is a hot spring area famous for being the stage for the NHK television drama "Oshin". There are many wooden inns lined up, and at sunset the gas lamps in the streets are lit up, giving the whole town a romantic atmosphere of the Taisho era. Many tourists come here throughout the year longing for the unique flavor of this place. Dipping in the soothing therapeutic hot spring water in Ginzan Onsen is also one of the best things to do in Japan in the winter.

Address: Ginzanshinhata, Obanazawa 999-4333 Yamagata Prefecture

Miho no Matsubara (Miho Pine Forest) in Shizuoka

Miho no Matsubara, located on the Miho Peninsula, is known as one of the "New Three Scenic Spots of Japan," and is a 7-kilometer pine forest made up of 3699 pine trees. This is a masterpiece of nature and is registered as a World Heritage Site. The view of Mount Fuji and the Izu Peninsula from Suruga Bay is often depicted in Ukiyo-e artwork. It is also a good place to visit in Japan in January 2025.

Address: 1338-45 Miho, Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka, 424-0901, Japan

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81 54-340-2100

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Janaury

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto

What are the best things to do in Kyoto Japan in winter? For nature lovers, I will recommend visiting the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. The road surrounded by bamboo forests is often used as a filming location for movies and TV series. Just like the scene described in the early winter landscape poem, both sides of the bamboo forest are lit up with lights. The lights sway in the bamboo forest at night, immersing you in the dreamlike scenery. Contact us if you hope to experience the Arashiyama rickshaw, which will take you through the bamboo forest from the VIP trail so that you can enjoy the tranquil scenery without crowds.

Address: Sagaogurayama Tabuchiyamacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8394, Japan

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81 75-343-0548

Shirakawa-go Village in Winter

Shirakawa-go in Gifu

Shirakawa-go has been designated as a World Heritage Site. The unique architectural style and townscape known as "Gassho-zukuri" have been widely praised. At present, there are only about 150 houses of this style left and they are very valuable. In winter, Shirakawa-go looks like a fairy tale with snowflakes. The snow cover is nearly 2 meters in depth, making a visit there is one of the interesting things to do in Japan in January 2025. Light-up events are held on select days in January and February.

Address: Hatogaya-517, Shirakawa Village, Ohno-District, Gifu 501-5692

Nada Kuroiwa Narcissus Park in Hyogo

In terms of flower viewing, Nada Kuroiwa Narcissus Park is one of the must-see things to do in Japan January 2025. Nada Kuroiwa Narcissus Park is a great place to enjoy the natural scenery in Awaji Island in winter. It is especially famous for the view of about 5 million daffodils blooming together on a 45-degree slope extending into the sea, covering an area of about 7 hectares. When you take a visit there in January in Japan 2025, you will feel walking along the sidewalk is like walking on a white carpet. Note that there are many steep slopes and steps on the sidewalk, so please wear sneakers or flat heels, etc. for easy walking.

Address: 2 Nadakuroiwa, Minamiawaji, Hyogo 656-0551, Japan

Phone: +81 799-56-0720

Lake Kussharo in Winter

Lake Kussharo in Hokkaido

With an area of 80 square kilometers, Lake Kussharo is the sixth-largest lake in Japan and the largest crater lake in Japan. Surrounded by numerous hot springs and various activities, it is suitable for sightseeing all year round in winter and summer. What is peculiar is that in winter, swans flock together, and the ice surface expands and contracts, sometimes forming a 10-meter-long and 2-meter-high fracture uplift landscape, which is called Okami-watari ("the gods' crossing"), which is one of the top things to see and do in Japan winter in Hokkaido.

Address: Teshikaga, Kawakami District, Hokkaido, Japan

Lake Tōya in Hokkaido

Lake Tōya is a circular crater lake formed by volcanic activity. This area is now a national park, registered as a "Japan Geopark" and "World Geopark". There are many hotels and inns in the area around Toyako Onsen. Come here in January 2025, and experience the best Onsen in Hokkaido.

Stunning Scene of Toya Lake during Winter in Japan

Do you have any idea on where to go in Japan during January 2025? Tell us your intended destination and we will arrange the best itinerary for your trip to Japan in January.

3. Japan Weather in January 2025

What is the temperature in Japan in January? How cold is Japan in January? Is there snow in Japan in January? The following is what you would like to know about how is the weather in Japan in January 2025.

Weather in Japan January 2025 varies depending on the region. In general, it tends to be chilly with temperatures ranging between 1°C (33°F) and 10°C (50°F). The northernmost regions, such as Hokkaido, experience colder temperatures often dropping below zero degrees Celsius, while central and southern locations remain relatively mild due to influences from warm ocean currents. Heavy rainfall and snowfall occur frequently in some parts of Japan during January, particularly in the mountains and coastal areas, leading to spectacular winter scenery.

Don't Miss Dotonbori in Osaka in Janaury to Indulge in the Street Food Delight

Although winter begins very early in Japan, it doesn't get cold immediately after it starts in most areas, and in general, Japan basically gets into its coldest time from January. During this period, Hokkaido and Okinawa receive more precipitation, and of course, it snows on one side and rains on the other. Northeastern Japan and the coast of the Sea of Japan receive more snowfall, making them ideal for skiing as well and the best places where to see snow in Japan in January 2025.

Average Temperature in Japan in January (Celsius):

Sapporo: -1℃~-8℃

Tokyo: 10℃~2℃

Osaka: 9℃~3℃

Fukuoka: 10℃~3℃

Naha: 19℃~14℃

Sensō-ji Temple Is a Must-Visit in Tokyo in January

No matter how cold is it in Japan in January 2025, there are still a lot of fun things to do. Plan Your Private Guided Trip to Japan Now!

4. What to Wear to Japan in January 2025

You have known the answer to what is the weather like in Japan in January, now you may feel confused about what to wear in Japan in January 2025.

As Japan weather in January 2025 can be quite chilly, you should pack layered clothes that can easily be added or removed according to the temperature. It's best to bring thermal undergarments, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and warm coats made of materials like fleece or wool. Waterproof boots or shoes, gloves, scarves, and beanies are also essential to protect against the elements.

Additionally, carrying a lightweight foldable jacket or umbrella would come in handy if sudden rainstorms hit. Remember, taking off your shoes before entering buildings is customary in Japan, thus packing slippers or socks to wear indoors could be helpful too.

Ultimately, dressing appropriately during your trip to Japan during January 2025 not only ensures comfort but also shows respect for local customs and culture.

Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan in January


Here is everything you need to know about Japan in January 2025. January is one of the coldest months in Japan, but also a good time to visit Japan because of its various winter festivals, snow activities, soothing hot springs, New Year holidays, etc. There are so many best things to do in Japan in January. Join us to embark on a tailor-made Japan trip 2025 in January now!

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