Japan sure loves a winter celebration. From the gorgeous frozen waterfalls in Aomori to the beautiful illuminations at Ashikaga Flower Park, there’s no doubt that winter is one of the most beautiful times of year. If you’d rather stay close to Tokyo this coming winter, Saitama’s got a winter wonderland you need to check out.
While it doesn't snow or get very icy in Tokyo, you can catch both at the annual Ashigakubo Icicles event in Chichibu, just an hour and a half from central Tokyo. The stunning area is filled with massive displays of artificial icicles created by spraying water from a nearby stream into the cold winter air.
The Insta-worthy spot features icicle displays that cover the entire landscape of the area, turning it into a frosty forest.
The area is also open in the evenings for a special illumination that’s truly stunning. The frozen formations are lit up with colourful lights, giving the entire area a whimsical feel as if you’re walking through a scene from the movie ‘Frozen’.
Ashigakubo Icicles is held from January 6 to February 25 2024 and it's open from 9am to 4pm. Evening illuminations are held on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from sunset to 8pm. To help keep you warm, daytime tickets also come with a free cup of tea or non-alcoholic amazake (sweet fermented rice drink).
You can get to the area in ten minutes on foot from Ashigakubo Station. Tickets cost just ¥500 (¥300 for elementary school students). Reservations are required to visit the evening illuminations. Currently, the website is still under construction but you can find out more details here.
This article was originally published on January 25 2022 and updated on November 13 2023.
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