Crisp chilly air, clear blue skies − winter in Tokyo is beautiful. Sure, you’d want to soak in an onsen all the time, but you’d be missing out. Mount Fuji is especially stunning this time of the year, the plum blossoms are in full bloom and the city is bejewelled with millions and millions of tiny lights, so bundle up in your warmest clothes and see Tokyo in all its icy splendour.
Also see: 88 of the best things to do in Tokyo.
Things to do
Join in with the winter festivals
Although summer and autumn are when most of Tokyo’s major festivals take place, there’s still more than enough matsuri action going on between December and March. While Setsubun on February 3 is the most important festival during this time, you’ll find a nice lineup of other, quirkier celebrations both in and around the capital.
Essential Tokyo exhibitions for winter
Fancy seeing an art show this weekend but no idea where to go? Well look no further. You can't go wrong if you head down to one of our favourite art exhibitions taking place in Tokyo this winter. Or, you could wear a warm coat and check out Tokyo's best outdoor art, choose from all exhibits on right now, or consider investing in a collection of your own.
Catch Mount Fuji in its full glory
Mount Fuji is indisputably Japan’s national symbol, but it also likes to hide from sight for large chunks of the year – except in winter. The clear skies and the snowcap on the mountain mean that good ol’ Fuji-san is properly visible from various viewpoints in Tokyo and surrounds between November and February. For the best vistas, get up high. Free options include the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Observatories and the Bunkyo Civic Centre. For that picture-perfect Instagram shot, head towards Lake Kawaguchi for the Chureito Pagoda. Otherwise, enjoy more unusual views from Fuji-Q Highland amusement park at the foot of Mount Fuji, or travel to Inamuragasaki in Kamakura to see Fuji from a beach.