Exploring “non-ski” winter activities in Japan!

Feb 15, 2024

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Winter in Japan is more than smashing through the snow-covered mountains. It transforms into a magical winter wonderland with endless adventures that attract locals and tourists from across the globe.

With world-class resorts and unparalleled powder conditions, Japan is the ultimate destination for ski lovers, but now it's time to explore some of the wonders beyond the ski slopes. Read our guide for the best “non-ski” activities you can do.

Visit the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

Witness the Japanese macaque or snow monkeys unfazed by the cold temperatures and going about their daily lives in and around the hot springs. Watch the monkeys zone out in the natural onsen and you may even be lucky enough to get a glimpse of a newborn tiny monkey enjoying his first hot bath!

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Paragliding above the Japanese Alps in Hakuba

If you're a thrill-seeker looking for extraordinary adventures this winter season, say no more! Check out the paragliding experience among the Hakuba Alps. Witness the spectacular sights of snow landscapes in Nagano and create memories with a flight instructor to ensure your safe adventure.

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Experience banana boating in the snow

Apart from skiing, create lasting winter memories with a variety of family-friendly amenities like banana boats or snow rafting rides. There's something for everyone, old or young!

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Discover sea ice and dip in the freezing sea

Experience a unique winter adventure by taking in the frozen waters of the Okhotsk Sea. Recharge in the cold while surrounded by the stunning scenery of snowy landscapes. The tour occurs from January to March when ice is the thickest and safest to walk on. Aside from this incredible natural phenomenon you will be able to see eagles, seals and maybe even killer whales.

Ryuhyo Ice Walking Experiencein Hokkaido

Explore the snow-covered castles, temples, and villages

Take a step back in history to witness magical castles, temples, and villages in Japan. Some of the most visited places are the charming Shirakawa-go, the enchanting Kyoto temples, the famous Matsumoto (Black Crow Castle), and the icy Himeji Castle.

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Himeji Castle
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Partake in a traditional tea ceremony

Also known as chanoyu, this ceremony allows you to appreciate the art of tea preparation and find warmth in the simplicity of savouring tea. You can also participate in making nerikiri, a traditional Japanese dessert.

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Don’t forget to check out our guide to the best winter festivals

Held in the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions, experience vibrant and illuminating winter destinations with exciting performances, local delicacies, and festive music.

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Indulge in relaxation with an Onsen

Finally, wrap up your holiday skiing adventure with a relaxing bath in an onsen. Japan features a wealth of natural hot springs, especially in mountainous areas where the freshest water flows up from beneath the ground of the highest peaks. Onsen are helpful for blood circulation and tired muscles due to the water's low acidity… and they also feel fantastic after a day skiing!

Click here to search all our property listings that feature onsen!

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There are multiple activities you can enjoy this winter season. From cosy indoor activities to extreme ventures, Japan has got you covered to make unforgettable memories with your family and friends.

Discover some amazing real estate properties

Japan is an amazing winter wonderland, and you can make it even better by investing in a property. With more and more tourists coming to visit for more than just skiing, properties continue to enjoy great occupancy, strong rental rates and excellent capital appreciation.

Click here to find your dream home in Japan.

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