7 Best Things To Do In Japan During The Autumn & Winter Seasons

7 Best Things To Do In Japan During The Autumn & Winter Seasons

Lifestyle Travel
By Sophie Hong on 26 Oct 2022
Senior Editor

With Japan opening up to tourists again, it is no surprise that many of us are hurriedly booking flights to Tokyo, Osaka, and Hokkaido. It’s been a while since any of us has traveled to Japan during the autumn and winter seasons, so we’ve put together a helpful travel guide on all the sights, attractions, and experiences you should check out - from the breathtaking fall foliage in Kyoto to the magical winter wonderland that is Shirakawago

#1 Kyoto: Picturesque scenery and dress up in a kimono

Arashiyama Morning Walking Tour with Sagano Romantic Train in Kyoto.Photo from Klook

Kyoto is beautiful in all seasons, but it is especially stunning during autumn when all of its foliage takes on majestic hues of red and gold. You can easily spend a full day here just soaking in the sights, and make sure not to miss iconic locations such as Arashiyama, the bamboo groves, and the Tenryuji, a UNESCO-listed Zen monastery. Better still, book a walking tour ($82 on Klook) which includes an English-speaking guide and a romantic train ride through the Hozukyo Ravine!

Book an Arashiyama Morning Walking Tour with Sagano Romantic Train in Kyoto on Klook here

Lovely Kimono Experience in Kyoto.Photo from Klook

To truly immerse yourself in the fall experience, try exploring Kyoto in a rented kimono! Here’s a highly-rated one that we found ($42 on Klook), and comes with free hairstyling services and locker storage. 

Book a Lovely Kimono Experience in Kyoto on Klook here.

#2 Kyoto: Soak in an onsen

Fu Fu No Yu Onsen in Kyoto.Photo from Klook

After soaking in the sights, it’s time to soak in an onsen. You’d definitely need it after a day of walking around Kyoto! Contrary to popular belief, a Japanese onsen experience can be very affordable. In fact, we found one on Klook for less than $10! According to the reviews, Fu Fu No Yu Onsen boasts clean facilities and has open-air baths, a sauna, a steam room, a cold plunge bath, and a small zen garden. 

Book Fu Fu No Yu Onsen Admission Ticket in Kyoto on Klook here.

#3 Tokyo & Osaka: Experience the Halloween festivities

Tokyo Disney Resort Park.Photo from Klook

Trust us when we say that the Halloween festivities in Japan are next-level. If you’re in Tokyo, don’t miss the street parties happening in Roppongi Hills, Shibuya, and Ikebukuro, where you’ll find everyone dressed in the most elaborate costumes. And of course, you have to drop by Tokyo Disneyland for its annual Halloween event (happening from now till 31 Oct), where there’ll be Halloween-themed performances, merchandise, food, and drinks!

Book Tokyo Disney Resort Park Tickets: 1-Day Passport on Klook here.

SUPER NINTENDO WORLD at Universal Studios Japan.Photo from Klook

And if you’re in Osaka, don’t miss out on Universal Studio Japan’s Halloween Horror Nights (happening from now till 6 Nov). This year’s iteration returns with a bang and features 3 immersive horror mazes, 1 horror theatre show, 1 zombie area, 1 horror-themed ride, and of course, plenty of special performances. If you’re not a fan of horror, do still visit Universal Studio Japan during the day for the newest SUPER NINTENDO WORLD that was just opened last year!

Book Universal Studios Japan Studio Pass on Klook here.

#4 Mount Gozaisho: Red maple trees in autumn and frosted trees in winter

Nabana no Sato & Osaka Maple Viewing Day Tour.Photo from Klook

Just an hour away from Nagoya, Mount Gozaisho is a must-visit spot for nature lovers. You’d get to see red maple leaves in the fall, and come year-end, the entire area landscape transforms into a winter wonderland, with pristine white snow and intricate layers of frost adorning the bare trees. 

The best way to admire the scenery? Take a leisurely cable car ride up to the peak of Mount Gozaisho, of course! Here’s a super value-for-money sightseeing tour ($124 on Klook) that includes admission to the Gozaisho Ropeway, Nabana no Sato Flower Park (which lights up at night during the winter season), and Begonia Garden. Plus, it comes with a luxurious Sukiyaki beef set for lunch! 

Book a Nabana no Sato & Osaka Maple Viewing Day Tour on Klook here.

#5 Hokkaido: Blue pond in Biei, Farm Tomita & Asahiyama Zoo

Asahiyama Zoo, Hokkaido.Photo from Klook

Traveling with your family? Then here are 3 must-visit tourist spots in Hokkaido that will appeal to both the young and old! First up is Asahiyama Zoo, where in winter, you’d get to see polar bears, tigers, and wolves frolicking in their snowy habitats. If you’re lucky, you might even catch the famous penguin walk, which happens twice a day at 11am and 2:30pm during the winter season, which allows you to observe these playful birds up close! 

Biei Blue Pond, Hokkaido. Photo from Klook

Next is the Biei Blue Pond, where the waters are a striking shade of electric blue. It is truly a sight to behold in real life and makes for a whimsical photo spot - especially with the soft powdery snow in winter. 

Farm Tomita, Hokkaido.Photo from Klook

Make your final stop at Farm Tomita, which is famed for its lavender and rainbow flower fields. Of course, the whole farm is covered in a blanket of white snow during winter, but the view is equally breathtaking. And don’t worry, you can still catch a whiff of fresh lavender in Farm Tomita’s greenhouse, no matter the season.

These 3 attractions are doable in a day, but they’re quite some distance from each other so we’d recommend driving. Alternatively, you can book a fuss-free day tour! This one on Klook ($75) covers all 3 spots and has gotten good reviews on how it didn’t feel too rushed. 

Book a Asahiyama Zoo, Biei Blue Pond & Farm Tomita Day Trip In Hokkaido on Klook here.

#6 Gifu: Takayama Old Town and Shirakawa-go

Takayama & Shirakawa-go Day Trip From Nagoya.Photo from Klook

If you’ve been to Japan a few times before and would like to explore outside of the usual cities, try this day trip ($70 on Klook, available to book only from Feb onwards) which will take you to the more rural areas of Takayama and Shirakawa-go. 

Takayama is an old town that has retained most of its traditional architecture, with some buildings dating as far back as 200 to 300 years ago! While you’re there, don’t forget to try some Hida beef - Hida beef comes from cattle raised in the Gifu prefecture (where Takayama is), and is said to be more tender and have a sweeter flavour compared to other types of wagyu beef. 

Takayama & Shirakawa-go Day Trip From Nagoya.Photo from Klook

After a couple of hours in Takayama, head on down to the quaint village of Shirakawa-go. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the small village is famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri houses with sloping roofs. It is said that these roofs resemble hands that are clasped in prayer, and during winter, these houses are covered in a blanket of snow, making the entire landscape even more mesmerising. 

Book a Takayama & Shirakawa-go Day Trip From Nagoya on Klook here.

#7 Jigokudani Monkey Park: Watch monkeys enjoying an onsen in winter

Jigokudani Monkey Park.Photo from Klook

Located in Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, Jigokudani is well-known for its large population of wild Japanese macaques. When there’s snowfall - and especially during the cold winter months - the monkeys would come out in droves to soak in the natural onsen. This adorable sight will definitely be a highlight of your Japan trip! 

The Jigokudani Monkey Park will take about an hour to cover, so definitely plan to visit some other attractions around the area. This guided tour we found ($148 on Klook) includes a sumptuous buffet lunch with a view to fuel you for the trek to the monkey park and concludes with a visit to the nearby Shiga Kogen Roman Museum.  

Book a Snow Monkey and Shiga Kogen Roman Museum Trip From Tokyo With a Lunch Buffet on Klook here

Don’t forget your JR pass!

 Photo from Klook

A JR pass is absolutely essential for your holiday in Japan, especially if you’re visiting multiple cities. Available only to tourists, the JR pass allows you unlimited travel on the Shinkansen and JR lines for 7, 14, or 21 days. Just think of how much you can save on train rides! 

Book your JR pass on Klook here.

Heading to Japan anytime from now till Jan 2023? Get your JR Pass printed on-site at Klook Travel Fest so that you’ll have everything sorted out before you fly! There will also be onsite promotions and flash deals for top attractions such as Universal Studios Japan, insta-worthy experiential zones, travel talks, giveaways worth over $10,000, and more! Plus, DBS/POSB cardmembers will get to enjoy exclusive upsized discounts and 1-for-1 deals, and you’ll get to enjoy up to 5% cashback with Shopback on Klook. 

Klook Travel Fest
When: 29-30 Oct, 11am-9pm
Where: Suntec City Mall West Atrium (outside Uniqlo)
Entrance: FREE, but do sign up for your Entrance Pass here to be eligible for event giveaways and Early Bird goodie bags (limited to the first 100 guests daily). 

 Photo from Klook

*Prices are accurate at time of writing, but are subject to change.

This post is brought to you by Klook. 

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