Snowscapes of Japan

Drift Ice in Abashiri & Shiretoko, Hokkaido Prefecture

Hokkaido Shiretoko

Located at 44 degrees north latitude, this part of Hokkaido is the southernmost point where the sea freezes and is the only place in Japan where you can observe drift ice. Activities such as sightseeing cruise, walking on drift ice or floating among the ice is available with local tour companies.

Website: Visit Shiretoko
Website: Abashiri Drift Ice Sightseeing & Icebreaker Ship

Thatched Roof Houses in Shirakawago Village, Gifu Prefecture

Gifu Shirakawago

Some of the older thatched-roof houses in this World Heritage village is said to be around 300 years old. The roofs are re-thatched every 30 to 40 years. Night time illumination is held on weekends during January and February.

Website: Shirakawa Village

Mt. Fuji Viewed from Oshino Village, Yamanashi Prefecture

Yamanashi Mt. Fuji

The small and quiet village of Oshino is located just a little northeast of Mt. Fuji and is a highland basin surrounded by mountains. The spring water from Mt. Fuji is especially famous for its quality, and also for it deep blue green color at the village wells.

Website: Yamanashi Prefecture Tourist Association

Tojimbo Cliffs, Fukui Prefecture

Fukui Tojimbo

The cliff of pyroxene andesite columnar joint is 25 meters high and 1 kilometer long, and is one of the only three places in the world where similar geography can be found.

Website: Fukui Tourist Association

Bukeyashiki, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture

Ishikawa Bukeyashiki

Nagamachi area in Kanazawa City used to be a residential area for the samurai families, and the mud walls, stone pavement and architecture from centuries ago still remain. Straw sheets cover the walls during the winter to protect them from snow and ice.

Website: Kanazawa City Tourism Association

Hossawa Waterfall in Hinohara Village, Tokyo Prefecture

Tokyo Hossawa no taki

Hossawa Waterfall located in the mountains of western Tokyo is one of the very few places in Tokyo where you can see an icefall (only if you’re lucky). The waterfall is 60 meters high.

Website: Go Tokyo (in Japanese)
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