5 things to experience in Tokyo in winter! Discover the best spots to visit during this time of year based on the weather!

In winter, Tokyo attracts visitors from all over the world with its glittering illuminations, heartwarming cuisine, and events that allow visitors to experience Japanese New Year culture. The winter season brings with it a cool air and a romantic urban atmosphere.

This article details some of the highlights, from what to wear for winter travel to the best places to visit in Tokyo in winter.

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Tokyo in Winter

Tokyo Tower and night view

Winter Climate

Winter in Tokyo is from December to February and is generally cool and dry. The lowest temperatures can drop to near 0°C (32°F), but daytime temperatures often reach 10°C (50°F) or higher. Snowfall is possible, but rarely heavy. Winter in Tokyo is relatively mild and pleasant on many days, but the wind can feel strong on some days, so it is essential to take warm clothing.

Winter Highlights

In winter, Tokyo’s streets are decorated with many illumination events. Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown, Omotesando, and many other locations in the city impress visitors with their glittering light decorations. The fantastic spectacle of colorful lights under the cold night sky is a symbol of Tokyo in winter.

Gourmet food unique to the cold season is one of the major attractions of winter in Tokyo. Warm hot pot dishes that make you forget the cold, seasonal sweet dishes, and fresh seafood at food stalls and restaurants will warm the hearts and bodies of visitors.

Winter Fashion

For winter fashion in Tokyo, it is recommended to dress in layers to cope with the difference in temperature between indoors and outdoors. Protect yourself from the cold by utilizing warm coats, down jackets, scarves, gloves, and hats.

Things to do in Tokyo in Winter

View Illumination

Illumination in Tokyo

One thing you can’t miss in Tokyo in winter is the glittering illuminations. In places like Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown, and Omotesando, the entire city is transformed into a work of light art. The romantic winter evenings provide visitors with an unforgettable experience.

In addition, many illuminations can be seen for free, and in Tokyo, illuminations are turned on from November until about February for the longest ones. You can easily enjoy them for a long period of time, and we hope you will enjoy this special experience unique to Tokyo in winter.

Warm up your cold body in a hot spring

Sento in Japan

Winters in Tokyo are often cold, and hot springs are a great way to warm up. In addition to lodging facilities with hot springs, there are many other hot spring facilities in and around Tokyo that can be used on a one-day basis. There are various types of onsen facilities, including large rest areas, eating areas, large onsen facilities with multiple baths, as well as reasonably priced “sento” (public bathhouses) frequented by local residents.

Soaking in a hot spring at the end of the day, relieving travel fatigue and making one forget the cold of winter, is a special experience for all visitors.

Enjoy the taste of winter

Chankonabe, a local dish of Tokyo

In winter, one can enjoy seasonal delicacies such as nabe (hot pot) dishes and oden, which warm the body and soul. In particular, there are many variations of nabe dishes, such as Kimuchinabe, Chankonabe, and Tonyu (soymilk) nabe, where you can enjoy seasonal vegetables, seafood, and other ingredients. Seasonal ingredients are also rich in nutrients, making them a staple of winter home cooking from the standpoint of health.

Enjoy shopping

Tokyo Solamachi” offering a variety of products

Winter is a great time to shop in Tokyo, as the city is abuzz with sales and events. The Christmas and New Year’s holiday season is filled with limited-edition products and special promotions.

Fukubukuro(Grab bags)

Fukubukuro image

At the beginning of the year, various stores sell “fukubukuro,” or surprise bags filled with various items at bargain prices. The contents are often kept a secret until the time of purchase, and include clothing, accessories, food, miscellaneous goods, and many other types of items. Popular fukubukuro require reservations or sell out quickly, so it is recommended to check the information in advance.

Participate in New Year’s festivals and events

Hatsumode at Sensoji Temple

Hatsumode, or New Year’s visits to shrines and temples to ask for good health and happiness for the coming year, is an event that draws large crowds every year. Famous spots such as Meiji Jingu Shrine and Sensoji Temple are especially crowded with people, giving visitors a taste of the lively Japanese New Year. We hope you will experience this unique Japanese event of the season.


December in Tokyo is the season of winter, and coats and scarves are essential as the temperatures are quite low. The entire city is alive with Christmas and year-end events, and you will be able to experience the glamorous atmosphere of Tokyo.


January is generally the coldest month in Tokyo, but it rarely snows. Since it is the month that welcomes the New Year, various events and festivities take place, making it the month of the year when Japanese culture is more palpable.


February in Tokyo continues to be cold, especially at night and in the mornings, and with Valentine’s Day in February, department stores and shopping malls offer special products only available at this time of year, making it a fun time to choose a special gift.

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