Introducing Tourist Events from Across Japan (Part 1): Hokkaido’s Kamikawa Town, Wakayama’s Hidaka District, Saitama’s Chichibu City, and Fukushima’s Aizuwakamatsu City


We introduce tourist events from various regions in Japan.

In Japan, a country known for its four distinct seasons, various events are held throughout the year, each corresponding to a different season. These events range from traditional festivals that have been celebrated for generations to modern events that incorporate cutting-edge technology. They encompass activities that local residents enjoy as part of their daily lives and offer warm welcomes to visitors.

To fully enjoy these limited-time events:

For major events, there may be changes in transportation schedules or difficulty in booking accommodations. Japan’s geography, spanning from north to south as an island nation, means that preparations such as clothing may vary depending on the season. Some events occur on the same date each year, while others may have flexible schedules. Don’t forget to confirm the event dates and make the most of your experience.

Hokkaido Kamikawa Town: The 48th Sounkyo Onsen Ice Waterfall Festival

Immerse Yourself in the Blessings of Nature

One of the three major winter festivals in Hokkaido. The festival takes place on a 12,000-square-meter site, featuring around 20 different ice sculptures created using the harsh cold of nature. The venue is illuminated in seven colors, creating a fantastical atmosphere.

Since the event is held outdoors, and the illumination starts in the evening, it’s essential to prepare for the cold. The official website recommends attendees to wear warm clothing and shoes with non-slip soles. Please note that gloves and non-slip items are not available for sale at the venue.

Sounkyo Onsen Ice Waterfall Festival

Sounkyo Onsen Ice Waterfall Festival


Dates: January 28, 2023 (Saturday) – March 12, 2023 (Sunday)

Time: 17:00 – 21:30

Venue: Sounkyo Onsen Special Venue

Inquiries: Sounkyo Tourist Association

Official Website:

Photo: From the Hokkaido Tourism Promotion Organization ‘Tourism Photo Data’ (The photo is from a previous event)

Minabe Bairin 2023 – Plum Blossom Season in Minabe, Hidaka District, Wakayama Prefecture

Minabe Town in Hidaka District, Wakayama Prefecture, known for its southern plums, boasts the highest plum production in Japan. Why not enjoy the early arrival of spring?

The ‘Minabe Plum Grove,’ with a history of southern plum blossoms spreading as far as the eye can see, is Japan’s largest plum blossom viewing spot. It adorns the entire mountain with cute white flowers. Pets are allowed in the park.

Minabe Bairin

Minabe Bairin

Event Period: January 28, 2023 (Saturday) – February 26, 2023 (Sunday)

Venue: Minabe Plum Grove

*Please note that the opening and peak viewing times may vary depending on the flowering status.

Official Website:

(Photos are from previous events) *Photo provided by the Wakayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture: ‘Misotsuchi Ice Columns’ Illumination

Misotsuchi Ice Columns

Misotsuchi Ice Columns

  • ‘Misotsuchi Ice Columns’ Illumination

    Event Period: January 14, 2023 (Saturday) – February 23, 2023 (Thursday) [Weekdays]: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM [Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays]: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM *Please note that the event period may change depending on the condition of the ice columns.

  • Otaki Ice Festival

    Event Period: January 7, 2023 (Saturday) – February 23, 2023 (Thursday, Holidays) Time: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM *The event period may change depending on the weather.

  • Contact: Chichibu Tourism Association, Otaki Branch Phone: 0494-55-0707

*The peak viewing period for the ice columns is usually from early January to mid-February, but it may vary depending on weather conditions and the state of the ice columns. Please contact the Tourism Association for more information.

For more details, visit here. (Photos are from previous events) *Photo provided by Saitama Prefecture Product Tourism Association”

Fukushima Prefecture, Aizuwakamatsu City: ‘Tsurugajo Castle – The History Scroll of Light’

Allow us to introduce an event that incorporates technology, specifically digital art. This event started on October 1, 2022, and will run until March 31, 2023, making it a long-lasting opportunity. If you plan to visit Aizuwakamatsu before spring arrives, consider stopping by.

The event is divided into three zones: ‘Tsurugajo Castle History Zone,’ ‘Boshin War and Byakkotai Zone,’ and ‘Legacy of Feudal Lords Zone.’ In each zone, visitors can experience history through techniques like projection mapping. While enjoying the scroll of light, you can explore the history of Tsurugajo Castle, renowned as one of the finest castles in the Tohoku region.

Tsuruga-jyo Castle

Tsuruga-jyo Castle

  • Event Period: October 1, 2022 (Saturday) – March 31, 2023 (Friday)
  • Time: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (Last entry at 4:30 PM)
  • Venue: Tsurugajo Castle, Minamihashirinagaya (South Corridor) and Kanamesukeyagura (Rice Granary)
  • Official Website: Link

Please note that the photos provided are not from the event but are images of Tsurugajo Castle itself.”

*Please also check out ‘Introduction to Various Tourism Events Across Japan (Part 2).

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