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Tokyo in winter

brisbane
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Tokyo in winter

Hi all

My family and I (2 adults and 2 kids aged 12 and 9) are thinking of visiting Tokyo in December. We hear it's going to be very cold at the time. Any advice re places to visit and whether tourist facilities are not operating at that time of year?

Wellington
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1. Re: Tokyo in winter

We went at roughly the same time, and didn't find anything in particular that was closed. I don't think Christmas is a huge thing in Japan, as they don't have the tradition.Certainly the public transport system was working :-). It wasn't terribly cold, a bit of snow on a couple of days but nothing too drastic.

Hong Kong, China
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2. Re: Tokyo in winter

Christmas is not a holiday in Japan. Do visit the illuminations at the shopping malls. The best ones are at Shiodome Caretta and Tokyo Midtown. Last year's info:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2303.html

Temperature-wise, it can be anything from 5 to 20 degrees. Check the weather as your travel dates approach.

Queenstown, New...
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3. Re: Tokyo in winter

When in December?

Christmas Day is not a national holiday, so business as usual. (It's really weird being able to go shopping anywhere on Dec 25th!)

New Years is however a major holiday. Dec 31st everything (including restaurants, excluding McDs) closes early; but find a shrine or temple and the place will be packed. Everything (cept shrines) will be closed Jan 1st and things slowly start opening again from the 2nd.

Weather: as per above, anywhere from 2-20 degrees. Chilly outside, but indoor: trains, restaurants, shops etc will be toasty warm.

Melbourne
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4. Re: Tokyo in winter

I will also be going in winter this time around.

When you say snowing, does that also happen around Tokyo/Osaka/Kyoto or more the smaller towns up north? :)

Queenstown, New...
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5. Re: Tokyo in winter

Major cities; Tokyo/ Osaka/ Kyoto usually only get a few days snow throughout the year. Sometimes there may be snow around Xmas, though generally not more than 30cms in these main towns.

Northern Japan and more mountainous areas will get significantly more snow...

Hong Kong, China
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6. Re: Tokyo in winter

<<when you say snowing, does it happen around Tokyo/Osaka/Kyoto or more the smaller towns up north?>>

Nope. Tokyo hardly snows but if it does, it will not be Dec. if you go up the snow country(up north, ie Niigata), snows are guaranteed but Jan or Feb would be ideal. Weather wise, Tokyo in december will be chilly but not that extreme if compare to Seoul. Above freezing at night and mid teens at day

Hong Kong, China
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7. Re: Tokyo in winter

I have seen snow in Tokyo right around Christmas one year, and it was a nice 4 degrees Celcius around 5pm in the evening that day. During another visit, it was around 20 degrees. That's why weather is weather. You can't guess at such an early stage.

Meaningful accumulation is rare though at that time of the year.

Edited: 07 October 2013, 18:01
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Tokyo in winter

We were also in Tokyo in Dec before Christmas and had really nice weather -- cool for sure but sunny and pleasant for the most part. Kyoto was a bit cooler and windier but still doable. We wore our winter coats but often didn't need them for the entire day (mornings and evenings were cooler). And indoors was often very warm so it's best to wear layers that can be put on and off as needed. While Christmas isn't an official holiday, you will see evidence of it in shops and malls through lights, decorations and music. If you go to Disney, they will also have Christmas displays.

Melbourne
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9. Re: Tokyo in winter

Oh and don't forget to check all the illuminations in December :) That's what I'll be doing this year...

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10. Re: Tokyo in winter

What are the illuminations? They sound like a can't-miss thing...