Winter is the least popular time to visit Nagoya, or Japan in general. But there are many advantages to visiting in the off-season.

Not only will it be less crowded, there are also many events and activities you can only experience in winter.

Let me convince you of the benefits of visiting Nagoya in Winter with a list of things to do in Nagoya in winter.

If you are looking for the best time to visit Nagoya, click here.

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Nagoya Winter Weather

Does it snow in Nagoya?

Nagoya lies in an area that usually doesn’t see snow in winter. If it ever snows it will be an exception and melt away again quickly. And while the temperatures don’t drop to freezing it can be quite cold in winter in Nagoya.

December, the last month of the year, and the first month of winter sees average temperatures of 12 degrees Celsius (54 °F) maximum and 3 degrees Celsius (37 °F) minimus. It is one of the driest months with only about 7 rainy days and average precipitation of only 45 mm, which is the lowest throughout the year. This makes December quite a nice time to visit weather-wise. Make sure to pack a winter coat, gloves, a scarf, and a wool hat and you are good to explore Nagoya.

January and February on average are very similar weather-wise. The average high is at around 9 or 10 °C (48 – 50 °F) and low at 1 °C (34 °F). January sees a little bit less rain than February but there is on average only one day difference (7 or 8 days) with precipitation of around 50 (January) and 65 (February).


Winter Sports in and around Nagoya

While Nagoya itself usually doesn’t see any snow (it is too warm) once you head into the mountains north of Nagoya you will find abundant snow and the perfect conditions for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.


Oasis 21 Iceless Skate Rink

For a unique winter sports experience, you should head to Oasis 21 in Sakae District in Nagoya.

From November to March an iceless skate rink is set up here where children and adults alike can enjoy this popular form of winter fun without getting cold or wet.

OASIS 21 ICELESS SKATE RINK
Entry Fee: weekdays 900 yen, weekends 1200 yen, children 500 yen
Opening Hours: Nov 23. 2019 – Mar 1. 2020, weekdays 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., weekends 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Address: 1-11-1 Higashisakura, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0005
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps


Chausuyama Kogen Ski Area

The only ski area in Aichi prefecture, Chuasuyama is located on Aichi’s highest peak within a national park. It is the closest thing to a Nagoya ski resort.

The shi area with three slopes is best suited for beginners or intermediates.

You can reach Chausuyama Kogen Ski Area by train from Nagoya. Take the Iida Line to Toeie. From there you will need to take a bus to the ski area.

CHAUSUYAMA KOGEN SKI AREA
Entry Fee: weekdays 2500 yen, weekends 3000 yen
Opening Hours: Dec 22. 2019 – spring 2020, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Address: Goshodaira-70-185 Sakauba, Toyone, Kitashitara District, Aichi 449-0405
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps


Dynaland

Dynaland with its 20 courses is the biggest ski resort in central Japan. It is located on the eastern slope of Mount Dainichi in Gifu Prefecture.

The ski resort has a well-balanced mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses which can be accessed by the 5 lifts of the resort. It’s a great ski resort near Nagoya.

Buses leave daily at around 7:30 a.m. arriving at Dynaland at around 10:00 a.m. The bus back leaves at 5:30 p.m. giving you plenty of time to enjoy a day of skiing or snowboarding near Nagoya.

DYNALAND
Entry Fee: 4600 yen, Dynaland x Takasu: 4900 yen
Opening Hours: early December 2019 – early April 2020
weekdays 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., weekends 6:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Address: 3035-2 Takasucho Nishibora, Gujo, Gifu 501-5305
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps


Takasu Snow Park

skiing north of nagoya in winter

Takasu Snow Park on the other side of Mount Dainichi shares a ski pass with Dynaland. If you wanted to you could ski on both resorts on the same day.

Takasu is smaller than Dynaland with only 13 courses and 3 lifts. It also offers courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers and snowboarders.

The two ski resorts are connected by a shuttle bus. From Nagoya, there are buses that go to Takasu Snow Park as well.

TAKASU SNOW PARK
Entry Fee: Dynaland x Takasu: 4900 yen
Opening Hours: early December 2019 – early April 2020
weekdays 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., weekends 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Address: 3086-1 Takasucho Nishibora, Gujo, Gifu 501-5305
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps


Meiho Ski Resort

Meiho Ski Resort close to Gujo Hachiman is worth a trip for the spectacular views alone. The ski resort has 12 trails including a 5-kilometer long trail from the top of the mountain to the bottom which is accessible to all levels of skiers and snowboarders.

From Gujo Hachiman its a 50-minute bus ride to the ski resort.

MEIHO SKI RESORT
Entry Fee: weekdays 4300 yen, weekends 4800 yen
Opening Hours: early December 2019 – early April 2020
Address: Mizore 3447-1 Meihookuzumi, Gujo, Gifu 501-4304
WebsiteGoogle Maps


Winter Illuminations in Nagoya and Around

Nagoya is one of the best places to visit for winter illuminations. There are countless smaller and bigger events going on across the whole city, but the absolute highlight is the Nabana no Sato winter illumination.

The best way to experience Nagoya is on a Nagoya Meshi Food Tour.
8 foods and snacks in 3.5 hours with in-depth info will make this one unforgettable experience.
Check out the details!


Towers x Gatetower Christmas 2019

A 12 meter high Christmas tree and a light show with Christmas music every 15 minutes are the highlights of this Christmas event directly at Nagoya Station.

A gigantic Santa is also waiting for you on the 12th floor of the JR Central Towers. Take a picture for your X-mas Insta.

JR CENTRAL TOWERS AND JR GATE TOWER
Entry Fee: free
Opening Hours: Nov 6. – Dec 25. 2019
Address: 1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 450-6090
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps


Movie Genic Christmas Illumination at Marriott Associa

This modern display featuring moving reindeer pulling a cart with an ice bear at the rains really shows how far we have come in terms of winter illuminations and technology. It is just a relatively small object in the lobby of the luxury hotel Nagoya Marriott Associa but none-the-less worth a short visit if you are around Nagoya Station.

NAGOYA MARRIOTT ASSOCIA HOTEL
Entry Fee: free
Opening Hours: Nov 6. – Dec 25. 2019
Address: 1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 450-6002
WebsiteGoogle Maps


Sakae Minami Osu Winter Illumination

All trees on the street leading from Sakae to Osu are decorated with millions of blue LED lights giving the street a magical night view at this Nagoya illumination.

OTSU DORI STREET
Entry Fee: free
Opening Hours: Nov 15. 2019 – Feb 23. 2020 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Address: Otsu Dori Street
Google Maps


Noritake Garden Christmas Garden

Santa, a gigantic Christmas tree and millions of lights are set up at Noritake Garden to illuminate the night. A top Nagoya winter illumination, if small.

The Noritake Garden Crafts Center also celebrates Christmas with a special Christmas themed porcelain plate you can paint yourself in the workshop area.

NORITAKE GARDEN
Entry Fee: free
Opening Hours: Nov 9. – Dec 25. 2019
Address: 3-1-36 Noritakeshinmachi, Nishi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 451-8501
Website | Google Maps


Nabana no Sato

Things to do in Nagoya Nabana No Sato

One of Japan’s best winter illuminations can be found just a short train or bus ride from Nagoya: Nabana no Sato.

At the Nabana no Sato flower park a yearly illumination event is held under a different theme. This year’s theme is Sakura (cherry blossoms).

Highlights of this event are the tunnel of light as well as the gigantic led show depicting different scenes. Nabana no Sato is by far my favorite winter illumination near Nagoya.

From Nagoya to Nabana no Sato you can either take a bus or train and then local bus.

Read the full post on the Nabana no Sato winter illumination here.

NABANA NO SATO
Entry Fee: 2300 yen (including 1000 yen gift ticket)
Opening Hours: Oct 19. 2019 – May 4. 2020 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Address: 270 Komae, Nagashima-chō, Kuwana-shi, Mie-ken, 511-1144
Website | Google Maps


Christmas in Nagoya

To get in a Christmassy mood in Nagoya you can either visit one of the above-mentioned winter illuminations or attend one of the attractions mentioned below.

The best way to experience Nagoya is on a Nagoya Meshi Food Tour.
8 foods and snacks in 3.5 hours with in-depth info will make this one unforgettable experience.
Check out the details!


Nagoya Christmas Market

Every year since 2013 a European-style Christmas market is held at Hisaya Odori Park in Sakae.

This smallish market has everything one needs to get into the Christmas spirit: Christmas music, and stalls selling food and drink from Germany such as Christmas Stollen, German beer, mulled wine, and of course sausages.

The atmosphere is especially nice at night when all the Christmas lights bath the whole market in a twinkling light, not unlike the stars above your head.

NAGOYA CHRISTMAS MARKET
Entry Fee: free
Opening Hours: Dec 7. – Dec 23. 2019 weekdays 3:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., weekends 11:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Address: 3-65 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008
Website | Google Maps


ISOGAI Fireworks Theater at Nagoya Port

Christmas in Japan is an event you spend with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or maybe even your friends. It isn’t a family holiday as it is in western cultures.

For a truly memorable experience of Christmas in Japan head to the Nagoya Port ISOGAI Fireworks Theater on the 21st of December 2019.

A beautiful and romantic fireworks display that will leave you in awe.

ISOGAI FIREWORKS THEATER AT NAGOYA PORT
Entry Fee: free except for reserved seats
Opening Hours: Dec 21. 2019 6:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Address: 1-1 Minatomachi, Minato Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 455-0033
Website | Google Maps


Santa Cruise

For a truly unforgettable Christmas experience join the overnight Santa Cruise from Nagoya to Kobe.

On the cruise ship, you will get to enjoy a concert, a delicious dinner, and an unforgettable Christmas atmosphere.

SANTA CRUISE
Entry Fee: from 42000 yen
Opening Hours: Dec 20. 5:00 p.m. – Dec 21. 2019 9:00 a.m.
Website (Japanese only)


New Year’s Events in Nagoya

One of the highlights of the Japanese year are the New Year’s celebrations. Most workers in Japan have about a week of holidays to visit the extended family which can lead to crowded trains.

The New Year is celebrated very differently in Japan with religious traditions that are very interesting to participate in. Check out the highlights of the Nagoya New Year.


Joya no Kane (The Tolling Bell Ceremony on New Year’s Eve)

In the Buddhist believe it is customary to ring the temple bells at midnight on the last day of the year 108 times. This number represents the 108 evil desires we suffer from on earth and by ringing the bell we will be cleansed from those passions and be purified for the upcoming year.

There are multiple temples in Nagoya where you can watch or even participate in this event.

The best way to experience Nagoya is on a Nagoya Meshi Food Tour.
8 foods and snacks in 3.5 hours with in-depth info will make this one unforgettable experience.
Check out the details!


Nagoya Castle Countdown Show

Are you looking for a New Year’s party with a modern Japanese twist? Then join the fun at Nagoya Castle where the Nagoya Castle Countdown Show takes place.

Further information hasn’t been released yet.

At the beginning of January, multiple New Years events are held at Nagoya Castle. Especially on the weekends.

NAGOYA CASTLE
Entry Fee: 500 yen
Opening Hours: Dec 31. 2019, 9:00 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Address: 1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0031
Website| Google Maps


Nagashima Countdown and New Years Party

Located outside of Nagoya is the Nagashima Spa Land amusement park which invites its guests to a New Year’s party!

Enjoy an amusement park at night, ride attractions and enjoy performances on stage. The highlight at Nagashima Spa Land is the fireworks!

Details for this year’s event have not been announced yet.

NAGASHIMA SPA LAND
Entry Fee: ?
Opening Hours: Dec 31. 2019, 8:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.
Address: 333 Nagashimacho Urayasu, Kuwana, Mie 511-1192
Website (Japanese only)| Google Maps


The First Sunrise of the Year in Nagoya

Another New Years’s tradition is to watch the first sunrise of the year. Many people look for a special place to enjoy the first sunrise even more, and so mountain tops and beaches are very popular.

In Nagoya, there are a couple of places where you can enjoy the first sunrise of the year.

A great option is the observation platform called Sky Promenade on top of Midland Square, the tallest building in Nagoya. You will have an excellent view of the sunrise for sure.

MIDLAND SQUARE SKY PROMENADE
Entry Fee: 750 yen
Opening Hours: Jan 1. 2020 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Address: 4-7-1 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 450-0002
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps


Hatsumoude (The First Shrine or Temple Visit of the Year)

From January 1st to 3rd temples and shrines of Japan are very crowded because most Japanese people visit to pray for good fortune in the new year. This tradition is called Hatsumoude and you can participate as well.

Like any other shrine or temple visit, you will make an offering to the gods by throwing a coin into the collection place and then make your wish for the new year.

The following shrines and temples are especially popular for Hatsumode in Nagoya:


Nagoya Events and Festivals by Month

If you are visiting Nagoya during the winter months then you should have a look at these curated lists of events going on in Nagoya each month.


Final Thoughts on Visiting Nagoya in Winter

With Christmas and New Year’s events as the seasonal highlights Nagoya is worth a visit during the winter months. Especially December is an amazing time to visit, but January and February are also great if you love winter sports.

If you are looking for general things to do in Nagoya, here is a list of more than 30 things to do in Nagoya. You can also find a sample 1-day itinerary.

Don’t forget to read the Nagoya Travel Guide for more general information on Nagoya. Please also check out the Nagoya travel tips for tips on public transport.

Ready to Book your Trip to Nagoya?

Find the cheapest flights on skyscanner.com, book amazing hotels in Nagoya on booking.com and reserve discounted tours and other activities on klook.com!

The best way to get around Japan is a Japan Rail Pass, book your Japan Rail Pass now on jrailpass.com.

Do you like food? Nagoya is an amazing place to try food you have never had before. The local food is called Nagoya Meshi and you can find out more about the different dishes and best restaurants here.

The easiest way to learn about the local food and culture is by joining a Nagoya Meshi Food Tour. These tours run daily form 2:30 p.m. for 3 hours. While walking around Nagoya’s downtown area you will visit multiple restaurants and other shops to try some of the best food Nagoya has to offer.

Interested? Find more information here!

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