With the new year bringing snow, prosperity and hope for what's to come, there are plenty of exciting events to take advantage of. If you're in snowy Niseko and its surrounding areas, why not take a break from the mountain and visit these magical seasonal happenings?
The 41st Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival 25th January - 17th February (Illumination 16:30 - 22:00) Official Website
The 70th Sapporo Snow Festival 1st - 12th February
The regional capital city of Sapporo marks the 70th year anniversary of the biggest snow festival in Japan with some exciting winter offerings! Witness towering sculptures and models of ice and snow, illuminations, light shows, live music, as well as a huge variety of street food and drink stalls. The most anticipated event Hokkaido, if you will be in Niseko during the event, try to make your way down to Sapporo for the evening to experience this unmissable spectacle!
Lake Toya Winter Fireworks Festival 3rd February - 12th February (Main Event on 9th February) Fireworks at 20:30 every night More Information
The 21st Otaru Snow Light Path Festival 8th - 17th February (Illumination 17:00 - 21:00)
Host of one of the region's most famous winter festivals, Otaru is less than an hour's ride away from the local train station, granting you easy access to an unexpectedly magical experience by the canals of the famous historic fishing district. Candle lanterns line the streets in the snow, and float majestically upon the surface of the waterways that cross through the beautiful town. If you're looking for incredible photos or to sample some of the exceptional restaurants in the area, be sure to visit Otaru during the festival.
Niseko Hirafu's local town, Kutchan, holds the Yukitopia festival to celebrate the winter and to enjoy the copious amounts of snow in the peak snow season! Enjoy traditional live music, food stalls, and a huge number of activities for the whole family — and see if you can spot the snowman mascot with the Hokkaido prefecture for a nose!