Covid-19 has sure been a bewildering and eye-opening event for the whole world. The present year, as a result of it, has been nothing short of a surprise. People have been confined to their homes and industries have been forced to shut down in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Some of the strongest economies were bought to their knees by the deadly Covid-19 virus. But gratefully, things are improving now, and the world is opening up slowly. Japan is also steadily recovering and the travel restrictions are uplifting gradually.
As of now, the government in Japan has allowed international travel for those people who own a business or residence visa. There have been talks in the media about opening the borders of Japan for tourists before the spring season sets in. But, till then, for those of you who are planning on visiting Japan on business trips this year, here are some tips on what you can do while you are in Japan. Hope you have a great time!
What you shouldn’t miss if you are in Japan in December?
Winters in Japan are one of the best times to visit this nation. During the end of the year the widespread winter illuminations, the eagerness to welcome a new year, the first snowfall, and the start of the ski season set people in a great mood. The crisp air of the winters and the white-mountain tops popping against the azure backgrounds make the scenery of Japan even more picturesque. So, if you are someone who gets an opportunity to visit Japan during this season, then here is what you can do to make the most of your trip!
The winter illuminations in Japan, which take place during the month of December, increase the beauty of this place manifold. Donned in pretty lights, the grounds and stadiums in Japan look absolutely stunning in winters. This event is, without a doubt, the country’s one of the top attractions. So, if you get a chance to attend this event, you should definitely not miss the opportunity. These events are held all across Japan and you can visit either any of them or all of them as you please. They are generally held until after New Year’s.
Maybe the Japanese people have got something for lights! While they excel themselves every year with winter illuminations, they are also great at surprising the visitors with lit-up night skies. In December, Japan makes a lavish display of its fireworks. You can track most of these displays all over Tokyo. So, if you have a thing for fireworks, you can either attend the Shiodome Lights Display that runs from November to February or you can go to the Midtown Christmas Event nearby Roppongi station that begins on November 15.
Since Christmas is primarily a western celebration it is not observed in Japan with as much zeal as it receives in the US or UK. However, one can still witness people greeting each other on Christmas eve. Most people in Japan put up the decorations and go on romantic dates, but gift exchange is not a priority among Japanese people. So, if you are expecting a Christmas turkey or maybe a Christmas cake, I will say you are setting your hopes too high.
For those of you who are self-proclaimed food lovers, we have a surprise, the Ramen Expo in Osaka. Every year in Japan, in Osaka this month-long event is organized. Held on every weekend of December, the expo brings together about 40 noodle vendors at one place. What is great is that they charge no admission fee to enter the premises. So, if you have a foodie in you, what more are you waiting for?!
For those of you who love the adrenaline rush, here is another treat, which is snowboarding. Japan is one of the best locations to enjoy snow sports and snowboarding is one of the main attractions. Every year many foreigners visit Japan to especially enjoy snowboarding. You can find several world-class resorts in Hokkaido or Hakuba. Many resorts are accessible from Tokyo also.
Skiing is one of the favorite outdoor activities of people in Japan. While heavy snowfalls don’t arrive till late December, most of the skiing resorts are up and functioning by mid of December. Even if there is not much snowfall by then, you don’t have to worry because the resort staff compensates for it by using artificial snow. Now, you can’t let the weather ruin your fun, can you?! Plus, another advantage of visiting the skiing resort is the hot baths. Most of the skiing resorts
in Japan function as hot spring resorts as well. The ones that are not, generally, have a selection of onsen bathing spots nearby. After a long day of skiing, the hot bath relaxes your body and calms your mind. They are absolutely fun and something that no one should ever miss!
Chichibu night festival
Chichibu is a traditional night festival that is celebrated in Japan every year. Anyone who is interested in traveling to the Chichibu shrine that is located in Chichibu city, approximately 90 minutes away from Tokyo city can participate in this festival. The celebrations begin on 1 st December and last for 6 days. You can visit the Chichibu shrine any day during this period, but attending this parade that is organized with massive floats and fireworks on 3 rd December is greatly recommended.
If you are in Japan and you would like to attend something that is unique and traditional, then the Namahage Festival will delight your spirit. This distinctive festival that is held in Oga City, Akita Prefecture on New Year’s eve is something that you would have never witnessed before if you have come to Japan for the first time. In this festival, you will come across performers dressed as Namahage, who is a demonic boogeyman in Japanese folklore, who will dance and glower to entertain the audience. You can also enjoy a little dance and some
good music to make the evening a fine experience. So, that is all about the events that you can enjoy if you are in Japan in December. Tip: Do check in with the organizers if you are planning on attending any of these events. Due to Covid-19, the schedules may have changed or the events may have certain restrictions.
What to eat if you are in Japan during winters?
If you are in Japan during the cold winters, then we will advise you to try the traditional food of Japan, to make the most of your experience. After all, how can you claim to know Japan, if you haven’t enjoyed its local food?
Now, on that note, tasting the local dishes of Japan, of course, means trying a variety of dishes. However, our personal recommendations are hot pot dishes. These are called Nabe in Japanese. They are prepared with multiple ingredients and are available in various kinds of flavors. Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu are the other two popular winter seasonal dishes of Japan that you can try.
Where to stay if you arrive in Japan during December?
Now, because of Covid-19, finding a place to stay in Japan is not easy. After all, all the travelers who arrive in Japan during these times have to undergo a 14-day long quarantine period, before which they are not even allowed to use public transport. But you don’t need to worry about that, because we at Borderless Houses have started a campaign to offer shelter to travelers free of charge during the quarantine period. Here is more about that campaign.
*Picture is BORDERLESS HOUSE OMOTESANDO1
2-weeks free stay
If you arriving in Japan and you need a place to stay during your quarantine period, then call us and forget all about your accommodation issues. At the borderless house, we are offering our customers a 14-day stay free of cost. Just contact us and make your reservations.
Airport pick-up service
Because until the quarantine period is over, the travelers are not allowed to use public transport, therefore, at our sharehouse, we are arranging transportation for our customers. All you need to do is to inform us about your plans and we will have your driver ready at the airport gate.
At our sharehouse, you will have our staff at your service who will explain to you all about using food delivery services. We will also inform you about the various apps that you can use in order to meet your daily necessities.
In order to ensure that you don’t get bored during your quarantine period, we have also organized virtual meets, language exchange programs, and online club activities with other flatmates. After all, we can’t let you die of boredom, can we?!
So, if you have your bags packed and your tickets booked for traveling to Japan, then call us at the Borderless House to arrange your stay. Have a happy and safe journey!