ZEKKEI’s Best 5 for December, Loved the World Over

ZEKKEI’s Best 5 for December, Loved the World Over
One thing that makes Japan a beautiful country is the turn of its seasons.

December, when the season changes from autumn to winter, is a month with many gorgeous sights. Across the country are snowy landscapes, illuminations, and subtly beautiful scenery renowned across the globe.

Let’s look at the best of December in Japan, those scenes that bring beauty to the start of winter.


Narcissus at Echizen-kaigan(Fukui)

Number five on ZEKKEI’s list of must-see places in December is the narcissus that grow at Echizen-kaigan (the Echizen coast). The coast is home to one of Japan’s three great narcissus colonies, and in December you’ll find the slopes of the mountain blooming richly in delicate Echizen narcissus.
Echizen-kaigan was also selected as one of the Best 100 for evening scenery in Japan. Viewers are enchanted by the unadorned beauty of the blooming flowers, illuminated by the golden glow of the setting sun. After you’ve had your fill of lovely scenery, we recommend titillating your tastebuds with the bounty that the sea around Fukui has to offer, starting with Echizen crab.


Mashu Lake Sun Pillars(Hokkaido)

Coming in at number four are the sun pillars at Mashu Lake. Sun pillars are a type of natural phenomenon that appear during winter in cold regions. They’re formed by the reflection of light off ice crystals in the air. As naturally-occurring phenomena, their shape and depth of light vary with atmospheric conditions.

Looking for all the world like spirits dancing down from the havens, sun pillars are as rare as they are wondrous, occurring only once or twice every winter. If you want to catch sight of one, it’s best to visit the area on a particularly chilly day.


Kenrokuen Garden(Ishikawa)

Third on our list is Kenrokuen, which boasts gorgeous scenery throughout the seasons. Among all the months, however, December and its snows reveal some truly elegant and charming views.

To protect these precious plants from the weight of the snow, the trees here are supported with a tent of ropes called yukitsuru, which are attached from early winter into spring and are a hallmark of the season in Kanazawa.


Hakodate Christmas Fantasy at the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses(Hokkaido)

Our number 2 pick is Hakodate Christmas Fantasy, which is held at the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses in Hokkaido. The most famous red brick warehouses of Japan are in Yokohama, but in the snowy city of Hokkaido, you’ll be able to feast your eyes upon a scene that will look like it was taken from a picture book.
Currently being used as shopping areas and restaurants, the warehouses cast a romantic atmosphere and make an excellent destination for an intimate date. From November 28 (Sat.) to December 25 (Fri.), a massive Christmas tree can be found decorated here. With firework competitions and tree illuminations held every day from 18:00, be sure to come by during the evening.


Kyoto-Arashiyama Hanatoro in the Sagano Bamboo Forest(Kyoto)

Topping our list at number one is the Sagano Bamboo Forest in Kyoto-Arashiyama. Featured as one of “Japan's 31 most beautiful places” by CNN in the USA, this locale truly lives up to the name. The forest brings in many tourists every year attracted by the moody and mystical charm of the pathway here.

From December 11 (Fri.) to December 20 (Sun.) the Kyoto-Arashiyama Hanatoro (“flower and light road”) is held here: lights are placed on both sides of the pathway, allowing you to enjoy the magic of the forest illuminated in light. If you want to make the most of your trip to Japan, this is an event not to be overlooked.

What were your thoughts on the scenic splendor awaiting us in December?

Whether you’d like a spot for a romantic date or one that’s abundant in scenic beauty, December in Japan is rich in must-see sights.

We hope you’ll have a chance to travel to Japan this December.

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