The Five Most Scenic Snow-Shrouded Homes of Japan

The Five Most Scenic Snow-Shrouded Homes of Japan
If you visit Japan during the winter, why not take a trip to enjoy the sight of traditional Japanese homes shrouded in snow? There aren’t words enough to describe the elegant beauty of an old Japanese house, the roof heavy with snow. It’s a vision of artistic beauty you won’t be able to see anywhere else.

That’s why today we’ll be telling you about ZEKKEI’s Pick of 5 scenic sights created by fallen snow on Japanese homes.


Our first spot today is Tsumago-juku in Nagano Prefecture. Introduced to global audiences in the 2003 book “1000 Places To See Before You Die”, the area has grown in popularity with overseas visitors.
Dressed and draped in snow, this station town has an indescribable appeal and well-preserved beauty. If you want to take it easy and enjoy nature’s charms, then this is the travel destination for you.

Kakunodate Samurai District(Akita)

Next on our list is the Kakunodate Samurai District in Akita Prefecture. Designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Building and famed for its springtime cherry blossoms and fall foliage, this is a lively area that has many visitors annually. The winter landscape of Kakunodate’s traditional houses is very popular, and the contrast between the white of the fallen snow and the black of the board fences only adds to the elegance of the scenery. Enveloped in calm and silence, let the beauty of the “Little Kyoto of Michioko” wash over you.

Ginzan Onsen(Yamagata)

Our third recommendation for snowy vistas is Iwate Prefecture’s Ginzan Onsen. As one of Japan’s few regions of heavy snowfall, the area is covered in deep snow drifts during winter.
Though the bitter cold chills those who live in and visit Ginzan Onsen, there is a beauty here that moves the heart of the observer. When the sun sets, this snowy hot springs town is illuminated by gaslight, transforming it into a mystical realm. The nostalgic orange glow of the lamps is a sight limited to the winter season only. After you’ve enjoyed the scenery, be sure to relax in the warm waters of the onsen!

Oshino Hakkai(Yamanashi)

Fourth entry on our list is Oshino Hakkai in Yamagata Prefecture. As spring-water ponds fed by one of Mount Fuji’s subterranean water sources, the Hakkai (“eight seas”) are part of the heritage assets registered with the Mount Fuji World Heritage Site.
These ponds command an ethereal beauty, their surfaces reflecting the changing and seasonal faces of the mountain. Beneath the clear, cold skies of winter, they take on a further grace—your senses will marvel at the crisp lines of Mount Fuji, the snow-capped thatched roofs, and the serenity of the waters.


We’ll end today with an entry from Fukushima Prefecture: Ouchi-juku. In this historic station town where the streetscapes of the Edo-era still remain, the traveller can find pathways lined with thatched-roof folk dwellings, about 50 in number.
During winter, the area becomes even more beautiful, and the season’s Ouchi-juku Snow Festival is not to be missed. Many different events are held then, and the festival’s chilly, silvery realm of pure white snow is bathed in the warm light of snow lanterns and the laughter of those who visit. Satisfy your heart completely with beautiful, fantastical landscapes of snow together with scenery that brings you back to the days of the Edo era.
Ouchi-juku Snow Festival Event Schedule:February 13 (Sat.), February 14 (Sun.)

What did you think of our selection of houses in snowy landscapes? There’s something that stirs the heart in these beautiful scenes, made possible only by the chilly weather.

We hope you’ll include these destinations in your winter travel plans!

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