A snowy wonderland appears each winter in this quiet hot spring town as hundreds of small snow-houses are built.
Illuminated on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings for the one-month duration of the event, the mini-kamakura (igloo) along the Sawaguchi Riverbed are a beautiful sight and are the highlight of the festival, but there will be plenty of other kamakura and snowy things to see.
During the day you can explore the local village, try sledding, and relax in the hot springs dotted around the town. The open-air museum Heike-no-sato will have both small kamakura and large ones. Entry for a full day is ¥510 for adults and ¥250 for children.
Other sites include the Mizunosato Snow Park at the Yunishigawa hot spring grounds. Entry is ¥1,200 for adults and ¥600 for kids and includes sledding and bathing fees). Check here for more information.
How to get there
Tochigi, most known for Nikko, is easily accessible from Tokyo, but a little far. First, you’ll need to get to Kinugawa Onsen, which can be done via a 2-hour train journey from Asakusa Station.
To get to Sawaguchi Riverbed, you can then either grab a 55-minute bus from Kinugawa Onsen Station or stay on the train till Yunishikawa Onsen and then grab a 20-minute bus.Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.