Fukushima Snow Festivals Guide 2019

Here you’ll find information about visiting the snow & winter festivals happening in Fukushima over the next couple of weeks. Please note the time tables listed below are the 2019 winter season time tables.

Skip to the festival you’d like to know about by choosing from the list below:

  1. Ouchi-juku Snow Festival
  2. Tadami Snow Festival
  3. Mishima Town Snow & Fire Festival
  4. Nakayama Setsugekka Festival
  5. Shirakawa Daruma Market
  6. Aizu-Wakamatsu Painted Candles Festival
  7. Winter light-up events ending in February

1) Ouchi-juku Snow Festival, Shimogo Town

Fantastic snow festival in the well-preserved Edo Era post-town of Ouchi-juku. Lots of events go on throughout the day on Saturday (including a wood-chopping competition and traditional performances). The night is ended with a spectacular firework display. See here for more info.

Date February 9 (Sat) 10:00-18:30, February 10 (Sun) AM
Highlights Firework Display (Feb 9 from 18:00)

Getting There

By Train / Taxi 5.5km from Yunokami Onsen Station (around 10 min in normal traffic)
By Train / Shuttle Bus

Here are the train and bus times for Saturday February 9:

Enyu Go Bus Aizu Railways
Ouchi-juku (Departure) Yunokami Onsen Station (Arrival) Yunokami Onsen Station (Departure) Aizuwakamatsu Station (Arrival)
15:00 15:30 16:12 16:53
15:30 16:00 17:06 17:55
16:20 16:50 18:10 18:51
18:00 18:30 19:07 19:56
19:00 19:30 20:08 20:45

2) Tadami Snow Festival, Tadami Town

Local snow festival in rural Tadami Town in Aizu. Close to ski slopes where you can enjoy winter sports and snow activities during the day. Both festival days have a packed schedule of local performers and entertainment, and each day is finished with an explosion of colour against the night sky behind spectacular snow sculptures.

Date
  • February 9 (Sat) 10:00-20:00
  • February 10 (Sun) 10:00-20:00
Highlights Firework displays on both days

Getting There

Location JR Tadami Eki-mae Hiroba (map)
By Car 135km (2.5 hour drive) from Koriyama City
By Public Transport
  • Difficult to get to via public transport. If you have to go by public transport, I recommend booking a tour bus (see below) or have somewhere booked to stay locally.
  • The tour shuttle bus between the venue and Aizuwakamatsu Station which you can book in advance via this website  (only in Japanese)
  • The tour shuttle bus leaves Aizuwakamatsu Station at 12:40, reaches the venue at 16:10, and leaves the venue at 21:00, getting back to Aizuwakamatsu Station at 23:50

3) Mishima Town Snow & Fire Festival, Mishima Town

Warm yourself up at this festival, designated as a Nationally Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property by the Japanese Government. For Mishima Town, the tradition of burning 20-metre high pillars made from wood sourced from local mountains and old New Years’ decorations is an important part of their local history. The burning of these pillars is a way for local people to pray to the guardian of travel.

Date February 9 (Sat) 12:00-19:00
Highlights 18:00 Sai no Shintenka Fireworks

Getting There

Location Mishima Town Chomin Undojo (map)
By Car 50 min drive from Aizu-Wakamatsu City / 1.5 hour drive from Koriyama City (using the expressway)
By Public Transport
  • The Tadami Line train connects Aizuwakamatsu Station and Aizu Miyashita Station. But the venue is a 1.5km walk in the snow from Aizu-Miyashita Station.
  • There is a tour shuttle bus that leaves 14:33 to get to the venue, but there is no shuttle bus back to the station in the evening (booking is necessary).
  • There’s a shuttle bus between the venue and Aizuwakamatsu Station which you can book in advance via this website (only in Japanese)
  • The shuttle bus leaves Aizuwakamatsu Station at 12:40, reaches the venue at 14:45, and leaves the venue at 19:00, getting back to Aizuwakamatsu Station at 20:20

4) Nakayama Setsugekka Festival, Shimogo Town

Designated as one of Japan’s best “Night View Heritage Sites”, this festival is held very close to Ouchi-juku. It’s a spectacular opportunity to experience the beauty of the snowy landscapes of Shimogo Town by candlelight. The thousands of lanterns and little kamakura (igloos) filled with candles are prepared by volunteers.

Date February 16 (Sat) From 16:30

Getting There

Location Nakayama Hana no Go Park (map)
By Car Shuttle bus from Ouchi-juku Car Park (map)
No booking necessary.
By Public Transport
  • Take Aizu Railways train from Aizuwakamatsu Station to Yunokami Onsen Station (See here for getting to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station).
  • From Yunokami Onsen station, take the Enyu Go bus to Ouchi-juku.
  • From there, there’s a free shuttle bus to the venue.
  • Please note that if coming by public transport, you’d have to stay the night in Aizu-wakamatsu City or Yunokami Onsen because the shuttle bus that leaves after the festival doesn’t get you back in time for the last train to Koriyama Station.

See here for shuttle bus times:

Aizu-Wakamatsu City to Venue

Aizu Railways

Enyu Go Bus

Shuttle Bus

Aizuwakamatsu Station (Departure)

Yunokami Onsen Station (Arrival)

Yunokami Onsen Station (Departure)

Ouchi-juku

(Departure)

Venue

(Arrival)

13:49

14:24

14:35

14:55

15:05

15:00

15:20

15:30

15:08

15:44

15:50

16:10

16:20

16:15

16:35

16:45

16:23

17:00

17:10

17:30

17:40

17:04

17:40

17:50

18:10

18:20

 

Venue to Aizu-Wakamatsu City

Shuttle Bus       Enyu Go Bus

Enyu Go Bus

Aizu Railways

Aizu Railways

Venue (Departure)

Ouchi-juku (Departure)

Yunokami Onsen Station (Arrival)

Yunokami Onsen Station (Departure)

Aizuwakamatsu Station (Arrival)

20:20

20:30

20:50

21:00

21:38


5) Shirakawa Daruma Market, Shirakawa City

This traditional market is held every year as an opportunity for people to buy new Daruma dolls for the new year. Daruma dolls are a traditional craft bought to help set goals and celebrate achievements. Shirakawa City is known nationwide and internationally as one of Japan’s best daruma-producing areas. Read more about daruma here.

Date February 11 (Mon) 9:00 to 19:30

Getting There

Location Naka-machi, Tenjin-machi, hon-machi roads running parallel to Shirakawa Station (map)
By Car
  • The centre of town will be busy, so use one of the temporary car parks set up, such as JA Yumeminami Shirakawa (Map).
  • Temporary buses will run between the car parks and Shirakawa Station every 15-30 minutes between 8:45 and 20:00.
By Public Transport
  • 10 min walk from Shirakawa Station
  • Reach Shirakawa Station from Koriyama via the Tohoku Shinkansen and Tohoku Line in 45 min (with a change at Shin-Shirakawa Station).
  • Reach Shirakawa Station via Tokyo via the Tohoku Shinkansen and Tohoku Line in 105 min (with a change at Shin-shirakawa Station).

6) Aizu-Wakamatsu Painted Candle Festival, Aizu-Wakamatsu City

Lanterns and painstakingly hand-painted candles light up Aizu-Wakamatsu City at night over Feb 8 and 9. Painted candles were once a very important product made in the city, and are still very popular souvenirs. This festival was started to spread awareness and appreciation for the city’s tradition of producing painted candles.

Date
  • February 8 (Fri) 17:30-21:00
  • February 9 (Sat) 17:30-21:00

Getting There

Location Tsuruga-jo Castle (map), Oyakuen Gardens (map) & other areas of Aizu-Wakamatsu City
By Taxi Oyakuen / Tsuruga-jo Castle take 10 min to reach by taxi from Aizuwakamatsu Station
By Public Transport For info on reaching Aizu-Wakamatsu City, please see here.
  • Oyakuen is a 25 min bus ride from Aizuwakamatsu Station. Tsuruga-jo Castle is a 30 min bus ride from Aizuwakamatsu Station (1 stop further than Oyakuen.)
  • Aizu Loop Buses (see here) will run later in the day than usual. These special buses link Aizuwakamatsu Station to the different festivals locations. Buses leave Aizuwakamatsu Station once an hour between 17:30 and 20:30 leaving AW. 600 yen for a 1-day pass.
  • Please be aware that the last train possible to take from Aizu-Wakamatsu Station to Koriyama leaves at 9:01pm

7) Other Light-Up Events

 

Abukuma Caves, Tamura City

Higashiyama Onsen, Aizu-Wakamatsu City

122

 

It’s hard to pick which of these events to go to, seeing as many of them happen on the same weekend! I hope you get a chance to visit Fukushima this weekend to make the most of the winter and snow festival season!

 

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2 thoughts on “Fukushima Snow Festivals Guide 2019

  1. I tried to sign up for your newsletter feed. It takes forever to prove that I am “a human” so I simply gave up.

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