“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas” is how the song goes, and if we’re being honest, who doesn’t dream of spending the most joyful holiday season in a winter wonderland?
Lucky for Filipinos, you don’t have to fly to the North Pole to experience snow because there’s a couple of winter wonderlands in Asia that are both just a short flight away!
Make your Christmas extra bright this winter season and head north to experience the magical beauty of Japan or immerse yourself in the romantic aura of South Korea!
The Land of the Rising Sun gets very cold and snowy during the winter season. Although the country is widely-known for its cherry blossoms during the spring, the winter season has its own kind of magic.
The country boasts stunning snowy views, world-renowned snow festivals, and many opportunities for skiing and ice skating.
Winters in Japan can be vastly different across the country. In Tokyo and Osaka, winters are short with limited snowfall. Temperature ranges from a daytime high of 12ºC to a nighttime low of 5ºC.
Meanwhile, the temperature drops in the northern parts of Japan and winters stretch on for months with a high level of snow—like in Sapporo, where it ranges from -1ºC to -8ºC.
Winter is the best time to venture beyond the urban areas and into the countryside where snow blankets the land fully and beautifully. Although it does snow in Tokyo and Osaka, it rarely sticks to the ground and lasts for no longer than a couple of days.
Check out some of Japan’s most gorgeous snow-covered spots:
The snow wonderland of Japan is located mostly up north, like Sapporo in Hokkaido. It can be reached via train, plane, ferry, or car. The fastest and easiest way would be by plane, which takes around one and a half hours from Tokyo.
If you choose to go by train, it will take approximately 7.5 hours with a transfer. This route is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass).
Pro-tip: A one-way train ride from Tokyo to Sapporo will cost just as much as the JR Pass, which basically gives you unlimited rides on bullet trains across Japan for seven days! It’s definitely a great value if you will be traveling to other parts of the country.
Tokyo Disneyland celebrates Christmas with a bang with themed parades and activities that will liven up your holiday experience.
Expect similar themed parades and extravagant holiday celebrations at Tokyo DisneySea.
Universal Studios Japan in Osaka also has a holiday celebration that runs from November to December, highlighting a nighttime show, a huge Christmas tree, and other holiday treats.
We’ve seen in K-dramas how the two leads fall in love under the snow falling from the sky. There’s even a superstition in South Korea that says when you’re out with a person you like in the first snowfall of the year, love will truly blossom between the two of you.
With that being said, winter in South Korea can be described as undeniably romantic. From pretty snow spots to stunning illuminations, how could anyone not fall in love with this place at this time of year?
Winter in South Korea is cold and dry with an average temperature range of -7ºC to 5ºC in Seoul. The actual temperature feels colder, however, due to the frosty Siberian winds.
Snow in Seoul doesn’t regularly happen every year, but when it does it’s pretty magical! It falls around mid-December to January.
If you want to fully experience a place blanketed in thick white snow, head east to the mountains and enjoy various ski resorts like Yongpyong Ski Resort and Daemyung Vivaldi Park.
Fall in love this winter in South Korea’s famed snow destinations:
Traveling in South Korea is quite easy with their extensive subway and domestic air travel networks, as well as local buses and ferries that are available almost anywhere. Getting around by train is by far the most convenient and efficient way to travel around the country.
Just make sure to get a KORAIL pass, which is especially catered to foreigners, to take advantage of unlimited access to train services!
May your Christmases be white this year. Book via Traveloka and begin your winter adventure!
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