Snow FESTIVAL

Mix with Locals at a Traditional Cultural Event
February 5th, 2022

TOUR DESCRIPTION

Come along for an incredibly unique travel experience, and join us as we attend our local snow festival. This is a small community event that attracts exactly zero tourists, but what it lacks in notoriety and scale it more than makes up for in rural charm, authenticity, and the opportunity for unparalleled cultural immersion. And since we live locally, there won't be any awkwardness from showing up uninvited if you're with us.  ;)

On this full-day tour that begins just after lunch, depending on weather conditions, we will start with a drive to a scenic overlook that offers excellent views of the Northern Alps, the village of Otari and numerous ski resorts of the Hakuba Valley. We will take some time to enjoy the views and snap some photos before moving on to our next destination, a history and mineral rich rejuvenating hot spring located deep in the mountains. Soak and relax at your leisure, and once you're fully refreshed - we'll take a small break for tea and sweets on the premises.

Afterwards we'll make our way to the festival grounds and have the opportunity to observe and even participate in karaoke as we chow down on the assortment of home cooking being served and shared by the festival goers.​ All the while final preparations for the evening's massive "bonfire"continue in the background. Calling it a bonfire, however, is much too simplistic as it is actually a traditional burning of New Years decorations and religious charms bought from temples and shrines and displayed throughout the previous year. The burning of these items is meant to send the people's prayers and wishes for health and happiness in the New Year to the heavens, enveloped in the upward wafting smoke.

Once the intensity of the fire begins to wane, branches laden with colorful clumps of "mochi" are passed out, and participants roast the mochi in the bonfire, much like marshmallows are roasted over a campfire, but with more mochi and a much larger fire - before eating them in a meaning-rich ritual.

For more information and videos of the event, check out our blog post from a past festival.

https://www.hikeandbikejapan.com/post/nakaya-snow-festival

IMAGE GALLERY (February, 2019)

PICK-UP & DROP-OFF

Complimentary pick-up and drop-off can be provided from/to any location within the village of Otari; such as your place of lodging, one of the three ski resorts located within the village (Tsugaike Kogen, Hakuba Norikura & Hakuba Cortina) or Otari's main train station - Minami Otari (on the JR Oito Line). 

GROUP SIZE

  • There is no minimum number of participants for this tour  

  • Group size will be limited to a maximum of 4 persons.

WHAT TO BRING

  • WARM CLOTHING: The festival will be held outside, in the evening - so it is necessary to dress warmly.

ONLINE BOOKING

For your convenience and ours, bookings are made through our online booking platform by clicking on the 'BOOK' button below and following the steps presented: (1) Choose a start time/date (2) Fill out the required information (3) Enter a coupon code (if applicable) (4) Complete your booking by clicking on the 'Book It' button.  

 

Upon confirmation of your booking, we will reach out to you through the contact information you provided to confirm or customize your itinerary and to follow up with any further questions or instructions. In general, payments are accepted in cash on the day of the tour.

snow festival

Mix with Locals at a Traditional Cultural Event
​February 5th, 2022

Inquire for Pricing

​CONTACT US

If you would like to contact us to ask questions, receive more information, or inquire about booking this trip, please either connect with us directly using the chat feature located on the bottom right of your screen, or submit an inquiry through the contact form below.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!