Category Archives: winter
Tokyo German Village is a park in Chiba, located about two hours from central Tokyo. The park offers facilities for families, flower events, a souvenir shop and German food. It’s not an educational place meant to teach you German – in many ways it’s very much a Japanese park.
Winter is time for the illumination festival when the whole park turns into an LED wonderland. Illumination festivals at parks like Tokyo German Village (Tokyo Doitsu Mura 東京ドイツ村) are usually more impressive than the festivals in central Tokyo. The festival lights and motives also change every year, encouraging people to visit the park at least once a year.
This year’s Winter Illumination Shangri-La started on November 8 and will continue until March 31. The lights are switched on from 4 to 8 pm, last entrance is at 7.30 pm. Until early January, a shuttle bus will run from Sodegaura Station (Uchibo Line) to Tokyo German Village. The whole trip took me about two hours, but it was well worth it! Read the rest of this entry
Snow is rare in Tokyo and if it snows it usually doesn’t stay long before it melts. So if it snows, hurry up, build your snowmen and take shots of your favorite places! If you have too much time on your hand, you may explore your inner snow sculpture master and build snow creatures such as the ones above.
The three pictures were posted to Twitter. The top one shows a snow man sitting cross-legged on a bench and was shot by kakko-shima. The body appears very smooth and except for the face, this work looks quite professional. kakko-shima also posted a photo showing what’s left of the snowman.
The bottom left one is even more impressive since the snow woman (man?) isn’t supported on the back. Looking around the snow around her, collecting enough snow alone must’ve taken a while. This picture was posted by Haruka Miyafusa (@tomatel), presumably near Hitotsubashi University in Kunitachi.
The third one is a clever play with perspective. It looks as if it is standing, while the snow has just been put against the wall. kinsama took this picture. It’s not clear where it was, except near his/her company.
The more common snow creatures look a bit different… Read the rest of this entry
Originally, my next stop after Sapporo was supposed to be Aomori, but I switched to Hakodate instead. Hakodate is Hokkaido’s third biggest city and its port was the first to be opened to foreign trade. One of the main sights is Goryokaku, a star-shaped fort that was the site of the last battle of the Boshin War, a civil war in Japan between the imperial forces and forces of the old shogunate.
The star shape of the fort allowed more cannons to be placed while reducing the number of blind spots where cannons couldn’t fire. The fort is a public park today and one of Hakodate’s cherry blossom spots. The nearby Goryokaku Tower offers an excellent view over the fort even though the angled windows of the tower make it hard to get a good shot of the entire fort.
Upon buying the ticket for the observatory deck (840 Yen), I was told that there’s going to be a light-up event starting at 5pm. Of course everybody up there waited for this event! Read the rest of this entry
There is rarely snow in Tokyo. Winters are dry and not as cold as in Seoul. Usually when it snowed it ended up as a snow mud and never lasted more than a few days. I still took many snow pictures however. Still, I would say that I experienced my first Japanese winter here in Sapporo!
On the day I arrived, the streets and sidewalks were already covered in snow. The streets were very slippery and even the locals had trouble going from one side to the other. Between Sapporo and Tokyo there is a temperature difference of about 10 degrees celsius.
Obviously people living in Sapporo are well prepared for the season and while it was cold, there was no chilly wind. So I was fine in my layered clothes during my stay. Read the rest of this entry
It doesn’t snow often in Hamburg in December, but this month has been exceptional and I’m happy to be in Germany at this time. Honestly, many cities which I would call “summer cities” because they are not an exciting sight during the winter time, are now worth a day trip.
Anyway, I had some time to spare so I edited a short video about Hamburg in snow, filmed at the city park.