Kiso Ontake in Winter


Winter brings deep cold and snow to the region, with many of its popular walking trails snowbound and inaccessible. Imbuing the landscape with an atmosphere of magic, winter sees the welcome return of following activities to the Kiso Ontake Mouintain Range each year:

Shirakawa Ice Pillar


Located on the road from Kiso to Takayama, the Shirakawa Ice Pillars are a striking natural phenomena that occurs every winter when freezing temperatures create a huge ice pillar waterfall. Measuring 50 metres in height and an amazing 250 metres in width, this truly unique sight can only be seen from January to mid-February – best experienced with a private charter or tour.

Narai-juku Ice Candle Festival


Taking place during the first week of February each year, the Narai-juku Ice Candle Festival brings warmth and a quiet beauty into the cold winter night, as locals line the streets of Narai with numerous candles and ice sculptures. Climaxing with a beautiful fireworks display, this somewhat undiscovered festival won’t stay secret for long.

Kaida Plateau Kamakura Snow Festival


Also taking place in the first week of February, the Kaido Kogen Kamakura Snow Festival is enjoyed by local families. Large ‘kamakura’ (snow huts) are created from the local snow and ice, with activities including a ‘kiso-uma’ (horse-drawn) sled, snowshoe walking, snowmobiling, and of course, the chance to help make a snow hut.