Wondering how to navigate Tokyo’s magical blend of traditional and contemporary culture during February? This travel guide is your go-to resource, expertly crafted to take you through a vivid journey around Tokyo in February. From the popular winter activities of January through the onset of springtime wonders in March, Tokyo in February offers a unique transition that’s not to be missed.
Our guide to visiting Japan dives into activities that are both popular in Japan and uniquely resonant during this time of the year. Explore Tokyo’s attractions, from traditional Setsubun festivals and mesmerizing ice skating hotspots to the renowned cherry blossom festival in Kawazu. Did you know February is also the perfect month for strawberry picking and celebrating Valentine’s day the Japanese way?
This travel guide to the best of Tokyo ensures you won’t miss out on any local charm during your trip to Tokyo. So pack your bags, it’s time to take on an unforgettable journey!
Tokyo in February: What is the Weather Like in February?
Tokyo in February can be quite an experience, thanks to its unique climate and delightful scenery. Let’s delve into what the weather’s typically like:
- The temperature in February: In Tokyo, February tends to be one of the coldest months of the year. Daily highs generally hover around 10 °C (50°F), while lows can drop to around 2°C (36°F). Be sure to pack accordingly to stay warm and comfortable.
- Precipitation: It’s relatively dry in Tokyo during February. The city sees an average rainfall of about 60mm over seven days. You might want to bring a compact umbrella just in case, as rain showers can be unpredictable.
- Snowfall: Snow isn’t very common in Tokyo, but it occasionally takes place in February. While the snow rarely sticks for long, it can create a beautiful, wintery landscape in the city.
- Sunlight: February in Tokyo brings an average of 5-6 hours of sunlight per day, providing plenty of opportunities for sightseeing and exploration.
- Clothing Recommendation: Considering the cool temperature in February, it’s advisable to pack a warm coat, layers for added warmth, and waterproof shoes for potential rain or snow.
Beyond just the temperature and precipitation, February brings an atmospheric beauty to Tokyo. Despite the chilly weather, an array of festivities and events takes place in February, making it a captivating time to visit.
- Festivals: The city comes alive with cultural celebrations like the Setsubun Festival, where residents throw beans to ward off evil spirits, and the Plum Blossom Festival, highlighting the early signs of spring.
- Outdoor Activities: Enjoy winter illuminations, ice skating, or explore the city’s many parks, shrines, and temples, which often appear serene and picturesque in the winter chill.
Remember, the weather in Tokyo can be unpredictable. It’s always wise to check the forecast before heading out for the day.
Winter Illumination: Capturing Tokyo’s Glittering Nights
Winter illuminations in Tokyo transform the city into a mesmerizing wonderland, captivating visitors with their enchanting displays of lights and colors.
One of the most notable illumination events is the Tokyo Dome City Winter Illumination, held in February. This event showcases a stunning array of lights, creating a magical atmosphere that is perfect for a romantic evening stroll.
Winter in Japan is a truly special time, with the cold weather adding a touch of sparkle to the cityscape. February is a good time to visit Tokyo, as the illuminations are still on display and the Valentine’s Day festivities add an extra touch of romance.
For those looking to venture outside Tokyo, there are even bigger scaled illumination events that make for a perfect one-day trip.
Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Tokyo’s glittering nights during the winter season. Beyond the mesmerizing winter illuminations, there are countless ways to experience Tokyo at night making your visit an unforgettable adventure.
Bunkyo Plum Blossom Festivals
The Bunkyo Plum Blossom Festival, held at Yushima Tenjin Shrine in Tokyo, showcases approximately 300 flourishing plum trees and offers a variety of special events, including a nighttime light-up display.
This festival is part of the Ume Matsuri, or Plum Blossom Festivals, celebrated across Japan during the beginning of spring in February.
The festival at Yushima Tenjin Shrine is particularly significant as it is the largest Plum Festival in Tokyo. Visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature as they stroll through the shrine site, admiring the vibrant plum trees in full bloom.
In addition to the mesmerizing display of flowers, the festival also features various special events that offer a glimpse into Japanese culture and traditions.
For those seeking a unique and enchanting experience, the Bunkyo Plum Blossom Festival is a must-visit destination in February, especially for those interested in exploring the temples in Tokyo.
Cherry Blossom Festival
The Cherry Blossom Festival in Kawazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, showcases the early blooming Kawazu Sakura cherry trees along the riverbank of Kawazu River, providing a picturesque setting for visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.
This festivity takes place in early February, making it a perfect opportunity for those who wish to experience cherry blossoms before the traditional season.
With approximately 8,000 cherry trees spanning a 4km stretch, visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll under the delicate pink petals.
The festival also offers food vendors and night light-up, adding to the enchanting atmosphere.
The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival is an ideal day-trip destination from Tokyo in February, allowing visitors to witness the early bloom of cherry blossoms and create lasting memories of their visit to Japan.
Tokyo’s Winter Strawberry Picking
Located near Tokyo, winter strawberry picking provides a delightful opportunity to savor Japanese strawberries’ world-renowned sweetness and juiciness, making it a must-try activity during the season.
In February, when the Bunkyo Plum Blossom Festivals mark the beginning of spring, visitors can also indulge in Tokyo’s Winter Strawberry Picking. This activity offers a unique experience of plucking and tasting fresh strawberries in picturesque fields.
These strawberries’ vibrant red color and luscious taste captivate the senses and leave a lasting impression. For those who have visited Tokyo for the Ume Matsuri, or Plum Blossom Festival, this strawberry picking activity is a perfect addition to their itinerary. It allows tourists to relish the sweetness of Japanese strawberries while immersing themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Tokyo.
Valentine’s Day Chocolate
Valentine’s Day in Japan is a significant occasion where women present chocolates to men, and during this season, various chocolate products are extensively promoted across department stores, confectioneries, grocery stores, and convenience stores.
In addition to the traditional exchange of chocolates, Starbucks Japan also joins in the festivities by releasing a ‘Valentine Limited’ merchandise collection and beverages. This includes cute heart-decorated drinkware available exclusively at Starbucks stores and chocolate-inspired drinks like frappuccinos and hot beverages.
February in Tokyo marks the beginning of spring, and it is a time when the city comes alive with vibrant plum blossom festivals. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful sights of plum blossoms blooming across the city, particularly in places like Kyoto Prefecture.
Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that Valentine’s Day in Japan is followed by White Day on March 14th, where men reciprocate the gesture by giving gifts to women.
Ice Skate with Breathtaking Views
Ice skating in Tokyo offers a delightful winter activity, allowing visitors to enjoy the city’s stunning views while gliding across the ice.
With numerous ice skate rinks open during winter, Tokyo provides a unique opportunity to embrace the cold weather while taking in the beautiful cityscape.
Ice skaters can revel in the enchanting atmosphere created by the combination of twinkling lights and snow-covered surroundings, whether during the day or at night.
February is an ideal time to partake in this activity, as the winter season is in full swing, and the city is often adorned with winter decorations for various snow festivals.
Tokyo’s ice skate rinks are among the best places in Japan to experience the joy of ice skating and create lasting memories in the city’s winter wonderland.
Setsubun Festivals are traditional celebrations in Japan that involve throwing beans to drive away evil spirits and welcome the new season of spring. These festivals are popular attractions for tourists visiting Japan in February.
The Setsubun Festivals are held on 3 February, the day before the beginning of spring in Japan. It is a time to visit temples and shrines, where the bean-throwing ceremony takes place. This ceremony is believed to purify the surroundings and bring good luck for the upcoming season.
In addition to the bean-throwing, plum blossom festivals are also held during this time, adding to the beauty of the celebrations. Travelers can enjoy the festive atmosphere, witness traditional rituals, and immerse themselves in Japanese culture.
Although the weather in February can be chilly, the Setsubun Festivals provide an exciting and memorable experience during this time of year.
Visit the Kite Market at Oji Inari II Shrine
Attending the kite market at Oji Inari II Shrine offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the traditional customs and cultural significance of kites in Japanese history. It also allows them to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the market and indulge in local food and drink offerings.
The market takes place every year in February, usually in the first week, coinciding with Horse Day according to the Chinese zodiac. The kites, which were believed to protect against fires in the Edo period, hold special significance.
Outside the shrine, a variety of stalls can be found selling kites for around €10, as well as offering food and drinks. This event is free to attend and runs from 10am to 6pm.
It is a must-visit for those looking to experience the winter in Tokyo and immerse themselves in the cultural celebrations celebrated in Japan during this time of year.
Chinatown Lion Dance (Chinese New Year)
Decorated with vibrant red Chinese lanterns and mesmerizing illuminations, the bustling Chinatowns of Japan come alive during late January or early February, as locals and visitors immerse themselves in the spirited festivities of the Chinese New Year.
These festivities include the captivating Chinatown Lion Dance, believed to bring good luck and ward off evil.
Celebrated in late February, the Chinese New Year is a joyous occasion filled with cultural traditions and exciting events.
In Tokyo, this celebration is particularly vibrant, with its lively Chinatown hosting one of the season’s best events: the Chinatown Lion Dance.
This mesmerizing performance, accompanied by energetic drum beats and cymbals, showcases the performers’ artistry and skill as they mimic a lion’s movements.
It is said that being bitten by the lion brings good luck and chases away evil spirits, making it a must-see experience during the festive month of February in Tokyo.