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Goin’ Japanesque!

3 Things to Do in Japan for Winter: Games Using Snow

Japan is a country that gets snowfall, beginning with Hokkaido and the Tohoku region. It even snows in Tokyo. The games we’re going to show you that use snow are all simple but are so fun you’ll work up a sweat in the cold winter. If you’re staying in Japan for a long time, we think it’s worth spending a day of sightseeing playing out in the snow. Ref: Photo

 

1. Yukidaruma (Snowman)

snowman
Sapporo, Hokkaido, https://www.flickr.com

Probably every country that gets snowfall will make a yukidaruma. Of course, Japan does too.

snow-rabbit
Yukiusagi (Snowrabbit), http://hikosan.sblo.jp/

For Japan, there’s a trend right now of making cute animals or anime characters from snow. At the Sapporo Snow Festival, the largest snow festival in Japan, they make really impressive pieces from Star Wars, One Piece, Love Live, et cetera. Many people come from all over the world to make snowmen (snow sculptures).

 

2. Yuki Gassen (Snowball Fight)

snowball-fight
http://www.city.kashiwa.lg.jp/

This simple game is where you roll snow into a ball and throw it. It’s well-loved by small kids. There are records of snowball fights in the ancient story Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji), meaning that it’s been going on in Japan since at least the Heian period (794-1185 CE). But, as it’s a simple game, people likely played it further back than even that.

yukigassen
Showa-Shinzan International Yukigassen, http://sportie.com/

When it’s played against teams with international rules, it’s being called Yukigassen even overseas. In Hokkaido it’s held as an annual international sport known as the Showa-Shinzan International Yukigassen.

 

Kamakura (Snow Hut)

kamakura-snow-stature
http://www.asakusaomatsuri.com/

A kamakura is a house built from snow. Or it sometimes refers to a traditional event that happens during winter in typical places for snowfall like Akita and Niigata. In Yokote in particular, kamakura is a traditional New Years event with over 450 years of history. Of course, the good things about kamakura are the enjoyment of making them and the magical light that shines from them, but inside they’re surprisingly warm and dishes made inside one taste really good when enjoyed by everyone. Eating oden, oshiruko, mochi, or amazake is great in one. Also, in Yokote city, they have Yokote Yakisoba, one of the three biggest types of Yakisoba in Japan. You should definitely come, play, and eat to get full enjoyment your visit.

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