Okitama / Kaminoyama Region Snow Festivals in February

Hello All!


Below is a translation of snow festivals in the Okitama/Kaminoyama area from the Yamagata Warm & Cozy Winter Tour Campaign. If you're around the area, feel free to check some of them out!


15th Nagai Snow Light Festival (Nagai City)

Saturday, February 3rd (17:00 ~ 20:00)


Details: The roads are decorated with snow lanterns, made by the locals, covering the entire area in the soft glow of the snow lanterns and momentarily warming up our hearts in the cold winter. In addition to the snow lanterns and snow sculptures, each shopping district has prepared various events and delicious foods.


Location: Around city center

Access: By Flower Nagai Line; all spots within walking distance from Nagai Station

Contact: Executive Committee Office (within Nagaishi Sight Seeing Information Center) TEL. 0238-88-5279


Snow Lantern Connecting the Town and Dam (Nagai City)

Saturday, February 3rd (13:30 ~ 18:30)


Details: In addition to the above Nagai Light Snow Corridor event, you can experience candle- or lantern-making workshops and have a ride on a snowmobile - for free! There will also be free tama konnyaku, and once the night hits, enjoy the enchanted space lit by the snow lanterns.


Location: Nogawa Manabi Kan

Access: By Flower Nagai Line; 10 minute drive from Nagai Station

Contact: Nogawa Manabi Kan TEL. 0238-87-0605


12th Nanyo Snow Light Festival (Nanyo City)

Sunday, February 4th


Details: Each area has mini-snow huts that are lit by candles that local Nanyo high school students made. There is also free amazake and tama konnyaku. At the Akayu Ekubo Plaza, there will be a concert from the gospel group and a fun raffle, topped off with free mochi. Also, in front of the old community center, there is a giant snow hut that you can go inside to eat ramen (paid) or amazake. 


Location: Nanyo City (JR Yamagata Shinkansen Line Akayu Station、Akayu Ekubo Plaza, Toyotaro Yuki Memorial Museum, Akayu hot spring district, Miyauchi area, etc.)

Access: To Akayu Ekubo Plaza, hot spring district, and Toyotaro Yuki Memorial Musem - By JR Yamagata Shinkansen; 25 minute walk or 7 minute taxi ride from Akayu Station

              To Miyauchi area - By JR Yamagata Shinkansen; 15 minute taxi ride from Akayu Station

Contact: Nanyoshi Sight Seeing Information Center TEL. 0238-33-9512 (Weekends and Holidays: TEL. 0238-40-2002)


41st Uesugi Snow Lantern Festival (Yonezawa City)

Friday, February 9th (Pre-lighting)

Saturday, February 10th (11:00 ~ 21:00)

Sunday, February 11th (11:00 ~ 21:00)

Monday, February 12th (11:00 ~ 20:00)


Details: The 41st Uesugi Snow Lantern Festival will be commemorating the opening of the Tohoku-Chuo Expressway, expanding the event to a three-day long festival. There will be around 300 snow lanterns, 1,000 snow paper lanterns, and various bamboo lights to brighten up the area. There will also be a reappearance of "Osankai", the symbol of the former Yonezawa Castle as well as illuminations. There will also be tents with products such as Yonezawa Ramen or Torobeko Jiru to warm you up during the festivities.


Location: Uesugi-jinja Shrine / Matsugasaki Park/ Saijotenma Park

Access: Shuttle Bus (Paid)

Contact: Uesugi Yukidouro Festival Council TEL. 0238-22-9607


Mahoroba Fuyuzaki Botan (peony) Festival (Takahata Town)

Friday, February 9th ~ Monday, February 12th (10:00 ~ 20:00)


Details: The peonies compete to grow inside of the woven huts we made. Please enjoy this flower-viewing in the middle of the white snow. At night, the area is lit up, creating a magical world different from the day.


Location: Open space in front of Takahata Station (Taiyoukan Hot Springs)

Access: By JR Yamagata Shinkansen; Takahata Station

Contact: Takahata Town Tourism Association TEL. 0238-57-3844


Kasedori Festival (Kaminoyama City)

Sunday, February 11th (10:30 ~ 15:30)


Details: This is a local tradition of Kaminoyama where you splash young people, who are wearing straw raincoats called "kendai“, with celebratory water, and is a tradition held since the beginning of the Edo period to pray for bountiful harvests and thriving businesses.

The kasedori is a personification of the deities, so it is thought that the straw that falls from the "kendai" are places were deities dwell, and are made into talismans. It is also said that if you tie your hair with the straw of the "kendai", you will become a beautiful woman with luscious black hair.


Location: From Kaminoyama Castle and within Kaminoyama City

Access: By JR Yamagata Shinkansen; 15 minute walk from Kaminoyama-Onsen Station; 10 minutes by Tohoku-Chuo Expressway towards Yamagata-Kaminoyama Interchange

Contact: Kasedori Preservation Society TEL. 023-672-0839


Harumachi Market (Kawanishi Town)

Saturday, February 24th ~ Sunday, February 25th (10:00 ~ 16:00)


Details: "Harumachi" comes from "Haru ga machi", meaning "waiting for spring". As we wait during this long winter season, how about warming up with your family? Enjoy an array of delicious food or fun products gathered from around the town perfect for the chilly weather. On Saturday, there will be a "Watashi mo Ohina-sama", roughly translating to "I am also a Hinamatsuri Doll", event where boys and girls can dress up as the doll's for Doll's Festival.


Location: Kawanishi Town Friendly Plaza

Access: By JR Yonesaka Line; 3 minute walk from Uzen-Komatsu Station

              By JR Yamagata Shinkansen; 30 minute drive from Yonesaka Station

Contact: Kawanishicho Sight Seeing Information Center TEL. 0238-54-1515


Nakatsugawa Snow Festival (Iide Town)

Saturday, February 24th (14:00 ~ 20:00)

Giant Slide @ 14:00; Harvest Prayer Festival @ 16:00; Launch sky lanterns @ 19:00


Details: During the snowiest period of winter, Iide Town hosts their representative giant event. The enormous snow sculptures and snow stage are the highlight of the event, and the main event, where many lanterns are launched into the sky, seemingly invite us to an enchanting new world.


Location: Former Nakatsugawa Elementary/Junior High School

Access: By JR Yonesaka Line; 20 minute drive from Tenoko Station

Contact: Nakatsugawa Murazukuri Council TEL: 0238-77-2020


There's also other snow activities, hot springs, or food-related information on the website (Japanese Only) and pamphlets, so I recommend checking it out! 

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