Winter in Japan means the indoor heat is turned to a level that is almost as ridiculous as the TV show Finding Bigfoot. If you think Bigfoot is real then view Slednecks for some utter stupidity. The heat dries you out to the point where drinking a litre cola doesn’t even satisfy your body and your craving those stinky humid days of summer to return. The best way to combat this for me is to get outside and enjoy what’s on offer in Yamanashi during the winter months.
The Saiko Ice Festival has just finished, there are more famous ice festivals in Japan and if you are lucky enough to be at the Sapporo Snow Festival then good for you, make sure you eat enough Ghengis Khan lamb for both of us. You won’t be able to see the Fuji 5 lakes area looking this close to perfection at any other time during the year. With winter it brings clear sky, crisp cool air, snow covered trees and tour groups harder to find than a Michael Jordan Limited edition Basketball card. The festival is at Lake Sai, which is close to numerous caves, villages and also the famous suicide forest, so there more than enough activities to keep you flowing.
The best viewing time was dusk with Mt Fuji still lit up showing how grand and enormous it is. By night the creations are illuminated with the Frozen theme song on repeat. If your not a massive fan of that song there are also free sleds to try and hurt yourself to ensure a hasty departure via ambulance.
Here’s an English link to put you in the right direction, even though it is officially finished, all the sculptures are still there, they won’t be going anywhere in a while.
Each weekend, there are fireworks that light up Kawaguchiko with a Valentines day theme.