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COOL JAPAN VIDEOS is always holding photo contests. This time, we have selected winter-related works from among the many photos submitted to past COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contests. From spectacular landscapes created by natural phenomena like snow and ice, to twinkling light art created by human hands, we hope you enjoy the wide variety of works introduced here.

COOL JAPAN VIDEOS is a social, video curation site that introduces the charms of Japan to people around the world who are interested in Japan.

Our photo contests allow you to participate and even win with photos taken via your smartphone! Stick around to learn more!

We have selected wonderful photos of winter in Japan from among the many wonderful entries that convey the charms of Japan. We'll also introduce some popular photo spots as well!


Photographer: 01ktk15
Location: Daikanyama Observatory (Ashigarashimo, Shinagawa)

Highlights of Daikanyama, a Popular Tourist Attraction
Daikanyama was named after the artist Yokoyama Taikan, who was fond of painting Mt. Fuji. It's located at the end of the Hakone Turnpike, and is an automobile-only road. The summit of the 1,011-meter-high mountain is perfect for photographing Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi. If the weather is nice, you can also see Hatsushima and Oshima, the Miura Peninsula, and the Boso Peninsula.

A Video Article About Narusawa Village, Yamanashi at the foot of Mt. Fuji


Photographer: DAIGO
Location: Ainokura Gassho-zukuri Village (Toyama Prefecture)

Highlights of Gokayama, a Popular Tourist Attraction
Gokayama in Nanto, Toyama, is registered as a World Heritage Site. To raise awareness of fire prevention for Cultural Properties, Gokayama also hosts an illumiantion event. Suganuma Village, another village using traditional Gassho-zukuri architecture, will be illuminated from sunset to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 26, 2023. Aikura Gassho-zukuri Village, an original Japanese landscape situated in a field of snow, will be illuminated on February 18 and 19, 2023, from sunset to 9:00 p.m. Enjoy the sight of this World Heritage Site amidst the falling snow.

A Video Article About the World Heritage Sites Shirakawa-go and Gokayama in Gifu and Toyama Prefectures


Photographer: mihyaru
Location: Kamakura Igloo Village (Iiyama, Nagano)

Highlights of Kamakura Igloo Village, a Popular Tourist Attraction in Nagano Prefecture
Iiyama, Nagano, is home to more than 20 large Igloos on a field of pure white snow. Snow covers the area for roughly four months of the year, and photographers from all over Japan gather here eagerly in the cold winter air awaiting their chance to capture the snowy scenery of one of the heaviest snowfall areas in Japan. Every year on a weekend in early February, fireworks are set off, illuminating the fields of white snow and igloos, creating a fantastical atmosphere.

A Video Article About the Yokote Snow Festival in Yokote, Akita


Photographer: 野崎 晴美
Location: Kurokawa Onsen's 'Yu Akari' Illumination (Aso, Kumamoto)

Highlights of Kurokawa Onsen, a Popular Tourist Attraction in Aso, Kumamoto
Kurokawa Onsen's midwinter event, Yu Akari, lights up the hot spring resort. Approximately 300 spherical lanterns called "Mari-toro," as well as 2-meter-tall "Tsutsu-toro" lanterns are arranged to blend in with the natural townscape and are lit from sunset until 10 p.m. The lanterns are truly enchanting. Be sure to bring a camera, as this magical scene is something you'll want to treasure forever!

A Video Article About the Yu Akari Illumination at Kurokawa Onsen


Photographer: Lily0321
Location: Nakamise Shopping Street in Asakusa (Taito, Tokyo)

The Charms of Nakamise Shopping Street, a Popular Tourist Attraction
Nakamise Shopping Street is located on the main approach to Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo. The street is approximately 250 meters long, stretching from Kaminarimon Gate to Hozomon Gate, and both sides of the shopping street are lined with approximately a variety of shops selling all sorts of traditional Japanese goods and trinkets. Being one of the oldest shopping streets in Japan, it's popular for its delicious eateries and souvenir shops selling traditional Japanese goods. Nakamise Shopping Street is always lively, especially during the year-end and New Year's holidays. It is a place where you'll encounter many smiling faces, whether they're from people expressing gratitude for the past year or excitedly looking forward to the next one.

A Video Article About Sanja Matsuri in Asakusa, Tokyo


Photographer: Abhi Sen
Location: Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse (Yokohama, Kanagawa)

Highlights of the Illumination Event at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, which has been used as a warehouse for approximately 80 years since the early 1900s, is a tourist attraction that was re-purposed as a commercial facility in 2002. The building is illuminated at night, and the clever use of shading to preserve the color and texture of the bricks makes it a great place for taking photos. The building itself is of course beautiful, but the view of the Yokohama Bay Bridge and Osanbashi Bridge from Akarenga Park (赤レンガパーク) in the back of the building is also worth seeing. Various events are held at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, with the Christmas Market held in winter being especially popular. The 10-meter-tall Christmas tree, beautiful illuminations, tasty food, and exciting shopping opportunities, make this an enjoyable experience.

A Video Article About Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse's Christmas Market


Photographer: 三浦奈津美
Location: Lake Onneto (Ashoro, Hokkaido)

Highlights of Lake Onneto, a Popular Tourist Attraction
Lake Onneto is located at the western end of Akan Mashu National Park in Ashoro, Hokkaido. It is called Toshi-oita Numa, which means "Old Marsh" in Ainu language, and its color changes depending on the weather and direction of the wind. In early winter, visitors can see a white line called "Ryujin" (Dragon God) running across the surface of the lake, which has frozen over to an emerald green color. In December, you can also see ice bubbles, a beautiful phenomenon where bubbles became trapped in ice before reaching the surface of the lake. It's a mysterious piece of art created by Mother Nature.

A Video Article About Ice Bubbles at Lake Nukabira in Hokkaido


Photographer: st situation
Location: Jigokudani Monkey Park (Shimotakai, Nagano)

Highlights of Jigokudani Monkey Park, a Popular Tourist Attraction
Jigokudani Monkey Park is located in the Yokoyu River valley, which has its source in on Shiga Kogen (Shiga Highlands) in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture, where visitors can observe the interesting ecology of Japanese macaques up close. The best time to see the monkeys bathing in hot springs is between December and March, during Nagano's coldest winter months, so make sure you visit during this time! The monkeys are said to look even more comfortable on particularly cold days.

A Video Article About Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano Prefecture


Photographer: ku u
Location: The JR Johana Line (Nanto, Toyama)

Highlights of the JR Johana Line in Toyama Prefecture
The most attractive feature of the Johana Line is the rich natural scenery seen from the train windows. The scenery of the coast, scattered settlements, and mountains along the line are beautiful, and the windows of the train offer a glimpse into the world of art painted by mother nature on a canvas that changes from day to day and season to season. The winter scenery from the Belles Montagnes et Mer (Belmonta), a sightseeing train on the Johana and Himi Lines, is what is the epitome of beautiful winter scenery in Japan.

A Video Article About the JR Tateyama Line in Toyama Prefecture


Photographer: てっぴー
Location: Gujo Hachiman Castle (Gujo, Gifu)

Highlights of Gujo Hachiman Castle, a Popular Tourist Attraction in Gifu Prefecture
Gujo Hachiman Castle is the oldest reconstructed wooden castle in Japan. Located in Gujo Hachiman, Gifu, it's known for its beautiful autumn leaves which attract many visitors in November, and for its sea of clouds which can be photographed from October to January. As the weather gets colder, visitors can enjoy Gujo Hachiman Castle covered in snow and a sea of clouds. If you're looking to explore some of Japan's most beautiful winter landscapes, this is one you don't want to miss!

A Video Article About Gujo Hachiman in Gifu Prefecture

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「COOL JAPAN VIDEOS photo contests are open to everyone! Even a photo taken by chance with your smartphone could win a prize! Here are some of the features of our contests.

・Photos taken not only with SLR cameras and digital cameras, but also with smartphones and other devices can be submitted.
・You can submit as many photos as you like during the contest period.
・Image editing, such as cropping and color changes, is also allowed!

Here you can find all of the past photo contest winners in one place. You can also see the prizes for each contest, as well as the locations where the photos were taken and the judges' critiques.

Click here to see past photo contest winners

The following is information about the current photo contest.

[Ongoing From March 2023] The 16th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest
Theme: Tourist Attractions in Japan to Visit in Spring
Submission period: March. 1, 2023 0:00 AM – April. 30 2023 11:59 PM(JST)
Prizes: ■Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card (1 Winner) ■Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card (5 Winners)

Tourist Attractions in Japan to Visit in Spring

That concludes our introduction to photos of winter in past COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contests.

Winter is the season when the leaves fall from the trees and people are prone to feelings of loneliness, but when the trees are covered with snow, the scenery can be truly magical. There's no other season where you can see these beautiful snowy landscapes. It is also a season filled with shimmering illuminations, traditional Japanese New Year's traditions like Hatsuhinode (the first sunrise of the year) and Hatsumode (the first shrine visit of the year), and other Japanese traditions like Setsubun.

Winter in Japan is truly spectacular, so be sure to check out some of the amazing photos being posted on COOL JAPAN VIDEOS via the "Posts" page! With the spread of smartphones, the world of photography has become more accessible than ever. We invite you to share your photos of Japan with the people of the world by submitting them to COOL JAPAN VIDEOS.

Written By
Last Updated : Dec. 18, 2022
山田コウスケ(Kosuke Yamada)
Born in Fukuoka Prefecture. I enjoy grabbing drinks and making travel plans.

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Winter in COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contests: 10 Photos Capturing the Beauty of Winter in Japan. Snowy Landscapes, Glittering Illuminations + More!
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