February is mid-winter in Snow Country, and also happens to be when some of the most interesting festivals take place. Here is a run-down of some of the ones happening around the region in what is normally the snowiest month of the year. (Taken from the Snow Country Freak site.)
The Minami Uonuma City Snow Festival takes place in Muikamachi on 6th & 7th February。It is the 66th one this year and there is always lots going on.
The Koide International Snow Ball Fight on February 7th is one of the most fun events in the whole calendar. Teams from all over Japan, and other parts of the world, many in fancy dress, battle it out to be the snowball champions. Great to watch but even more fun to take part.
As if married life wasn’t hard enough…..this festival in Horinouchi douses newly wed grooms with cold water (at night in mid-winter!) to bring about the blessings of children and marital harmony. The Setsuchu Hanamizu Iwai takes place on February 11 and is one of the bizarre winter festivals in Uonuma city.
The Tokamachi Snow Festival is one of the biggest and most well-known snow festivals on the main island of Japan. It takes place on February 19/20/21 2016. If you fancy a behind the scenes tour at the festival on the day before the main event, take a look at the Tokamachi Tourist Association Facebook page for more details on this special opportunity.
The Shoizawa Seppu Matsuri celebrates the area’s culture and lifestyle as the setting of Bokushi Suzuki’s famous book Hokuetsu Seppu. There is a whole day of different activities and events in Shiozawa on February 20th.
Starting on February 20th and continuing until early April there are displays of hina dolls, many of them dating back many years, in Shiozawa’s Bokushi Street which as been redesigned to look like an Edo period post town.
The Gosetsu Jam 2016 over in Tokamachi is a festival on snow with live music and plenty of other events. It takes place on February 21st and has become a popular feature of the winter festival program in Snow Country. More details at the Setsujam 2016 site.