Depending on where you live in Japan, the seasons can be a bit extreme. Summer often brings heat and humidity and winter brings the beautiful snowfall. One thing you can count on is that there will be plenty to entertain you. Where I’m located, near Takayama City in Gifu prefecture (often referred to as the Japanese Alps), snow is basically guaranteed.
So what can you do?
It seems like every neighborhood has it’s own community center, open to the public with activities and exercise equipment, as well as indoor sports like rock-climbing which help keep the kids busy and active during the winter. For us parents – we get the additional exercise of shoveling snow from our driveways and cleaning off our cars every morning along side our neighbors.
But another thing small Japanese towns can brag about is the sense of community created through everyday interactions, and local events and activities – such as a day for kids to come together and play in the snow at the local park.
This event was hosted by a local group associated with the city, including teachers to games and a good time for the kids like tug-of-war and other team building activities.
In addition to sledding and games, here was entertainment by local performers, with snacks and goodies provided for the kids to take home.
Of course I can’t go without mentioning the HOT miso soup cooked up in a nearby tent and provided to every chilly visitor.