Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival 2017
The Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival is a famous snow festival held near Yunishigawa onsen. At night, miniature igloos called “kamakura” are lit up along the river bed producing a fantastic scenery. The Kamakura Festival is regarded as one of the best snow festivals in Japan. Visitors to Yunishigawa can enjoy sledding, hot springs, traditional cuisine, barbecue in a snow house, as well as the evening illumination.
The highlight of the Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival is the igloos or “kamakura”. Many small kamakura are built from snow. At night time they are lit up to create a beautiful light display. The larger kamakura are used for barbecue and can fit up to four people inside. The Kamakura are surprisingly warm inside. The Kamakura are built to show respect for the God of Water. All of the hundreds of kamakura are hand built by locals and each night they are carefully lit.
Barbecue in Kamakura
Photo Credit: Travel.tochigiji.or.jp
Visitors to the Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival can also enjoy barbecue in the specially made igloos with a reservation. Reservations start from the first of January and reception for reservations is open from 10 am to 3 pm. Up to four people can fit inside one igloo. For one person the cost is 3,000 yen and there is a minimum requirement of two people per booking.
Yunishigawa Onsen is a quaint hot spring village located in the valleys of the Tochigi Prefecture. Yunishigawa has become a popular tourist destination thanks to its several hot springs. The town of Yunishigawa contains many samurari legends. It was once said that samurai soaked in the onsens in Yunishigawa to help heal their wounds. Due to the rising popularity, a variety of accommodations such as the traditional Japanese ryokan and modern hotels have become available. If you stay at one of the onsen resorts you can enjoy the beautiful outdoor hot springs or the local “irori ryori” cuisine.
Visitors to Yunishigawa should definitely try irori cuisine. Irori is a traditional Japanese sunken hearth. Irori are used to heat the home and for cooking. It is essentially a square, stone lined pit in the floor that is attached to an adjustable hook. Commonly salted mackerel, eelpout, meat skewers and beef stew are cooked in this style.
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Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival
Address: 1042 Yunishigawa, Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture
Access: 10 minute walk from Yunishigawa Onsen
Date: January 28, 2017 – March 5, 2017
Hours: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
510 yen (Adult)
250 yen (Child)
Website: Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival