What is the Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival
The Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival is a magical display of light and snow in a little winter wonderland. Streets of the small onsen town are filled with hundreds of snow huts called kamakura.
Almost 800 miniature kamakuras (snow huts) are illuminated from inside with candles during the festival.
Candlelit stroll by the river
A walk along the Zawaguchi river is the best way to enjoy this unique illumination. Locals line the river bed with hundreds of small kamakura huts. Take a stroll around the candlelit river or enjoy the view from a bridge that looks over Zawaguchi.
Get warmed up by the grill
A favorite local tradition in the area is to enjoy dinner from inside a kamakura. The larger snow huts are available for rental and come ready with a BBQ.
Book ahead of time for a genuinely unique BBQ experience.
When it is held
The Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival is held from late January to early March at 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. But it is best to visit the town at nighttime. The lighting time schedule for the snow huts is from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Do note that Mini kamakuras are not lit up on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Where it is held
Nishikawa, Nikko-shi, Tochigi-ken
Yunishigawa Onsen can be reached by direct buses from either Kinugawa Onsen Station or Yunishikawa Onsen Station.
The bus from Kinugawa Onsen Station takes about an hour, while the bus from the Yunishikawa Onsen Station takes about an hour and a half.
JR and Tobu Railway have a direct limited express train that runs from Shinjuku Station to Kinugawa Onsen Station. A one-way journey takes about two hours.