Yokote Snow Festival

Get into an igloo with locals while partaking in centuries-old customs and amazake.

Culture & Heritage


People from all around Japan flock to Akita Prefecture for the Yokote Snow Festival. This 400-year-old festival involves the creation of more than 100 kamakura igloos and countless miniature kamakura.

Inside each igloo is an altar to honor the water gods and pray for plenty of clear water, as well as offerings of sake and rice cakes. The festival typically takes place on February 15 and 16, but the dates are subject to change.

Don’t Miss

  • Rows of tiny kamakura in the grounds of Yokote Minami Primary School
  • Eating rice cakes and drinking sweet, fermented rice sake with locals inside a kamakura
  • Year-round kamakura displays at Yokote Fureai-Center Kamakura House

Igloos that light up the night

Lights inside hundreds of igloos give the night a glowing aspect, creating a warm and romantic atmosphere. Take a stroll along the igloo-lined paths or walk through them.

Featuring exhibits significant to the prefecture

In addition to nighttime views, visitors can get a look at the history of the region by visiting the Akita Kenritsu Kindai Bijutsukan (Museum of Modern Art) located in Akita Furusato-mura Kamakura Land (Akita Heritage Village Kamakura Land) in Yokote City.

This modern art museum is built on a small hill. With a glass exterior designed to reflect the changing views of the sky, the building sometimes appears to be floating in the air.

Both the permanent and temporary exhibits have been created by artists with a close connection to Akita Prefecture. The Western-style Akita Ranga collection of paintings feature Akita orchids, which have been painted in the region since the 18th century.

Stroll through the Geijutsu-no-Mori (Forest of Art), where some 30 sculptures both inside and outside the museum create an atmosphere for creativity and thought.