Home Hokkaido Hokkaido What to Wear in Hokkaido Winter? Complete Guide to Winter Fashion

What to Wear in Hokkaido Winter? Complete Guide to Winter Fashion

by Ryu_C@RakuRakuJP

A must-see list of winter clothing before heading out to Hokkaido

If you read this article, you will probably come to Hokkaido because you want to experience snow, so you will want to know what kind of clothes you should wear in the cold weather in Hokkaido.

Perhaps you are from Southeast Asia (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore) like many people, and you have always lived in a humid and hot environment for a long time. You have been to popular tourist areas such as Tokyo and Osaka, but this is the first This is the first time I came to the winter environment of Hokkaido.
Or you have been to Hokkaido before, but it was several years ago, you don’t remember the actual winter conditions in Hokkaido, and the last time you came is different from the month you are going this time, maybe you You should take a little time to prepare for your winter itinerary in Hokkaido, so that you can experience the winter snow in Hokkaido in the most relaxed state.

It is also because the winter in Hokkaido starts from November and ends in April. The weather and climate at different times, the clothes and equipment you need to wear will be a little different. In the following part, I hope to share with you how Hokkaido residents choose the most suitable way of dressing in different months of winter. I hope that even if you come to Hokkaido in winter for sightseeing, snow playing, or skiing, whether you come to Hokkaido in early winter November, real winter January, early spring April, you can find the one that suits you best. Take a plan.

More Hokkaido dressing suggestions: List of Hokkaido Summer Outfits and Attractions

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Hokkaido is the warmest place in Japan in winter

In winter, Hokkaido is likely to be the warmest place in Japan, not only warmer than Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, but also warmer than your home (Hong Kong, Taiwan). That's not because the weather in Hokkaido is abnormal, but the environment in Hokkaido is not as cold as imagined.

In winter in Hokkaido, the cold weather is not terrible, but the heat

Although Hokkaido often feels very cold to people, the temperature outdoors is usually below zero, which is probably colder than your refrigerator, so many people will put on layers of thick clothes before coming to Hokkaido.

But in practice,Hokkaido does not have a wet winter like Southeast Asia, but a very dry winter. It may be terribly cold at your house at +5 degrees, but on a sunny day in Hokkaido, even if the temperature is +1 degrees, it is possible to see people in short-sleeved thin clothes walking up and down the street, enjoying the winter in Hokkaido Brief and uncommon sunny days.

Moreover, the interiors of Hokkaido are all thickened and insulated buildings, plusIn any indoor environment, there must be a greenhouse, throughout the winterLong time setting at 21 degrees – 26 degrees, probably your usual early autumn weather environment.
If you are still wearing layers of thick clothes at this temperature, you will probably feel the same, "It turns out that the winter in Hokkaido is hotter than the summer in my house!"

Living in Hokkaido, whether you are here for a short-term trip or planning to live for a long time, you need to be mentally prepared, that is, the winter environment in Hokkaido is different from the winter you usually encounter. It is true that Hokkaido is a severe cold area, but at the same time, the temperature indoors is very high. If you choose the wrong clothes, you may sweat continuously indoors, increasing the risk of catching a cold and getting sick.

So sometimes you will see some people in Hokkaido who would rather wait for friends outside the lounge where the greenhouse is set up than go in. I don't want to go in because I don't want to catch a cold because of sweating.

When you feel cold, it's because you don't wear enough clothes

In winter in Hokkaido, if you wear enough clothes, you will not feel cold.

Unlike the winter in your home, even if you wear a few layers of coats, the wet and cold weather will always have a way to make you cold enough to doubt your life. But in winter in Hokkaido, as long as your body is not in direct contact with the air, even in a low temperature environment of -15 degrees, you will basically not feel cold.

If you feel cold in several coats, wear more coats until you can go outside without feeling cold.

It's not really cold for long

Although for many people who came to Hokkaido from the south, the impression of Hokkaido in winter is that it is colder than the refrigerator at home, but in fact there are not many days of "severe cold" in Hokkaido.

That's because although Hokkaido's winter spans from November to April, it is basically the time when you really feel cold, that is, the "true winter" period, which is only from mid-December to late February. andThe time that can really be called "severe cold" is only a few weeks in January and February, Only then will there be special low temperature environments of -15 degrees and -25 degrees.

Generally speaking, the temperature in November, March, and April in Hokkaido is around -5 degrees to +5 degrees, which is similar to the early winter and winter solstice in your usual living area. It is easy for tourists from the south To deal with it, as long as you wear a few more thick clothes and down jackets, you can easily cope. Unlike Hokkaido's "Real Winter" period, it is necessary to carefully plan clothes and outfits in order to be able to cope with a full day of indoor sightseeing.

That is to say,The most important thing to prepare is that you plan to travel to Hokkaido during the "real winter" period. If you come to Hokkaido during the "real winter" period, you can decide whether to cut some extra clothes according to the weather changes and your physical condition, so that you can vacate more places for shopping.

Hokkaido discount ticket recommendation: JR Hokkaido Rail Pass,JR Pass All Japan Rail Pass

Further reading:
17 recommended hotels in the Sapporo area》From luxury rooms to cheap deals! Plus push to share the secrets of booking a room at the Sapporo Snow Festival and winter snow!

How to dress outdoors during "Mawyu" in Hokkaido

As I said just now, the "true winter" period in Hokkaido is the coldest day in the whole winter, which means you need to constantly switch between the "extremely cold outside and extremely warm indoors" environment. Only if you choose the right clothes, you will not be too cold outside, too hot indoors, and too thick clothes will affect your daily activities.
After all, it is not easy to deal with heavy snow, JR train delays, stoppages, etc. during the "Real Winter" period. Only a warm body can handle these sudden problems, so that you can get the most comfortable and memorable Hokkaido itinerary.

The outdoor wear during Hokkaido's "real winter" period is divided into several parts, including the head, upper body, hands, lower body, feet, etc., each with different ways to keep warm. Now let's start with the important head.

head gear

fur hat

The fur hat is an essential accessory for living in Hokkaido, but it is also an accessory that many travelers from the south will lack.

Maybe it's because Hokkaido snows almost every day in winter, but it doesn't happen in Southeast Asia, so there is no habit of wearing fur hats in winter. But living in the outdoor environment of Hokkaido, whether you stay for a few minutes or a whole day, basically you must wear a fur hat before going out. This is because the fur hat can not only keep the head warm, but more importantly, it can separate the head from direct contact with the snow, so that the snow will not directly melt on the head and catch a cold.

Maybe you will say that as long as you open the umbrella, you can prevent the snow from melting on your body. But because the falling snow will be transformed into a very slippery ice surface after being irradiated by the sun, if you use an umbrella, in addition to being easily injured when you fall, it is more likely that the umbrella will hurt other people.

Therefore, Hokkaido residents are not accustomed to using umbrellas when it snows in winter, but wear fur hats to prevent the powder snow from melting on their heads and getting their heads wet. If a layer of snow has accumulated on the fur cap, just gently push it away.


When traveling in Hokkaido in winter, as long as you can go to the ski resort, or go to some suburban snow fields, sunglasses are a very important piece of equipment to help you cope with the uncommon sunny days in Hokkaido in winter.

Maybe you don't have the habit of using sunglasses in summer, because the intensity of sunlight is greatly reduced after being scattered by different buildings. But in Hokkaido in winter, especially when you go to the suburbs, such as ski resorts, snow parks, etc., in some open snow environments, the snow will become mirrors one after another, and the sun's rays will be reflected by the snow. And becoming concentrated, the intensity is about as dangerous as if you were looking directly at the sun.

Although sunny days are not very common in Hokkaido in winter, if your itinerary will stay in Hokkaido for a week, there will always be a sudden sunny afternoon. Therefore, when traveling in Hokkaido, it is very important to wear sunglasses. In addition to protecting the eyes, it is more important to pay attention to the environment ahead every minute and every second during the tour and drive to maintain driving safety.

warm earmuffs

Perhaps because of the imagination of the severe cold environment, many tourists who come to Hokkaido will plan to buy a warm earmuff, hoping to keep their ears warm in Hokkaido. But in actual life experience, warm earmuffs are items with extremely low practicality, and they are also common items in lost and found.

Although warm earmuffs can keep your ears warm, this is only assuming that you don't wear a hooded down coat or a fur hat. But as long as you put on a hooded down coat and a fur hat, you will find that it doesn't matter whether the warm earmuffs are practical or not. As long as you don't stand still in the outdoor environment of -10 degrees for a long time, as long as your fur hat and hooded coat can cover your ears, basically the chance of frostbite ears is not high.

And as I said just now, the indoors in Hokkaido are very warm, and it is very common to lose earmuffs because of taking off them. So even if I bought warm earmuffs before I set off to Hokkaido, the chances of using them during the entire Hokkaido winter are no more than 5 days. Sometimes it is only after wearing a down coat and fur hat on the JR train that I have not brought it out. It can be seen that even in Hokkaido in winter, it is not so cold that you will definitely remember the existence of warm earmuffs.

neck gear

Knitted scarves

Traditionally, there are "seven things to do when you open the door", and Hokkaido has the same "five things to do when you go out" in winter, which are fur hats, coats, scarves, gloves, and waterproof shoes. The scarf is one of the important winter equipment in Hokkaido.

A good scarf can prevent the blood vessels in the neck from losing temperature, and it will never be inferior to a down jacket in terms of warmth retention. And during heavy snowstorms, the scarf can also be used as a mask to cover the mouth and nose, preventing cold air from entering the body.

Ordinary scarves can be purchased at UNIQLO, and the price is often cheaper than department stores and sporting goods stores, and the warmth retention function is no worse than those of high-end brand scarves. Of course, if you don’t like wearing scarves, you can also consider wearing the following video, but you need to consider whether there will be overheating indoors in Hokkaido.

upper body equipment

Whether you come to Hokkaido for tourism or long-term living, a set of upper body clothing suitable for the weather of the day will determine the comfort of your itinerary for the day, so that you will not be too cold or overheated.

As I said at the beginning, Hokkaido is an area full of greenhouses, and the indoor temperature is always maintained above +21 degrees. So your upper body clothing needs to be able to adapt to the outdoor environment of -10 degrees, and you have to figure out how to live comfortably in the environment of +21 degrees.

The best way to deal with it is to focus on multi-layered and easy-to-take off clothes.

Generally speaking, you need to know whether the set of clothes you choose is suitable for the indoor environment in Hokkaido, such as restaurants, department stores, JR trains, etc. As long as you walk to the front desk of the hotel and stay for a few minutes, if you don't feel very hot, but a little cool, just like the "just right" feeling when you walk into a department store in summer, that set of clothes is A perfect combination for your indoor activities in Hokkaido.

And a set of upper body equipment suitable for outdoor activities is to add down coats, scarves, gloves and other outdoor full-body equipment on top of the "indoor clothing suit". If they are all the same, it is "just right". If the place feels a bit cold, it is a suitable combination of clothes. As long as you move around a little, places that used to feel cold will become warm.

In addition, you should choose some warm-keeping clothes for the upper body, but not too heavy clothes, otherwise it will be inconvenient to walk on the slippery ice surface.

bottom layer clothing

The upper body clothes can be divided into three layers, and the layer closest to the body isClothes with high exhaust gas should be the main ones, warmth is a secondary consideration.

That's because the winter in Hokkaido is always a dry winter. As long as the body is not wet or directly exposed to the air, it will not feel very cold. Wearing low-level clothes and underwear with high exhaust can avoid the risk of hypothermia caused by sweating during walking and indoor heating, and then due to sweat evaporation in the outdoor environment.

After a long time of outdoor life experience, UNIQLO's DRY-EX and HEAT-TECH are a good match for the bottom layer of clothing. Not only does it have sufficient exhaust function, but the sweat will evaporate automatically and quickly without sticking to the body for a long time. In addition, HEAT-TECH underwear will recommend the combination of "long sleeves + short sleeves" which is more convenient.
Although UNIQLO has EXTRA WARM or ULTRA WARM series at the same time, but those are suitable for activities in a very low temperature environment all day long. If you will go back and forth between indoor and outdoor environments, wearing "long-sleeved + short-sleeved" HEAT-TECH underwear will not cause the embarrassing situation of "it will be colder if you take off an EXTRA WARM HEAT-TECH underwear".

middle layer clothing

Once you've got your underwear on, it's time to start picking your middle layer, the one/pieces you'll want others to see indoors.

Different people will have different ways of dressing, you can choose clothes according to your favorite way,The most important consideration is the ability to keep warm, and then the exhaust capacity. For middle layer clothes, you can choose some long-sleeved clothes mainly made of cotton. The preferred brand is UNIQLO.
Otherwise, you can also refer to my dressing method, perhaps because I am more afraid of heat than cold, so I will choose some UNIQLO sportswear (short-sleeved sports top + sports jacket) to form my middle layer clothing suit. Then you can decide whether to wear more or less according to different environments, and it also has a good exhaust function, even if you run a lot and sweat, it is not easy to catch cold.

It is also because the middle clothes are composed of 3-4 thin clothes, two of which are UNIQLO's autumn and winter sports jackets, and a UNIQLO DRY-EX sports jacket, even if you walk into a restaurant or a JR train, they are all the same You can choose to wear more or less according to the temperature at that time.

For autumn and winter sports jackets, it is recommended to choose some jackets with better windproof function, so that it is not easy for cold air to run into the body and achieve the effect of keeping warm.

outer clothing

The outer layer of clothing is generally some down coats, or if you will go skiing and leave for a long time in the suburbs of Hokkaido, some sports jackets for skiing are suitable.

And when choosing outer clothes,The most necessary thing is to have waterproof and water-repellent functionsHowever, keeping warm is not the main function. Because in a cold weather environment, as long as the body is not wet and snow does not enter the body, even if you run into the snow in an environment of -20 degrees, it will not be said to be terribly cold. But as long as the body has a chance to get wet, even if it is -1 degree, it will easily lose temperature and cause danger.

And there are so many choices for the outer coat, I believe you will have your own choice without me telling you. UNIQLO, CoreTex, Columbia, etc. have many "HardShell Jackets" that can cope with the snow environment during the "real winter" period in Hokkaido winter.

But when choosing an outer coat, it must beChoose some long coats that can completely cover the waist and abdomen, so thatReduce cold wind from entering the body from the middle of the clothesOpportunity.

hand gear

Another unaccustomed part of living in Hokkaido is that gloves have become a necessity. Because in Hokkaido, if you forget to wear gloves, you can basically only stay indoors, and you can’t go anywhere, otherwise you will experience tingling in your hands due to the cold weather, and in severe cases, your hands will be frostbitten. .

When choosing gloves, just like other clothes and equipment, waterproof function is the first consideration, followed by thermal performance. Generally speaking, the thermal performance of knitted gloves during the "real winter" in Hokkaido is not very good. The HEAT TECH winter windproof gloves purchased at UNIQLO are actually better in terms of warmth retention and waterproof performance.

Of course, if you come to Hokkaido, you will plan to go skiing, or you will be willing to invest a little more money in equipment. A pair of ski gloves can provide better thermal performance and will be of great help to the entire Hokkaido winter itinerary.

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lower body equipment

Generally speaking, as long as the upper body wears enough clothes and the lower body is prepared for waterproofing, the whole day's trip can be spent warmly.


It is relatively simple to choose trousers for life in Hokkaido. You only need to wear a pair of UNIQLO HEAT-TECH close-fitting thermal trousers and a pair of waterproof, quick-drying, and warm sweatpants on the outside, and you can start a whole-day trip. Basically, as long as it is not jeans or cotton trousers, it does not necessarily need to be trousers for skiing (of course trousers for skiing are the most warm and waterproof, but they are more expensive), as long as it is a pair that can dry quickly after being wet Sheer trousers are fine.

snowshoes, socks

If you want to say that the most dangerous place in Hokkaido in winter, it should be the frozen ice surface, and it is easy to fall if you are not careful. Therefore, it is not recommended to wear sports shoes that are usually worn in daily life. Instead, it is recommended to buy snowshoes at local AEON and ABC MART in Hokkaido. Because those snowshoes can not only prevent snow from running into the shoes, but also have small spikes to help you grasp the ice surface, and it is not easy to fall when walking on the ice surface.

As for the socks, it is recommended to wear some thicker ones. That is because the temperature in Hokkaido is relatively low during the "true winter". Wearing some socks with higher warmth will keep your attention from the cold and shiver all day long. on the toes. In addition, if necessary, you can add a "shoe warmer", which can be bought in general Hokkaido supermarkets and convenience stores.

Recommended accommodation in Sapporo: Hotel Nikko Sapporo JR Tower,Mitsui Garden Hotel Sapporo Nishi,Keio Prelia Hotel Sapporo

Recommended selection of winter snow boots in Hokkaido
Snowshoes suitable for local activities can be purchased at AEON Hokkaido

Further reading:
Best Hotels near New Chitose Airport

Other products suitable for winter use in Hokkaido

To have a comfortable winter itinerary in Hokkaido, in addition to the clothes just mentioned, there are also some products that can make your short life in Hokkaido more free, which are worth preparing before departure, such as:


Because the snow in Hokkaido in winter can easily reflect sunlight, if you go to the countryside for several consecutive days, the absorbed ultraviolet rays are basically the same as if you go to the beach to sunbathe for several consecutive days in summer. If you don't want to get tanned after going to Hokkaido in winter, it is better to prepare a small sunscreen before departure.

waterproof spray

Waterproof spray can help you strengthen the waterproof ability of coats and shoe uppers. If your snowshoes and down coat have been used for a period of time, the waterproof ability may be greatly reduced. When you go to play in the snow, you may get wet and risk hypothermia.

Generally, waterproof sprays cannot be carried on the plane because of the compressed gas, so it is recommended to go to the local AEON department store to buy after arriving in Hokkaido.

large capacity backpack

If this article is written in other regions, large-capacity backpacks are of course unnecessary, because there are so many convenience stores that you can buy them at any time. But in winter in Hokkaido, in addition to the fact that Hokkaido is inherently a large area with a relatively low store density, there is also a very large temperature difference between indoors and outdoors. A large-capacity backpack can store away the clothes that are not needed for the time being. , and at the same time, you can also pre-purchase a little food and put it in your backpack.
So it can be said that a suitable backpack capacity can definitely make your whole day trip easier.

Further reading:
Sapporo Best Snow Playgrounds for Family and Childrens

How to dress outside the "Real Winter" period

I still remember the coldest day in Hokkaido during the "Real Winter" period. The temperature of the day was -20 degrees. I wore a total of 8 layers of clothes from underwear to the outermost down coat. It should be the time I wore the most clothes.
However, this kind of situation is considered a special case. Usually, 5 layers of thin clothing (3 bottom layers, 1 middle layer, and 1 outer layer) are mainly used, and a down coat is added if necessary.

The combination of clothes needs to be suitable for the temperature difference between day and night

In November, March, and April in Hokkaido, there are some days when the temperature difference between morning and evening is relatively large. If you come to Hokkaido during this period, you should avoid wearing too many bottom clothes, otherwise it will be noon It gets a little overheated. Therefore, the most recommended way to wear clothes is to use multiple layers of clothes to adapt to the temperature at different times.

get your cleats ready

The wet and slippery ice surface is not very obvious in early November, but it is only from late February to March that there are more sunny days. When the sun shines on the snow, the temperature drops below freezing at night. , There will always be unexpected wet skating surfaces in a large snow field.

If you come to Hokkaido at the end of winter, it is highly recommended to check the anti-slip ability of your pair of shoes first. If you are not sure that you can walk on the ice without falling, you should buy a new pair. Snowshoe to enjoy your Hokkaido vacation safely!

Different clothing combinations for sunny and cloudy days

If your itinerary is to be outdoors all day, you should pay attention to whether it is sunny or cloudy in March and April. Because the body temperature can be very different between sunny and cloudy days. For example, the same as +1 degree in the weather report, you may feel a bit cold in a cloudy snow environment with the wind blowing, but in a sunny environment, +1 degree can make you sweat continuously. Move around a bit and take out your summer beach swimwear for sunbathing.

Therefore, before departure, it is recommended to check the weather in the itinerary area of the day, plan the clothes and outfits before actually setting off.


The most impressive thing about the temperature and weather changes in Hokkaido is the speed of transition between sunny days, cloudy days, and snowing. Although the temperature is the same throughout the day between -3 degrees and -7 degrees, it can change from sunny in the morning to heavy snow in the afternoon. You have to sweat during skiing in the morning, and you need to add an extra piece of snow in the afternoon. Only then can I set off to go skiing.

So if you are planning to travel to Hokkaido, especially during the peak tourist season in Hokkaido during the "real winter" period of January and February every year, you must keep an eye on the local weather forecast before departure, and then prepare the clothes you need. equipment. After all, you will not be in a greenhouse environment where you stay indoors all day, but an outdoor environment that requires sufficient preparation to complete the trip safely. If the temperature in those few days is relatively warm, it’s okay, you can get up in the hotel early in the morning and start with a few coats, but if it’s cold and you don’t bring enough clothes to Hokkaido, you probably need to stay in the hotel room Spend your entire Hokkaido vacation.

Therefore, if you are coming to Hokkaido for the first time, or if you have not traveled to Hokkaido for a long time, it is recommended to hold the idea of "not too much, but too little" in terms of clothing preparation, and wear clothes on the day of departure. To achieve the "just right" state is the most suitable.

Finally, if you are planning to visit Hokkaido during winter, there will be more activities, attractions, and accommodation recommendations in different regions on the Hokkaido Travel Information. If you come to Hokkaido because you like snow, I believe you will find one. Suitable for your itinerary.

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