If you plan to go to Hokkaido in December, you will be wondering how cold it is. So, on this page, I will discuss the weather in Hokkaido for the month of December. Hokkaido is much colder than Tokyo and Osaka. On the west side of Japan, snow falls often so please do not forget your coat and other warm accessories.

Below are articles on the weather in Tokyo and Osaka in November. 

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April May June
July August September
October November December

Below are articles about the weather in Tokyo and Osaka in December. Tokyo and Osaka have different weather conditions from Hokkaido.

For winter clothes, please refer to the following article.

Q & A about Hokkaido in December

Does snow fall in December in Hokkaido?

It snows often in Hokkaido in December. Snow is piled up in ski areas such as Niseko. However, in cities such as Sapporo, it is from about the middle of December that snow begins to stick.

How cold is Hokkaido in December?

Hokkaido is very cold in December. The maximum daytime temperature is below 2 degrees Celsius, especially after mid-December.

What kind of clothes should we wear in December in Hokkaido?

In December, you need adequate winter protection. For more on the clothing to wear in Hokkaido in winter, please refer to the following article if you’d like.

When is the best time to visit Hokkaido?

If you want to see the snow covered landscapes of Hokkaido, coming January to February is best. However, in December, the illuminations of Christmas are very beautiful. In Hokkaido, you can experience a white Christmas. You will surely be able to make wonderful snow memories even in December.

 

Weather in Hokkaido in December (overview)

Temperature change in Hokkaido (Sapporo) in December

Graph: Temperature change in Hokkaido (Sapporo) in December

Graph: Temperature change in Hokkaido (Sapporo) in December

※ Based on the data released by the Japan Meteorological Agency. Both high and low temperature data are averages over the past 30 years (1981-2010)

The temperature in Hokkaido will gradually fall in December. From mid-December, the morning and evening low temperatures will fall below -5 degrees Celsius.

Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, etc. are also experiencing winter at this time. However, Hokkaido is much colder than those areas.

It’s really cold!

Temperatures in Hokkaido are not likely to exceed 10 degrees Celsius even during the day in December. In the middle of the night and dawn, the temperature is often around 10 degrees below freezing. It is really cold.

In areas close to the Sea of Japan, the clouds flowing from the Sea of Japan will bring a lot of snow. On the other hand, relatively sunny days continue on the east side of Hokkaido. The days are less snowy than the west side but the temperature is still very low.

If you plan to move from Tokyo or Osaka to Hokkaido, you will be surprised by the extreme cold when you get there. In Tokyo, if you have a coat, you can walk through the city. However, in Hokkaido, you cannot prevent the cold with only a coat.

4 Recommended winter protection in Hokkaido

People in Sapporo often use the warm underground area in winter

If you travel to Hokkaido during this cold season, I recommend four forms of winter protection.

Prepare warm high-tech underwear

First, besides the coat, you may want to bring a muffler, hat and gloves made of yarn. You also need warm underwear. Recently, new products warmer than ordinary underwear have been increasing in number. For example, “Heat Tech” released by UNIQLO uses materials that absorb moisture and generate heat. You should prepare a variety of warm clothes.

Prepare snow boots or anti-slip devices

It would be nice to take measures to prevent you from slipping on snow when walking outside. It is best to use snow boots. Snow boots are sold at most shoe stores in Hokkaido. You can even buy them in Tokyo and Osaka if it is winter.

If you are going to use ordinary shoes, I recommend that you wear anti-slip instruments on the sole of the shoe. These are sold at New Chitose International Airport and many more places in Hokkaido.

Use underground route

I think that in Sapporo you should make good use of the underground shopping center. In Sapporo, the underground shopping center has developed into a good way to keep warm. You can go from Sapporo station to the main sightseeing area simply by walking down through the underground shopping mall if you wanted. If the snow is falling and the wind is strong, you should walking these routes without being forced to walk outside.

Warm your body well indoors

In Hokkaido, the outdoors is very cold, but the rooms are generally quite warm. This is because in the winter there is a custom to keep rooms very warm. Hokkaido people warm their bodies indoors and then go out. When they return to the room, they warm their bodies again. So I recommend that you warm yourself indoors as well before going out.

Below is the meteorological data of Hokkaido in December announced by Japan Meteorological Agency.

 

Hokkaido weather in early December

Map of Hokkaido

Map of Hokkaido

Weather data in Hokkaido (early December)

Highest temperature

(Lowest temperature)

Total precipitation

(Total snowfall depth)

Sapporo 3.8℃ (-2.4℃) 32.3mm (31cm)
Otaru 3.4℃ (-2.2℃) 43.9mm (39cm)
Asahikawa 1.2℃ (-5.6℃) 31.2mm (54cm)
Biei 0.2℃ (-8.3℃) 25.7mm (52cm)
Furano 1.0℃ (-7.7℃) 25.9mm (48cm)
Wakkanai 1.7℃ (-2.8℃) 39.7mm (47cm)
Abashiri 2.5℃ (-3.7℃) 20.4mm (22cm)
Utoro 2.4℃ (-3.6℃) 37.1mm (30cm)
Nemuro 3.9℃ (-1.9℃) 18.6mm (6cm)
Kushiro 4.3℃ (-5.0℃) 17.5mm (6cm)
Obihiro 3.1℃ (-6.4℃) 15.9mm (11cm)
Hakodate 5.1℃ (-2.0℃) 26.3mm (21cm)

※ All figures are the average for 30 years of 1981-2010 announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency

Hokkaido at this time seen in photos

December 2, 2018, Sapporo Kita 3-jo Hiroba [akapura] venue Title, akapura illumination, It is the oldest street tree in Hokkaido, directing ginkgo trees in light = Shutterstock

Weather and sunrise / sunset time

Hokkaido is in full winter mode from early December. If you move from Tokyo or Osaka to Hokkaido, be prepared because the temperature is completely different.

It gets very cold in the morning and evening, and the temperature hardly rises during the day.

The sunrise time in Sapporo is about 6:49 and the sunset time is about 16:00.

The sunrise time in Nemuro, located in eastern Hokkaido, is 6:33 and the sunset time is around 15.42.

 

Hokkaido weather in the middle of December

Weather data in Hokkaido (middle of December)

Highest temperature

(Lowest temperature)

Total precipitation

(Total snowfall depth)

Sapporo  1.4℃ (-4.7℃) 37.7mm (46cm)
Otaru  0.9℃ (-4.3℃) 50.8mm (59cm)
Asahikawa -1.5℃ (-8.4℃) 34.1mm (64cm)
Biei -2.4℃ (-11.7℃) 22.4mm (65cm)
Furano -1.8℃ (-11.3℃) 21.9mm (61cm)
Wakkanai -0.5℃ (-4.8℃) 37.4mm (54cm)
Abashiri  0.2℃ (-6.4℃) 16.8mm (26cm)
Utoro  0.0℃ (-6.0℃) 22.8mm (44cm)
Nemuro  1.7℃ (-4.1℃) 15.1mm (12cm)
Kushiro  2.1℃ (-7.6℃) 12.5mm (6cm)
Obihiro  0.5℃ (-9.6℃) 11.9mm (15cm)
Hakodate  2.6℃ (-4.1℃) 26.1mm (31cm)

※ All figures are the average for 30 years of 1981-2010 announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency

Hokkaido at this time seen in photos

December 12, 2010, Munich · Christmas Market was held at Odori Park with many tourists crowded ,sapporo hokkaido = SHutterstock

Weather and sunrise / sunset time

In mid-December, downtown areas of major cities such as Sapporo and Hakodate have a nice Christmas atmosphere. The temperature is really cold, but it feels like the whole city is vibrant.

Snow falls in the eastern regions of Sapporo, Hakodate, Asahikawa and Otaru, but there is less snow in western regions such as Kushiro and Nemuro.

The sunrise time in Sapporo is about 6:58 and the sunset time is about 16:00.

The sunrise time in Nemuro, Eastern Hokkaido, is about 6:42 and the sunset time is about 15.42.
Sunset is very early, so be careful.

 

Hokkaido weather in late December

Weather data in Hokkaido (late December)

Highest temperature

(Lowest temperature)

Total precipitation

(Total snowfall depth)

Sapporo  1.1℃ (-5.1℃) 41.8mm (56cm)
Otaru  0.9℃ (-4.4℃) 46.7mm (58cm)
Asahikawa -1.9℃ (-9.5℃) 31.3mm (70cm)
Biei -2.7℃ (-12.3℃) 21.6mm (66cm)
Furano -2.3℃ (-11.9℃) 21.5mm (63cm)
Wakkanai -0.7℃ (-4.8℃) 35.7mm (60cm)
Abashiri -0.5℃ (-7.3℃) 22.2mm (37cm)
Utoro -0.7℃ (-6.4℃) 30.0mm (53cm)
Nemuro  0.7℃ (-4.8℃) 16.7mm (18cm)
Kushiro  1.3℃ (-8.7℃) 20.8mm (14cm)
Obihiro -0.2℃ (-10.5℃) 18.4mm (20cm)
Hakodate  2.4℃ (-4.3℃) 32.3mm (34cm)

※ All figures are the average for 30 years of 1981-2010 announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency

Hokkaido at this time seen in photos

DECEMBER 22, 2017 : Aerial view at dusk of night skiing in Niseko Village. Niseko is a popular destination for ski resorts in Japan = Shutterstock

Weather and sunrise / sunset time

In late December, cloudy and snowy days continue in major cities from the east such as Sapporo. On the other hand, in western cities such as Kushiro, very cold and sunny days continue.

In Niseko and other ski resorts, the snow is piled up enough to mark the start of ski season. The sunrise time in Sapporo is about 6:58 and the sunset time is about 16:00.

The sunrise time in Nemuro in Eastern Hokkaido is about 6:42 and the sunset time is about 15.42.

Sunset is very early, so be careful.

※ Sunrise and sunset times are based on the 2019 data released by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. I posted the time of the 5th for the beginning of December, the time of the 15th for the middle of December, and the time of the 25th for the end of December.

Weather in tourist destinations around Japan

Below are pages showing the climates of various regions in Japan at the same time of the year.

Tokyo Osaka Kyoto
Hokkaido Sendai Nagano
Nagoya Hiroshima Fukuoka
Okinawa

 

Thank you for reading to the end.

For Hokkaido, please refer to the following articles if you like.

>> Hokkaido! 21 Popular Tourist Areas and 10 Airports

>> Winter Wear in Hokkaido! What should you wear?

>> New Chitose Airport! Access to Sapporo, Niseko, Furano etc.

 

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