In February, Nagano Prefecture continues to be very cold and snowy following January, with the coldest temperatures and the greatest amount of snowfall in early February. In other areas of Honshu, the weather turns spring-like after mid-February, but it remains cold in Nagano Prefecture, especially in the mountainous areas. Ski resorts such as Hakuba and Shiga Kogen are crowded with visitors.

Overview of Nagano Prefecture’s climate (year-round)

Hakuba valley snow resort, Japan. In February, mountain resorts in Nagano prefecture are at their peak season = Shutterstock

Hakuba valley snow resort, Japan. In February, mountain resorts in Nagano prefecture are at their peak season = Shutterstock

Matsumoto Castle in Winter at Twilight Scene on February Although snowfall in the basin is less than in mountainous areas, it can still be covered in white by heavy snowfall = Shutterstock

Matsumoto Castle in Winter at Twilight Scene on February Although snowfall in the basin is less than in mountainous areas, it can still be covered in white by heavy snowfall = Shutterstock

In Nagano prefecture, there is a big difference in climate depending on the location such as mountainous areas and basins. So, first, let’s get an overview of the climate of Nagano prefecture throughout the year.

Mountainous areas are cold and snowy

In Nagano prefecture in the central region of Honshu, mountainous areas (Japanese Alps) with an altitude of 2,000 to 3,000 m are connected from north to south, and major cities such as Nagano City and Matsumoto City are located in the basin. Mountainous areas such as Hakuba, Kamikochi, and Shiga Kogen are cold and ideal as summer resorts, but in winter it is very cold and it snows a lot.

Basins have relatively little snow

On the other hand, in Nagano City, Matsumoto City, Suwa City, Iida City, etc., which are located in the basin, the maximum temperature is as high as in Tokyo during the daytime in summer, but it is cool in the morning and evening. It doesn’t snow as much as in the mountains in winter, but it’s colder than in Tokyo and Osaka.

Karuizawa does not get much snow in winter

Karuizawa, an hour away from Tokyo on the Hokuriku Shinkansen, is a popular highland resort area as a summer resort. However, Karuizawa has much less snow than Hakuba and Shiga Kogen. The entire area of ​​Nagano has less rainfall than other areas such as Tokyo. The cherry blossoms bloom a little later than in Tokyo and after early April.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear in Nagano Prefecture in February?

In February, major cities in the basin such as Nagano City and Matsumoto City are still very cold, so it is advisable to wear a heavy coat, scarf, knit hat, and gloves. Snow boots are recommended when visiting mountain resorts such as Hakuba, or Jigokudani, where monkeys are bathing in hot springs. For more information on winter clothing, please refer to the following articles and others.

What kind of shoes should I wear when going to deep snow places such as Hakuba and Shiga Kogen?

We Japanese often wear snow boots when we go to ski resorts such as Hakuba. Snow boots are waterproof and slip resistant. In winter, you can buy them for as little as 5,000 yen at shoe stores such as “ABC MART” in Tokyo and Osaka. However, if you are going to take a bus to your hotel, you may not need snow boots. Even in areas where snow is piled up, sidewalks and other paths are cleared of snow, so be sure to walk on such paths.

Can I rent ski and snowboard clothing at the ski resort?

Yes, all large ski resorts have extensive rental services. Children’s clothing and boards can also be rented.

Will snow accumulation cause the Hokuriku Shinkansen to stop?

The Hokuriku Shinkansen is designed on the assumption that it will be covered with snow, so it is usually not affected by snow. However, please note that it may be suspended during heavy snowfall.

Weather in Nagano Pref. in early February

Sightseeing scenery that simply shows the weather in Nagano in February3

Nagano,Shiga Kogen ski resort, Japan -February,08, 2016, , Group of skiers wearing bright clothes , snowy landscape with pine trees background = Shutterstock

Sightseeing scenery that simply shows the weather in Nagano in February5

Karuizawa, Japan – February 9, 2015 : Karuizawa station with Prince Shopping plaza.Karuizawa has less snow than Hakuba and Shiga Kogen and is easy to walk on except for ski resorts that use artificial snow machines = Shutterstock

Sightseeing scenery that simply shows the weather in Nagano in February2

Nagano, Japan – February 04 , 2016 ,Old wooden houses and pedestrian walk street with souvenir shops near Zenko-ji Temple complex = Shutterstock

The snowfall figures for Hakuba are for Hakuba Village, and the ski resorts in Hakuba have much more snowfall.

Average temperature
Highest temperature
(Lowest temperature)
Total precipitation
(Total snowfall depth)
Nagano City -0.6 ℃  (30.9°F)
4.1℃  (39.4°F)
-4.4 ℃ (24.1°F)
13.8 mm (0.54 inch)
20 cm (7.88 inch)
Matsumoto -0.4 ℃  (31.3°F)
5.5℃  (41.9°F)
-5.4  ℃ (22.3°F)
8.9 mm (0.35 inch)
8 cm (3.15 inch)
Hakuba -3.3 ℃  (26.1°F)
1.5℃  (34.7°F)
-8.4 ℃ (16.9°F)
42.7 mm (1.68 inch)
70 cm (27.56 inch)
Karuizawa -3.5 ℃  (25.7°F)
2.9℃  (37.2°F)
2.6 ℃ (36.7°F)
8.9 mm (0.35 inch)
14 cm (5.51 inch)

※ Source: All figures are the average for 30 years of 1991-2020 announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency

Weather in Nagano Pref. in mid-February

Sightseeing scenery that simply shows the weather in Nagano in February2

Nagano Japan- 10 February 2020 Snow monkey park one of the most popular place for traveller in Japan = Shutterstock

Average temperature
Highest temperature
(Lowest temperature)
Total precipitation
(Total snowfall depth)
Nagano City 0.2 ℃  (32.4°F)
5.0℃  (41.0°F)
-3.8 ℃ (25.2°F)
21.5 mm (0.85 inch)
21 cm (8.27 inch)
Matsumoto -0.4 ℃  (31.3°F)
5.5 ℃  (41.9°F)
-5.4 ℃ (22.3°F)
8.9 mm (0.35 inch)
8 cm (3.15 inch)
Hakuba -2.5 ℃  (27.5°F)
2.4℃  (36.3°F)
-7.3 ℃ (18.9°F)
48.7 mm (1.92 inch)
65 cm (25.59 inch)
Karuizawa -2.7 ℃ (27.1°F)
3.4℃  (38.1°F)
-8.1 ℃ (17.4°F)
17.8 mm (0.70 inch)
17 cm (6.69 inch)

※Source:  All figures are the average for 30 years of 1991-2020 announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency

Weather in Nagano Pref. in late February

Sightseeing scenery that simply shows the weather in Nagano in February4

Madarao, Japan, February 21, 2018: People carrying luggages are seen walking on the road covered with snow in Madarao, Japan = Shutterstock

Sightseeing scenery that simply shows the weather in Nagano in February6

Zenko-ji temple with beautiful heritage architecture and statue on the sunny day on 26 february 2012 in Nagano, Japan = Shutterstock

Average temperature
Highest temperature
(Lowest temperature)
Total precipitation
(Total snowfall depth)
Nagano City 1.7 ℃  (35.1°F)
7.1℃  (44.8°F)
-2.6 ℃ (27.3°F)
13.8 mm (0.54 inch)
22 cm (8.66 inch)
Matsumoto 2.1 ℃  (35.8°F)
8.3℃  (46.9°F)
-3.2 ℃ (26.2°F)
11.7 mm (0.46 inch)
2 cm (0.79 inch)
Hakuba -1.2 ℃  (29.8°F)
4.0℃  (39.2°F)
-6.0 ℃ (21.2°F)
34.5 mm (1.36 inch)
39 cm (15.35 inch)
Karuizawa -1.5 ℃ (29.3°F)
4.8℃  (40.6°F)
-6.7 ℃ (19.9°F)
10.0 mm (0.39 inch)
7 cm (2.76 inch)

※ Source: All figures are the average for 30 years of 1991-2020 announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency

What to wear in Japan during winter

For winter clothes, please refer to the following article.

Monthly weather in Nagano Pref.

Below are articles about the weather in Nagano Prefecture. Click on the month of interest to see articles about that month.

January February March
April May June
July August September
October November 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

 

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