Autumn is coming to an end and winter is fast approaching in Hokkaido. Winter in Hokkaido lasts from December to February and it is a beautiful period to visit, provided that you are well prepared for the cold. If you are thinking about visiting Hokkaido in the winter, you need to learn all that you can about layering up for the cold and harsh weather. The temperature during winter changes extremely from day to night. There could even be a 10 degree or more difference due to the strong sun in the day that beats down even in winter.
In Japan, when we talk about dressing for winter, thermal inner wear is a definite must to have under all our layers of clothes. Uniqlo HEATTECH is a lightweight inner wear that is made to trap heat from the body and use it to generate warmth. Besides Uniqlo, many brands and shops are also selling thermal wear. However, in Japan, Uniqlo HEATTECH is definitely the most popular and effective. Uniqlo Heattech has 3 level of warmth that you can choose from. HEATTECH, Extra Warm HEATTECH, and Ultra Warm HEATTECH. Depending on how cold it is, you can choose which one to wear. HEATTECH is available for both the top and bottom wear so your whole body can be kept warm. In my opinion, it is a very good choice for inner wear in the winter since it is so thin and yet it can keep you warm!
Layer thinnest to thickest
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The best tip for winter in Hokkaido is to layer your clothes from the thinnest (innerwear) inside and thickest (jacket/coat) outside. In winter, the heater indoors is always turned on high. Therefore, even though it will be very cold outdoors in Hokkaido, it will often be very warm indoors. For that, the best idea would be to dress up such that you will be able to take off certain layers when you enter a building. Since the jacket would be the easiest to take off, it will be better if you wear a thick jacket or coat outside and not too thick sweater on the inside.
The most important thing that you need to take note of for winter in Hokkaido, is the footwear. The streets in Hokkaido gets piled up with snow and underneath the snow, is what you have to be careful of. ICE! The ground gets very icy and slippery, making it very dangerous to walk on. Walking on the streets of Hokkaido, you can see people falling very often. In order to minimized the risk of falling, you might want to get boots that have spiky soles that makes it less slippery. Either that, or you can also get spikes that can be attached to the sole of your shoes. The soles of your boots are very important and can prevent you from breaking an arm or leg if you fall.
As long as you take note of the above tips, you will have a snowy and fun trip here in Hokkaido!
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