Every season in Japan has something amazing to offer travelers, and one spot in the Kanto region is growing in popularity as one of winter’s most picturesque locations. From early January to mid-February every year, visitors head to Saitama Prefecture in droves to feast their eyes on the Onouchi Hyakkei Icicles, a brilliant artwork of ice located in the Onouchi Gorge.

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As stunning as they are, it might surprise you to hear that these icicles aren’t formed naturally. Instead, they’re the culmination of the collaborative efforts between human and nature, but which have nonetheless resulted in a scenery that is nothing short of spectacular.

Using 500m long pipes and water, the locals artificially form these magnificent icicles along a suspension bridge in the gorge. The icicles span the width of 150m and are 80m long. Pictures certainly don’t do it justice, and it’s a view you’ll have to see to truly appreciate its grandness.

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The icicles are even more beautiful from the suspension bridge, where tourists can bask in the view from up close. And for a limited time during the visiting months of the gorge, the icicles will be lit up in a rainbow of colors to give it an even more majestic atmosphere.

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The locals will also welcome you with food stands offering amazake (traditional sweet drink made from fermented rice) and regional foods, making every moment spent at the Onouchi Gorge memorable. Since it’s only open to visitors for about a month and a half each year, you'll want to start planning early for the chance to see this breathtaking spectacle.

Onouchi Hyakkei Icicles

Location: 996-1 Kawarasawa Ogano, Chichibu, Saitama
Closed March~December
Fee: 200 yen (1.90 USD)

By - grape Japan editorial staff.