Discover Asahikawa: Culture, Customs & Festivals

Discover Asahikawa: Culture, Customs & Festivals

Welcome to Asahikawa!

Asahikawa is a city located in the northern region of Japan's Hokkaido island. Known for its vibrant culture, rich traditions, and stunning natural beauty, Asahikawa is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic Japanese experience.


The culture of Asahikawa reflects the unique blend of indigenous Ainu traditions and contemporary Japanese customs. The city is home to several museums and cultural centers where visitors can learn about the Ainu people, their customs, and their traditional way of life. The Asahikawa Museum of Art is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, showcasing a wide range of exhibits including local and international works.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Asahikawa's culture is its dedication to craftsmanship. Visitors can explore the Otokoyama Sake Brewery, where sake has been produced using traditional methods for centuries. The Asahikawa Craft Street is also worth a visit, where local artisans showcase their skills in pottery, glass blowing, and woodcraft.


In Asahikawa, it is customary to greet others with a bow as a sign of respect. When entering someone's home or a traditional establishment, it is polite to remove your shoes at the entrance. It is also customary to exchange business cards with a bow during business meetings.

Asahikawa is known for its delicious cuisine, and it is customary to show appreciation for a meal by saying "gochisosama deshita" at the end of the meal, which translates to "thank you for the feast." It is also polite to finish all the food on your plate as it shows respect to the chef.

When visiting a temple or shrine, it is customary to wash your hands and mouth at the purification fountain before entering. It is also respectful to bow and clap your hands together as a sign of prayer.


Asahikawa hosts several vibrant festivals throughout the year, celebrating various aspects of Japanese culture and tradition. One of the most popular festivals is the Asahikawa Winter Festival, held in February. The festival features mesmerizing snow sculptures, ice slides, and a fireworks display, attracting both locals and tourists.

Another notable festival is the Asahikawa Summer Festival, held in August. This festival showcases traditional music and dance performances, as well as food stalls offering local delicacies. Visitors can also participate in various games and activities, providing fun for the whole family.

For those interested in experiencing the traditional Ainu culture, the Asahikawa Ainu Cultural Festival is a must-visit. Held in September, this festival offers demonstrations of Ainu dance, music, and crafts. Visitors can also try traditional Ainu cuisine and learn about the indigenous Ainu people firsthand.

Experience Asahikawa

Asahikawa offers a plethora of experiences for visitors to enjoy. Nature lovers can explore the beauty of Daisetsuzan National Park, home to stunning mountains, hot springs, and picturesque hiking trails. The Asahiyama Zoo is another popular attraction, known for its unique animal exhibits and interactive experiences.

For a taste of Asahikawa's local cuisine, visitors can indulge in a steaming bowl of Asahikawa Ramen. This regional specialty features thick, chewy noodles in a rich soy-based broth, topped with tender slices of pork and various toppings. Food enthusiasts can also visit the Asahikawa Ramen Village, a collection of ramen shops where different styles of ramen can be enjoyed.

Shopping enthusiasts will find delight in exploring Asahikawa's trendy shopping districts, such as Heiwadori Shopping Park and AEON Mall Asahikawa Ekimae. These areas offer a wide range of shops, boutiques, and restaurants, perfect for indulging in some retail therapy or trying out the latest fashion trends.

With its rich culture, vibrant festivals, and breathtaking natural beauty, Asahikawa promises an unforgettable travel experience. Whether you're seeking traditional customs, delicious cuisine, or exciting outdoor adventures, this city has something to offer for every traveler.