Or not so Winter. I can't decide.
You might have already guessed from your general knowledge of the country but Japan is quite an extreme country in many ways. The trains are punctual to the second, the food is almost too good to be true and people read ero-magazines on the trains. The same can be said for the weather.
At the moment I am writing this there is currently a huge snowstorm in the North of the country, actually the North of the country is covered in snow from November to at least March. Which is the main reason why there is a Snow Festival here in the first place. (Yes I went and no I didn’t buy Snow Miku this year. I did buy a Yukine plushie though.)
Actually, during my trip I was surprised by how smoothly everything ran (except planes and that wasn’t only a snowstorm problem). Basically, going to Hokkaido gave me three days of real winter that I enjoyed to the fullest.
Because Tokyo doesn’t get a real Winter at all.
What I mean by that is that right now, as I’m writing this, it’s bright sunny and I’m considering forgoing my winter coat. This year it snowed exactly once, nearly shutting down the whole city and I wasn’t even there to witness it. Zetsuboushitaaa!
In all seriousness though I can’t say Tokyo’s Winter felt like Winter at all. It’s been a very sunny autumn for months now, there are still a lot of leaves on the trees and I’ll have to admit that it felt really weird. In some places we can already see blooming sakura and it still doesn’t feel like it’s been Winter at all. The temperature hasn’t fallen below 0°C either.
In a way I’m disappointed.
I probably should mention that in Okinawa you can still enter water (with a wet suit) in December. I tried. I’m still alive and well. It appears that February is a bit more difficult but you can do it. I haven’t tried though. I thought Hokkaido was a better fitting destination for the season.
You definitely don’t need a coat if you ever go to Okinawa in Winter, normal pants and a sweater and you’ll be fine. I was fine in shorts and a t-shirt back in December though the night was a bit cold. (That’s where alcohol really helped. I recommend Orion beer!)
Basically, Winter in Japan is special. Be warned.