Things to Do to Spice Up the Cold Months


Cold temperatures often make it difficult to stick to outdoor activities and fitness routines. But the freezing cold should not be an excuse to curtail your activities and limit the fun you can squeeze out of the season. Stay active and beat winter blues by devoting some time for play. You can find alternative activities for the cold winter months that you can enjoy despite being cooped up indoors for most of the time.

1. Explore the art and culture scene in your area – Entertain yourself by checking out the museums, art galleries, or cultural centers in your area. Walking around studying period pieces and artifacts is not only a great way to soak up more knowledge. It can also give you the exercise you need.

2. Declutter and organize – You don’t have to wait for spring to start decluttering and organizing your home. Beat boredom and get active cleaning your home. Sort your stuff so you can get rid of the things you no longer need. Put items you can give away in a box and look for a community homeless shelter where you can donate them.

3. Plan fun activities with family and friends – Movie marathons and game nights are just some of the activities for the cold winter months that you can enjoy with family and friends. Organize a movie or game night. Get busy in the kitchen preparing healthy meals or snacks you can serve to your guests.

4. Read – The winter months is a great time to catch up on your reading list. If you don’t have a reading list yet, it’s time you make one and visit the library to check out the books you have always wanted to read. You can also join a book club or connect with your friends for a book reading challenge.

5. Enjoy some homemade treats or meals – Preparing home cooked meals is also an excellent way to make good use of your time indoors. Hone your culinary skills by trying out healthy recipes that can help you manage your weight during the cold months.

6. Soak up some sunshine – Lack of exposure to sunlight can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle and affect your mood. Soak up some healthy sunshine by spending some time outdoors in the morning. Dress comfortably and go out for a long walk or a good run. Enjoying the right amount of sunlight exposure especially during winter can uplift your outlook.

7. Take up a new hobby or learn a new skill – Arrange a weekend getaway to somewhere you have not been to before. Go skiing or book a room at a hot springs resort near you. You can also try some new restaurants or coffee shops with your friends.

8 of Japan’s Best Spots for Cherry Blossoms Viewing

Japan is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. But if there is one season you need to be in Japan for it would be in spring – or more specifically, in that brief period when the sakura or cherry blossoms are blooming. Hanami or flower viewing in Japan is something locals and tourists alike look forward to. Here are some of the best places in the country to enjoy breathtaking views of sakura in bloom.

Goryokaku Fort Park, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Goryokaku Fort Park
Highlights and other attractions: A star-shaped western-style fort dating back to the Tokugawa shogunate, more than a thousand cherry trees in the area makes it a gorgeous spot for a hanami experience

Hirosaki Castle Park, Hirosaki City, Aomori
Hirosaki Castle Park
Highlights and other attractions: The Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival, the castle tower, the red Shunyo Bridge, and the cherry blossoms

Miharu Takizakura, Miharu, Fukushima
Miharu Takizakura
Highlights and other attractions: Miharu Takizakura ( Waterfall cherry tree of Miharu) is an ancient cherry tree that is more than one thousand years old, touted as one of the five great cherry trees of Japan

Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji
Highlights and other attractions: The glorious experience of viewing two of the iconic things to see in Japan – Mount Fuji surrounded by the glorious beauty of cherry blossoms

Mt. Yoshino, Nara
Mt. Yoshino, Nara
Highlights and other attractions: Cherry blossoms from roughly 30,000 trees planted across the mountains, scenic mountain road, and the spectacular scenery of the iconic flowers in full bloom among others

Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto
Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto
Highlights and other attractions: Meander along the path in the midst of cherry blossoms, spend a quiet time in one of the cafes and restaurants in the area or find a hanami spot to better enjoy the sakura blooms

Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo
Shinjuku Gyoen
Highlights and other attractions: A vast and beautiful city park with over a thousand cherry trees, a scenic place to view cherry blossoms in the heart of the city; other attractions include the English landscape garden, the French garden, the traditional Japanese garden, the Taiwan Pavilion, the Mother and Child Forest, and more

Ueno Park, Tokyo
Ueno Park, Tokyo
Highlights and other attractions: A popular park in Tokyo that draws locals and tourists year-round, one of the go-to places in the country for hanami or flower viewing, over thousand trees bloom with many lining the streets, other must-see attractions include Kaneiji Temple, Kiyomizu Kannon Temple, Shinobazu Pond, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo National Museum, Ueno Daibutsu, Ueno Toshogu Shrine, Ueno Zoo, and more