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2019 Snow Resort Guide in Japan: Asia’s Winter Wonderland
- The Japan ski season typically begins from December and lasts to April. If you're aiming to see those beautiful white covered landscapes, or just looking for a thrilling slide down the mountain, this is the best time to travel Japan. Japow abbreviated from Japanese Powder, means powder skiing in Japan. Having low water content, the snow becomes dry and very powdery. Since the country is covered with an average of 10-20 meters of snow per year, there is an abundance of ski areas for beginners all the way up to experts; and but of course, for those Japow lovers out there. Most of these sites are only 2 to 3 hours away from Tokyo. With wide varieties of Ski Resorts ranging from elegant 5-Star Resort Hotels to affordable backpacker inns, you’ll definitely find a place to call home for your vacation whatever your budget is. ― Hokkaido: Japan’s Winter Sports Capital Located in the Northernmost part of Japan is the country’s largest prefecture and coldest region, Hokkaido, and it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fresh seafood, spectacular scenery and snow resorts. Tourists from all over the world flock the area during winter time, especially snow sports enthusiasts, because of its numerous snowy mountains perfect for skiing and snowboarding.Hokkaido is famous for the Sapporo Snow Festival, usually held around the 31st of January to 11th of February, during this time over hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures are built around the area for people to see.▼ Related Articles in the Hokkaido AreaWhat to Eat / What to Do / Other articles for the Hokkaido area Sapporo Snow Festival Niseko Mountains Derived from the Ainu language, Niseko means a cliff jutting over a riverbank deep in the mountains. Here you’ll find everything you need for a perfect winter vacation from budget to high end amenities, farm to table restaurants, drink all you can bars and clubs, traditional Onsen, to 47 kilometers of powdery snow-filled terrain – plus, the place is tourist-friendly too with its English-speaking townsfolk, you’ll find more English signboards than Japanese ones. Heavily snowed Niseko is a powder bum’s dream come true: it has powdery snow that has just the right amount of water content - making it perfect for skiing and other winter sports.▼ Related Articles in NisekoWhere to Eat / Nightlife / Adventure Activities Niseko Mountains Tomamu Ski Area Right in the center of Hokkaido is the family friendly upscale ski resort,Tomamu by Hoshino Resorts. Its 145-hectare ski area boasts of a 699-meter vertical drop, 28 trails and 4200 meters of skiing distance perfect for long runs, is covered with light powdery snow that you can get a kick out of. For thrill seekers, they are introducing half-pipe skiing and there is an area called “Freedom of Winter Mountain” where you can enjoy back country skiing.There is 70% chance of fine weather rate in the area so the kids and kids at heart can enjoy various activities like the snow playground and snow boat rides or visit the Ice Village. Tomamu by Hoshino Resorts Tomamu by Hoshino Resorts Furano Ski Area If you are looking for a more authentic Japanese Snow Resort experience, Furano is your best bet. Exquisitely blessed with Central Hokkaido’s fluffy, powdery snow, it has 25 kilometer-long of excellently groomed ski slopes with best inclination angles it’s perfect for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. It even has awesome backcountry areas such as Furano Dake and Tokachidake. Furano is also family and tourist-friendly, they have English-speaking child care centers and ski schools, a Family Snowland which offers ice hole fishing, snow shoeing and even dog sledding!After a day of thrilling activities, experience warm Japanese hospitality and culture at the Tokachidake Onsen which has four hot spring “Ryokans” 1280 meters above sea level. Furano Ski Area Rusutsu Ski Area Rusutsu is Hokkaido’s biggest ski area measuring 1,700 hectares has 37 courses, all covered by the finest dry powder snow with very little moisture, so it’s no surprise that the Rusutsu Resort has won World Ski Award – also known as the “Academy Award” of the Ski Industry – for two consecutive years. The resort is so spacious that it has all sorts of accommodations like hotels, lodges and even log houses that lets you appreciate the rich nature of the area. You won’t run out of fun stuff to do here since Rusutsu offers a lot of family-friendly activities such as tubing, dog sledding and snowmobiling. Rusutsu Ski Area Kiroro Resort Just a little off of Sapporo is the upscale Kiroro Resort. It is the part of Hokkaido that receives an overwhelming amount of snowfall, it has 21 courses mostly suited for beginners and intermediates, the longest being 4 kilometers long, has stunning views of the North Japan scenery, it also has off-piste tracks where you can run on untouched powdery snow, or you can join Kiroro Mountain Club giving you the opportunity to enjoy official backcountry skiing or snowboarding.Go out with the family to a snow cat sightseeing tour, snow tubing or dog sledding. One big plus is that the place feels less crowded than the other resorts in Hokkaido, even during the peak season. Kiroro Resort Sahoro Resort Only a two-hour bus trip to Shinchitose Airport is the Sahoro Resort. Being the biggest Ski Area in Eastern Hokkaido, it has 21 courses for all levels of skiers or snowboarders though the ski slopes are reserved for middle to high level skiers and boarders.The Club Med Sahoro offers an upscale, international level of convenience, attracting more foreign visitors.Fine weather rate is high here and the temperature is always low, so the Japow’s powdery snow quality is well preserved. Lifts are also a little pricier than in smaller ski areas, thus there’s less skiers and snowboarders allowing for a smoother and more pleasant cruising. In Sahoro, you can take your partner to a romantic evening with the majestic Tokachi Plane and experience a place full of a sense of openness by joining the snow-covered car tour. Sahoro Resort Sapporo Teine Just a thirty-minute drive away from the popular Sapporo City, you can ski like a local in the easily accessible Sapporo Teine. A beginner’s favorite, it has wide, gentle slopes with the breathtaking views of Sapporo so it is great for just chill cruising or night skiing. Go to downtown Sapporo after skiing for a fun night of sightseeing and have a bottle or two of the famous Sapporo beer. Sapporo Teine ― Nagano: A Dip into Japanese History Nagano has hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics and it’s easy to see why.The modern Japanese city has several world class ski resorts and lots of traditional Onsens that gives you the picturesque silver winter view of the mountains.This is also home to the famous Jigokudani Monkey Park where you can watch endangered Japanese Macaques or “snow monkeys” go about their daily lives, chasing and playing with each other in the Jigokudani hot springs.▼ Related Articles in the Nagano Area What to Eat / Getting Around / Other articles for the Nagano area Jigokudani Monkey Park Nozawa Onsen Ski Area Powderhounds love the area for the vast terrains of 100% natural snow, where about 40% is reserved for beginners. The longest slope is about 10 kilometers and is a gateway to see some surreal mountain views. However, Nozawa is not only known as one of the best Ski locations, but it is actually more popular as an Onsen village known for its traditional Japanese onsens and ryokans, like the Nozawa Onsen Sparena and “Gensen-kakegashi” or natural hot springs. Have the best winter party of your life by coming to the Dosojin Fire Festival that is held here every year on the 15th of January.▼ Related Articles in Nozawa Onsen Get to Know / A Day of Skiing / Where to Eat / Nightlife / Public Onsen Experience Nozawa Onsen Ski Area ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
Hachimantai Dragon Eye
- In this article we will be introducing the magnificent natural beauty of Hachimantai, an area that offers impressive scenery in all seasons as well as excellent skiing, hiking and wildlife experiences. Whether you visit for the snowy landscapes during the winter months, the blossom in spring, the abundant alpine flowers and hiking trails during summer or the striking autumn colours in fall, you will be greeted with stunning scenery and unforgettable views upon any trip to Hachimantai! Can’t decide which season is best to visit? Read on for everything you’ll need to know while planning your trip, what you can see in each season and tips on where to stay…The Hachimantai area makes up the southern area of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park, a large park that straddles three prefectures; Aomori, Akita and Iwate. To the north of Hachimantai is the Towada-Hakkoda part of the park which is just as beautiful, although we won’t be covering that area in this article. Appi-Kogen Ski Resort We will start with the winter season. Winter in Hachimantai is very much about winter sports. It is home to the Appi-Kogen Appi Kogen Ski Resort, the biggest in all of Tohoku and one of the best equipped in all of Japan - Appi-Kogen Appi Kogen boasts 21 different slopes, the longest of which is over 5 km in length. Large amounts of snow fall every winter meaning it gets constant top-ups of fresh snow almost daily, the quality of which is famous for being top notch, light and exceptionally powdery.Most of the resort, including Shimokura and Panorama, is aimed toward beginner and intermediate skiers, making it an excellent choice for big groups or families, although there are also some off-piste and side-country style tree runs for those who want to challenge themselves. Typically the ski season runs from December through the end of March. The area also has a lot to offer for those interested in snowshoe hiking. Hachimantai Aspite Line Hachimantai Mountain Hotel Mountain Hotel offers guests hotspring bathing, locally sourced and very delicious food options and of course comfortable common areas and lodgings. They also have nature guides on hand in the hotel ready to help you explore the area. There are various evening activities as well provide, including star gazing. Hachimantai Mountain Hotel For more information on the Hachimantai area in general and also Hachimantai Mountain Hotel you can contact them direct through their website:Towada Hachimantai National Park Hachimantai Area: http://www.env.go.jp/en/nature/nps/park/towada/index.htmlHachimantai Mountain Hotel: https://hachimantai-mountainhotel.com/enSupported by Hachimantai DMO Inc. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
Driving in Iwate
- Sometimes the best way to get around rural Japan to see what a particular area has to offer is by rental car. Renting a car in Japan is quite easy providing you bring with you an international driver’s license from your country. The process of obtaining one of these varies from country to country but generally it is considered fairly hassle free and doesn’t cost much either. Typically international licenses are good to use for a whole year, but again that depends on the rules and regulations of your country. If you happen to have a Japanese license that will of course also do the trick for renting a car in Japan! Iwate, in the Tohoku region of Japan is one of those places that visitors can benefit hugely from by having a car and thus being mobile, not restricted by the constraints of sparse public transport and timetables. In this article we have put together a simple itinerary that can be easily covered in a single day using your freshly rented set of wheels! We will use Morioka City as our starting point as it is well connected to the rest of Japan via the Shinkansen Bullet Train, and it has a good selection of car rental places right by the main train station. We start the day with a fairly simple hike to a stunningly beautiful waterfall somewhat hidden from the path that leads you to it. First you will need to navigate to Fudo-no-taki Falls, which is roughly one hour north of Morioka. When you arrive you will find a small car park and a dirt road that leads you through a number of red and granite-colored torii gates, these are in fact the gates to a small shrine that is situated just above the waterfall called Sakuramatsu Shrine. The walk to the shrine and then the falls takes a little under twenty minutes and affords some beautiful photo opportunities along the way. Once you reach the falls you will see a red bridge that crosses a river below, you can take this bridge and loop round back to the car park, or you can return the way you came. In total you will want to give yourself at least an hour here regardless of which route back you take. The path to the falls is uneven at times and fairly snowy during the winter so sensible footwear is recommended. The Gates to Sakuramatsu Shrine Fudo-no-taki Falls and the Red Bridge Our final destination today is just minutes down the road at Matsukawa Onsen. It’s time to unwind and relax in a hot-spring onsen bath while taking in the spectacular views of the surrounding Hachimantai. This onsen bathhouse has been in operation for over 250 years, making it a firm favorite for those who visit the area frequently.Matsukawa Onsen also offer overnight lodging, so if you’re happy staying put and making the most of the Hachimantai area you can book a room for the night! If not, the drive back to Morioka City will take you roughly fifty minutes. The Outdoor Bath at Matsukawa Onsen Taking it easy at Matsukawa Onsen Overnight Stays at Matsukawa Onsen ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
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- Appi Kogen Ski Resort
- ลานสกี / สโนว์บอร์ด
- Iwate Pref. Hachimantaishi Appikougen
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