Japan has hundreds of resorts scattered throughout the country and most international snow lovers have heard the legends of the powder snow in Hokkaido’s popular resort of Niseko. Yet powder lovers need not travel to the northern island in order to get their dream Japan ski holiday. The following are 4 great ski experiences in Honshu, Japan’s main island.
With alpine flowers in bloom from July to August, autumn-colored leaves adorning the trees from September to November, and the crisp frosty air to delight in from December to March, Utsukushigahara is a choice destination throughout the four seasons.
In summer, in central Japan, such temperatures are normal. Perhaps even more stifling than the heat, however, is the humidity. Even a simple walk to the local convenience store can leave you drenched in sweat and gasping for breath. Or, maybe I just need to work out more!
Children, teens, and adults can be seen crowding the Hata Sensuda Sports Park. Tents with the aroma of delicious festival foods wafting from them can also be seen from a distance as people order treats from them, forming long lines that snake towards the parking lot. Everyone here is excitedly awaiting the event of the night – the Hata Fireworks Festival.
Have you thought about trying camping in Japan? It can be a fun way to bond with friends or family, and even meet new friends. A great spot for camping is Togakushi, which is located in Nagano, Japan.
In English, it means ‘Bank of Deities’. Though not as popular as the famous ‘Takato Castle’, Rokudō no Tsutsumi is arguably the better option for your ‘hanami’ or flower viewing party in the spring time. And, though access is granted all year round, it is in spring that this small and seemingly insipid pond really shines.
Suwa Lake, has 3 cities around it; Suwa, Shimo Suwa, and Okaya. It has a surface area of around 13 km2, it takes about 30 minutes to go around the whole place by car. The closest stations near the lake are; Kami-Suwa Station and Okaya Station. If you’re from Tokyo, you can take the train from Chuo Line that goes to Matsumoto from Takao Station or Otsuki Station in Yamanashi.
In a little place called doll town or ‘Ningyo no Machi’ on Takasago street in Matsumoto City, there are quite a few doll shops, each with their own unique charm. Depending on the time of year, you may either find lovely Japanese hina dolls for girls or even traditional Japanese kabuto helmets for boys.
Hakuba is much larger than your average ski town and offers various accommodations to choose from at every price point. The valley is comprised of many neighborhoods and I recommend staying at the three closest to Happo-One, the largest resort.
Whilst the Alps do, as one would expect, give rise to a huge amount of winter sports tourism, they also have the added benefit of limiting the number of inhabitable areas within the prefecture. However, the cities of Matsumoto, and the prefectural capital, also called Nagano, offer plenty of sites for an avid tourist to see.
Narai-juku is a quaint post town that is located in present-day Shiojiri City, a mountainous region in southern Nagano. This nationally designated architectural preservation site is part of the Nakasendo Trail which used to be a 534-kilometer-long route connecting Kyoto and Tokyo in Edo Period.