Skiing in Japan
Enjoy a beautiful Japanese landscape
To the North, to Hokkaido and along the Sea of ?
Japan there is a lot of snowfall, with excellent conditions for skiing. The snow is abundant, completely covering trees and roads. You arrive at the stations by crossing real corridors dug in the snow. There are over 600 stations, but they do not have much to do with ours. They are much smaller but with a friendly atmosphere, music on the slopes. Japan has become a favorite destination for all winter sports enthusiasts. The quality of its equipment and snow, its atmosphere, its reasonable prices, make it an internationally recognized ski destination. This is why Japan has twice hosted the Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998.
What are the most popular stations ?
The best known ski resorts in Japan are Niseiko that is famous for having the most beautiful snow in the world, a very international resort, Teine is the former Olympic Games resort of 1972, about thirty minutes from Sapporo, Asahidake is a volcano renowned for its excellent skiing conditions but above all a breathtaking landscape to be discovered through hiking, Kagura, only 1h30 from the capital Tokyo where you can enjoy a day of skiing, Nagano, the resort where the 1998 Olympic winter games took place, it is the largest ski area in the archipelago.
How to get to the ski resorts ?
The country has one of the best public transport network in the world. The trains are punctual, clean, and easily serve the most popular ski resorts. There are often several trains per hour, which bring you quite close to the slopes. So you do not need to rent a car on the spot to move to the big resorts, but if you want to, a special driving licence is required in Japan where driving is on the left and where are special rules.
What equipment to plan before leaving ?
It is possible to rent everything on site. Skis but also the outfit and the shoes. Moreover, many Japanese arrive in normal attire and are equipped only once on site. However, the equipment is adapted to their morphology, and if you are over 1m80 and you put on the 43, you may have trouble finding a shoe to your feet. Resorts where a lot of foreigners are going to start getting equipped accordingly but if you plan to go to more remote places, plan your equipment on your own.
Relax in an Onsen
After a day out on the slopes, do not miss the pleasure of relaxing in one of the many hot springs. The onsen are naturally maintained by the very strong volcanic of the Japanese archipelago. These geothermal sources have existed in Japan since antiquity and are renowned for their therapeutic virtues. Most hotels have their own onsen, which you can use without limit, provided you follow some essential rules. The most important : the baths in Japan are not mixed, there is a men and a women part, and everybody bathes naked ! Bathing in more than 30 ° water with a view of the mountains is an unforgettable experience that you should not miss. Night comes very early in Japan, so it is a good opportunity to relax in the late afternoon before going to dinner in the evening and enjoy the local gastronomy.