We’ve all heard about the cherry blossoms in springtime and the orange hues of autumn, but winter in Japan brings with it a whole new experience – powder covered slopes! Not only are they perfect for shredding – varied enough for the experienced, and soft enough for beginners – they also set a beautiful backdrop for your exploration of Japan.
If you’re looking to check out Japan in winter, then Hokkaido will turn it on for you with stunning scenery and epic runs. From Sapporo, hit the slopes at Kiroro Ski Resort and world renowned Niseko, weaving through the white blanket that softly drapes itself over the pretty mountain ranges. For a change of scenery perhaps take a night ski with the runs illuminated and the snow glowing against the dark sky, or watch your fellow holidaymakers tackling the slopes from the comfort of a warm chalet sipping a hot chocolate. Swap snow for samurais at Date Jidaimura Noboribetsu history theme park, where Edo history is showcased, and you can expect to see geisha and ninjas strolling around.
You can also ski Japan in Hakuba, where there are plenty of runs to choose from. Take on the varied terrain, half-pipes, gullies and powder bowls at your own pace, then reward yourself with a steaming bowl of ramen or a hot katsu curry. If you’re after a break from the slopes then perhaps soak your tired muscles in the onsen pools, or if you get the chance, take a trip to sample some sake at a nearby brewery. If you’re lucky you might even get to see the snow monkeys, they are so cute with the warm water dripping from their hair and their big eyes watching you and wondering why you’re standing in the cold while there are such glorious hot springs to laze in.
With a mix of experiences set in a unique place, taking a winter trip to Japan will tick a lot of boxes. Choose your combination of skiing and sightseeing, have all the logistics taken care of, and enjoy the culture, cuisine, and adventure with your newfound friends. What are you waiting for?