09 April 2019
More and more of us are choosing to spend a chunk of the Aussie summer holidays enjoying Japan’s winter wonderland, especially families. While Japan’s fantastic powder snow conditions are no longer a secret, more and more visitors are finding that combing a ski trip with some cultural sightseeing around Japan is a winning combination that allows them to explore all the variety that Japan offers, and come back with tales of more than just hitting the slopes.
So, what is it about Japan that is drawing in Aussies in record numbers, especially for the snow and culture? Well, where do we start? Soft, dry, reliable powder snow means that you can guarantee that your time on the slopes will be memorable, with comfortable conditions for everyone, from beginners to expert. There are also a huge variety of resorts to choose between, from the Aussie favourites of Niseko and Hakuba, to smaller up and coming resorts like Nozawa Onsen, Madarao and Zao Onsen. And these smaller resorts often provide a more authentic Japanese experience, and still plenty of accommodation options to choose from.
Done your week on the slopes? Time to hit Japan’s cultural side, so jump on the bullet train and explore! A few days in Tokyo and Kyoto are a great starting point, to enjoy the best of Japan’s modern and traditional side. But why limit yourself to these big cities? Many of Japan’s best sights are tucked away in smaller, more rural areas, so head to the towns, villages and coastal areas for some special experiences that will really make your trip unique. With super-fast, super reliable trains, and a luggage forwarding service to match, getting around Japan couldn’t be smoother.
What else makes winter a great time to be in Japan? There are amazing light displays and illuminations at stations and landmarks across the country. Hot-spring baths are a great way to warm up after a day of exploring, and January sees one of the biggest sumo tournaments of the year in Tokyo. If you are in Japan over New Year then you can join the locals in making their first prayers of the year at a temple or shrine, and maybe even join the crowds at the Imperial Palace as the (new) Emperor makes his New Year address. And then there’s the food of course; the Japanese embrace and celebrate each season through food and drink, so in winter you can expect hearty hotpot dishes, steaming bowls of ramen noodles, and plenty of warm sake to wash it down of course. Winter is also the best time of year for clear skies to help you catch a picture-perfect view of iconic Mt Fuji.
If you think winter in Japan sounds like the holiday for you, get in touch with your local Travel Counsellor to get planning today! Need some more inspiration? Read more about Japan HERE.