Synonymous with tranquility and culture, Japan is a popular destination for travellers the world over.
Come wintertime, many tourists look to enjoy its seasonal delicacies and various activities and festivals. But, with countless options around the country, it can be daunting to plan that special trip. Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is here to help you streamline your interests and explore to your heart’s content.
Watch this video to get inspired, then flip through the gallery below for more exciting details.
Nothing beats a hot stew inside while it’s cold out! So, be sure to try the quintessential Japanese dish, oden, consisting of fish cake, daikon (radish), tofu and more in a light, soy-based broth.
Fresh seafood caught during the winter has also been known to have a concentrated umami flavour, making it the go-to choice during the colder months. For your fix of fresh fish, try kaisen-don (seafood rice bowl), made with seasonal ingredients and are best had in many coastal cities like Hakodate and Otaru.
The ski slopes in Japan are reputed for having some of the best powder for winter sports. Most tourists, professional skiers and snowboarders travel up north in the winter to Niseko in Hokkaido, or Hakuba Valley in Nagano prefecture.
“The slopes in Europe are fairly hard because of artificial snow,” shares former Swiss Olympic slalom skier Michael von Grünigen. “But, the powder snow Japan gets each winter plays an important role, producing a variety of different slopes with varying difficulties.” One of his favourite aspects of skiing in the country? “The ski areas are close to each other, so you can definitely experience skiing on four to five of them in a week!”
Don’t know where to start? Let Ski Safari arrange a tailor-made ski tour for you!
Winter sports are hardly the only reason to visit Japan’s quaint ski towns. In fact, as a volcanically active country, Japan has multiple onsen (hot springs) that dot its mountainous and snowy landscape, making visiting an onsen a seasonal pastime and popular après-ski activity.
Enjoy this unique experience by booking a stay at a ryokan (traditional inn). These inns either provide a private outdoor and indoor bath that feeds water from the hot spring directly to your room, or are conveniently located near a public bath mere minutes away. A stay typically includes a wholesome and traditional multi-course breakfast and dinner made from seasonal ingredients, too.
The winter season in Japan lasts till the end of March, and sometimes even into May! Check the JNTO ski website for details, including the planned season for each ski resort in Japan.
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)
From The Finder Issue 301, December 2019
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