Wirral Life October 2017 - Page 73

W TRAVEL L WINTER SKI 17/18 ANOTHER COOL SIDE TO JAPAN Japan enjoys an almost guaranteed supply of first-class powder that falls on the mountains of its main islands, Honshu and Hokkaido, offering exciting on-piste and back-country conditions for beginners and experts alike. As a result, the Winter Olympics have been to Japan a number of times. Couple these top-class skiing conditions with a fascinating culture, exquisite food, hot springs to soothe weary limbs, friendly people and efficient Bullet Train transport within Japan, and the whole experience adds up to a truly memorable winter sports holiday. Five reasons to ski and board in Japan: Perfect snow and plenty of mountains Deep powder is more the norm than a snow-blind myth here. An abundance of the white stuff on Honshu and Hokkaido make Japan a skier and boarder’s dream. Hokkaido’s resort of Niseko and Hakuba on Honshu island are the snowy crown jewels but there are plenty of hidden gems throughout the country, with hundreds of smaller resorts to choose from. Quiet slopes and night skiing Exchange the popular European Alps for the quieter Japanese Alps to get away from the crowds. Japan is 70% mountainous, with an abundance of snow-covered slopes in the winter, but there are no big lift queues or packed pistes here. If you want it even quieter, many resorts are open for night skiing with slopes lit up until late and the powder still deep. Japanese culture and hospitality Although there’s almost guaranteed excellent quality snow in winter, ultimately it’s Japanese culture and the Japanese people that will propel your trip beyond any other ski experience according to InsideJapan Tours. Japan is unique, with an ultra-modern appearance blending with a strong sense of tradition wherever you go. Western visitors are welcome in Japan and the Japanese are eager to provide the very best hospitality whether you’re staying in a Western-style hotel, private lodge or traditional ryokan (guest house). Hot springs with good, inexpensive food & drink A benefit of skiing in one of the world’s most volcanic countries is the hot spring baths (onsen). There’s nothing like soaking aching muscles in an onsen after a day on the slopes, in readiness for the next day. After a soak, refuel with excellent quality, inexpensive food, whether in a traditional lodge or local izakaya (Japanese pub), and the night out is always fun, friendly and lively. Places to ski and places to see Winter in Japan is much more than perfect snow. If you want to take a powder break, you might also want to experience the culture and wildlife across the country. From the excitement and bright lights of the Tokyo metropolis to the shrines, temples and geisha of Kyoto, and bathing snow monkeys in the mountains, there is plenty to see. It’s all easily accessible by Japan’s outstanding transport network - including the famous Bullet Train. For more information visit www.insidejapantours.com wirrallife.com 73