WINTER IN JAPAN: FIVE BEST VISITS
Thinking of visiting Japan in the winter? Not yet? And if we say that a trip to Japan from December to February looks more like a vacation in a fairy tale? Just imagine all these lights of big cities, delightful illumination, snow-covered mountain slopes and open spaces! In general, if you like the idea of spending a vacation in winter Wonderland, in this article we have prepared five best places to travel.
1. WINTER IN JAPAN: KHAKUBA, NAGANO
Mounts, snowboards, boots and onseny. Don’t these words sound like a melody to you? Have you not woken up the desire to return to this lightest snow virgin? If not, then you simply did not try to engage in winter sports in Japan.
Everyone who got up on the skis at least once during the winter trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, will agree: there is no such snow anywhere in the world. Many come here to learn how to ride a snowboard or ski, even if they have never stood up before. And in the end, it is extremely fun! Instructors are always very friendly and modern, and also have excellent qualifications. They speak English well and spend the whole year traveling around the world, hunting the snow front in many different countries. Under their leadership, in a matter of seconds you will become a master of sports.
And if you have children, do not hesitate: they will become masters of sports at the same moment as, in principle, they will step into the territory of the ski resort. We saw five year olds skilfully conquering the drifts and plains of Hakuba, covered with untouched dry snow. They followed their incredibly patient instructors, as if attached! In short, winter is a wonderful time of year for family holidays.
In Hakub, there are hotels and events for every taste: European or Japanese? Hotels or ryokans? Ski or snowboard? Fast food or gourmet food? Traveling through quiet forests on snowshoes or skiing on steep ski slopes, from which adrenaline rushes in blood? The choice is yours: just let us know what you want and we will find it for you.
By the way, until now we have not talked about the most important thing. This stately mountain range is located on a territory with a constant influx of thermal waters. Therefore, after a long, grueling day on the ski track, you can plunge into the hot waters of the springs, relaxing overburdened muscles, relaxing in body and soul.
And, by the way, do not forget about the park of snow monkeys Jigokudani. In our opinion, every tourist should see these monkeys. In a word, you can see for yourself: the list of things that you can (and should!) Do in Japan in the winter is truly endless!
2. SIRAKAWA-GO – A WONDERFUL ACQUAINTANCE WITH JAPAN WINTER
However, Japan is much more than skiing, isn’t it?
Winter in Japan is different from winter in our country: it is more exotic and even, one might say, has its own culture. During your winter trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, you can combine skiing with a marvelous journey through uncharted but charming corners of Japan. Since you have come such a long way, why not get the most out of the cost of your airline tickets?
We have good news: within easy reach, you can discover places that are astounding in their quaintness and beauty. One of them is Shirakawa-go. This tiny village, located in the depths of a quiet valley, remained little known until a tunnel was made through the high mountains surrounding it. It was then, only about 10 years ago, that Japan and the world “discovered” Shirakawa-go – a village with thatched “gingerbread” houses and a unique culture. At the moment, the doors of this UNESCO World Heritage site are open to the public.
Bright and bright in the summer, sheltered by a thick snow cover in the winter, Shirakawa-gou remains very sweet and hospitable at any time of the year. There are several minsyuku guest houses, where you can stay for the night. And considering that winter in Japan is a paradise for a photographer, be sure to take a tripod with you to take night shots of the village: at night, the houses are illuminated for your aesthetic pleasure.
3. JAPANESE WINTER IN HIDA-TAKAYAMA
Because of its long history and well-kept buildings, preserved from the Edo era, Takayama is known throughout Japan as a small Kyoto.
For lovers of gastronomic tourism, local delicacies such as Sansai (mountain vegetables), Vasakana (river fish) and Hida beef – the main rival of vagyu beef, seem especially interesting. A hoba miso is a special recipe that baked beef or fish in Takayama using magnolia leaf or even oak leaf. No less you will enjoy the local soba. Also pay attention to the plants for the production of sake: their product will help you warm up during a winter trip to Japan!
In Takayama, there is also a place for professional photographers: for example, the snowfalls here are different from any other snowfalls in Japan. And you just imagine the red lacquered bridges and women who are casually riding on them dressed in traditional kimonos!