G'Day Japan! issue #12

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Publisher Hiroshi Washiashi Director Ryuichi Kitamura Editoral Director Masanori Chiba Editors Natsumi Amano Izumi Sakamoto Saai Takeda Contributors Ashleigh Dollin Nathan Eden Max Forrest Michael Montague Ayla Yuile


At G'Day Japan! we like to see more Australians enjoying all that Japan has to offer. We're passionate about supporting exchange with Japan not only through travel, but also by welcoming Japanese culture into our lifestyles at home, and when going out. We publish more useful content and giveaways on the G'Day Japan! website, and our Facebook and Instagram pages, so drop in, say g'day and keep in touch with us.

Art Director Koetsu Moriya

www.gdayjapan.com.au @gdayjp @gdayjapan

Art & Advertising Coordinator Yushiro Mizukoshi Advertising Sales Manager Kayo Okamura Advertising Sales Ayano Baba Haruna Kawai Tsubasa Kushida Published July 2017 by JAMS.TV PTY LTD ABN 85 115 815 551 Suite 3704, Gateway, 1 Macquarie Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Phone: (02) 9252 6307 Fax: (02) 9252 6308 Email: info@gdayjapan.com.au G'Day Japan! is published annually, and printed in Australia www.gdayjapan.com.au ŠJAMS.TV PTY LTD 2017 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

COVER PHOTO Photographer: Edwin Lais Calligrapher: Sam Pauletto Assistants: Saki Kudo, Ayla Yuile Location: Espresso Room, Sydney



What you need to turn a good trip into a great one


What's on your Japanese travel bucket list?


Speaking to visitors on the ground about six of Tokyo's must-visit spots


With spectacular views of Mount Fuji and abundant natural hot springs, Hakone is a rewarding short trip close to Tokyo


Japan is stunning to visit at any time of year



Check our most popular package “World Heritage 12days Japan Tour” Bookings & Enquiries

Email: japan@sachitours.com.au Phone: 1800 251 350 2


Amazing winter resort areas, accommodation, activities and attractions

038 FIVE BIG YEARS Highlights from a century of skiing in Japan







172 THE ULTIMATE JAPANESE STAYCATION GUIDE Discover the real Japan in Sydney

www.jtbtravel.com.au | 1300 739 330


Travel Japan like a pro! What you need to turn a good trip into a great one So, can you save money on riding the shinkansen, and free up some more for exploring Japan's never-ending maze of awesomeness? Do you know where to drop your suitcase so you're not heaving it along with you? Here we introduce why Japan is not just a favourite for its incredible attractions: with a fast and reliable transport network, warm hospitality and great services, it is a destination that is constantly making travellers' lives easier. . .

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO By Ashleigh Dollin

Prepaid SIM card Data-only and voice/data SIM cards are now available to travellers on tourist visas in Japan, and offer a simple way to stay connected independently. Mobile Wi-Fi router Renting a mobile Wi-Fi router provides a fast internet connection outside of free coverage areas in major cities and accommodation a great choice when you need a solid mobile hotspot. Japan Rail Pass With almost complete access to Japan Rail (JR) services, this pass enables you to zip around at more than 200 km/hr on the shinkansen, and see an incredible amount for less over a set period.

© Nathan Eden

International Driving Permit To drive in Japan, you will need to carry an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) with your Australian driver’s licence. IDP’s must be obtained prior to entering Japan. Luggage delivery Luggage couriers are indicated by the ‘Japan. Hands-Free Travel’ logo at airports, hotels, stations and convenience stores, and will ensure you avoid having to negotiate crowds with heavy baggage.

© Ashleigh Dollin

COMMUNICATING IN JAPANESE Circle and cross gestures Circle: 'maru' Pronunciation: 'mah-roo' Means the same as: thumbs up Looks like: a circle with your index finger and thumb Try it: say something, or point to it and make a 'maru'


Handy words and phrases

Cross: 'batsu' Pronunciation: 'bat-soo' Looks like: crossed index fingers, palms or forearms Means the same as: a shake of the head Try it: say something, or point to it and make a 'batsu'

Konnichiwa Hello. O-negai shimasu Please. Arigatō Thank you. Hajimemashite Pleased to meet you. O-genki desu-ka? How are you? Genki desu I'm fine. Sumimasen Sorry/excuse me. Daijōbu desu All good. Eigo de o-negai dekimasu-ka? Can I please have that in English? Itadakimasu Let's eat. (lit: 'receive'.) Kanpai! Cheers! Oishī desu It's delicious.




SAPPORO has a subarctic climate, with heavy snowfall in winter, and monsoon-free summers.


-5.9 – -1.3


4.2 – 12.4


17.6 – 25.0


6.9 – 14.6

SENDAI has an oceanic climate, with cool summers, mild winters, and a monsoon.


-0.8 – 6.2


7.7 – 16.5


20.3 – 26.6


11.2 – 20.4

NAGANO has a dry central highland climate, with a high seasonal variation in temperature.


-3.8 – 4.9


6.8 – 19.7


21.1 – 30.3


10.3 – 20.4

TOKYO has a central highland climate, with hot, humid summers, and dry, clear winters.


1.8 – 10.6


11.3 – 20.3


22.1 – 29.7


15.3 – 22.6

OSAKA has a dry Seto Inland Sea climate, and is known for exceptional humidity in summer.


3.4 – 10.3


12.5 – 21.3


24.8 – 32.6


16.8 – 24.8

FUKUOKA has a warm temperate climate, with a June-July monsoon and September typhoons.


4.4 – 9.9


13.4 – 21.3


25.5 – 32.7


18.6 – 25.1

NAHA has a subtropical monsoon climate, with long, humid summers and September typhoons.


14.9 – 19.9


20.9 – 25.7


27.6 – 32.6


25.9 – 30.1

All figures are monthly averages for 2016, as released by the Japan Meteorological Agency.

MONEY Cash payment is common at local businesses, while credit card payment is generally accepted at high-end retailers in major shopping areas, resorts, hotels and inns. The easiest way to pay for everyday items at convenience stores, stations and many other places is with a PASMO or Suica prepaid card. Yen denominations Coins: ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50, ¥100, ¥500 Notes: ¥1,000, ¥2,000, ¥5,000, ¥10,000 International ATMs 7-Eleven, Family Mart, Japan Post Bank, AEON Bank Consumption tax 8% (may be added at checkout)

PEAK TRAVEL SEASONS • New Year: Dec 27-Jan 4 • Obon Buddhist Festival: mid July, mid Aug • Golden Week: Apr 29-May 5 A combination of public holidays, and cultural and religious festivals make these three seasons some of the most crowded, expensive times to visit Japan. Locals travel extensively both at home and abroad, so bookings are recommended well in advance.

TIME, VISAS AND HEALTH Time zones • Japan Standard Time (JST): GMT+9 • Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): GMT+10, GMT+11 (DST) Visas Australian passport holders can visit Japan for up to 90 days without a visa

© Nathan Eden

Health Some categories of medicine require import certificates for Japan, available through the Embassy of Japan in Australia; no vaccinations are compulsory for Japan.


GETTING AROUND TRANSPORT Japan's rail and metro network provides excellent local and inter-city transport, with free wi-fi access commonly available at major city stations. Japan Railways (JR), Kintetsu, Odakyu, the Osaka Municipal Subway, Tokyo Metro and other providers offer great discount tickets for travellers; some must be arranged before travel to Japan, so it pays to check which networks operate in the area you'll be visiting. To board a local bus, grab a ticket when you hop on and pay the difference in cash at your stop. Meanwhile, when catching a taxi, the driver will open the left rear door automatically. Domestic flights in Japan are competitively priced, and provide direct access to outlying destinations such as Okinawa - where renting a car is typically the easiest way to get around. Australian driver's licence holders staying in Japan for up to 90 days may drive with an International Driver's Permit (IDP), which are available from state and territory motoring clubs.

PASMO AND SUICA SMART CARDS Commuters in Japan not only tap on and tap off with prepaid Suica and PASMO cards at station ticket gates; they use them to pay for taxis, and make purchases from vending machines, convenience stores and other shops with IC payment facilities. Either card is as handy as the other for everyday travel around Japan, and can be purchased from a station ticket machine. Cards can also be topped up here, and at convenience stores.

HOW DO JAPANESE ADDRESSES WORK? 'We couldn't read any of the signs and there were no building numbers or street names - so we couldn't find it.' Sound familiar? If you've been to Japan, you'll know that this is a classic case of new visitors experiencing its address system. One or more of the following will help you to navigate it successfully: an English map (available at tourist information centres), a mobile GPS app, and a helpful taxi driver or passer-by.


Š Nathan Eden

SHOPPING HOW TO SHOP WORRY AND DUTY FREE IN JAPAN Temporary visitors can be exempted from paying Japan's 8% consumer tax at not only duty-free shops, but any store that displays a tax-free shop logo. To qualify, you must make a minimum purchase of ¥5,000 for consumable items, and a minimum of ¥10,000 for general items. Claim at the check-out or the tax-refund counter in store by presenting your passport; there you will be given a form that will be collected at customs.

Shop with the real Japanese fashionistas By Ayla Yuile

Did you know that the real fashionistas of Harajuku, Tokyo, are often found in the hidden backstreets away from the crowd? Streets like Cat Street and Haranihon-Dōri are lined with small independent designer boutiques. They showcase extremely creative and unique works by Japanese designers; it almost feels like you’re shopping at a wearable art gallery. You can also find fantastic vintage items there - great news for ethical shoppers who want to stay away from large mainstream stores.

© Joel Mabel


Why visit an izakaya? By Nathan Eden

Sushi-ya suit all seafood budgets, for everything from casual conveyor belt cruises up to Michelin-starred splurges. Where office workers go to loosen their tongues as well as their ties, and where friends meet for good times are izakaya, a uniquely Japanese version of a pub - only the food is typically amazing. Do as the locals do and slurp your noodles when at a ramen-ya; notoriously competitive, these noodle restaurants offer top quality for minimal wallet damage.

Japanese culture is typically perceived as quiet and reserved, but inside the walls of an izakaya, it's quite the opposite. You’ll find a vibrant and friendly atmosphere, where beer washes down an extensive selection of tapas-style dishes. Order anything from sushi and sashimi to noodle dishes and grilled chicken platters; when coupled with beer and sake, the result is a truly Japanese experience, perfect for making new friends and gaining local insights.

© Nathan Eden © Nathan Eden


Experience hands-free travel! Lugging around big suitcases and ski equipments to your hotel from the airport can be a real nightmare. So, why not drop your bags off at the airport and begin your holiday hands-free? GPA's baggage delivery service has been recognised by the Japanese government as the foothold of 'hands-free travelling'. They provide pristine Japanese customer service, and the friendly staff will help you. What's even more amazing, is that the staff will also provide you with information and forms to organise the delivery of your baggage back to Narita airport at the end of your holiday.

There's no need to worry about getting your baggage on time, the friendly staff can help you book to suit your schedule. The delivery time-frame is dependent on your destination (subject to change in the event of bad weather but generally accurate).

This is a very reasonably priced service when you think of the time and strength you're saving for all the exciting activities you've planned for your holiday!



Domestic Area

To B1F International Arrival Lobby

International Arrival Lobby Customs Inspection Baggage Claim

Customs Inspection

North Wing

Central Building

International Arrival Lobby A

International Arrival Lobby B

Customs Inspection Baggage Claim

Baggage Claim

Customs Inspection

Sourth Wing


*The delivery is consigned to Yamato Transport.

We offer ski and snowboard delivery from Narita airport to your chosen destination. For Inquiries and bookings Phone: 0120-728-029 From mobile, please call on +81-476-32-4755 (Daily 9:00 - 18:30)

Present this ad at the counter and get ÂĽ200 off!

You can get a flyer at NARITA AIRPORT and buy online!!

JAPAN TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE We provide the right coverage to fit your “Japan Travel”! The period of insurance will begin from the day after the date of application.

We will pay medical expenses and drug expense directly to the hospital or pharmacy.

Cashless medical treatment Call center staff with 43 languages will interpret your message to the Japanese people who can’t understand your language.

Interpretation Get more info

Green Port Agency offers a variety of services. At Narita Airport the first floor, trying to find a GPA counter! !. [ ] TERMINAL 1



Domestic Area


To B1F International Arrival Lobby

International Arrival Lobby Customs Inspection Baggage Claim

Customs Inspection

North Wing

Central Building

South Wing

International Arrival Lobby A Baggage Claim

Customs Inspection

Customs Inspection

International Arrival Lobby B Baggage Claim

Easily exchange to Japanese yen at Narita! No need to prepare Japanese yen beforehand. Top 3 reasons to use GPA Currency Exchange

 No need to fill out forms or provide ID  Easy & speedy English currency exchange machine  You can exchange from small to high denomination bill ($100•$50•$20•$10•$5→¥en) Automatic Currency Exchange Machine For JAL/Qantas Customers Information Counter

North Wing Immigration Customs Inspection

A zone Immigration Customs Inspection

Sourth Wing Immigration Customs Inspection

B zone Immigration Customs Inspection

Automatic Currency Exchange

Open 24 Hours

Open 24 Hours

Stores For JAL/Qantas Customers

For Jetstar Customers To Keisei Line Train Station

Domestic Security Check

International Security Check

To JR Line Train Station Food Court Airport Clinic

Convenience Store

Check-in Counter

From 1F Terminal Exit

Business Hours: 7:30AM - 8:30PM •Phone: +81-476-34-8151

Business Hours: 6:00AM - 9:00PM •Phone: +81-476-34-4203

At ski resorts in Japan, there are many cash only stores, so you must have Japanese yen in cash. Enjoy a wonderful trip by easily & quickly getting your money exchanged at GPA Currency Exchange at Narita Airport.


JAPAN FOďż˝ ME What's on your Japanese travel bucket list?

With so much to discover, could any two Japan bucket lists be the same? For the ten bloggers, writers, and travellers we interviewed for this feature, this was most definitely not the case. All have explored traditional and modern Japan for themselves, and here we share an interesting collection of highlights from their own bucket lists. . .


Theme park hopping in Japan Leah Smileski Leah is an avid traveller, educator and mother who squeezes adventures into afternoons, weekends and school holidays with her family as they go about fulfilling their Kid Bucket List quest. You can read all about their latest adventure in Japan at https:// kidbucketlist.com.au.

Leah, her two children and partner visited Japan for the very first time over Easter break 2017. During their holiday they visited Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. And in each city, they visited one theme park: Tokyo DisneySea, Universal Studios Japan and Toei Studio Park. ‘Before heading to a travel destination, each member of our family writes up a bucket list which we combine to make our family bucket list. When planning our first trip to Japan we discovered that each member of the family had different theme parks listed as our “ultimate destination”.’ There are tons of opinions and information available on these theme parks, so Leah felt that nothing could surprise her before heading off to Japan. What she found once the family arrived, however, was beyond any of her expectations. Led by their 8 year-old daughter, the family fully immersed themselves in magic at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Japan. ‘USJ blew our minds!’ says Leah.


Over at DisneySea, which was Leah’s personal pick, the family was especially surprised at the calibre of food available. ‘If you’ve been to a theme park in Australia or the USA, you probably have an idea in your head about what food will be available. Push all those preconceptions out of your head, as they are likely to be wrong!’ For the ultimate theme park dining experience at Tokyo DisneySea, Leah recommends booking a table at Magellan’s. The family also visited Toei Studio Park in Kyoto, her 10 year-old son’s suggestion. This park is a real, working studio where many samurai-era films ('jidai-geki') are shot, and if you’re lucky, you can even witness the actual production of one. ‘Both our kids loved all three theme parks, and were resistant every afternoon to go home,' Leah recalls. 'The parks offered such different experiences that they always felt like what they were doing was new and exciting.’ Needless to say, Leah is sure she will be back at all three parks on the family's next visit to Japan!

Connecting with Japan's cultural heritage


Kim-Ling Richards From her first overseas trip at only 6 years of age, Kim-Ling has had an evolving wanderlust and has often dreamt of travelling the world. Believing that the world is her oyster, Kim-Ling is determined to make travel blogging her career. You can read her work at http://travel-ling.com/.

Experienced traveller and blogger Kim-Ling tells us that visiting World Heritage sites while overseas will allow you to form your own connection to a country. It also enables you to gain a greater understanding of its culture and history. ‘From the Zen Japanese gardens, located in busy cities, to the more traditional sites that have remained unchanged for centuries, Japan goes beyond looking after its traditions and heritage - it embraces them, and keeps them alive today.’ On her last visit to Japan, Kim-Ling visited two important cultural sites: the ancient keyhole tombs of Sakai, Osaka, and the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, a World Heritage-listed site. Prior to visiting, she hadn’t heard of the tomb sites in Sakai, so she expected them to be similar to other burial sites, with plaques and ornate structures. The Golden Pavilion in Kyoto is of course an iconic site known by most, so she had a fairly good idea of what it would be like visually. 'I was blown away by the enormity of the keyhole tombs, and how nature is such a significant part of them,' says Kim-Ling of her experience visiting the tomb sites in Sakai, which are known as the 'MozuFuruichi Kofungun'. She had a bird's eye view from the 21st floor of the observation deck in Sakai City Hall - which as she describes, was ‘enthralling’. On the other hand, the word Kim-Ling chose to describe her experience of visiting the Golden Pavilion is ‘mesmerising.’ ‘It was smaller than I originally expected, but with its interesting architectural styles and brilliant golden leaf, this site was more beautiful than I could ever have hoped.’ For her next visit, Kim-Ling has Miyajima Island's Itsukushima Shrine on her list. ‘The image of the torii gate rising out of the water is both hypnotic and alluring, and to be able to see it both at high tide and walk up to it at low tide would be something special.’


Sumo wrestling in Ryogoku

Nathan Eden Nathan's long-held interest in Japan is probably based in a simple fascination with the nation’s history and culture, but the food is the real kicker. He has visited Japan twice, for three months each time, and can’t wait to return.

There are many sumo stables in Tokyo’s Ryogoku district, but only a small handful offer access to tourists. Even then, their requirements are so strict that you really must be part of a guided tour - a traditional Japan bucket list essential. Kasugano Beya, near Ryogoku Station, is perhaps the best stable at which to watch sumo train. In essence, the rules of sumo are simple; the first wrestler to exit the ring or touch the floor with any part of his body, other than the soles of his feet, loses the bout. Rituals aside, the bout itself usually only lasts a handful of seconds. Tickets for one day of a tournament are sold at the official website, buysumotickets.com, or at the stadium itself. There are three categories of seating; ringside, box, and balcony. From the lower divisions to the top, the atmosphere continues to build throughout the day, but it’s best be there by 3pm to get the most out of a visit.

The frenetic, fashionable Shibuya Nursing a warm latte, the famous Shibuya scramble crossing sprawls beneath me. My eyes wander over brightly coloured billboards, trucks that blare out J-pop tunes, and young pretty things immaculately dressed, sharing the streets with salarymen and the eccentric. I’m in Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s most colourful and busiest districts, boasting a vibrant youth culture, exciting shops, live music venues and night clubs. It’s easy to see how its lively streets are the birthplace of many of Japan’s latest fashion and entertainment trends; the busy pavements are as much a catwalk as the many department stores they lead to. Take Shibuya 109 for example, where sales staff show off the latest trends from minimalist chic to an eccentric blend of cute and nonsensical. Ever engaging and enthralling, Shibuya is my favourite destination to watch Tokyo’s frenetic world roll by.


Ashleigh Dollin Initially drawn to Japan for its snowy peaks, Ashleigh was hooked as soon as she slurped up her first steaming bowl of ramen. She has since returned four times, and lived in Hokkaido for a year.

History and spirituality by the coast in Kamakura One of my favourite places in Japan is Kamakura, a historic coastal town surrounded by nature, just one hour from Tokyo. The best way to explore is by foot - a stroll is a great way to soak up the relaxed atmosphere, and there are street vendors offering traditional snacks by the wayside. You can walk to Hokoku-ji, a Zen temple that features beautiful moss and stone gardens, and an enchanting bamboo forest. It’s possible to try traditional 'Zazen' meditation on Saturdays at Engaku-ji, which is one of the five great Zen temples. The most famous icon of Kamakura is Kotokuin, a Buddhist temple featuring a breathtaking 13-metre tall Buddha statue, thought to have been completed in 1252. I recommend using the short hiking track from Engaku-ji. Also don’t forget to try 'Shirasu' seafood, the speciality of the area!

Max Forrest Max became fascinated by Japan after making friends with a Japanese transfer student while growing up in Sydney, and has been living there for four years running.

A date with Tokyo city

Ayla Yuile @aylayuile Born and raised between Japan and Australia, Ayla's love for the city is equalled by her love for the beach. Even as a native Japanese, she never stops discovering something new each visit.

© David Spencer

Going on a date in Tokyo is essentially a date with the city itself. You get to know each other just by being there, and wherever you look, something fascinating is looking right back at you. My ideal date with Tokyo city begins in Omotesandō, exploring the streets to find a cute cafe to brunch at. The famous Australian brekky spot Bills is there too, and it’s a Tokyoite fave. Coming into the afternoon, I’ll switch things up with the glitz and glam in Ginza, shopping to work up an appetite for a delicious meal at one of the many fine dining spots there. Finally, I’ll conclude my date on a high note at Tokyo Skytree. Looking into the twinkling night view of the Tokyo city certainly leaves you pining for more. And what’s better is that you can keep exploring Tokyo, no matter how late it gets - she’ll be waiting for you. . .


The fire that lit up snowy Nozawa Onsen ‘I went to Nozawa Onsen not sure what to expect,’ recounts Chris of his experience visiting this traditional hot spring village in winter. He was soon won over by the the friendliness of the locals, and the fantastic hospitality at the ryokan inn he stayed in. The show-stopper of Chris's visit was its annual fire festival, the 'Dōsojin Matsuri'. Known as one of Japan's three great fire festivals, it is held in honour of 'Dōsojin', guardian spirits believed to ward off evil. Dōsojin have a diverse significance throughout Japanese communities; in Nozawa Onsen, village men of 25 and 42, which are traditionally considered unlucky ages, are called upon to defend a pyre which is set alight as an offering to local Dōsojin. Chris describes the atmosphere as electric; he was invited to join the festivities by villagers, which was 'mesmerising and unforgettable.'

Tokyo on two wheels

Chris Hocking @hockster111 Chris is a passionate skier, who has been skiing in Japan since the early 2000s. The snow, the culture and the people are what brings him back time and time again - as he puts it, ‘One trip is never enough.’

Melanie booked her trip to Japan wanting to immerse herself in a culture she was unaware of, yet interested in. She had no idea where to go or what to expect, and in her search for tours and experiences, she came across Freewheeling Japan, a cycling tour of Tokyo city. The tour guide was an American ex-pat with a deep understanding of Japanese culture, traditions and local life. Melanie got to explore the backstreets of Shinjuku and Sasazuka, where she got to see how the locals lived, some funky street art and how ‘The Jetsons’ real-life Tokyo could feel. As she describes, ‘The best part about joining a cycling tour is the pacing of the journey. There is so much that can be done in Tokyo; if you are going to Japan for the first time, regardless of how long you are staying, you will thank yourself for doing it on two wheels.’ Melanie Araya @melaniearaya Melanie visited Japan for the first time in March 2017, and she guarantees that she will return! Besides the cats, food and crazy toilets, she was intrigued by the history, tradition and culture.


Gotemba: more than just a vi ew of Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji, for obvious reasons, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Japan. The allure of this sacred mountain was no different for Meg and her friend Liv, who stayed in Gotemba to be close to it. On the way, Meg and Liv quickly realised that this had unexpectedly taken them on an adventure into rural Japan. Besides seeing the ‘incredible, unforgettable view’ of Mount Fuji, Meg and Liv ventured forth into the shopping area of Gotemba, and further out into the countryside for a night at a family spa resort, Tokinosumika. Meg describes the hidden resort as ‘a well-kept secret enjoyed by a loyal clientele.’ The resort had light installations, hot springs, a buffet restaurant and unlimited on-tap beer, which truly captured Meg’s heart. ‘This town offers tourists an alternative side of Japan to its hyper-stimulating cities, where they can immerse themselves in a more local setting.’ Meg Ryan There wasn’t one particular thing that inspired Meg to visit Japan; she always just had a weird fascination with Japanese culture. So when she had saved enough, she knew Japan had to be the first place to go.

Sarah was inspired by the fact that Kyoto is a city where one can come in contact with and experience Japanese culture on a daily basis. Kyoto is introduced as a historical and traditional setting in most researching it. However, Sarah found that Kyoto is also quite an innovative, modern destination. The kawaii culture in Kyoto has a unique blend of traditional and modern culture. ‘Japanese designs/patterns are used to create kawaii clothing, accessories and various products.’ To get the full kawaii experience in Kyoto, Sarah suggests including the International Manga Museum, a visit to purikura (photo booths), and the Saryou Suisen Cafe to check out the 3D Matcha Latte Art. For Pokemon fans, Kyoto also just opened up its first Pokemon Center, too.

A day of kawaii in Kyoto

Sarah Willcoxson Sarah’s interest in Japan was sparked by many different aspects of Japanese culture, including J-pop. She has even lived in Japan as an exchange student, and continues to explore the country today.


Japan with kids: exploring the world of the samurai

Foo d you MUST try in Japan

By Kim-Ling Richards

By Leah Smileski

When my son heard my husband and I discussing a possible trip to Japan, his eyes instantly sparkled, and he whispered 'can we go and see a samurai?' To ease ourselves into the world of the samurai in Tokyo, our first step was to visit the Samurai Museum in Shinjuku. The museum provides free English-speaking tours for groups every 10 to 20 minutes; tour guides lead participants through the exhibits and provide a commentary, which immerses you in the history of the samurai. Our samurai experience didn't stop there. When visiting Kyoto, we continued to follow in the footsteps of these ancient warriors at Nijo Castle. A perfect choice for a slice of Japanese history, the castle is not only one of the seventeen properties in UNESCO's 'Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto': when it comes to samurai history, this is one of the places where it all started - and ended. . .


©Ishikawa Prefecture Tourist Association and Kanazawa Convention Bureau/©JNTO ©Y.Shimizu/©JNTO

Japan is the land of delicious food. With fresh produce and amazing flavours, it offers plenty of options for all of the foodies out there. Here are four must-trys: Okonomiyaki A distant cousin of the pancake, okonomiyaki is simple, but oh-so-satisfying. If you can find it served with noodles on top, you are onto a winner! Taiyaki At a glance, taiyaki appears to be a cookie in the shape of a fish; it’s essentially pancake batter with a delicious filling, cooked in a custom-made waffle iron. Wagashi Wagashi almost look too good to eat. These traditional Japanese sweets are often filled with a red bean paste ('anko'), and have a subtle, delightful flavour. Chawan Mushi Looks can be deceiving, and this goes for chawan mushi. While this egg custard dish appears to be a dessert, it is in fact a savoury appetiser, which is quite more-ish.


TOKYO Speaking to visitors on the ground about six of Tokyo's must-visit spots

From shopping and fashion to delicious food and traditional culture, the bustling capital of Japan has so much to offer, while also being close to attractions like Mount Fuji, Hakone and Nikko. We asked visitors at six of the city's top spots what makes each one feel uniquely Tokyo to them. . .

Tokyo Station

ŠYasufumi Nishi/ŠJNTO

Tokyo Station is a major rail hub with a number of shinkansen bullet train platforms. Recently restored to its 1914 red brick exterior, the station is an attraction in itself. A short walk away is the Imperial Palace. The gardens and the palace moat here are a calming oasis in the centre of Tokyo.

Clean, busy, luxury. Lenz (Germany)

Nice weather, nice people, good food, good beer, clean, and a million things to see! Theo (UK)

Calm, clean, good sushi, architecture. Jassal (UK)



Big, cozy and lots of people! Jennifer (Sweden)

© Y.Shimizu/© JNTO

Shibuya’s scramble crossing, surrounded by huge TV screens and neon signs, is one of the most famous images of Japan. Where Tokyoites come to have fun, it is a hive of shopping, dining and entertainment. One of the area's most well-known buildings is Shibuya 109, a treasure trove of unique fashion.

Amazing, fun, busy. Luiza (Brazil)


Harajuku is the best place to find kawaii fashion!

I’ve visited places in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Nara so far, and Harajuku is my favourite! It’s the best place to find kawaii fashion, as well as delicious crepes and unique souvenirs to take home. It’s all about expressing yourself and I love the fun atmosphere.


Harajuku is the home of Japan’s iconic kawaii (cute) culture. Its Takeshita-dori shopping street is lined with boutiques offering all sorts of cute fashion, and cafes with great crepes and other sweets. Next to Harajuku is Omotesando, an avenue lined with some of Tokyo’s best modern architecture.


Kawaii!! Sarah (France)

Crepes! Gaëlle (France)

@expeditionwonderland Amandine & Yohann (France)

I love Harajuku's unique and open attitude about being yourself. Lois (USA)

A happy amazing scene! Kim (USA)


Taking a bath with the crowd and having beautiful back-drop in urban Tokyo. Corsten (Germany)

We like how two belief systems (Buddhism & Shinto) co-exist peacefully here! Maddie & Claire (USA)

©Taito City/©JNTO

Tokyo’s oldest temple, Senso-ji in Asakusa is a must see. From the giant lantern at its Thunder Gate, the Nakamisedori shopping street leads to the main temple. The grounds also feature a pagoda and zen gardens. One of the best ways to explore this historic area is with a guided rickshaw tour.

Tokyo Skytree

©Taito City/©JNTO

Within walking distance from Asakusa is the 634-metre Tokyo Skytree, the city’s newest landmark, and the tallest structure in Japan. Visit the observation deck to witness breathtaking views of the metropolis all the way to Mount Fuji. Beneath the tower is a shopping centre and aquarium.

What I like abut the Skytree is that it gives people a new perspective. Hannah (USA)

I like the sight! Vaudia (Germany)

Beautiful views! Chris & Leslie (USA)



What a wonderful world... Aldo (Brazil) ©JNTO

Historically Tokyo’s wealthiest area, Ginza’s main street is lined with department stores where you can shop while experiencing the best of Japanese customer service. Ginza is also home to the Kabukiza, an historic theatre that hosts traditional Kabuki plays.

I like the number of unique little cafes! Noah Lawrence (USA) The Cute cafes!! Bekka B (USA)

FOOD WRITER JANE LAWSON TALKS TOKYO I learnt Japanese in high school, where my fascination for Japan began. I first travelled to Tokyo when I was 15 and became hooked so much so that I ended up working for Japan Airlines for a while! I love the culture, food, and friendliness of the Japanese people. Their omotenashi (hospitality) is the icing on the cake of Japan's stunning gardens and temples, local arts and Jane Lawson crafts, and shopping! Tokyo is an A frequent visitor to Japan extremely diverse and exciting city with for more than 30 years, food so very much to do, see and experience. writer Jane Lawson now runs independent tours to the It is wonderfully clean and very safe country. Her works include the making it an excellent city to travel in on Tokyo Style Guide, Milkbar your own as a woman. I love its four defined Memories, Snowflakes and seasons, and their accompanying rituals Schnapps, Yoshoku, and matsuri (festivals). Each area of the city A Little Taste of Japan and has its own personality, and the transport Zenbu Zen, all published by runs like clockwork. I love Asakusa, Yanesen Murdoch Books. and Kagurazaka for a more traditional feel. For a more relaxed vibe I like Kichijoji, Shimokitazawa or Nakameguro. Tokyo is a Tokyo Style Guide city that deserves to be walked all over! https://thefinerthingsintravel.com/tokyo-surprises/


EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. Book via www.shinjuku-robot. com/gdayjapan/ to receive a


DISCOUNT!* Strap yourself in for the Tokyo robot cabaret that will blow you away. A glittering explosion of rampaging robots, dancing girls and taiko drumming, Robot Restaurant is over-the-top entertainment that will beam you into a world of sci-fi done Shinjuku style.

www.shinjuku-robot.com Four shows nightly*: 4:00pm-(Fri-Sun & PH only) | 5:55pm- | 7:50pm- | 9:45pmLocation: 1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo | Admission: ¥8000 | Dinner: ¥1000/¥1500

* Bookings are essential, and can be made from up to a month in advance at www.shinjuku-robot.com/gdayjapan/. Show times may change without notice; check www.shinjuku-robot.com for updates. * The ¥2000 discount through www.shinjuku-robot.com/gdayjapan/ applies to the total fee of a single booking, regardless of the number of people on it.

TWO DAYS IN HOT SPRING HEAVEN, HAKONE With spectacular views of Mount Fuji and abundant natural hot springs, Hakone is a rewarding short trip close to Tokyo

Hakone has long been a favourite getaway spot for Tokyoites. An historic hot spring town located some 80 kilometres away from the city in Kanagawa Prefecture, it is set around the foot of the 1,438-metre Mount Hakone in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. A complex volcano, the mountain's glassy caldera lake of Lake Ashi is one of Japan's greatest scenic areas, with the 3,776-metre cone of Mount Fuji rising gracefully on the horizon. Mount Hakone also blesses this town with more than 300 spring heads - over half the number in Kanagawa Prefecture - harnessed by 17 different hot spring areas locally. Known as the '17 Hakone Hot Springs', their abundance and mineral content is legendary. The biodiversity of Hakone makes it a renowned location for admiring nature's beauty throughout the four seasons. In addition to the national park area, prominent local parks and gardens in the town include the Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands, with some 1,700 plant varieties in cultivation, and Houraien Park, a vast Japanese


garden with groves of SomeiYoshino and weeping cherry trees a major spring highlight. During Japan's Edo period (16031867), Hakone developed as the tenth post town from Tokyo on the Tōkaidō, an ancient highway to Kyoto. Its original samurai-era checkpoint, the Hakone Sekisho, has been restored today, and is another one of the area's essential spots - together with Hakone Shrine. There is so much to see and do in Hakone, that many visitors from Tokyo prefer to use an Odakyu Electric Railway discount ticket known as the Hakone Freepass. For set intervals of two or three days, it provides open access and discounts on designated local attractions, trains and buses, as well as the cable car, ropeway, and sightseeing cruise line, from ¥5,140 for a twoday adult pass from Shinjuku Station. This makes it possible to save both time and money while enjoying Hakone's signature spots. Here, we present a model itinerary for a classic two-day trip to Hakone, taking in the town's most unforgettable highlights.


Tokyo Airport Limousine

Chiba Yamanashi

Kanagawa HakoneTozan Line

Mt. Fuji

Odakyu Line

Haneda Airport

HakoneRopeway Lake Ashi




Narita and Haneda airports to Shinjuku Station Airport Limousine Bus services provide direct access to and from Shinjuku Station, major hotels, and the airports of Narita and Haneda. A Hakone Freepass includes return travel to the Hakone area on the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku Station. Ticket counters are located inside airport terminal buildings; the adult single fare from Narita Airport is ¥3,100, the reduced adult return fare is ¥4,500, and the adult single fare from Haneda Airport is ¥1,230. Fares include up to two 30-kg pieces of luggage, up to 50×60×120cm each. From Narita Airport, the Limousine & Hakone Freepass combination ticket is now popular; including a single or return bus fare plus a two-day Hakone Freepass, it can be purchased at a discounted price of ¥7,740 (total saving ¥500), and return for ¥9,640 (total saving ¥1,700). A child rate is also available. If you make your purchase at Narita Airport, you can avoid the exchanging queue at Shinjuku Station.

Learn more at http://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/

Shinjuku Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station On the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku Station, visitors to Hakone-Yumoto Station use two main services: the regular express, which takes two hours, and limited express, which takes 85 minutes. A Hakone Freepass (¥5,140 from Shinjuku Station) includes the regular service fare, and pass holders can upgrade to the limited express for an additional fare of ¥890 (one way). Known as the 'Romancecar', it features an in-car food and beverage service, and observation deck seating. Reservations are required, and can be made over the counter in English at the Odakyu Sightseeing Service Center in Shinjuku.

Learn more at http://www.odakyu.jp/english/center/ 25




Owakudani geothermal area, Mount Fuji, Lake Ashi and Tonosawa hot springs

At 1,050 metres above sea level, the Owakudani geothermal area offers one of Hakone's best views of Mount Fuji. This valley steams and hisses with vapour coming straight through the earth's crust, and is a rich source of natural hot spring water. The enormous black egg at the photo point in front of Mount Fuji is a symbol of Owakudani, a 'kuro-tamago' egg. Believed to add seven years to one's life, these eggs are soft-boiled in the bubbling springs, blackening their shells and intensifying their flavour. The spicy curry is also recommended eating for lunch in Owakudani. Continue on the ropeway from here to Togendai, and take in more postcard views of Mount Fuji. Bursting with colourful flowers and foliage from spring through autumn, this stunning landscape can also be explored up close on the trail from Owakudani to Kojiri, near Togendai - check in advance for any closures due to volcanic activity. At Togendai, the rich blue of Lake Ashi is simply breathtaking. Board a pirate ship cruise here, across the lake to the Moto-Hakone pier. And to round off this day of glorious sights, immerse yourself in Hakone's rich hot spring heritage at the Tonosawa Ichinoyu Honkan - a centrepiece of its Tonosawa Onsen hot spring area.

HAKONE'S PIONEERING HOT SPRING HOTEL In 1630, the Tonosawa Ichinoyu Honkan was established as the pioneering hot spring hotel of Tonosawa Onsen, one of the most iconic hot springs of Hakone. A heritage building featured in the work of nineteenth-century ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Hiroshige, the hotel is a flagship property of the Ichinoyu Group. Ichinoyu's seventh hotel, the Susukinohara Ichinoyu, newly opened in July 2017, and boasts magnificent outdoor hot spring baths in all of its 38 guest rooms.

Learn more at http://www.ichinoyu.co.jp/eng/ 26



DAY TWO: HISTORY, CULTURE AND ART Hakone Sekisho checkpoint, Hakone Shrine, and the Hakone Open-Air Museum

As the tenth post town on the old Tōkaidō highway from Tokyo, Hakone was strategically important to the samurai government of Japan's Edo era (1603-1867). Its Hakone Sekisho building served as a checkpoint for inter-provincial traffic, and seated on the shore of Lake Ashi, the present reconstruction is a time capsule of traditional architecture and life on the highway. A short walk away lies Hotoriya, a cafe and gift shop on the pier. Enjoy a hearty lunch or drink while appreciating the magnificent view over Lake Ashi at its Cafe Komon; on the first floor of Hotoriya, the Nihon Ichiban Ashinoko Shop is a recommended stop for high-quality craft and fine food from Hakone. As the afternoon beckons, continue through the brilliant red torii gates down Cedar Avenue on the old Tōkaidō highway to Hakone Shrine. Consecrated in 757, the shrine buildings fill this mystical forest beneath the sacred Mount Kamiyama (1,438 metres) with solemn grandeur. The final stop of the day is the innovative Hakone Open-Air Museum. With a fabulous collection of works by Picasso numbering over 300, an outdoor sculpture park set in spacious gardens, indoor exhibition spaces, and a natural hot spring foot bath, it is an inspirational and memorable way to conclude a trip to Hakone.

Trip advice from an expat I love the rough landscape of Owakudani with its fumes, sulphuric colours and the sulphuric smell. It feels like being on another planet. The black eggs are a perfect and funny snack in the middle of the tour. Café Komon has a wonderful view of the lake, and it is a nice place to sit and relax before going to the next stop.

Nicolas Soergel is from Germany. He has lived in Japan for 16 years, and been in the Hakone area since 2012.

MODEL ITINERARY ROUTE In addition to the regular express fare from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto Station, a ¥5,140 two-day adult Hakone Freepass covers all travel costs on this route. DAY ONE 1. Hakone-Yumoto Station to Gora Station, via Hakone Tozan Line 2. Gora Station to Sounzan Station via Hakone Tozan Cable Car 3. Sounzan Station to Owakudani Station via Hakone Ropeway 4. Owakudani Station to Togendai Station via Hakone Ropeway 5. Togendai Pier to Moto-Hakone Pier via Hakone Sightseeing Cruise 6. Moto-Hakone to Kamitonosawa (near Tonosawa Ichinoyu Honkan) via Hakone Tozan Bus DAY TWO 7. Kamitonosawa to Hakone Sekisho-ato via Hakone Tozan Bus 8. Walk to Hotoriya, then continue down Cedar Avenue on the old Tōkaidō highway to Hakone Shrine 9. Hakone Shrine (stop: Hakone Jinja Iriguchi) to Hakone Open-Air Museum (stop: Ninotaira Iriguchi) via Hakone Tozan Bus 10. Chokoku-no-Mori Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station via Hakone Tozan Line

Learn more at http://www.odakyu.jp/english/deels/freepass/hakone/ 27

WHEN THE SNOW MELTS Japan is stunning to visit at any time of year

Feast your eyes upon four of Japan's great seasonal activities and destinations in this feature. Although they showcase some of its quintessential natural and cultural heritage, these highlights can easily remain hidden behind the deep powder of winter that mesmerises skiers and snowboarders. Here we invite you to step out from the shadow of Japan's wintry charms, and experience its excitement and wonder in spring, summer and autumn. . .

© JTA and JNTO

ENLIGHTENED VIEWING Koyasan blazes with a palette of red and gold in autumn


© Wakayama Tourism Federation

© Wakayama Tourism Federation

Among Japan's splendid array of famous autumn foliage spots, the monastic community of Koyasan stands tall with its resplendent Buddhist architecture, and primeval old-growth forests - the ultimate canvas for the palette of seasonal colour. Geographically resembling the shape of an enormous lotus, the community is part of Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range, a World Heritage-listed area in Japan's Koya-Ryujin QuasiNational Park. From late October to early November, its spectacular mountain landscape ignites in a blaze of deep

crimson and gold foliage, making this one of the most magical times to be there. To immerse yourself in the ancient traditions of Koyasan, a stay at a temple lodging ('shukubo') is essential. Part cultural experience, part wellness retreat, and part spiritual practice, guests enjoy a healthy selection of seasonal Shojin ryori vegetarian cuisine, and are able to step into temple life with activities such as meditation and sutra copying.

WHERE THE RAPIDS ARE Japan's best white water rafting is in Tokushima

The Yoshino River flows down exhilarating drops and over boiling rapids as it cascades out to sea from the mountainous interior of Shikoku, one of Japan's main islands. Join a rafting tour down this emerald-green wonder, which takes in the ancient edifices of Oboke and Koboke gorges, for a roller coaster ride through some of Japan's best outdoor scenes in summer. The outstanding scenic highlights of the Yoshino River include serried marble formations rising up on either side of the gorge area, presenting intricate works of natural sculpture that contrast sharply with the lush foliage above. A popular base for raft trips on the river is Miyoshi City in Tokushima Prefecture, which also has excellent local hot springs such as Iya Onsen. After enjoying a full or half day out on the water, local guides take guests to soak here and in other local onsen, to relax after the action. Raft trips from Miyoshi City also operate in English, and the rafting season runs from July through to October.

WHEELS OVER WATER Experience the Seto Inland Sea region by bicycle

Š Hiroshima Prefecture and JNTO

Did you know that it's possible to cross Japan's Seto Inland Sea by bicycle? A 60-kilometre route known as the Shimanami Kaido connects Honshu, the largest of Japan's main islands, with its southwestern neighbour of Shikoku. Covering nine giant-sized bridges, it is a fantastic way to experience the coastal landscape and culture of this scenic area of Japan. To cycle the route, start in one of the cities of Imabari (Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku) or Onomichi (Hiroshima Prefecture, Honshu); rental bicycles are available locally.

As it crosses the Seto Inland Sea, the Shimanami Kaido passes through the Geiyo Islands scattered across the middle of it. Popular in spring and summer for their brilliant flowers in full bloom, these islands also harbour interesting cultural highlights, such as Suigun Castle on Inno-shima Island, and offer delicious opportunities to enjoy local produce. The Hanaguri Seto observation point on Omi-shima island is an essential stop off for a snap of the ride, with its beautiful coastal backdrop.



Highlights of Kamikochi, the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes, and the old Nakasendo


Kii Peninsula, Wakayama Prefecture


In ancient Japan, the mystical forests of the Kii Peninsula were home to wandering mountain priests, who secluded themselves in this mountainous area of Wakayama Prefecture to undergo spiritual training. Kumano Sanzan, a fusion of Buddhist and Shinto monuments and sacred sites in the heart of the peninsula, developed from the ninth century; over subsequent ages, the footsteps of countless pilgrims from all walks of life have been imprinted on pilgrimage routes from the major cities of ancient Japan to pay their respects at the shrines. Known as the Kumano Kodo, they are part of the 'Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range' World Heritage-listed area, and feature countless awe-inspiring views such as Nachi Waterfall, thundering into the valley below the graceful three-storey pagoda of Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple.


Northern Japanese Alps, Nagano Prefecture

© JTA and JNTO

The Kamikochi area of Japan's Chubu Sangaku National Park showcases alpine scenery done to perfection. A narrow, biodiverse and volcanic basin at an altitude of 1,500 metres, two of its essential views are over the ponds of Taisho and Tashiro. The crystalline waters of the former reflect the impressive tiered peaks of Mt Hotaka and Mt Yakedake; meanwhile, Tashiro Pond is revered for the beautiful alpine plants that blossom on its surface, decorating its glassy reflection of the surrounds. Reaching heights in the vicinity of 3,000 metres, the ranges towering around Kamikochi also dominate the horizon on both sides of the nearby Kappa Bridge; the season to appreciate its alpine flora is May through July, while autumn foliage starts to turn in October.


Kiso Valley, Nagano and Gifu prefectures

© Nagano Prefecture and JNTO


Complete with cobbled streets, beautifully preserved samurai architecture and quaint rural landscapes, the post towns of Magome and Tsumago are a Miyazaki film brought to life. Much remains intact scenically here since these towns became romanticised by a series of nineteenth-century ukiyo-e prints depicting the 69 post towns of the Nakasendo, a 540-kilometre samurai highway between old Tokyo and Kyoto. Today, the eight-kilometre stage of the highway between Magome (Gifu Prefecture) and Tsumago (Nagano Prefecture) is enjoyed as a rewarding two- to three-hour walk, which features some of the most authentic scenery of the old Nakasendo in the days of the samurai. Tours are offered in English of Tsumago's old rest house ('waki-honjin'), an Important Cultural Property of Japan, which provide an interesting glimpse of life on the road in Edo Japan, 1603 to 1867.


The hot springs of Kinosaki, Beppu and Kurokawa won't let you down

KINOSAKI ONSEN Tajima, Hyogo Prefecture

© Toyooka city and JNTO

Local hospitality has long been refined as an art form in Kinosaki Onsen, where the done thing is a tour of the town's seven public bathhouses (soto-yu). Set in the rolling pastures of the Tajima region, close to the Sea of Japan, Kinosaki Onsen has been known as a healing destination for some 1,400 years. It has retained the charm of old-world Japan, which sets it apart today as a timeless classic of hot spring bathing, where robed inn guests stroll meditatively through cobbled walkways, lined with beautiful established trees and water features. Guests at hot spring inns in Kinosaki Onsen also benefit from an excellent opportunity to indulge in the local delicacies of the Tajima region, including snow crab, Tajima beef and boutique sake.


Oita Prefecture, Kyushu

© Promotion Airport Environment Improvement Foundation and JNTO

Diversity and quantity. If there was ever a hot spring destination abundant in these natural endowments, it is Beppu. Here, Japan's most abundant supply of steaming natural spring water pours forth from the volcanic earth; visitors descend into a tour of its eight 'hells' ('jigoku meguri'), indicating the praiseworthy nature of the geothermally heated bounty. With names like 'Blood Pond', 'Furnace' and 'Shaven Monk's Head', these springs possess exceptional natural traits in a category of their own, including blood-red waters and muddy bubbling brews. Set amidst the spectacular natural environment of Beppu, a jigoku meguri is one of the ultimate ways to sit back and meditate on its rich tapestry of seasonal colour.


Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu

© Akimasa Yuasa and JNTO

Will it be the cave baths? Or the riverside? Outdoor hot spring bathers are spoilt for choice in Kurokawa Onsen, a small hot spring community of Kyushu in Japan's south. The village makes it easy for visitors to maximise their time exploring its hot spring baths, using the handy 'Nyuto Tegata' entry passes - which provide entry to three baths for ¥1,300. With yukata-clad inn guests and visitors strolling about its quaint streets, and beautiful seasonal blooms, the village has plenty to offer in terms of atmosphere - in addition to its excellent hot spring waters. For families and groups, some bathhouses and inns also provide group baths, which can be booked for set intervals. Head to the Kazenoya Visitor Center for bookings, brochures, and importantly, yukata!


Japan’s number 1 sporting goods shopping district, Kanda-Ogawa Machi - loved by generations of skiers.

For over 50 years, the town of Kanda-Ogawa Machi has been the mecca of sporting good stores. Just a 10 minute walk away from Japan’s electric city, Akihabara, this is a different kind of town, dedicated to sports. This vibrant town is a town like no other in Japan if not the world, offering a fantastic selection of stores with an awesome range of sporting goods, regardless of the season - and this includes ski and snowboarding equipments. Many Aussies have stopped off at Kanda-Ogawa Machi to grab the latest ski and snowboarding goods on their way to snow holiday destinations like Hokkaido and Nagano. Since this town is located just a train ride away from Tokyo Station, it’s an easy detour to make, especially when there are stores like Ski Shop Vail and Fuso Ski & Bootstune.

Access ‘off the hook’ expertise at Ski Shop Vail.

Ski Shop Vail opened in June 2012, but has already established itself within Kanda-Ogawa Machi as a major player. A huge part of its refined customer service comes from the fact that the store belongs to a family of specialty stores that have been in the area for over 50 years. The modern, glass building is a welcoming and pleasant space to look, try and buy. It’s a spacious and neat store with photographs of snowy mountains tastefully placed throughout the store to create an exciting atmosphere to shoppers. From the moment you step into the storefront up to the second floor, this store is filled with great products from major brands and boutique brands. A grand selection of skis, snowboards and boots welcomes customers as they walk into the ground floor - the selection of free-skiing and backcountry style items as well as bindings for climbing, is the best out of the whole Kanda-Ogawa Machi area. Once you are upstairs, another fantastic range of ski/ snowboarding wear and accessories for a variety of different ski/ snowboard styles awaits for your discovery. Just as one of the English speaking staff to help you style the best snow-look for the season. With current and ex professional skiers and snowboarders working as staff here, not only will you have access to great products, but the staff will provide you with great knowledge and advice. Beginning your snow holiday by stopping off at Ski Shop Vail, is definitely a great idea.

SKI SHOP VAIL Level 1, Kimura Building, 2-1 Ogawamachi. Kanda,Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Japan 101-0052 Phone: 03-5577-6411 www.shop-vail.com

Travelling times to Kanda-Ogawa Machi From Haneda Airport: Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho station -> JR Yamanote or KeihinTohoku line to Tokyo station -> JR Chuo line to Ochanomizu station. Approx. 40 minutes of travel From Narita Airport: Keihinn Keikyu Skyliner to Nippori station -> JR Yamanote or Keihin-Tohoku line to Tokyo staion -> JR Chuo line to Ochanomizu station. Approx. 60 minutes of travel

Fuso Ski & Bootstune - a tourist-friendly store with unique qualities like no other. Out of the many sporting and ski/snowboard specialty stores in Kanda-Ogawa Machi area, the Fuso Ski & Bootstune store has one of the biggest floorspace and widest range of products. It’s also a duty-free store with several English speaking staff, therefore adding ‘tourist-friendly’ to one of their many fantastic attributes. The vast range of products cover from expert model ski gear and side country gears and there’s plenty of skiwear and accessories for all levels of skill, including goods to help maintain your equipments. Products from big, popular brands cover the store but be sure to check out products by smaller brands, exclusive to Fuso Ski & Bootstune. This store offers real expertise in many ways, one way is to have a chat to one of their pro-skier staff, who will give you expert advice and help you prepare for your next ski trip. But the real underrated expertise they offer is their qualified shoe fitter. The shoe fitter will help with solving current ski boots troubles, assist you in finding the perfect pair of boots matching your needs and even customising the boots to fit your feet. When in Kanda-Ogawa Machi area, be sure to visit Fuso Ski & Bootstune, for excellent products and to access expertise in all aspects of skiing. The tourist-friendly atmosphere and the professional staff that belong there will no doubt help you have the best time in the snow like never before.

FUSO SKI & BOOTSTUNE 2-3-6 Ogawamachi, Kanda,Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Japan 101-0052 Phone: 03-3293-8965 www.fusosports.jp

Enjoy the Japanese snow life! Snowboard Shop


3-2-1 Kanda-Ogawa-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan Phone : 03-3259-2068 Web : www.f-janck.com

F.JANCK The four storeys that make up F.JANCK is packed with snowboarding goods and equipment for every kind of snowboarder. They stock over 70 brand names, which has made them number 1 nationwide. Their casting technology for custom made boots and insoles are the top of the line, there are many repeat shoppers that take advantage of the store. From adult and kids equipments to backcountry goods, the experienced and knowledgeable staff will lead you to the product most suited to your needs.

And we supported by the best. LIBERTY

Snowboard Shop


2-6-1 Kanda-Ogawa-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan Phone : 03-5282-8630 Web : www.liberty-snow.com

Liberty is the store decorated with two bold lightening strikes on its shop building, tucked away behind the main street of Kanda’s sporting goods district. The selection of snowboards and other equipments at this store are slightly different to any other stores around, and it includes plenty from Japanese brand names too. There are many interesting products that will surely excite any snowboard aficionado. It’s a kind of store where you can come to check out the latest trend in snowboarding.


Snowboard Shop


2-4-5 Kanda-Ogawa-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan Phone : 03-5282-2477 Web : www.onemake-snow.com

This snowboard store, newly opened just three years ago, is located right on the main street of Kanda’s sporting goods district. The spacey shop floor is filled with gorgeous displays of many different kinds of snowboarding goods. You’ll want to take your time and go through the tastefully placed displays while shopping here. There’s also a tuneup factory attached to the store where you can take your board for maintenance for the best ride you can possibly enjoy.


Amazing winter resort areas, accommodation, activities and attractions Deep powder, rich culture and abundant nature put Japan in a class of its own as a winter holiday destination. This guide introduces Hokkaido and NaganoNiigata, both heavy snowfall areas of the country which have hosted the Winter Olympics. From vibrant, cosmopolitan resorts to rustic, rugged backcountry, they offer a unique experience that's hard to resist. . .





©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO

©Yamanouchi Town/©JNTO ©Yamagata Prefecture/©JNTO

© JNTO_2

Seasonal fronts generated by Siberian winds cross the Sea of Japan in winter, and unleash enormous dumps of fine, dry powder as they move over the Japanese archipelago. Situated only slightly inland from this side of the country, Hokkaido's resort area of Niseko is a perfect example of the result: more than ten metres a season of incredible snow, from December to April.

Japan's winter resorts are typically set within volcanically active regions, near historic hot spring towns. Renowned since ancient times for their healing minerals and ions, hot spring baths are the ultimate way to relax after a day in the snow. The perfect complement to this is a traditional Japanese banquet at a hot spring inn, with fresh, locally harvested produce.


©Nagano Prefecture/©JNTO

©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO

From soba buckwheat noodlemaking to samurai tea ceremony, a wide variety of cultural workshops can be experienced around Japan's snow country. Snow activities and tours and also invite guests to visit colourful local festivals, see adorable natural attractions - such as the snow monkeys - try ice fishing, go snow-shoe hiking, and more. . .


Hokkaido Shinkansen

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Shin-Aomori Tohoku Shinkansen Yamagata Shinkansen


Shinjo Sendai Yamagata Niigata Fukushima

Joetsu Shinkansen

Nagano Takasaki

Omiya Tokyo

Hokkaido and Niigata prefectures both have coastline on the Sea of Japan, immediately in the path of the Siberian winter weather, while Nagano Prefecture enjoys the deep snow of the Northern Japanese Alps. Fresh seafood from the Sea of Japan is especially plentiful in Hokkaido and Niigata during winter, and makes for sublime eating as sashimi; in Nagano, meanwhile, it's the perfect time of year to enjoy marbled Shinshu wagyu beef. Nagano and Niigata can be accessed quickly and efficiently from Tokyo by bullet train in under 90 minutes, and with plenty of quality rental gear available, it is possible to go out to the snow for the day with no more than a backpack. Domestic flights connect Tokyo with Hokkaido in around 1 hour and 45 minutes.


FIVE BIG YEARS Highlights from a century of skiing in Japan 1911


A demonstration of skiing down Mt Kanaya, Niigata Prefecture, by visiting AustroHungarian army officer Theodor von Lerch in 1911 is credited as the birth of the sport in Japan. For many locals of Japan's snow country, skiing changed winter forever from



Competitive skiing in Japan started in the snow of Otaru, on Hokkaido's Sea of Japan coast, with the inaugural All-Japan Ski Championships of 1923. A testament to the instantaneous popularity of skiing around Japan after having arrived just 12 years



and bronze medals in ski jumping events. It also transformed Hokkaido's largest city with 14 new winter sports facilities, new rail and metro lines, and new roads, opening up access to the great winter sports areas nearby of Teineyama, Okurayama and Miyanomori.


As host of the 1998 Winter Olympics, Nagano Prefecture put itself on the map as a new global snow sports destination. This year featured the debut of snowboarding in the competition, which was held with alpine racing in the Shiga Kogen resort area; meanwhile, the villages of Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen

provided steep, deep powder for ski events. Also making its debut for this Winter Olympics was the new Nagano Shinkansen bullet train service, which halved the previous-best travelling time by train between Tokyo and Nagano City to a record-breaking 79 minutes.


In the 2011-2012 season, resorts around Hokkaido commemorated a century since 1912, when Theodor von Lerch brought skiing to the island. The Austro-Hungarian army officer made tracks down Mt YĹ?tei, Niseko's famous peak, and visited the central Hokkaido city of Asahikawa to provide instruction


earlier, by 1928, Japanese skiers were racing at the second Winter Olympics in St Moritz, Switzerland. In 1956, alpine racer Chiharu Igaya became Japan's first Winter Olympic medallist, with silver at Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy.


To commemorate Japan's first Winter Olympics at home, Sapporo's snow festival showcased a 25 metre-high sculpture of Gulliver, comprised of some 1,300 truckloads of snow. The event was a memorable one for local athletes, who were awarded gold, silver


something they endured, to something they looked forward to with excitement. Lerch was promptly invited to instruct the Japanese army in skiing technique, and began teaching members of the public from 1912, when he also toured Nagano and Hokkaido prefectures.

in skiing technique. This saw the on-going popularity of snow sports in the area: Niseko Grand Hirafu opened in 1961, with what was then Japan's longest lift, and unveiled an upgraded gondola and new Mountain Center in 2011-2012, looking ahead to the next century of snow sports on Hokkaido.


Snowed under in Hokkaido With remote national parkland where bears still bathe in natural hot springs, Hokkaido is in many ways the outback of Japan. Instead of extreme heat, however, it is a land of extreme cold: Siberian weather fronts, heavy with moisture from the Sea of Japan, bombard the island with champagne powder snow every winter. Thickly blanketing its volcanic, mountainous landscape, this is what dreams are made of for skiers and snowboarders, who can't stop going back for more. . .

Resort Data Icons Snow depth Terrain


© Furano Tourism Association/© JNTO


Asahikawa • Kurodake Asahikawa• Kamui• • Asahidake Ashibetsu• • Tokachidake Furano• •Sapporo • Tomamu

New Chitose •Niseko • Rusutsu

Tokachi Obihiro

Longest run Gondolas Chairlifts Vertical drop Steepest slope Snow depth, terrain, longest run, and the number of gondolas and lifts at ski resorts are displayed as icons for quick comparison. Snow depth figures are a guide only, and may fluctuate from season to season.


Your Hokkaido Holiday, Your Choice Be the master of your destiny with your own mode of transport. There is nothing more exciting than travelling to a foreign country like Japan. But what if there was a way to make it so much more than that, a way to turn it into a true adventure. How? You can be the master of your holiday destiny, or destinations rather by having your own mode of transport. Of course, Japan is abundant in public and private transport services, but to have your own car is going to add that extra bit of freedom. To drive in Japan, you must firstly have an International Driving Permit in addition to a valid Australian driving license. In Australia you can get this from your state and territory motoring clubs such as NRMA. It is also important that you are prepared with travel insurance that covers driving as well.

Once in Japan with your driving license, you must drive with your International Driving Permit, your Australian license and passport on you at all times. At Car Rental Hokkaido, there are English speaking staff that can help you ensure you have everything you need and how to use the GPS and other features of the car. They are also available by phone of WhatsApp when in need as well. From small compact cars to large 10-seater wagons, you’ll get to choose the car just right for you. Over the winter season, they’re prepared with studies tyre and 4WD as well. So will you take the wheel and take control on your next Hokkaido adventure?

Rent a car with Car Rental Hokkaido and take charge of your own holiday in Hokkaido!

Niseko branch

Shin-Chitose Airport Branch

Address: 355-2 Soga, Niseko, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

Address: 4-9-1 Mamachi, Chitose-shi, Hokkaido

Phone: (+81) 901 521 4040

Phone: (+81) 123 22 4040, (+81) 901 521 4040

With English customer service available, renting a car is easy as ABC with us. We have various types of vehicles from big to small, and all come installed with English GPS navigation. For the winter season we will prepare with studies tyres and of course, we have 4WD available too. Also available are portable Wi-Fi device and SIM card rentals. 1. Compact Car Class

2. Mini Van

3. Wagon (8-seater) Class

4. Premium Passenger Van

5. Premium 6. Premium Passenger Van Passenger Van 9 Seat 10 Seat (B Class License) (D Class License)

Car Rental Hokkaido http://carrental.jpn.com/ What’s app: (+81) 0901 521 4040 Phone: (+81) 901 521 4040 E-mail: rikkyluo@gmail.com

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-> Vast quantities of Japan's best powder -> World-class facilities -> Loads of after-ski entertainment Hanazono Onsen



Iwaonupuri Goshiki Onsen

Nisekomoiwa Ski Ground



Niseko Grand Hirafu Hirafu Moiwasan Hot Spring Village Niseko Village Annupuri Ski Grounds

Konbu Onsen Yunosato Onsen


Main Road Railway Expressway


What is it that makes the snow holiday experience at Niseko so addictive? Is it the free and easy off-piste policy? The nightlife? The parks, schools and variety of snow activities to choose from? The diverse spread of riders who visit the resort as families, mates, couples and solo shows that it’s all of this, and more. Abundant in fresh local seafood and vegetables, Niseko also boasts beautiful historic sites such as the 4,000 year-old stone circle near its Higashiyama ski area. And tucked away nearby in the stunning

Niseko-Shakotan-Otaru Kaigan QuasiNational Park area is Konbu Onsen, a secluded hot spring enclave. As an international ski destination, Niseko


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remained buried beneath the powder until the early 2000s. When Australian property developers caught wind of its enormous potential as a resort, with reliable champagne powder dumps averaging 14 metres a season, and a low-lying altitude within easy reach of facilities at the base and international airports, they made a move. For Australian riders, the added perk was no jet lag, and according to the local town of Kutchan, over 7,500 visited the area in 2005 - a massive increase on the just over 200 who visited in 2001.

The powder that brought them in comes with cold winds all the way from Russia, and is served in bulk from December to April. Ever light and fluffy, riders describe it as an icy cloud, giving them a feeling of weightlessness; its low moisture content, of less than 10% during the peak season, is what produces this incredible effect. Niseko is made up of four resorts: Niseko Grand Hirafu, Annupuri, Niseko Village and Hanazono, which have teamed up to form Niseko United, offering visitors streamlined access to some 2,000 acres of terrain for

Hokkaido Resort Liner Hokkaido’s biggest bus operator

Hokkaido Resort Liner has the largest ski bus network in Hokkaido, providing comfortable and affordable transfers to over 300,000 guests each winter.

Phone: +81-11-200-0506


Bookings open mid September! 44

Hokkaido Resort Liner bus transfers are the ideal way to travel from the airport to your resort accommodation, linking to every major resort and popular tourist destinations with regular daily services departing from Sapporo and New-Chitose airport (domestic & international) to all ski resorts including Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Furano, Tomamu.

all levels. It is connected by an extensive network of 27 chair lifts and 3 gondolas, and with an All Mountain Pass, riders enjoy complete freedom to experience it all. What makes a day in Niseko for many is the fantastic range of restaurants and bars to wind down at, between the quieter Annupuri and Niseko Village side of the resort, and the more lively Hirafu area. Book ahead during the season, because with everything from fresh local sushi to Mexican on the menu, dining out is popular and very reasonably priced. After dinner,

Sapporo Ramen Daishin Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016, famed ramen restaurant Daishin Sapporo has now come to Kutchan!

Phone: 0136-55-8818 1-11 Minami10 Nishi1, Kutchan Town OPEN: 11:00 - 20:00 Closed Tuesday http://sapporo-daishin.jp/

Hirafu is a happening go-to with its wide range of places to drink, including wine bars and izakayas - and with no curfews at many of the local lodges and other accommodation, there's plenty of time to relax and enjoy them.

How long does the journey take from? New Chitose Airport: 2 hrs 45 min Sapporo: 2.5-3 hrs Further Information nisekotourism.com

Japanese Foods & Sushi Restaurant

SAKAMOTO Modern Japanese Dining

A hidden gem. Kyotostyle exterior with decor reminiscent of bygone Japan. Delicious Hokkaido dishes. Open all winter (closed on unfixed days) 18:00-23:00 (L.O. 22:30) 10-5, Kita 3 Nishi 1, Kutchan

Phone: 0136-22-0556


A superbly refined, contemporary Japanese dining experience awaits you at An Dining/Cafe & Bar. Located within the gorgeous Ki Niseko Hotel, located right at the base of Niseko-Hirafu ski resort, next to the gondola, this restaurant is loved by both the Japanese and overseas tourists. An Dining/Cafe & Bar is led by Chef Maeda, who has a total of eleven years of experience in Australia at award winning restaurants. He spent 8 years as executive chef at Wasabi Restaurant & Bar in Noosa, then 4 years at Sake Brisbane as head chef. His deep knowledge of the culinary arts and Japanese as well as his experience in Australia, translates into the vision he has for these two eateries. Chef Maeda’s vision is to invite foreign visitors along with Japanese people to enjoy a new kind of Japanese cuisine. Chef Maeda and his team of Japanese and foreign chefs have created this new Japanese cuisine that is the marriage of authentic Japanese food and foreign techniques and presentation styles. He has introduced a fresh perspective on authentic Japanese food for both foreign and Japanese customers. Chef Maeda is fully committed to providing a dining experience that showcases Hokkaido and of course, Japanese produces. He has personally travelled across Hokkaido to source the freshest produces, and in addition to this, he has also thought of how to balance the benefits of the customer and the environment by sourcing organic and non-GMO produce where available.

AN Dining Cafe & Bar Next to Grand Hirafu Gondola 1F Hotel Ki Niseko, 183-43 Aza-Yamada, Kutchan-cho Phone: +81-136-22-5151 Email: eat@andining.com www.andining.com

His attention to detail doesn’t just stop at the produces. He also has a great understanding of how differently each and every customer wants their food prepared. An Dining/Cafe & Bar are completely vegetarian and vegan friendly, and they’re flexible with changing the menu according to your preferred diet. Chef Maeda’s passion for contemporary Japanese food and local produces shows in his menu. It speaks to diners of all cultures while it still being authentically Japanese. At An Dining/Cafe & Bar, you can enjoy Chef Maeda’s creations for breakfast and lunch, but also for a luxurious, tantalising dinner service.

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Niseko Grand Hirafu

www.grand-hirafu.jp/winter/en/ | Yamada 204, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun | 2+81-136-22-0109 | Days 8:30-20:30, Nights 18:30-20:30 (Limited time only) | Travelling times to Grand Hirafu New Chitose Airport: 2 hrs (car), Sapporo: 2 hrs 30 min (train) Dec





















WORLD CLASS Niseko Grand Hirafu is the biggest resort in Niseko, with the lion's share of terrain on the 1,308-metre Mount Niseko Annupuri. It has 30 diverse courses, including 9 of more than a kilometre, and a 5.6-kilometre long cruiser. Tree runs, fresh powder and panoramic views all feature on a grand scale, over 940 metres of vertical. Niseko Grand Hirafu's snowboard park and moguls also continue to satisfy, and resort provides snowmobiling and snow rafting as additional options to enjoy the powder.

AI-CARUMBA Bar BARUNBA Barunba is Indonesian for good wave. Drinks from ÂĽ600

This cocktail is highly sought after, many come in specifically for it. Be sure to try this cocktail that is exclusive to Barunba!


170-50 Aza Yamada, Kutchan Phone: 0136-55-5615 Open: 19:00-02:00 (Last order 01:30)


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Visit the Base (Dot base) Ski Center at Niseko Grand Hirafu for the Niseko Grand Hirafu Snow School, which coaches riders of all levels and does powder guiding and hiking trips, deep into the beautiful natural reserve area around the resort. The potential of the powder snow at Niseko Grand Hirafu was first uncovered in 1912, when Austro-Hungarian army Major Theodor von Lerch visited the slopes of nearby Mount YĹ?tei. He had just introduced skiing to Japan in 1911, and 50 years later,

in 1961, what was then Japan's longest chairlift was built at Hirafu for the All-Japan Alpine Ski Championships. At the start of the 2016-2017 season, Niseko Grand Hirafu unveiled a newly upgraded King No. 3 Lift, which has been expanded from a triple to a quad, and gets even more riders to its summit with a faster, more comfortable ride. The lift's Sanroku station has also been extended downhill for streamlined access from the Hirafu Gondola station.

Tsubara Tsubara Rich, tasty, and spicy.. Come and experience our philosophy of curry for yourself in Hirafu!

Tel: 0136-23-1116 OPEN 11:30-15:00 (LO 14:30) 18:00-22:00 (LO 21:00)

Izakaya Sakae Heartwarming Japanese home cuisine, served with love in Hirafu. Perfect for family dinners!

Tel: 0136-22-4198 Open 17:30-22:00

Izumikyo 2, 132-14 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-cho

Come and join the locals in enjoying our fresh sashimi and vibrant atmosphere!


Open daily* 18:00-24:00

(Food LO 23:00, Drink LO 23:30) *Winter and Summer only

155-132 Yamada, Kutchan Town | Phone: 0136-22-6544


We have a selection of delightful sake.

An extensive selection of sake includes sparkling, local brew, well known brands and cocktails. Beers and wines are also available. 155-14 Aza Yamada, Kutchan town Open Daily 15:00 - 23:00 Winter only Phone 0136-25-4438 Email info@cotobar.com www.cotobar.com www.facebook.com/cotobar.niseko/ www.instagram.com/cotobar_niseko/

Make your memorable holiday at Bliss Lodging

BLISS LODGING is situated in the perfect location! Half-way between two of Niseko's most alluring slopes, Grand Hirafu and Hanazono. We are within walking distance from Hirafu village yet far enough away to be peaceful and quiet. Alternatively, you could catch the free shuttle bus. You will be blown away by the best powder every day! Plus we have a courtesy transfer service from the Hirafu Welcome Centre at Kutchan Station.

76-90 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta, Hokkaido Phone: +81-136-55-5248 info@bliss-lodging.com http://www.bliss-lodging.com

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Hot spring heaven around the corner from Niseko


still has a few secrets up its sleeve, and one of these is Niseko-chō, or the Niseko town district. Set within the forests and rivers of the lush NisekoShakotan-Otaru Kaigan Quasi-National Park, it is naturally abundant, and a popular spot for fresh local meat, seafood and dairy products. The graceful cone of Mount Yōtei, Niseko's answer to Mount Fuji, also reminds the visitor that this is a region sculpted by

volcanic activity, which blesses it with 15 hot springs. Known collectively as Niseko Onsenkyō, the hot springs around Niseko town feature some inspiring views of the natural setting, including Mount Yōtei itself, and also provide luxurious spa treatments and massage - difficult to resist after playing hard in the powder. A household name among them is Konbu Onsen, a hot spring retreat with a history of more than 100 years in Niseko town. The richest source of natural hot spring water


Farmer's Kitchen

PONPON 86-1 Aza Chuo-doori, Niseko-cho Tel: 0136-55-5707 www.facebook.com/nisekoponpon Open 11:30-14:00 17:00-22:00 Closed Wednesday


A homely, farmer owned Italian eatery with handmade pasta and pizza, made using vegetables directly from the farm. Located just one minute from Niseko station. Enjoy a good, freshly made meal.

in the area, it is especially renowned for its revitalising effect on skin. Konbu Onsen is also immersed within a thickly wooded landscape, which when blanketed by snow in winter, is a serene beginning, interlude or ending to any day in the area. The hot springs of Niseko OnsenkyĹ?, including Konbu Onsen, can be enjoyed easily with a Yu-meguri Onsen Pass, which is available from local Roadside Stations and local hot springs. The pass includes four visits to any of the participating hot springs in the area for just ÂĽ2,160 to go

hot spring hopping with a maximum of 4 people. Accommodation around Konbu Onsen and Niseko town also conveniently provides guests with modern amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, which add a finishing touch to this refreshing retreat and day-trip destination for winter visitors to Niseko.

How long does the journey take from? Sapporo: 2.5-3 hours Hirafu Welcome Center: 30 min Further Information www.nisekotourism.com


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Rusutsu Resort

www.hokkaido-rusutsu.com | 048-1711 Izumikawa 13, Rusutsu-mura, Abuta-gun | 2+81-136-463111 | Days 9:00-20:00, Nights 16:00-20:00 (Limited time only) | Travelling times to Rusutsu Resort New Chitose Airport: 1 hr 30 min (car), Niseko: 40 min (car) Dec
















HOME OF POWDER SNOW Rusutsu Resort is Hokkaido's number one for sheer size, with an enormous network of 37 courses over three mountains. They include terrain from double black diamond to beginner, and just 90 minutes from New Chitose Airport, the resort averages over 13 metres of fluffy powder a season. During January and February, the Side Country Park at Rusutsu combines the enjoyment of ungroomed powder with gnarly kickers, rails and other natural terrain obstacles. This powder park is set up in the tree run area on the west mountain - one of a number of exciting tree runs at the resort. Develop new tree riding skills at Rusutsu by joining a lesson with its ski and snowboard school. Guides from the school run powder trips to local spots - the perfect introduction to the area for firsttimers. As a family friendly resort, Rusutsu is popular for its wide beginner slopes and range of activities such as dog-sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing, as well as its merry-go-round and indoor heated pool. In 2016-2017, its Reindeer Park added to this line-up, with two reindeers providing romantic sled rides from late December to late March. At its base, Rusutsu has quality hotel and convention facilities, including the slopefront Westin Rusutsu Resort known for its spacious rooms - along with an extensive range of dining and drinking options.







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Otaru Niseko

Sapporo New Chitose Airport

A seafood lover's paradise near Sapporo, steeped in historic charm


to Otaru is a trip back in time to nineteenth-century Japan. Beautifully maintained European heritage buildings constructed during this era still line its picturesque canal district, and on the inside, yield many unique and tasty discoveries. A fishing port close to Sapporo, Hokkaido's capital, Otaru is now not just popular for its traditional exports of great seafood, sake and skiing: the city is also known for its beautiful local glassware and craft beer. Just a ten-minute walk from JR Otaru Station down Chūō-dōri, the main street of Otaru, the city's canal district is the location of its winter centrepiece, the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival. Held over ten days in February, the festival features an enchanting regatta of hundreds of candles on the water, lighting up the snow-blanketed streets with a warm orange glow. The heavy snowfall of Otaru and its nearby

OTARU TENGUYAMA SKI RESORT www.ckk.chuo-bus.co.jp/ tenguyama/


mountains earned it the honour of being selected as the venue of Japan's first ever national skiing event, the All-Japan Ski Championships, in 1923. Today, Otaru Tenguyama Ski Resort, Asarigawa Onsen Winter Resort and Snow Cruise Onze are all enjoyed by skiers and snowboarders for their magnificent views and night-time scenery. Asarigawa Onsen Winter Resort is just a ten-minute walk from local hot spring accommodation, while Otaru Tenguyama Ski Resort features the interesting cultural site of Tenguyama Shrine - in addition to one of Hokkaido’s top-three night views. Snow Cruise Onze is open until 11 pm for night skiing, also with a fabulous view of the city lights. Otaru is quite easy to get to from major transport hubs on Hokkaido: it's just 35 minutes by car or train from Sapporo, and 90 minutes from Niseko by car, or 120 minutes by train - a great day trip or longstayer on a snow holiday.


SNOW CRUISE ONZE http://onze.jp

SASHIMI AND SUSHI Seafood displays feature so prominently in the restaurant windows of Otaru's heritage area that it feels like there's sashimi and sushi everywhere. For 'the works' of what's in season, you can't go past 'kaisendon'. This hearty bowl of rice decorated with market-fresh seafood can be enjoyed at food court prices in Otaru, and local favourites include sea urchin, scallops, tuna and salmon. The action happens around 'Otaru Sushi-ya DĹ?ri' - the Otaru Sushi Street - a short walk south-east from Otaru Station.

SAKE TASTING The Kikkogura Warehouse is one of Otaru's more famous heritage buildings thanks to the Tanaka Sake Brewery, which is still in operation today after more than a century. The brewery is an essential stop for newcomers and regulars alike to the world of rice wine, where experienced sake sommeliers provide handy hints on how to enjoy this traditional Japanese drink. Located near Minami Otaru Station, visitors to the brewery are also able to taste some ten varieties of sake.

RICKSHAW TOURS Rickshaw Ebisuya Otaru is less than a ten-minute walk from Otaru Station, and with enthusiastic English services available, invites visitors to discover the city on a deeper level. Cruising through the nineteenth and early twentieth century heritage areas of Otaru, rickshaw tours also go off the beaten track to more local spots, offering a unique way to experience the city's charms. In addition to the historic canal district, they include its working port, and the site of Hokkaido's original nineteenth-century railway. OTARU TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES To get the best local information, along with free maps and brochures on the highlights of Otaru, head over to one of the city's three tourist information centres. They are located at JR Otaru Station, Canal Plaza and Asakusa Bridge, and are open 9:00-18:00 daily, except New Year’s Day. Further Information http://otaru.gr.jp


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FURANO -> Full-service outdoor playground -> Lower humidity means even drier powder snow

To Goto Sumio Museum of Art Furano Winery For Daisetsuzan National Park

Furano Downtown Furano Ski Kitanomine Zone Furano Prince Hotel Furano Wine House Kitanomine Resort Area

-> Authentic local culture and hospitality Furano Ski Furano Zone New Furano Prince Hotel Furano Cheese Factory

Winter guests visit the city of Furano for skiing and snowboarding both locally, and nearby at backcountry spots and other resorts around the Hokkaido Powder Belt. Smaller and more intimate than Asahikawa, around 60 kilometres to the north, it is the perfect destination for those wishing to immerse themselves in the authentic charms of Hokkaido's rural countryside, while enjoying a wide variety of activities and full facilities on a snow holiday. The fresh powder, great food and welcoming country hospitality make Furano a quality

Main Road Railway Expressway

snow holiday destination; Furano Ski Resort is where the action is, with an average of seven metres of fine, dry powder snow to be enjoyed over the season. Snow quality at the resort is among the best on Hokkaido, thanks to lower humidity and temperature levels than resorts near the coast. When the temperature drops drastically during a storm, the snow turns into champagne powder and remains fresh for long afterwards. On clear days, the humidity in the air crystallises to create sparkles of diamond dust in the bluebird sky. The two Prince Hotels at Furano Ski Resort have ski-in, ski-out access to its network

The place to go for cultural enrichment when in Furano 130 delicate, rich and poignant Japanese paintings by renowned artist Sumio Goto.

Enjoy Japanese art created by Sumio Goto, and conclude your time at Furano Grill. You can enjoy meals made with local produce and Wagyu, while looking out to the view of Mt. Tokachi.

Goto Sumio Musuem of Art, Furano www.gotosumiomuseum.com Ph: +81-(0)167-45-6181 56

New Furano Prince Hotel

Located on the slopes of Furano Ski Resort, Furano's premier hotel offers true ski-in, ski-out access. With multiple dining options and top class facilities your choice of accommodation in Furano couldn't be simpler. The affordability of this special combination of location and luxury will also surprise you. For further information contact Kikuo Eri: Email kikuo-eri@princehotels.co.jp

2017-18 Winter specials 35% off from accommodation rates Kids ski free Conditions apply. Please contact your local travel agent for details.

Furano Snow School Enjoy skiing and boarding with our local instructors! FSS Kids Group Lesson 1Day Lunch Combo Start! First timer’s lesson & rental package! Want to take your skiing or boarding to the next level in a fun, safe environment? Then look no further! With professional English-speaking instructors offering group and private lessons for both adults and kids, Furano Snow School is the way to go. Find us conveniently located in both Prince Hotels and the Kitanomine gondola terminal.

Atomic and Salomon Station Your one-stop shop for quality rentals A wide range of quality rental skis, boards, clothing and accessories are available from the Atomic & Salomon Stations in both Prince Hotels, Furano Ropeway Station and the Kitanomine Gondola Station - you won't need to bring a thing with you to enjoy the powder in Furano! Drop in and swap gear, or top up on wax for free whenever you like.

This is just the tip of the iceberg...

School Desk Kitanomine Terminal Ground Level & New Furano Prince Hotel GF Kitanomine Terminal LB, Kitanomine-cho, Furano Phone: +81-167-22-1935 Email: info@spfurano.com


Local accommodation and resorts

of 23 trails for all riders, which include FIS pro-level runs, and are the city's premier accommodation facilities. Offering a wellrounded combination of tasteful guest rooms, restaurants, shops, and natural hot spring bathing facilities between them, they command superb views of the surrounding countryside. Like the Prince Hotels, smaller family-run hotel and European-style lodge accommodation in Furano offers guests the opportunity to enjoy the region's local produce and hot springs, and the town also has self-contained properties perfect for groups, ranging from luxury to budget.


24 hour hospital only 5 minutes walk. Station is 1 minute on foot. Free parking is available. Annexe for long term guests now open! 1-35 Asahi-Cho, Furano Hokkaido Phone: +81 167 22 1777 Fax: +81 167 23 1070 Email: info@natulux.com 58

Hotel Naturwald Furano

We have both Western and Japanese style rooms available. Whichever style you choose, we promise a pleasant stay. Our location offers panoramic views of the ski hill, just across the street.

14-46 Kitanomine-cho, Furano, Hokkaido (About 7 minutes by car from Furano Station) Phone: 0167-22-1211 Email: nwf@hhr-inc.co.jp


Welcome to our hilltop sweets shop.

Our sweet atelier, Furano Delice is located on a hill just out of the hustle and bustle of Furano. We are surrounded by ever changing foliage and nature. Spring brings fresh greens, lavender and sunflowers comes in Summer, a change of leaves in Autumn and deep snow fall comes with Winter. We create sweets with Furano and Hokkaido's freshest ingredients, in a comfortable 'neighbourhood sweets workshop' style atmosphere. We would love to have you here to enjoy our cozy space and delicious sweets.

Why not spend a little down time out on the deck?

we have many different sweets to offer.

Our garden is filled with flowers that change from season to season.

Sweets Confectionary

Take a quick break at Delice Cafe! The sun filled cafe space is full of charm and delightful sweets. Our cafe and shop are the perfect rest stop. We offer freshly made delicious sweets and a variety of drinks. Enjoy it with the view of the Tokachidake Peaks. French Toast Using our homemade bread that’s been soaked in the syrup from Furano milk pudding, then fried in butter. Enjoy with whipped cream and maple syrup.

Fondant Tiramisu Espresso soaked sponge wrapped in a mascarpone mousse with a espresso chocolate sauce with raisins. Served with a coffee jelly on the side.

Denice Blend Coffee (Exclusive blend made with beans from Tanzania, Columbia, Brazil and Mandarin)

Shop Access

From JR Furano Station: 10 minutes by car From Asahikawa Airport: 60 minutes by car From New Chitose Airport: 180 minutes by car Only 5 minutes walk from Furano Prince Hotel, and 10 minutes walk from the slopes.

Furano Delice

2156-1 Shimo-Goryo, Furano, Hokkaido Phone: (0167) 22-8005 Open: 8-10am for morning service (Only drinks and selected cake set available) 10am-6pm (Closed Monday & Tuesday) http://shop.le-nord.com

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The artistic legacy of Sumio Goto

One of the most powerful validations of Furano's claim to scenic fame is the former studio of Japanese artist Sumio Goto. One of the country's most prestigious landscape painters, Goto chose Furano's beautiful setting of rolling, undulating hills, set

www.asobiya.jp info@asobiya.jp

against the rugged peaks of the Daisetsuzan mountain range for his studio in 1987, which is now open to the public as a gallery of 130 of his masterpieces. Recognised with the prestigious Japan Art Academy Award and Imperial Prize of the Japan Academy, they feature some of Japan's most scenic natural landscapes, shrines and temples depicted with natural mineral pigments such as gold and platinum, ranging in size from three metres up to an enormous 14 metres. Furano Grill, the museum's restaurant, does a specialty menu of meals and sweets using local produce, and enjoys views of the nearby peaks.

Leisureguide ASOBIYA

Snowmobile Hot Air Balloon Flight and more. Bookings and inquiries for Asobiya & Fuyuri :

Phone: +81-167-22-0534

Only 1 minute by walk to ski area. 1&2 Bedroom self contained apartments.

Chalet FUYURI 62

www.fuyuri.jp info@fuyuri.jp

The magic of winter in Furano

Furano's Silky Snow bus tour is a convenient way to explore some of its finest attractions off the slopes during winter, directly from major local hotels. A tasty, visually inspiring journey, it stops in at Furano Marche, the Goto Sumio Museum of Art, Farm Tomita and Furano Wine.

Toyota Rent-a-Car Furano Branch

A top tier rental service with a large selection of cars and locations! Booking is easy, just call or go online. Trading Hours Apr-Oct 8am-8pm Nov-Mar 9am-6pm Closed Jan 1 - Jan 4

For Enquiries (English speaking line) +81-03-5954-8020 Available 8am-8pm http://rent.toyota.co.jp 2-15 Hinode-machi, Furano, Hokkaido

Enjoy the view from our open-air hot spring. Our hot spring is available for day visits (6am-11pm) or you can stay the night.


Hotel Highland Furano

Shimanoshita, Furano, Hokkaido Tel: +81-167-22-5700 Email: highland@furano.ne.jp www.highland-furano.jp


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Winter activities

Furano's winter activities also include authentic Japanese cultural performances and workshops, during the peak of the season from January to February. Music,


theatre and dance performances are held in the Kitanomine Zone of Furano Ski Resort, and there is also a workshop program including calligraphy and tea ceremony. For veteran skiers and snowboarders, Furano is an ideal base for venturing further into Daisetsuzan National Park with a local guide, and exploring some of Japan's best backcountry. Asahidake, Kurodake and Tokachidake, are legendary areas of the park for deep powder, and rustic alpine hot spring inns. As well as skiing and snowboarding, guiding companies run kite skiing trips into the backcountry -

Tsuru Apartments hts Stay 7 nig hts pay 6 nig 7 before Aug ust 31, 201


+81 167 23 1618



Furano Nature Club has been providing outodoor activities and private transfer service nearly two decades. Our experienced guides will help you explore the breathtaking natural beauty of the Furano area. We also organize transfer service, including Furano to and from New Chitose and Asahikawa airports. Please contact us for more information or to book.


5 minutes walk to the ski slope

Hot Air Balloon Snowshoeing Air Board Ice Hole Fishing Private Transfer Service Furano Alpine Travel Alpine Visitor Center Backpackers Inn Email: alpine@m6.dion.ne.jp www.alpn.co.jp/furano/index.html

a combination of ski touring, snow kiting and speed riding, which gives the ultimate experience of freedom in the winter landscape. Kite skiers can ride lines that usually look inaccessible; a cliff in the middle of a line, for example, can easily be glided down, to land at the bottom and continue riding. With the right wind conditions, climbing mountains with a kite is also faster than hiking - and sometimes even faster than resort lifts! With its enchanting array of highlights all year round, mixing the wild and untamed with the warm and welcoming, Furano captures the essence of an unforgettable Japanese snow holiday in unique style.

Backcountry around Furano

How long is the journey from? New Chitose Airport: 2 hrs 40 min (train) Asahikawa Airport: 1 hr 10 min (bus) Further Information www.furanotourism.com/en

Enjoy peaceful times surrounded by the nature of Furanui - Room and breakfast package. - A range of guest rooms from Western, Japanese or combined style to cottages are available to meet all kinds of requirements.

Hotel “Pension Furanui� Tel 0167 22 2480 13-15 Kitanomine-Cho, Furano E-mail furanui@furano.ne.jp http://p-furanui.com

Please make bookings and enquiries by e-mail!

All rooms have a bath and toilet

A good location only 5 minutes by walk from the Kitanomine Ski Ground.


Snowed under in Hokkaido ©Furano/©JNTO



GJ Story

Sections of the farmland around Furano are filled with plump vineyard terraces during the warmer months, ready to supply another harvest for consignment to Furano Wine. This local winery produces the long-selling Furano Red and Furano White wines. Furano red is a smooth, easy drinking wine, characterised by a herbal aroma with overtones of fruit, which is also a defining feature of Furano White - a zesty wine punctuated by refreshing notes of lime. Furano Wine can also be enjoyed as an ingredient in Furano Wine Cheddar, which is made by hand at the Furano Cheese Factory. One of the factory's other novel cheeses is Sepia, a soft, creamy camembert with squid ink, and it also produces delicious ice-cream - which like its cheese, is made with the fresh local Furano milk. Visit Furano Wine and the Furano Cheese Factory at any time of year to indulge in some of the best of the region's farm produce, and see what goes into making it.

Furano ski holiday at the North Country Inn The perfect mix of Western and Japanese style accommodation

Make your holiday choice simple: Powder snow skiing is what it’s all about. With hundreds of restaurants in vibrant Furano, this is the Japanese ski experience you have been looking for. • Ski shuttle • North Bar (Pool table, darts, lounge wi-fi) • Lounge (CNN, English paper, wi-fi) • Town shuttle • Japanese indoor/outdoor baths • Ski rental

For enquiries contact Ken McBride kenny@north-country.co.jp

www.northcountryinnfurano.com 66

Furano Ski Resort

www.princehotels.com/en/ski/furano.html | Nakagoryo, Furano-shi | 2+81-167-22-1111 | Days 8:30-17:00, Nights 17:00-20:00 | Travelling times to Furano Ski Resort Asahikawa Airport: 1 hr 5 min (bus), New Chitose Airport: 2 hrs 50 min (car) Dec





















PURE POWDER PLEASURE Furano receives an average of some seven metres of the lightest, driest powder there is to be enjoyed in Japan every winter. It is essentially a drier version of the bounty that hits resorts closer to the Hokkaido coast, due to the lower humidity levels inland, where temperatures can plummet to -30°C. At Furano Ski Resort, riders send the powder peeling off the slopes as they crisscross down its 23 different courses, with

an overall vertical drop of 839 metres. They stretch for 25 kilometres across Furano Ski Resort's two zones, the Kitanomine Zone and the Furano Zone. Open from late November to early May, the Furano Zone has the longest season of the two, and both sides of the mountain are open for night skiing. To settle in to Furano Ski Resort, sign up for a free guided tour in English with one of the Furano Ski Hosts. Kids under the age of 12 enjoy free lift

Kumagera This intimate restaurant serves a variety of unique Japanese cuisine, including Sanzoku Nabe, duck and venison hot pot, tempura, sukiyaki, and cheese tofu, just to name a few. Delicious Japanese sake and beers are also available. Open 7 days 11:30-Midnight 3-22 Hinode, Furano, Hokkaido Phone +81 167 39 2345 www.furano.ne.jp/kumagera/


passes at Furano Ski Resort, and the Family Snow Land adds to its family-friendly entertainment with snowmobiling, banana boating and rafting; the Snow Night Fantasy is another of its highlights, inviting visitors to enjoy sledding, light-up events, and igloo bars. Ski and snowboard lessons for all levels are also available in English at Furano Ski Resort, and in the amazing powder conditions, it's a magical place to learn and develop.

Kodamaya Sobadokoro Kodamaya is the place to go for Soba noodles in Furano. On top of the soba made with two kinds of carefully selected buckwheat flour, the menu is full of voluminous items!

You can make your cheese and eat it too at Furano Cheese Factory. Come for a tour or participate in one of our daily workshops and eat delicious foods, made fresh from Furano milk.

Flagship Store

5-1 Saiwaicho, Furano 0167-23-1234 Open 11am-8:30pm Closed Tuesdays •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Branch store

12-10 Saiwaicho, Furano 0167-22-2876 Open 11am-8:30pm Closed Wednesdays

Furano Cheese Factory

Nakagoku, Furano, Hokkaido Open: 9:00-17:00 (Nov-Mar 9:00-16:00) Phone: 0167-23-1156 http://www.furano-cheese.jp

Soy ramen is our customers' favourite, but don't forget to try rich miso www.furanotomikawa.com ramen - the chef's top pick. There's also our original fried chicken and New menu at New juicy dumplings, available from lunch with Sapporo beer on tap. Chitose Our reviews on TripAdvisor Airport shop speak for themselves! Miso butter corn ramen ¥1000

Tomikawa Seimensho 12-22 Hinode-cho, Furano Phone: 0167-23-1965 Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 11am-3pm & 5pm-8pm Sat, Sun & Holidays 11am-8pm


Miso smoked chashu ramen ¥1000

[New Shop]

Departure Gate No.12 2F, Domestic Terminal Bldg., New Chitose Airport Phone: 0123-46-2866 Open 7 days 8am-9pm (L.O. 8:30pm)

Snowed under in Hokkaido

The resort's upper slopes offer spectacular views of the Daisetsuzan Mountain Range, where veterans head out with local guides from Furano to enjoy backcountry skiing down the volcanoes of Asahidake and Tokachidake. In town, Furano offers a fantastic winter program of authentic cultural performances and workshops, and with delicious local produce and hot springs, it's one of the Hokkaido Powder Belt's best choices for an unforgettable snow holiday.

Yama-no Doxon Boutique Brewery in Furano, with pilsner, wheat, and dark beers from ¥500!

20-29 Kitanomine-cho, Furano, Hokkaido Tel: 0167-22-5599 Web: http://doxon.jp Open 17:30-21:30 Closed on Mondays, Opening at the same time as Furano Ski Field and closing end of March.


Fukuzushi is known for its gigantic sushi. Here you can enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine such as sashimi and tempura or Fukuzushi’s famous fried chicken and original ‘Potato Bowl’. This beautiful Japanese style restaurant is suitable for big parties.

Fukuzushi 1-24 Asahi, Furano, Hokkaido Japan Phone +81 167 23 2617 Open 11:00-21:30 (Last order 21:00) Closed Mon


Snowed under in Hokkaido


For hungry riders on a raw powder diet Furano•

• Kurodake • Asahidake • Tokachidake • Tomamu


is nature in the Hokkaido Powder Belt 'as is'. There are no lifts, no groomed runs, and no crowds; just pure powder to be enjoyed. The area consists of Tokachidake, a 2,077-metre volcano, and Tokachidake Onsen, a hot spring village dotted with welcoming inns. If you haven't done avalanche rescue training before setting out for Tokachidake, you will have with a guide by the time you hit the mountain. The danger of inadvertently having to be rescued is very real, and commands the expertise of a local to show you the ropes. The reward of gliding weightlessly across the powder though, as plumes of smoke billow into the air from the cone above, is priceless. This snow is the stuff of dreams for hardcore riders, coming down in hefty instalments of up to 30 centimetres a night.

Kamihoro Inn


To get started arranging a guide, contact any of the inns on this page if you're staying with them, or the Kamifurano Tokachidake Tourist Association. The volcanic rumblings of Tokachidake heat up natural springs below to temperatures of more than 40°C, which are harnessed by a cluster of hot spring inns in the village of Tokachidake Onsen. Perched at altitudes in the 1,200-metre range, their outdoor hot spring baths command superb views above the clouds, and are a welcoming haven for riders who have been out enjoying the powder all day.

How long does the journey take from? Kamifurano: 25 min (bus) Asahikawa: 1 hr 55 min (bus) Further Information http://www.kamifurano.jp/exlang

Tokachidake Onsen Ryounkaku

Gaze across a sea of clouds from our outdoor hot spring, 1200m above sea level. You can enjoy back country skiing just around the corner!

It is the highest place in Hokkaido Mountain ski base

Email: kamihoro@arata-group.com http://tokachidake.com/kamihoro/



Nature up a notch, in the heart of Hokkaido

• Ashibetsu • Sapporo


farmland around Furano is famous for its prime produce, and one of these farming districts is the city of Ashibetsu. With 89% of its land area composed of lush forests, it is filled with the fresh atmosphere of alpine countryside, encircled by mountains on its horizon. This limits light exposure from nearby towns and cities, making the stars so crystal clear at night that Ashibetsu effectively becomes a natural planetarium. The Seiyūkan is one of the best places to appreciate the brilliant night skies of Ashibetsu, with tasteful outdoor hot spring baths. In addition, this monument to hot spring water features a super-sized bathhouse, piping hot baths, a jacuzzi and a sauna. With 600 litres cascading forth from two spring heads, there is plenty of natural hot spring water here for all. The sodium bicarbonate in the spring promotes good

circulation, and removing dirt from the skin, leaves it with a silky, smooth finish - earning it a reputation as a 'beauty spring'. Conveniently adjoining the Seiyūkan is Ashibetsu's Starlight Hotel. All of its 69 guest rooms enjoy views of the surrounding natural landscape as it changes colour over the seasons - with a particularly brilliant palette of autumn foliage. It has a full range of rooms for guests that sleep up to five, not to mention a full range of local farm produce from the Ashibetsu area. Ashibetsu is central to the Hokkaido Powder Belt area, 44 kilometres from Asahikawa, and just 30 kilometres from Furano; JR line trains and coach connections are available to the area from both of these cities.

Further information https://go-to-ashibetsu.com

ASHIBETSU ONSEN Starlight Hotel http://www.starlight-hotel.co.jp/

A natural hot spring inn surrounded by abundant nature and comes with a view of a perfectly starry sky. All rooms are complete with Wi-Fi. Situated 60 minutes from Asahiyama, 40 minutes from Furano.


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Great local resorts, after-ski entertainment and attractions


•Asahikawa Asahikawa



its exotic Asahiyama Zoo, great surrounding ski resorts, and lively dining and drinking spots, Asahikawa is a popular day-trip and long stay destination for skiers and snowboarders visiting the Hokkaido Powder Belt. The city is set well inland from the Sea of Japan coast, around 140 kilometres north-east of Sapporo, where subarctic temperatures create the perfect setting for the polar bears, penguins and endangered Amur leopards of Asahiyama Zoo. It features more than 100 species of animals innovatively accommodated in realistic natural enclosures, designed to accurately reproduce their natural habitats - such as the Polar Bear Aquatic Park. With mid-winter temperatures in Asahikawa commonly reaching around -15°C, snow melt is minimal, and this is an ideal environment for the city's Asahikawa Winter Festival. Like the Sapporo Snow Festival, it showcases larger-than-life snow sculptures that are lit up at night with 3D projection mapping, bringing some one million visitors to the city every year in the second week of February. Festival activities include snow sculpture


building, tubing, live snow stage events and a terrain park, providing excitement for all ages to enjoy - day or night. The action happens a short walk from the north exit of Asahikawa Station, which is also famous for its Sanrokugai district, Asahikawa's main dining and drinking area. Sanrokugai is the choice of many skiers and snowboarders for plenty of lively entertainment in winter, after spending the day at nearby slopes - such as Kamui Ski Links, Asahidake, Furano, Kurodake, and Tokachidake. How long is the journey from? Asahikawa Airport: 40 min (bus) Domestic flight times to Asahikawa Airport Tokyo: 1 hr 35 min; Nagoya: 1 hr 45 min Further Information http://www.uu-hokkaido.com/corporate/asahikawa. shtml

Kamui Ski Links

www.kamui-skilinks.com/ | Nishioka 112, Kamui-cho, Asahikawa-city | 2+81-166-72-2311 | Open 9:00-17:00 | Travelling times to Kamui Ski Links Asahikawa: 40 min (bus), Sapporo: 1 hr 25 min (car) Dec





















DISCOVER MORE and restaurants, Asahikawa has some of Hokkaido's best night life, and adds a further dynamic, authentic touch to a snow holiday at Kamui.

Asahikawa Kamui Ski Links


Obihiro Sapporo, New Chitose Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto(H70)

JR Limited Express

Access to Kamui Ski Links from Tokyo via Asahikawa Hokkaido Shinkansen


Narita Haneda

Kamui Ski Links is conveniently located near Asahikawa Airport - a 95-minute flight from Tokyo's Haneda Airport. From Asahikawa Airport, board a bus for Asahikawa City from Stand 1, which is 40 minutes away. The 'Kamui-gō' bus service connects Asahikawa Station with Kamui Ski Links in an hour, and requires advance bookings by 17:00 the day before through the resort, or major hotels on the route in Asahikawa.

© Furano Tourism Association/© JNTO

Kamui enjoys an average of eight metres of dream-like powder snow a season, and sheltered inland, is known for its brilliant blue skies in winter. Lift passes are also very reasonably priced here, and there's a course for everyone - as well as plenty of great snow activities - during the season from December to early April. Riders with deep powder experience head to the Treerun Course, Bumps Course, and Todomatsu Course near the summit, designated black runs with inclines of as much as 35°, and tightly spaced trees. A 30-minute drive from the centre of Asahikawa, Hokkaido's second-largest city, Kamui Ski Links is the only resort that serves real Asahikawa ramen - the ultimate after-ski comfort food. The city is a base for skiers and snowboarders at Kamui Ski Links, and buses provide a direct connection to the resort from major hotels in 50 minutes. With more than 1,000 bars


3-8-3 Takasagodai, Asahkawa, Hokkaido Email: info@sensyoen.co.jp www.sensyoen.co.jp/english A traditional Japanese ryokan style hotel, where you can indulge in locally produced food. Start your day with a stroll in the Japanese Garden, and end it with a nice long dip in the bath. Conveniently located: 10 minutes to city centre, 20 minutes to Kamui Ski Links and an hour to Asahidake by car.


STAY IN THE HOSHINO RESORTS ASAHIKAWA GRAND HOTEL FOR THE PERFECT CENTRAL HOKKAIDO WINTER HOLIDAY BASE The Hoshino Resorts Asahikawa Grand Hotel is a stylish landmark of Central Hokkaido's major city. Its lobby and entrance was designed in a luxurious European period fashion by John Edison, great-grandson of inventor Thomas Edison, and at 71 metres, the building is Asahikawa's tallest hotel. Located in the heart of Hokkaido's 'City of Rivers', a 13-minute walk or 5-minute taxi ride from JR Asahikawa Station, the hotel overlooks the impressive peaks of Daisetsuzan National Park on the horizon, and the waterways around Asahikawa. The hotel shop is well stocked with everything from fresh bread and bakery treats to local giftware, and its spa provides a deeply relaxing range of treatments for body and mind. Skiers and snowboarders stay here in winter for great access to the topquality powder snow of Kamui Ski Links, just 40 minutes away, and the many other great resorts and backcountry spots of Central Hokkaido. Close by to the south of Asahikawa are the scenic rural areas of Furano and Biei, known for their densely carpeted fields of spring colour, and also just a 40-minute bus ride from Asahiyama Zoo, the Hoshino Resorts Asahikawa Grand Hotel is the ideal base for exploring the beauty of Central Hokkaido throughout the year. Hoshino Resorts Asahikawa Grand Hotel www.asahikawa-grand.com/eng/ 070-0036 9-chome, Asahikawa-city +81-166-24-2111 Travelling times to Hoshino Resorts Asahikawa Grand Hotel Asahikawa Airport 40 min (bus), New Chitose Airport 2 hrs ( JR)


Snowed under in Hokkaido


After a day in the snow, the top-floor Bar Edison's at the Hoshino Resorts Asahikawa Grand Hotel offers a fabulous view of the city lights, and more than 1,000 bars and restaurants also await to be discovered nearby in the popular night spot of Sanrokugai. The Japanese, Chinese and Western restaurants at the hotel all feature the delicious produce of the Asahikawa region, which is known for its rich alpine mineral water, rice, sake, vegetables, seafood and meat. Thanks to the exceptional purity and quality of its water and rice, Asahikawa is also an excellent sake brewing region of Japan; tours to the Otokoyama and Takasago breweries are a popular way to enjoy freshly brewed premium sake among guests at the Hoshino Resorts Asahikawa Grand Hotel. Further information http://www.asahikawa-grand.com/eng/


Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU

www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/en/ | 079-2204 Nakatomamu, Shimukappu-mura, Yufutsu-gun | 2+81-167-58-1111 | Days 9:00-16:00, Nights 16:00-18:00, 16:00-19:00 (Fri-Sun, Holiday) | Travelling times to Hoshino Resorts New Chitose Airport: 1 hr 30 min (car), Asahikawa Airport: 3 hrs (car) Dec
















ICY ENTERTAINMENT Located just over an hour by train from Hokkaido's New Chitose Airport, Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU offers an expanded total of 29 great courses for all riders, covering a lengthy 21.3 kilometres. Making the resort stand out from the powder crowd are its innovative entertainment and attractions for all ages, including the enchanting Ice Village, and panoramic Muhyō Terrace. A fun way to start a big powder day at Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU is its Morning Glory tour, an early-morning excursion onto virgin powder with skis, snowboards and sleds; when it's time for coffee, take the gondola up the mountain to the Muhyō Terrace observation deck, and warm up to the beautiful landscape of trees covered in rime ice - ice flowers blooming from frozen water droplets in the sub-zero air. To go deeper into its winter wonderland, Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU runs a new







Snowed under in Hokkaido

and improved snow cat tour of the breathtakingly beautiful scenery, complete with a lavish mountain lunch and free time to explore or take another coffee break. The resort also runs a great activity and English ski and snowboard lesson program each season, which is refreshed on its website from September. And when it's time for a drink, the Ice Bar awaits in the innovative and colourful Ice Village.

When the sun goes down, the fun heats up!

The enchantingly lit Ice Village at Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU is a surreal winter wonderland of entertainment, which comes out to play after sunset. The village has taken ice architecture and design to incredible levels, holding concerts by musicians performing in an ice venue with instruments made entirely from ice. An adventure in the Ice Village can often start with a twirl and a slide at the Ice Skate Rink; kids also love the Snow Park, with its icy slide, while groups of friends and couples head to the Ice Bar and Ice Cafe. Craft workshops are also available in the Ice School, and the Ice Village has its own seasonal event lineup. Fireworks displays are some of its main highlights, as well as Christmas celebrations, where kids can meet Santa, New Year’s celebrations, and even a Sweets Carnival, which features a sweet buffet in the Ice Cafe. The Ice Village is a unique place where everyone - no matter what age - will make fantastic memories.


Snowed under in Hokkaido

Stay in Tomamu and Asahikawa, and enjoy the best of Central Hokkaido! Great snow holiday areas in their own right, Tomamu and Asahikawa are also convenient bases for visiting Furano, Sahoro and Kamui, and enjoying the best of the Central Hokkaido region. This area is famous for even drier, finer powder snow than Niseko, thanks to its lower inland humidity, and is home to the tallest peaks of Hokkaido. Use this model route around Central Hokkaido to plan your next winter long stay in Japan, enjoying the magnificent facilities of Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU and Hoshino Resorts Asahikawa Grand Hotel. Flying in to ShinChitose Airport, it traverses the main bases of Tomamu and Asahikawa, before flying out again from Shin-Chitose. Car 120min, JR 90min

BACKCOUNTRY TOURS AROUND ASAHIKAWA AND TOMAMU Asahikawa and Tomamu offer some of Japan's best powder, and experienced backcountry tour operators

Airportliner 30min

The best spots are selected by guides each day according to weather conditions and rider ability


Car 120min, JR 100min, Busliner 130min


Each area has its own local spots, and good access to the nearby backcountry of Daisetsuzan National Park

Multi-day tours are a fantastic way to experience the local hospitality and hot springs of Central Hokkaido



New Chitose Airport

AN ALL-SEASON PLAYGROUND Asahikawa and Tomamu are colourful, exciting outdoor destinations all year round. During spring, summer and autumn, their natural surroundings and nearby attractions, such as Daisetsuzan National Park, are famous for abundant flora, lush greenery and autumn foliage, and fresh farm produce is plentiful. The winter off-season is also the perfect time to visit for activities such as golf, cycling and mountain climbing.


Hoshino Resorts Asahikawa Grand Hotel

Kurodake Route Bus



Asahiyama Zoo

Asahikawa Airport

Route Bus


Car 75min


Biei Furano

Car 90min, Route Bus

Tokachidake Car 180min, JR 190min, Busliner 180min

Sahoro Route Bus


Hoshino Resort Tomamu

Car 100min, JR 100min, Busliner 120min

Located in the heart of Asahikawa, the Hoshino Resorts Asahikawa Grand Hotel makes a magnificent long-stay base in Central Hokkaido. It is conveniently connected to Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU, the preceding stop on this model course, by bus in 2.5 hours, as well as the nearby slopes of Kamui Ski Links by a direct shuttle in 40 minutes. Asahikawa's mustsee attraction of Asahiyama Zoo is also just a 40-minute bus ride away. The zoo is a popular day trip among hotel guests, after enjoying a delicious buffet breakfast featuring the fresh local produce of Asahikawa, and seafood of Hokkaido. At 71 metres, the hotel is the city's tallest hotel. With a lobby and entrance designed by John Edison, greatgrandson of inventor Thomas Edison, it has a special historic charm, and luxurious amenities such as spa treatment rooms. LEARN MORE http://www.asahikawa-grand.com/eng/

Car 60min, JR 60min

Obihiro Airport



Travel to Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU by domestic flight from Tokyo's Haneda airport, and you can step into in some of Japan's lightest, driest powder snow, ready to ride that very same day. Just fly in to Hokkaido's Obihiro airport, a 95-minute flight away, from where JR trains connect Obihiro Station with Tomamu Station in 60 minutes. Connecting buses are available from here direct to Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU in 10 minutes. With superb Central Hokkaido highlights such as diamond dust and rime ice, and 29 great courses, this innovative, all-age resort also features a magnificent Ice Village as part of its winter activity and entertainment program. Direct buses are available from Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU to Furano, Sahoro and Asahikawa, offering even more slope variety, night life and other attractions. LEARN MORE http://www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/en/


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•Bifuka Nayoro• Horokanai• •Asahikawa Asahikawa

Hidden gem to the north of Asahikawa


is a picturesque rural town of Hokkaido's northern 'Dōhoku' region, located some 95 kilometres from Asahikawa on the JR Sōya Main Line. Its neighbour of Nayoro is some 80 kilometres from this central Hokkaido transport hub, and together, they form an attractive winter destination steeped in rich culture, nature and farm produce. As well as local hot spring baths and accommodation in Bifuka and Nayoro, the Teshio River is a major highlight of the area. Canoe trips run down this scenic river, which features falls of up to seven metres and walk trails - a lovely way to enjoy local birdlife and flora. Fields of sunflowers bloom brilliantly around Nayoro in summer and can be enjoyed at the Nayoro Chiebun Sunflower Farm, near the pretty wetland area of Chiebun-numa a popular spot for fishing and walking. The local ski resort of Nayoro Piyashiri is just 8.7 kilometres from Nayoro Station, and a connecting shuttle bus operates between the two during the winter season. The nine courses at Nayoro Piyashiri are graded to suit riders of all abilities, and the resort has four lifts up to its summit of 1,395 metres. Scenic highlights for beginner to intermediate riders here include a romantic tree run course around the summit, through a lovely stand of Japanese white birch trees, while there are four International Ski Federation (FIS)-approved courses for intermediate to advanced riders, offering


fast and diverse terrain. The resort has a solid range of rental gear available, and the Nayoro Onsen Sun Pillar hot spring is located invitingly at its base.

Craft and play: snowboard building workshops in Bifuka

From shaping to finishing, DIY snowboard building workshops in Bifuka offer a special opportunity to create and ride your own unique shape in just three days. By the second day, grip is attached to your new board and it is ready to ride, and the third day is spent out playing in the incredible snow around Bifuka. For just ¥39,000 per person (excluding accommodation), these workshops were incredibly popular during the 2016-2017 season, and bookings are required at least two weeks in advance. Bookings and enquiries Email: info@dohokuexplore.jp


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata Known as 'The Roof of Japan', Nagano Prefecture has 15 of Japan's 23 3,000-metre peaks, and hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics. Next door, Niigata Prefecture is where skiing was first introduced to Japan in 1911, and also inspired the Nobel Prizewinning novel 'Snow Country'. Both are under 90 minutes from Tokyo on the bullet train, and with resorts that receive over ten metres a season of amazing powder, the Nagano-Niigata area is one of Japan's most exciting, diverse and accessible snow holiday destinations.


Resort Data Icons Snow depth Terrain

Myoko Nozawa Onsen Madarao Kogen • • Iiyama • Echigo-Yuzawa •• Yudanaka Onsen • • •Naeba Okushiga Kogen • Shiga Kogen • •• • Hakuba Valley • Nagano Shibu Onsen Omachi • Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen Matsumoto


Longest run Gondolas Chairlifts Vertical drop Steepest slope Snow depth, terrain, longest run, and the number of gondolas and lifts at ski resorts are displayed as icons for quick comparison. Snow depth figures are a guide only, and may fluctuate from season to season.


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

HAKUBA VALLEY -> More than ten metres a season of the best powder you've never seen -> Amazing backcountry, hot springs and local dining and drinking -> International resort night life with great English tours and lessons

Ten powder-rich resorts. One pass. And in 2016-2017, a new tap-and-go ticket gate system. The Hakuba Valley just keeps getting better. One of the leading snow resort areas in the Northern Japanese Alps, its international credentials were firmly established when it featured as a stage for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. Powder dumps average above ten metres a season across the valley, which encompasses the villages and towns of Omachi, Hakuba and Otari. Warm and welcoming with country charm, they are surrounded by the


valley's ten resorts of Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba 47, Hakuba Happo-one, Hakuba Iwatake, Tsugaike Kogen, Hakuba Norikura Onsen, Hakuba Cortina, Jiigatake, Hakuba Sanosaka and Kashimayari Sports Village. All are connected via shuttle bus, and with the Hakuba Valley Ticket, become one massive all-you-can-ride playground. Passes for adults start at just ÂĽ6,000 for one day, and thanks to the new ticket gate system, riders can now just tap and go to access the valley's vast 941 hectares of terrain. After receiving a smart card lift pass for the

Expect a holiday in the snow like no other at Hotel Hakuba. The spectacular panoramic view of the northern Japanese Alps looks over the sixty-nine elegantly set up self-contained guest rooms. The hotel is complete with a lovely restaurant and a healing natural hot spring bath. You can expect comfort and convenience at Hotel Hakuba, their service is complete with complimentary shuttle services to Hakuba’s world-class slopes.

Reservations and further information:

www.hotel-hakuba.com Location: 5470-1 Hokujo, Hakuba Village Phone: +81-(0)261-72-4444

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

Tsugaike Kogen

Hakuba Cortina Ski Resort Hakuba Norikura Onsen Ski Resort

Iwatake Snow Field Hakuba 47 Mountain Sports Park


Hakuba Goryu Hakuba Sanosaka Aoki-ko Kashimayari Sports Village Jigatake Ski Field Nakatsuna-ko


Main Road Railway Expressway

Hakuba Valley, it can be recharged easily online through the MyHakuba Pass web shop. This way, riders can just walk straight through the gate the next morning without having to queue up to pay. The new ticket gates are being introduced by Hakuba Valley resorts in stages, with Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba 47, Hakuba Happoone, Hakuba Iwatake, Tsugaike Kogen, Hakuba Norikura Onsen and Hakuba Cortina completed in 2016-2017, and Kashimayari, Jiigatake, and Hakuba Sanosaka scheduled for completion this season. One of the advantages of the new ticket gates will be the convenience for regulars and long-stayers in the Hakuba Valley. Backcountry skiing trips into even deeper powder territory with local guides, skiing and snowboarding lessons with experienced English-speaking instructors, traditional Japanese culture workshops, and a great nightlife are just a few of the reasons to stay longer. For Hakuba Valley fans in the resort for an extended period, the ultimate is the All Area Season Pass. For the season, passes to all ten resorts are priced at ¥130,000 for adults, and ¥70,000 for children under 12; with a oneday adult pass typically costing ¥5,000, this pass offers great value for riders spending a good month or two in the valley. The Hakuba Valley's magnetic appeal in winter is not only thanks to powder

TRAUMEREI "A fantastic hotel set amidst the snowy peaks of Hakuba. Just as outstanding as the food is the passion of owner Ryo Nishino, and the character of his staff!" Endorsement from Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai

Experience an eminently satisf ying degustation course at Traumerei's Auberge restaurant, the top-ranking fine-dining restaurant in its region on travel site Jalan.net. Traumerei also provides refined accommodation with luxurious private hot spring baths. Website: traumerei.jp Bookings & Enquiries: info@traumerei.jp


snow. Naturally abundant in hot springs and surrounded by some of Japan's best farmland, it maintains the authenticity of a vintage Japanese inn and farming community. Guests are treated to beautifully prepared local produce and sublime baths, alongside modern ski-in, ski-out luxury hotels, hostels, and bed and breakfasts. With as much to enjoy for first-timers as there is for veterans, the Hakuba Valley is a truly awesome resort area that deserves a place on every snow-lover's Japan bucket list.

Travelling times to the Hakuba Valley Tokyo: 2 hrs 30 min; Nagano: 1 hr Further Information www.hakubavalley.com 7days 9:30am - 7:30pm (Sun 9am -) A•Coop HAKUBA Open Only a 3-minute walk from Hakuba Station. Supermarket chain store




Mommy Smile Babysitting service provides families with SAFE, QUALITY, FUN and RELIABLE babysitters.

6398-1 Hokujo, Hakuba-mura Phone: 0261-72-6000

Fresh! Delicious!

J e

For more information: 090-6123-1485 (9:00am - 7:00pm) mommysmile16@gmail.com www.mommysmile-babysitting-hakuba.com

A joyful evening with Nagano’s local brews and poultry dishes. For reservations: +81-80-1145-0542

Good things come in twos. At Hotel Oak Forest and Marion Shinano (Tsugaike Highland), we've teamed up to give you better access to the slopes, and more choice in hot springs with magnificent views, and even a complimentary Japanese fine dining banquet or Wagyu steak dinner exclusively for G'Day Japan! readers staying six nights or more at one or both of our properties. Conveniently located within walking distance from bars and restaurants in the Echoland area. Let our friendly English speaking staff assist you in arranging gear rentals, lessons and tours Take the free shuttle to Happo-One, Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba 47 and Iwatake from Hotel Oak Forest


HOTEL OAK FOREST www.oak-forest.jp Phone: 0261-85-2135 Email: info@oak-forest.jp Location: 3549 Misorano, Hokujo, Hakuba Village





16 December 2017 until 4 March 2018 Fare: JPY9,500 (Adult one way)


16 December 2017 until 4 March 2018 Fare: JPY9,000 (Adult one way)

Spacious seating with three rows of seats.

Spacious seating with three rows of seats.



The special seats give you relaxation during your trip


To make a reservation, please complete the form on the website below and submit it.

https://www.alpico.co.jp/traffic/en/express/hakuba/ PRIVATE TRANSFERS TO HAKUBA RECOMMENDED FOR GROUP TRAVELLERS Vehicle types and seating capacity Microbus 20-25 pax Van 5-9 pax VIP Van 5 pax Sedan 4 pax Why use our private transfer service? Free Wi-Fi onboard No fussing with luggage and ski gears No hassle transfer Comfortable and spacious seating Child seats available on request http://www.alpico.co.jp/en/transportation/


Hakuba Goryu

http://www.hakubaescal.com/winter-en/ | Kamishiro 22548, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun | 2+81-261-75-3131 | Days 8:15-16:50, Nights 18:00-21:30 | Travelling times to Hakuba Goryu Tokyo: 2 hrs 40 min (train); Osaka: 4 hrs 30 min (train) Dec





















ROOM FOR EVERYONE Covered in the excellent powder snow of the Northern Japanese Alps, Hakuba Goryu is interconnected with Hakuba 47 next door, created a balanced total of 23 courses for all riders. Its Escal Plaza building is fully equipped with restaurants, rentals, and shops for snow gear and local souvenirs,

and with great international services and information, life is easy for non-Japanese speaking guests at this resort. The slopes of Hakuba Goryu combine steep, winding speedways with wide, welcoming plateaus. Ski and snowboard lessons are available in English for riders

Hakuba Park Hotel

Both western and Japanese style rooms available. 7 minute walking distance from ski field. Free shuttle bus service available - just one minute ride from bus stop to ski field.

Look up Hakbua Park Hotel on Booking.com

Address: 22114-18 Kamishiro, Hakuba, Kitaazumi, Nagano


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

of all levels at the Iimori slope, which together with the Tōmi slope, also provides a daycare service for families. Terrain features to try on the mountain include moguls, a bowl burn and a supersized park, and there is almost a kilometre of vertical from the top. This is also an access point for the slopes of the Hakuba 47 resort next door, which can be enjoyed

thanks to a common lift pass arrangement. At the base of the resort, there is a good selection of hotels, pensions and condos, as well as a lodge. The Hakuba Goryu Stay Information Desk at JR Kamishiro Station is also able to assist with enquiries from 7:30 to 18:00, while Escal Plaza is open 24 hours from mid-December to the end of March.


Homely pension style accommodation with genuine Japanese ‘omotenashi’ hospitality. Surrounded by nature, it’s the perfect place to rest your mind, body and spirit after skiing.

✔ Free local tour guide available ✔ Five minute walk to the nearest slopes, courtesy bus service to two other ski fields available ✔ Revitalise your body après ski in the Oxygen Capsule ✔ All rooms are western style

Obergurgl Hakuba-no-mori, Kamishiro, Hakubamura, Kitaazumi-gun, Nagano, JAPAN

Email: info@gurgl.jp http://www.gurgl.jp/en/ 89

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22201-68 Kamishiro, Hakuba Phone: +81-(0)261-75-3250 E-mail: info@hakubamint.jp

Just a hundred metres from Mont Blanc Hakuba, this accommodation has a nice, casual atmosphere. Be sure to miss out on booking in for a soak in the private hot tub.

22201-65 Kamishiro, Hakuba Phone: +81-(0)261-75-2275

This resort is in the best location for an avid skier, situated just a minute walk from Hakuba Goryu ski field! Complete with both western and Japanese style rooms, this resort even comes with its own hot spring. The water flows directly from the Himekawa spring full of minerals and perfect for recuperating après ski.

22199 Kamishiro, Hakuba Village Phone: + 81-(0)261-85-2892 Email: info@hotelabest-hakuba.com www.hotelabest.com/hakuba-resort

Hotel Abest Happo Aldea

Hakuba Ryujin Onsen Nagomi-no-yu

Newly opening in Japanese Summer season 2017! Get a lift to Hakuba’s World Class slopes directly from the hotel on the free shuttle bus!

A hot spring located just 4 minutes from Hakuba Goryu ski field by free shuttle bus service. Enjoy a gorgeous view while unwinding in the open air bath.

4878-3 Hokujo, Hakuba Village Phone: +81-(0)261-72-6114

21396 Kamishiro, Hakuba Village


SNOW RENTAL Choose from 20,000 items! Point 1

12 rental shops adjacent to the ski resort.

Point 2

Return at a store different from the rented store.

Point 3

Popular High-end brands.

Point 4

Delivery straight to your accommodation.

Early-notice 30% discount by the 14 days prior to renting!!

http://ski-snowrental.com/en/ Phone: +81-678-91-3315 Ski Resort Nagano

Hakuba Happo-One Hakuba Goryu & Hakuba 47 Ski Resort Tsugaike Kougen Ski Resort


Akakura Onsen Ski Area

q Just a 7 minute walk from Hakuba Goryu ski resort q Homely Japanese and western fusion decor q Large rooms available to suit big groups q We’ve partnered with CLIFF RENTAL - snow gear for all levels available for rental Escal Plaza Cliff Rental

Lady Diana You are here


http://www.ladydiana.jp/en/winter/ Phone: +81-261-75-3525 info@ladydiana.jp

e 23

e In the Japanese Alps at the heart of Japan AMAZING RUNS for all levels of skiing e Extensive December to early May season e WORLD-CLASS powder snow

e Breathtaking, e 270

360-DEGREE PANORAMAS e Abundance of hot springs

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS (hotels, pensions, B & Bs)

For information on the ski fields: Hakuba Goryuu Ski Fields www.hakubagoryu.com/ Hakuba47 Ski Field www.hakuba47.co.jp

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

Hakuba 47 Mountain Sports Park

www.hakuba47.co.jp/winter/en | Kamishiro 24196-47, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun | 2+81-26175-3533 | Open 8:00-16:30 | Travelling times to Hakuba 47 Tokyo: 2 hrs 40 min (train), Osaka: 4 hrs (train) Dec





















AMAZING TERRAIN AND PARKS A distinctively Gen Y resort in comparison to the many baby boomers in the Hakuba Valley, Hakuba 47 was born in 1990, and has since risen to prominence as one of the valley’s premier all-season resorts. Its winter scenery is nothing short of magical, with a skyline dominated by jagged peaks reaching towards 3,000 metres, and its 23 courses down them offer a wide range of terrain - including moguls and designated off-piste areas - that will satisfy all riders.


funny inn

Beautiful Mountain Views and Private Outdoor Bath

funny inn

Here you can enjoy alpine views while relaxing in a private outdoor bath. A room with a private onsen style bath complete with a view of Happo is also available. In the morning, you can take your pick from a variety of breakfast food on the menu, changing daily. Conveniently located near eateries and bars for some after ski fun, plus free shuttle bus services are available to nearby slopes. Rated five stars on Trip Adviser and fantastic reviews featured in Sydney Morning Herald and the Manly Daily.

Address: Misorano, Hakuba Village, Kitaazumi District Phone: +81 261 72 6552 Email: info@funnyinn.com http://www.funnyinn.com


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

www.hakuba-meteor.com/English.htm Welcoming family service for memorable stay!

METEOR Lodge (pension) standard room is reasonable. Single rooms 〜 8 beds room

METEOR Big Log House (with kitchen) All 7 rooms are deluxe room with en-suite. You can rent an all 7 rooms with 10 〜 25 people. BROWNIE Condominium (apartment) (2bedroom) 6 units are 54m2 each. Max capacity is 5 people (2 beds + 3 beds).

BROWNIE Log House Cottages (2 bedroom + loft). 6 Log house cottages are 64m2 each. Max capacity is 5 〜 7 people.

Contact us meteor@seagreen.ocn.ne.jp owner: TETSU & MIDORI 96

Some of Hakuba 47’s biggest draw cards are its terrain parks, the R4 and R6 Snow Parks. R6 caters to all levels, and was designed by pro team TOMBOY, using the best of both Hakuba 47’s natural and artificial terrain. It’s a friendly place to learn the ropes, before heading to R4 - an artificially constructed terrain park. Pro team HYWOD designed its popular R4 Snow Park, which features as a stage for events like the Hakuba 47 Slopestyle, and the North Alps Terrain Park Tour. There’s also the half-pipe, a behemoth in the threemetre class that opens with the park in the heavy snows of early February each year - one of the best times to be at Hakuba 47 in winter. The snowfall is abundant enough for the resort to build an igloo village and ice sculptures in addition to the artificial terrain, as part of the Hakuba 47 Thanks Week - a festival which happens in conjunction with the We Love Snow Festival across the Hakuba Valley. Not just for show, some of the igloos function as rest houses complete with ice bars - naturally serving ice-cold beer - and even Japanese hot pot dishes. Over in the base area, Pizza House Luis is a fantastic choice for a meal, having won a top place in the local 'Gereshoku Battle' for four years running. A contest between slopeside eateries around Nagano Prefecture, this battle typically features a strong field of more than 60 dishes. One of the recent prize-winning menu items from Pizza House Luis is its 'Nozawana Pizza', topped with the famous pickled vegetables of Nozawa Onsen. Hakuba 47 stands out as a must-visit resort in the Hakuba Valley, and with the longest winter season there from December to May, there’s ample opportunity to go and experience it.



As well as awesome tours around Hakuba, they run a cafe, bar and ramen restaurant. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Hakuba Lion Adventure!

Snow Monkey & Snow Mobile Tour

Japanese Alps in the background. If you don't have that much confidence, don't worry - you can ride with a Are you ready to see the cute little partner. snow monkeys? To find out more about the tour, Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park is the please email or give us a call. We look one and only place where you can see forward to introducing you to the them soaking in a hot spring. snow monkeys! It is a 30-minute walk from the park gate to the snow monkeys' hot spring, What's included through the beautiful scenery of -Pick up & drop off Jigokudani Valley. -Snowmobile lesson & safety check After meeting the snow monkeys on our tour, the next stop is Mt Yakebitai -Lunch in Shiga Kogen for snow mobiling and -Visit to Jigokudani Monkey Park a delicious lunch at the Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel. Once your guide has taught you how to ride your snow mobile, you'll embark on an exciting, safe 70-minute snow mobile tour with the beautiful

Tour Itinerary 7:15-7:30 Hotel pick up in Hakuba 9:00 Depart for monkey park 12:15 Lunch at Shiga Kogen 13:30 Snow mobile tour (70 min.) 14:45 Depart for Hakuba 17:30-18:00 Hotel drop off in Hakuba *The schedule is subject to change without notice.

Bookings and Enquiries Hakuba Lion Adventure runs the Snow Monkey Tour daily from late December to late March, except Mondays and Thursdays. Email: hakuba@lion-adventure.com Phone: +81-(0)261-72-5061 Website: hakuba.lion-adventure.com



Please try our delicious coffee. We will make the best coffee for you. Ask for your favourite taste, and we will make exactly what you want. Our cafe's atmosphere will make you relax and lose track of time. We love to chat with people. When you come in please talk with us - we won't forget your favourite coffees. You can also fill up on our hearty hand-made hot dogs, pizza, and other foods.

Our rental shop is located at Echoland. Echoland is one of the most famous spot in Hakuba. Our Snowboard & Ski equipments are all latest models and in good conditions. We're not only running a snowboard & Ski rental shop, we also have other items to rent and running other small shops as well. Please feel free to come visit our stores anytime. Our friendly staffs are always happy to assist you.

Where: 5746-3 Hokujo, Hakuba Village (opposite Lawson) When: 8am - 6pm, with the occasional day off facebook.com/hakuba.lion.cafe

Where: 3020-567 Hokujo, Hakuba Village When: 7:30am - 5pm December to April Website: http://rental.lion-adventure.com/

Happo area's ski and snowboard rental experts! Rental Shop Woody has the knowledge and experience of two decades to get you onto the slopes with the right gear, for whatever adventure you are setting out to. Both of the two Rental Shop Woody outlets are in Hakuba’s Happo area, and the friendly staff there are both knowledgable and dependable. The outlets are fully stocked with only the best snow sport equipments to suit every and every need from brands like Völkl, Rossignol, DPS Skis, ARMADA, Jones Snowboards, and more. From this upcoming season, the stores will be renting out backcountry gears and these can be booked on the spot instore! The stores also have English speaking staff and provide fantastic services including complimentary pick up service and free helmet rental for kids. You are able to drop off your rental gear on the way back to your accomodation during your stay or they’ll even pick up your gear from the accommodation at the end of your holiday.

Hakuba Happo Shop 1

Located in the hot spring inn district close to Hakuba Happo-one ski resort, the main Rental Shop Woody outlet re-opened in 2015. Handy in-house facilities include change rooms and a rest area, while the Happo Onsen hot springs are just behind the shop - the perfect way to finish a day in the snow.

Hakuba Happo Shop 2

Located in the Happo area like the main outlet - and right in front of the Happo-one lifts, providing superb access to the slopes. Also nearby is the bus terminal, and there are places to dine, drink and enjoy hot spring bathing dotted throughout the surrounding area.

RENTAL SHOP WOODY www.rentalshop-woody.com Hakuba Happo Shop 1 Phone: 0261-72-9595 5256 Happo, Hokujo, Hakuba Village Hakuba Happo Shop 2 Phone: 0261-72-4649 4257 Happo, Hokujo, Hakuba Village Rentals & Enquiries: rentalshop.woody@gmail.com

When service matters… High-performance skis and snowboards / Huge range of sizes / Equipment delivery / Hotel pick-up and drop-off

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

Hakuba Happo-one

www.happo-one.jp/english | Hokujo Happo, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun | 2+81-261-72-3066 | Days 8:00-17:00, Nights 18:00-21:00 | Travelling times to Happo-one Tokyo: 3 hrs (train & bus), Osaka: 4 hrs 30 min (train) Dec





















POWDER PIONEER Hakuba Happo-one is one of the Hakuba Valley's pioneering ski resorts, with roots stretching back to the 1920s. Today it remains at the forefront of the development of snow sports in Japan, and with more than twelve metres of excellent quality powder a season, delivers a snow holiday of the highest order. The riding tradition at Happo-one is intertwined with its Riesen Slalom, a grassroots competition that has been going for some 70 years. One of the resort's most legendary runs is the Skyline Course, a

A restaurant long loved in Sydney, now in HAKUBA-WADANO! Large group bookings available 2F Eagle Lodge, Hakuba 4677-2 Web: www.akaneya.com.au Trading Hours: 17:30-22:00 Phone +81 0261-750-750

glorious six-kilometre run inclining between 31° and 16° that includes an ungroomed powder run. The Skyline runs into the Sakka Course, a great area for families; it also has a kids ski school and childcare facilities. There are three snow playland areas at Happoone: the Sakka Kids Park, Snow Rafting Park and Usao Park, which are popular for fat biking, snow-shoeing, sledding and other fun activities. Thanks to its high altitude of around 1,000 metres, the resort can stay open until as late as early May.

Sobadokoro RIKI Delicious soba noodles and Japanese sake Taiko drumming Only in Jan & Feb 6pm-8pm Wednesdays

Lunch 11am-3pm, Closed Thursdays, 2nd & 4th Fridays

Ph: 0261-85-4311

3020-90 Mizuho, Hokujo, Hakuba Village


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

With 800 metres of vertical extending over three kilometres, Happo-one has a wide variation in terrain and is hugely popular with intermediate riders. Another major draw card of the resort is its Kurobishi Course, and 'URAKURO', which is known as one of the best ungroomed advanced runs, featuring Hakuba's iconic mountain scenery on its left. Pro riders hit the powder of Happo-one for some epic runs on a Freeride World Tour qualifier in January 2017, which was followed by the IVSI Snow Instructors Congress in March. The excitement always heats up at the resort in mid-February for the Happo-one Fire Festival. Its dazzling fireworks display

is a show-stopper, lighting up the slopes and night sky with brilliant splashes of colour. Get there early to enjoy some sake on the house after the kagami-biraki sake barrel-opening ceremony, and expect some powerful taiko festival drumming to hit the airwaves. Accommodation, dining and drinking in the village area below Happo-one is just as good as the riding, offering the classic Japanese après-ski combination of hot springs, hearty local cooking and an ale or three. For access to Happo-one and all the other Hakuba Valley resorts throughout the season, a Hakuba Valley All Area Season Pass is the way to go.

Hakuba Happo One

Hotel Heidi-Hof

Come and enjoy the finer things in life with us - hot springs, French cuisine and stunning views of Hakuba's natural beauty. Please visit our website to book.


3012 Hokujo, Hakuba Village www.heidihof.com Phone: +81-261-72-5010 Courtesy shuttle service available (reservation needed) from both JR Hakuba Station and Happo Bus Terminal. At Happo Bus Terminal, the staff will make the call on your behalf, so there's no need to worry.

Hakuba Berg-land Your base for exploring the Hakuba Valley with cozy, homely hospitality. Enjoy your stay in our Japanese style rooms and the view from our 5th floor hot spring bath. We offer a B&B service and dinner on request - you'll love our home-cooked food and homemade bread, as well as our chef's authentic Japanese food like sushi, sukiyaki and shabushabu. We're located right in front of the Happo Bus Terminal which will take you to the nearby slopes.

Phone: +81-(0)261-72-2224 http://www.berg-land.com/ 102

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

www.hakuba.jp/iwatake/en | Hokujo Iwatake, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun | 2+81-261-72-2780 | Open 8:00-17:00 | Travelling times to Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field Tokyo: 3 hrs (train & bus) , Osaka: 4 hrs 40 min (train) Dec




















PANORAMIC PLEASURE Enjoying a 360° panorama of the Northern Alps and Hakuba Basin, Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field has 26 courses down the 1,289-metre Mount Iwatake. Mountainside, the beginners' area around the summit, is the place for mellow cruising with amazing scenery. The Hillside area follows a wide creek bed with banks to carve up, and also has an off-piste subsection in the shadow of the mountain. For professionally shaped kickers, rails and other obstacles, hit the Iwatake Love Snow Park.

Hakuba Cortina Snow Resort

http://www.hgp.co.jp/language/english/hakuba/ | Chikuniotsu 12860-1, Otari-mura, Kitaazumigun | 2+81-261-82-2236 | Sun-Fri 8:30-20:00, Sat 8:30-21:00 | Travelling times to Hakuba Cortina Tokyo: 2 hrs 30 min (train), Osaka: 4 hrs 40 min (train) Dec





















NATURAL BOWL Hakuba Cortina Snow Resort enjoys the Hakuba Valley's heaviest powder dumps, and impressive mountain views from its hot spring baths. A gigantic natural bowl lined with tree runs, the resort has a designated off-piste area that makes it a powder heaven. Family friendly slope-front accommodation is available at its classy Hotel Green Plaza Hakuba, and interconnecting passes to Hakuba Norikura Ski Resort next door add more variety. Visit the Cortina Facebook page for real-time snow updates.


The Freeride World Tour Comes to Hakuba By James A. Robb, Evergreen Backcountry Guides

Imagine a steep, snowy alpine slope of forty-five degrees or more, dotted with cliff faces, rocks, trees and natural features. This type off-piste terrain is a freerider’s dream, and this past January 2017, Hakuba Village played host to the first ever Freeride World Tour in Asia. For those who may not have heard about the Freeride World Tour, it is a competition where skiers and snowboarders descend a slope in steep offpiste terrain that is 100% natural. There are no gates except the start and finish lines, and the best run wins.


Freeriding is by its very philosophy a very creative, progressive and truly exciting type of winter sport. Skiers and snowboarders are set loose (at one at time) down the mountain, and their run is judged on the difficulty of their line, control, fluidity, jumps and technique. Developing from the early days of ‘extreme skiing’ in the 80’s and 90’s, and from what were purely daring ski mountaineering descents in Europe, competitive extreme skiing and snowboarding events took root in Alaska, and then Switzerland. From there, the two disciplines merged into the current Freeride World Tour, which has staged events from junior levels all the way up to the pro level. With an already solid base of local freeride skiers and boarders, and blessed with the steep bigmountain terrain of the Northern Japanese Alps, Hakuba, and specifically the backcountry terrain off of Happo-One Resort was the perfect location for the event. As with any major winter sporting event in a new location, there were plenty of logistical hurdles to overcome. Besides the obvious challenges of running a huge international event

like this in Hakuba, the team also had to bow down to Mother Nature, who brought heaps of snow and tricky avalanche conditions to manage. Allowing for weather and snow stability, event days occurred over a two-week period; needing just two days for completion, both the 2-star (amateur class) and 4-star (invitational/pro class) events went amazingly well. Skiers and snowboarders from Japan and around the world put on a fantastic show of freeriding skills and tricks, all while ripping down the mountain at top speed. What was really cool for us Hakuba locals was that Japanese skiers and boarders took 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the 2-star competition, and 1st and 2nd in the 4-star event. Those who progressed onto the 4-star winner level can now battle it out in the other Freeride World Tour events in America and Europe. You can catch all the action and videos at www.freerideworldtour. com, and come January 2018, we will hopefully see the tour live here again in Hakuba.

James A. Robb is a professional guide and General Manager of the Evergreen Outdoor Center in Hakuba. He and his team of fellow guides and instructors assisted the Freeride World Tour with initial planning, ground support, first aid and rescue services, and avalanche risk control.

Experience Hakuba with Evergreen.

Evergreen have got you covered

• Daycare from 18mths

• Off-piste Introduction

• Adult Ski & Board Lessons

• Instructor Programs

• Kids Ski & Board Lessons • Tailored Private Lessons

• Women’s Weeks

• Race and Freeride

www.evergreen-hakuba.com In Partnership with:


Tsugaike Kogen

www.tsugaike.gr.jp/english | Tsugaike Kogen, Otari-mura, Kitaazumi-gun | 2+81-261-83-2515 | Days 8:00-17:00, Nights 18:00-21:00 | Travelling times to Tsugaike Kogen Tokyo: 3 hrs 10 min (train & bus), Osaka: 5 hrs (train) Dec





















POWDER AT THE FRONT DOOR Tsugaike Kogen transforms from a highland oasis of colour in the off-season to a powder paradise in winter. One of the Hakuba Valley's biggest resorts, the ten courses within its 196 hectares are connected by 20 lifts, and there is a good variety of convenient slope-front accommodation here. Situated in the Tsugaike Onsen hot spring area, the resort is also close to many smaller lodges, shops, restaurants and izakaya bars. Views of the valley around Tsugaike Kogen are magnificent, especially from the courses descending its upper reaches around 1,700 metres. They include the Tsugano-mori Course, a wide intermediate slope, and the Uma-no-se Course, a 32° expert’s run with tighter turns and moguls.


Also located high up at Tsugaike Kogen is its Hit Park, the highest terrain park in the Hakuba Valley. It opens during January on the Han-no-ki Course and shifts to the Tsuga-no-mori Course during March, offering a mix of kickers up to twelve metres high, boxes and banks. The Tsugaike Powder DBD off-piste area caters for expert backcountry riders. Helicopter trips take skiers and snowboarders to the Tsugaike Kogen backcountry from March every year, dropping them off at 2,200 metres to enjoy the long 14-kilometre run through ChubuSangaku National Park. This dynamic area can be enjoyed on a guided snowshoe hiking tour, too. Tsugaike Kogen is also known for its wide,

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

gentle slopes, like the Kane-no-naru-oka ('The hill where the bell rings'). A spacious 1,200 metres wide, the slope is lit up for night skiing. On its northern side lies the Tsugaike Kids Park, with play equipment laid out in a 70 x 70-metre area connected by a 50-metre magic carpet, and an indoor play area on the first floor of Restaurant Grill Tsugaike. These facilities combine with the great ski-in, skiout accommodation, which isn't usually this close to the slopes, to make Tsugaike Kogen an especially good resort for family trips.

Espoir Misawa Hakuba Tsugaike

Ski in Ski out Ok

Petit Hotel Schanze

An excellent inn located just a step or two away from the lifts. Fantastic perks include equipment rental. Free WiFi

Come and enjoy our homemade food made with organic and natural produce. A small family run hotel with magnificent mountain views, just a short walk from the gondola station.

For information: http://www2u.biglobe.ne.jp/~schanze/ Email: schanze@mwa.biglobe.ne.jp

Phone:0261-83-2644 www.espoir-misawa.co.jp/english/

Good things come in twos. At Marion Shinano and Hotel Oak Forest (Hakuba), we've teamed up to give you better access to the slopes, and more choice in hot springs with magnificent views, and even a complimentary Japanese fine dining banquet or Wagyu steak dinner exclusively for G'Day Japan! readers staying six nights or more at one or both of our properties. Let our friendly English speaking staff assist you in arranging gear rentals, lessons and tours Take the free shuttle to Iwatake and Hakuba Cortina from Marion Shinano, or ski straight in to Tsugaike Kogen - the perfect option for families


MARION SHINANO www.marion-s.com/english Phone: 0261-83-2606 Fax: 0261-83-2043 Location: Tsugaike Highland, Otari Village


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

Hakuba Norikura Onsen Ski Resort

www.hakuba-alps.co.jp/e-ski | Hakuba-norikura-kogen, Otari-mura, Kitaazumi-gun | 2+81-26182-2811 | Open 8:30-16:30 | Travelling times to Hakuba Norikura Tokyo: 3 hrs (train), Osaka: 5 hrs 30 min (car) Dec





















BUILT TO SATISFY Secluded amidst the rugged mountains in the north of the Hakuba Valley lies Hakuba Norikura Onsen Ski Resort. Known as Hakuba Norikura, this resort is popular for its wide variety of courses, excellent powder and relaxed local atmosphere. With a range of facilities, accommodation and hot springs, it is well-equipped to offer the ideal snow resort getaway for all ages and abilities. Hakuba Norikura has a total of 16 courses for all levels, from the steep and deep powder of its Expert and Skyview Courses, to its gently undulating Family Course. The Skyview Course is one of the resort's most famous, boasting a generous width of 250 metres, inclines ranging from 10° to 38°, and jaw-dropping views. Other slopes


around Hakuba Norikura feature tree runs, moguls, a terrain park, and a kids park with free rafting and tubing, and the resort is interconnected with its neighbour, Hakuba Cortina Ski Resort. Hakuba Norikura has now introduced ticket gates for the Hakuba Valley's new electronic lift passes, which are available directly through local hotels. For great slope-front accommodation, stay at the Hakuba Alps Hotel. The tasteful hot spring baths and health spa here incorporate wonderful views of the mountains, and as well as a buffet restaurant, there is high-quality Japanese and French cuisine on the menu, featuring the natural and wholesome flavours of Nagano's local produce.


H A K UB A A L P S HO T E L Exciting variety of terrain for all riders Discounted lift passes for guests Early booking discounts on accommodation Complimentary shuttle from JR Minami Otari Station

Hakuba Alps Hotel combines all the classic elements of an unforgettable Japanese snow holiday, right where you need them. Situated at the base of Hakuba Norikura Onsen Ski Resort, we offer ski-in ski-out access to fresh powder, excellent natural hot spring bathing and health spa facilities, and authentic dining options that include French, Japanese and Chinese cuisine. The only thing that's missing is you.

Bookings and further information www.hakuba-alps.co.jp/en/ 2 +81-(0)261-82-2811 ď€ƒ Info-hakuba.alps@dune.ocn.ne.jp


Enjoy the finer things in a hot spring town on Hakuba’s doorstep


40 minutes from Hakuba, Omachi is local to the ski resorts of Kashimayari Sports Village and Jiigatake. Its hot spring area of Omachi Onsenkyō is set in deep forest, and skiers and snowboarders overnight here from Hakuba to enjoy the local hospitality and cultural attractions. Shinano Omachi Gourmet Street is the place to go for great local food, including the famous 'oyaki' steamed vegetable dumplings, and premium sake. Lift passes for Omachi's Kashimayari Sports Village and Jiigatake ski resort are also included in the Hakuba Valley Ticket, along with free shuttle bus access - another great reason to stop by this welcoming town in winter, cradled by the majestic 3,000-metre peaks of the Northern Japanese Alps.

Getting to Omachi Shinano Omachi Station, Omachi’s main travel hub, is just 3 hours from Tokyo on the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Nagano, and an Alpico express bus from Nagano to Omachi. Trains on the JR Ōito Line, and the Genki-Go night shuttle bus (winter only) connect Hakuba and Omachi in 40 minutes. Official Omachi Travel Guide www.kanko-omachi.gr.jp/en/

City of Omachi Please enjoy a tasty meal and a pleasant time in Shinano Omachi


Your number one base for exploring the Northern Alps

Omachi City Tourism Association Phone: 0261-22-0190



Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

Discover traditional Japan in Omachi

Salt Road Chojiya

Nishina Shinmeigu Shrine

This samurai-era building is a monument to Omachi's heritage as a stop on the Chikuni Kaidō, an ancient route used to transport salt, seafood and other cargo from the Sea of Japan coast to the Nagano castle town of Matsumoto. Now a museum, Salt Road Chojiya offers visitors a great range of traditional costumes to try on for a photo shoot, including kimono and ninja, as well as workshops on cooking traditional 'kori-mochi' rice cakes, Japanese calligraphy and more.

Standing in an ancient forest with beautiful cedar and cypress trees, Nishina Shinmeigu is the oldest existing shrine built in the Shinto 'shinmei-zukuri' style, and one of a number of shrines and temples around Omachi. Now designated as a Japanese National Treasure, its main hall and inner gate were built in the seventeenth century, and its important cultural properties include wooden ‘munafuda’ plaques, which preserve records of the rebuilding of the shrine every twenty years since 1376.

Enjoy your stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan complete with a relaxing hot spring. Located just half an hour away from Hakuba Valley. Hotel Keisui Omachi Onsen-kyo, Omachi Phone: +81-261-22-5501 www.nagano-hotelkeisui.jp


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

NAGANO CITY -> Convenient winter holiday base 79 minutes from Tokyo -> Close to the Hakuba Valley, Nozawa Onsen and the snow monkeys -> Local attractions include Zenkō-ji temple, a National Treasure of Japan

Nagano City is more than a famous gateway for pilgrims to Zenkō-ji, its iconic 1,400-year-old Buddhist temple. Since the Nagano Winter Olympics of 1998, the city has also welcomed increasing numbers of skiers and snowboarders on a pilgrimage to the snow resort areas that surround it. The Winter Olympics brought the bullet train to Nagano City from Tokyo, shortening the journey to 79 minutes. With the 11 resorts of the Hakuba Valley 70 minutes away, and Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort 75 minutes away from Nagano Station by bus, the city is in a favourable snow holiday location that enables riders to pick and choose between top-class options depending on local weather conditions. Many winter visitors to Nagano City are also en route to the famous Snow Monkeys, near the resort area of Shiga Kogen. The Nagano


Snow Resort Pass is a convenient way to see them together along with areas such as Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen, Togakushi and Zenkō-ji. And when arriving in Nagano on the bullet train, a good first stop for information, bookings and free Wi-Fi is the Nagano City Tourist Information Center, inside JR Nagano Station. Long established as an ancient pilgrimage site, Nagano offers many great options for a stay in a shukubō, or temple lodging, to experience the city's Buddhist heritage. This includes amazing 'shōjin ryori', a type of Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, while other local specialties to try at the many restaurants in Nagano include Shinshu soba - delicious and healthy buckwheat noodles and oyaki dumplings. Nagano's Buddhist and Winter Olympic traditions are commemorated during the second week of February in the Nagano Tōmyō Festival at Zenkō-ji. This major highlight on the winter event calendar brings an art exhibition to the streets around the temple, and bathes its grounds romantically in the five Olympic colours - honouring the Olympic spirit with 'lights of peace'. Close by, the samurai estates, gardens and temples in the Matsushiro Castle area, and the ninja heritage of the Togakushi area make for fascinating and exciting short trips while staying in Nagano City. NAGANO CITY OFFICIAL TRAVEL GUIDE http://en.nagano-cvb.or.jp/




Five ancient shrines in a beautiful cedar forest, also known for ninjas, soba noodles and skiing 60 mins from Nagano Station by local bus



Powder paradise with 11 resorts, averaging some 11 metres of snow a season 70 mins from Nagano Station by express bus ©Nagano Prefecture/©JNTO ©Matsumoto city/©JNTO


1,400 year-old Buddhist temple recognised as a National Treasure of Japan 20 mins from Nagano Station Walk on foot Express Bus JR Shinano Line


A monument to AzuchiMomoyama period (15741600) castle design, and National Treasure of Japan 51 mins from Nagano Station to Matsumoto Station by JR Shinano Limited Express; 15 mins walk from Matsumoto Station

Local Bus

Deep powder resort and charming hot spring village with 13 charismatic public baths 75 mins from Nagano Station by express bus

Nagaden Bus

Nagano Station


Beautifully restored outer perimeter structures and immaculate gardens, famous for cherry blossoms 30 mins from Nagano Station by local bus



The antics of the resident Japanese macaques playing in the hot spring baths here are irresistible 45 mins to Kanbayashi Onsen trailhead from Nagano Station by Nagaden Bus; 30 mins walk from there

'The reason I moved to Nagano City was because of the natural beauty.' Aussie expat and local businessman Adam Hara on life in Nagano

'One of the main reasons I chose Nagano to live was because the climate and feeling are very similar to Australia. The only real difference between Brisbane or Sydney and Nagano is the winters. In winter we are close to some of the best ski slopes in Japan. And in late summer and spring, we have many great camping areas and onsens to visit. Recently, Jigokudani Monkey Park in Yamanouchi has become quite popular with many Australians. You can see many monkeys soaking in a hot spring. It is around 45 minutes from Nagano Station, but during winter most of the ski resort areas have day tours.'

Travelling between Tokyo and Nagano Station The bullet train runs from Tokyo to Nagano on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line. Nagano Station is also a major transfer point for local services on private bus and rail lines operated by the Alpico Group and Nagano Dentetsu (Nagaden).

Nagano Snow Resort Pass The Nagano Snow Resort Pass is a convenient way to see the Snow Monkeys together with areas such as Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen, Togakushi and Zenkō-ji. A two-day pass valued at ¥5,000 for adults and ¥2,500 for children, it provides hop-on, hop-off access to local trains and buses in designated areas.



A walk back in time around Nagano Station: taking in the city's traditional heritage


temples, traditional neighbourhoods and delicious food, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful Japanese Alps. Just an hour and a half from Tokyo, at the intersection of several train lines, the Nagano Station area is one of the perfect places to experience the best of traditional Japan. Originally a temple town, Nagano is focused around the majestic Zenkō-ji. This 1,400-year-old temple is one of the largest and most important in the country, home to Japan’s first Buddhist statue, which was given to Japan when Buddhism was introduced in 552 AD. In addition to the main hall, a National Treasure, there is a dark prayer chamber where you can search for what is known as the key to salvation. Opposite is Nakamise-dōri - a street lined with traditional-style stores and food vendors offering Nagano’s specialties. The area is known for its buckwheat, and Shinshū soba, handmade buckwheat noodles eaten dipped


in a hot or cool broth, are famous as some of the best in Japan. Another favourite is oyaki - a roasted dumpling made with soba flour and filled with a variety of ingredients, including local vegetables and sweet apple slices. Street vendors also offer snacks such as grilled rice balls, beef croquettes and soba ice cream perfect to enjoy as you stroll the picturesque streets. Naturally, Nagano also offers rich cultural experiences. For example, you can try making ‘nioi-bukuro’ - traditional scent bags filled with incense. Thought to ward off bad fortune, they were worn with kimonos during the Edo period (1603-1867), and remain popular today as gifts. Choose from a selection of wonderful natural aromas to create your very own relaxing scent that you can take with you anywhere - a perfect souvenir. While a destination in itself, Nagano is also the gateway to the snow of the Japanese Alps, making it an ideal winter holiday base.

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata


Experience the traditional Buddhist lifestyle of a Nagano temple for a night For centuries, pilgrims visiting Nagano have stayed at temple lodgings, which are known as 'shukubō'. Today, many offer tourists the chance to spend a night experiencing the traditional Buddhist way of life. Discover your spiritual side with Zazen meditation, relax overlooking Zen gardens, and enjoy delicious traditional vegetarian dishes. In the morning, you can participate in Zenkō-ji’s morning prayer, where priests recite the sutra in a practice that is believed to have taken place there every day for many centuries. Togakushi, around 1 hour by bus north of Nagano, also offers shukubō. This traditional village of pilgrim lodgings nestled in the mountains around Togakushi Shrine has been designated as an important traditional building conservation area due to its rich history. The nearby Kagamiike Pond is famous for its natural beauty, reflecting the mountain scenery in its calm water. The Nagano Convention and Visitors Bureau website below provides information about shukubō that offer assistance in English. NAGANO CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU: ACCOMMODATION http://en.nagano-cvb.or.jp/modules/content/stay/


Lights of peace warm up the mid-winter nights around Zenkō-ji Temple Nagano's Buddhist and Winter Olympic heritage are celebrated every February with lantern processions, art, food and sake at the Nagano Tōmyō Festival, around the Zenkō-ji Temple area. The festival opens fittingly with an Olympic-style torch relay, bringing a procession of lanterns to Zenkō-ji where a light-up performance bathes the temple gates in brilliant colour. Including a palette of the five Olympic colours, light displays are created in honour of the Olympic spirit, as symbolic lights of peace. The Nagano Tōmyō Festival also includes an art exhibition on its program, as well as special tasting events featuring the food and sake of Nagano. Premium local produce and drinks are available for free tasting here, and delicious discoveries can also be purchased; see the official Nagano City travel guide below for further details on this memorable winter event. NAGANO TŌMYO FESTIVAL http://en.nagano-cvb.or.jp/modules/event/page/66


MATSUSHIRO CASTLE AREA Exploring the samurai heritage of a prosperous castle town


Matsushiro Castle area of Nagano City is a must-visit for its precious samurai heritage buildings, gardens and artefacts. They are the legacy of the Sanada clan, who established themselves in Matsushiro Castle during the late Muromachi period (1338–1573). Around 30 minutes from Nagano Station by bus, the ambience of old Japan endures at the Sanada Residence and Sanada Treasures Museum, where fearsome suits of armour and other antiques are on display. A rickshaw tour is a wonderful way to see this area. Try Japanese archery and swordplay at the

Bunbu Literary and Military School, and don't miss the Matsushiro Castle Ruins - famous for gorgeous cherry blossoms during late March and early April. Under the Sanada clan, Matsushiro became known as 'Sanada Jūmangoku', meaning that it produced enough rice to feed more than 9,000 people a year - a mark of prestige in ancient Japan. The Sanada Jūmangoku Festival commemorates this with a grand parade every year, during the second week of October. MATSUSHIRO CASTLE RUINS http://en.nagano-cvb.or.jp/modules/ sightseeing/page/31

TOGAKUSHI AREA Unmasking the birthplace of the Togakure ninja school


a journey to the Togakushi area, some 70 minutes by bus from Nagano Station, and step into the world of the ninja. Togakushi was once the stronghold of the Togakure ninja clan, whose arts are preserved at the Togakure Ninpō Museum, Togakushi Folk Museum and Ninja Trick House. Entry to these attractions is ¥600 for adults and ¥400 for kids; with around 500 ninja artefacts on display, and activities such as shuriken throwing and a ninja maze, they are an exciting day out from Nagano. The classic lunch menu here features delicious Togakushi soba buckwheat noodles.


Another special highlight of a visit to the Togakushi Ski Area is Togakushi Shrine, a complex of five shrines ascending from the base of Mount Togakushi. The scenic approach to the upper shrine area overlooks Kagamiike pond (‘Mirror Pond’), which reflects the spectacular scenery, and is only accessible with cross-country skis or snowshoes in winter. While these facilities are closed during this time of the year, Togakushi Ski Area nearby holds a series of fun ninja-themed performances. TOGAKUSHI SKI AREA http://en.nagano-cvb.or.jp/modules/ sightseeing/page/27

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

Togakushi Ski Area

www.togakusi.com/english-information | 3682 Togkushi, Nagano | 2+81-(0)26-254-2106 | Days 8:30-16:45 | Travelling times to Togakushi Ski Area: Tokyo: 2 hrs 30 min (Hokuriku Shinkansen, bus); Nagano: 1 hr/45 min (bus/taxi) Dec




















32 Ëš

ALL BASES COVERED Togakushi Ski Area has more than 20 courses for all riders, and enjoys consistent falls of dry powder snow. Its Champion Course features steep inclines of more than 30 degrees, and there’s also Park 9, where riders of all skill levels practice

their technique and try to do tricks on the terrain features. Togakushi Ski Area is a family-friendly resort, too, with an indoor nursery, kids snow park, and Togakkii kids' course, named after Togakkii, the ski area's adorable ninja mascot.

Learn to ride like a ninja at Togakushi Ski Area As the birthplace of the Togakure ninja school, Togakushi has more than 800 years of history as a centre of ninja training. At Togakushi Ski Area, the cute mascot character of Togakkii brings this to life along with a host of other special ninja attractions, which make it a popular family destination with a theme park atmosphere. They include the obstacle course on the 'Ninjya Slope', with a slalom section, waves, corners and a tunnel, as well as a secret forest with igloos. As you pass over on the lift, watch out for the ninjas hiding in the forest! Lessons are available for developing ninjas, young and old, and for baby ninjas, there is a kid's play room inside Guest House Iwato. Located at the base of the Togakushi Ski Area, this rest house also provides rentals and visitor information.



Welcoming hot spring town with retro charm Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen carved itself a place on Japan's hot spring destination map just over 120 years ago in 1893. Times were tough, and to revive the local economy, the head of the town implemented a plan to dig for hot springs. Since the waters began to flow, ToguraKamiyamada Onsen has been transformed from just another country town to a local relaxation and entertainment spot. This was spurred on thanks to the pilgrims and travellers who visited the town after spending time at the nearby ZenkĹ?ji Temple. Today, Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen is also conveniently located for skiers and snowboarders en route to Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen from the airport, or on their way back. The town is readily accessible from surrounding ski resorts, and provides an interesting, revitalising short trip option. Its street-scape is wrapped within a nostalgic atmosphere: warmly lit neon lights decorate the streets, where visitors and locals continue to mill around in wearing yukata (light kimono), as they have for many decades. Everyone comes out to play in Togura-Kamiyamada for its countless local eateries and authentic traditional performances, as a complement to the main attraction: the hot springs. Over 8,000 litres of pure, mineral-rich hot spring water flows from over fifty spring-heads in the town, gushing into its multitude of hot spring baths. Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen essentially has the whole package as a hot spring town, offering unique entertainment, total relaxation and delicious local food – ticking all the boxes of a wonderful getaway.


GJ Story

The Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen top three Small bars, karaoke venues and restaurants make Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen a lively town. Its retro entertainment districts are home to some 200 establishments, where visitors can enjoy the fresh food and sake of Nagano together with the locals. Geisha shows in Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen are available as a 30-minute performance, and are a fun way to experience traditional Japanese entertainment in the town. Cycling tours take in the townscape, alpine scenery and rice paddies of ToguraKamiyamada Onsen, uncovering historic points of interest that would otherwise remain hidden to the visitor. Further Information www.onsentown.net

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

Delightful authentic Japanese arts and hospitality

One of the biggest reasons ToguraKamiyamada Onsen has become such a hub of entertainment and relaxation is its proximity to Zenkōji Temple, about 30 minutes away by train in Nagano. The local springs are especially renowned for their revitalising, cleansing effects on skin, and generations of Zenkōji pilgrims have visited them on their return from the temple. In Japanese, this stage of a pilgrimage is known as 'shōjin-otoshi', and involves a transition back to partaking in worldly pleasures. Typically a festive occasion, Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen is accordingly clustered with a plentiful array of great restaurants, entertainment and accommodation. The town has a mix of over thirty traditional Japanese hot spring inns, modern hotels and other accommodation types to choose from, and most notably, is home to a small but active population of geisha entertainers. Traditionally, geisha entertain audiences at private banquets for hours, but today, visitors to Togura- Kamiyama Onsen are able to book introductory performances with two geisha – one dancer and one shamisen player – of just half an hour. These performances feature geisha songs and dances, which audiences can participate in, and traditional party games - both of which easily transcend the language barrier. Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen may be an old, traditional town, but it’s always welcoming to new faces.

GJ Story

The Seven Hot Springs of Fortune In Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen, there are seven ‘soto-yu’ public hot springs dedicated to seven deities of good fortune, with turquoise to silver and jade spring waters that have a variety of healing properties. The character of each bath varies interestingly from the Zuisho Yunohana Sento, with special features including an open-air bath infused with minerals from medicinal maifan stone, to the cute Karakoro Footbath, a relaxing and free open-air footbath.


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

The Tour de Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen

Once you become fully immersed in the relaxing, luxurious offerings of ToguraKamiyamada Onsen, it's quite easy to spend the beginning, middle and end of a day there in the bath. However, taking off your yukata and saddling up is its own reward: there are plenty more highlights around town, including the Arato-jō mountain fortress, 400 year-old Sakai Meijō sake brewery, Zenkōji Daihongan Betsu-in Temple, and specialty oshibori udon restaurants serving fresh local noodles. One of the best ways to discover these and other local points of interest is by bike, on a tour de Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen - making the baths even better when you return. Local guiding company Zukudashi Eco Tours introduces visitors to Togura-

Cozy onsen ryokan run by a welcoming JapaneseAmerican couple. Warm wood construction with gardens throughout. 5 baths, including a private one, with Kamiyamada's skin-beautifying mineral water 100% free-flowing. Don't miss Chef Takei's creative cuisine.

Kamesei Ryokan 亀清旅館

Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada, Nagano Phone: +81(0)26-275-1032 Email: omotenashi@kamesei.jp www.kamesei.jp



1-74-11 Kamiyamada Onsen, Chikuma-shi, Nagano Phone: +81-26-275-2120 Fax: +81-26-275-2431 www.takinoyu.net/ A countryside rustic inn with an authentic Japanese atmosphere. The only place with a view of Chikuma River from both men and female open-air hot spring baths in the area. The contemporary countryside food will satisfy the tastebuds of any foodie. Top quality black hair Wagyu Beef available.

Kamiyamada Onsen on two wheels, as well as two feet, with a tour line-up designed to take both local and overseas visitors off the beaten cycle path. They also do quality bicycle rentals for all ages and sizes, including a two-seater bike, and provide local area information for visitors. Zukudashi’s country life cycling tour is led by a friendly staff member of the Kamesei Ryokan inn, and covers an 8-kilometre course in an easy 2.5 hours; passing through the local neighbourhoods of Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen, the tour sheds light on into the design aesthetic

Hotel Seifuen

of the town's tiled rooves, and farming methods used in the local apple orchards. Historical points of interest bring tales of digging for local hot springs, and life in the town amidst the clashes of the turbulent Warring States period (1467-1573); the tour also cruises along the Chikuma River, and concludes fittingly at a relaxing footbath to soft-serve ice cream. Then of course, it's off to the bath again...

Further Information www.zukudashi.com/

The beautiful fresh air of nature surrounds Seifuen, a serene hot spring inn. Feel the tranquility by taking a walk in the area’s largest Japanese garden, or by seeing the grand view of Chikuma River. Guests can enjoy the view from the guest rooms. The hot spring baths which come complete with open-air baths and saunas. Further enjoy your stay with the delectable traditional dinner made with local produces. Free Wi-Fi available at all facilities.

2-2-2 Kamiyamada Onsen, Chikuma-shi, Nagano Phone: 026-275-1016 www.seifuen.co.jp

Ogiwarakan 100% pure natural hot spring baths Central location, minutes from restaurants and nightlife Delicious Japanese house menu featuring local vegetables Complete Wi-Fi coverage Convenience store next door Phone: +81-26-275-1018 Email: ogiwarakan@biscuit.ocn.ne.jp


Sasaya Hotel has closely protected tradition as a Japanese ryokan-inn since establishment. The authentic Japanese atmosphere is a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy our food made with local produces of the season. You can also indulge in our 100% natural hot spring bath both in the common bath and in your room.

Sasaya Hotel

TEL: +81-26-275-0338 Email: info@sasaya.co.jp www.sasaya.co.jp/en/




Onsen is a quaint hot spring town in Nagano Prefecture that opens up behind a curtain of steam, revealing traditions and architecture of years passed, still standing tall and proud. The town's original spring-head was discovered some 1,300 years ago by a monk named Gyoki, who also discovered a number of other famous hot springs in the area. Takeda Shingen, one of the most powerful warlords of sixteenth-century Japan, was another instrumental figure in the history of Shibu Onsen. During the construction of a military road through the area, the commander was astounded by the healing properties of the Shibu Onsen spring water, and sent wounded soldiers there for treatment. His influence on the town's development was strong, and tales from this period live on today through artefacts and documents at the local temple. From then on, Shibu Onsen became established as a postal town between Zenko-ji, a major Buddhist temple in Nagano, and Kusatsu - another of the prefecture's famous onsen towns. Some hot spring inns, or ryokans, were established in Shibu Onsen even before then, one of which is Kanagu-ya, a 250 year-old ryokan. Over this historically rich span of 1,300 years, Shibu Onsen has experienced many natural disasters, from fires to landslides. Despite this, the love and passion of its people has seen it rebuilt as many times; large-scale renovations took place between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and have shaped the look of Shibu Onsen today. The town site itself remains small and welcoming; it takes about ten minutes to


The neighbouring town to the snow monkey park, full of charm and tradition

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata Jigokudani Monkey Park

Shibu Onsen To Yudanaka Onsen To Nagano

Yumichi Promenade

Yokoyu River Kanbayashi Onsen

To Shiga Kogen

walk from one end to the other, along its short, stone-tiled streets, which are lined with beautiful wooden buildings, home to 150 families, as well as 35 accommodation facilities and other businesses. The local people are another of Shibu Onsen's many charms. Ever friendly by nature, their tradition of hospitality has been passed down from the postal town days of Shibu Onsen, when it received regular visits from out-of-towners. They love a chat, and sharing stories about the area and their passions. There are many businesses in the area that are devoted to superb hospitality, such as coffee shops that have been in business for 50 years, and gift shops, which open at 7 am and close at 10 pm. Shibu Onsen would not have survived 1,300 years without the spirit of its people. ‘Otennma’ is a Shibu Onsen word that expresses their communal spirit of ‘taking care of our own, with our own power’. Each member of the community has a sense of responsibility and love for their home town, which motivates them to maintain and

share it with pride. It’s the ‘Otennma’ spirit that makes Shibu Onsen a superb place to stay during a snow holiday. The village is also just next door to the 1.6-kilometre nature trail to Jigokudani Monkey Park, where the snow monkeys welcome visitors throughout the year - a visit is a great add-on to the walk around town during your stay. If the snow and skiing or snowboarding is your passion, Shiga Kogen is a 25 to 40-minute drive away. Imagine finishing up a day of carving up the powder snow then returning to a town full of gorgeous locally sourced Japanese food, healing and rejuvenating baths and the prospect of meeting and drinking with the locals. Needless to say, this is exactly the kind of cosy, authentic Japanese holiday you can experience in the charming hot spring town of Shibu Onsen. Getting to Shibu Onsen Tokyo: 2 hrs 15 min Niigata: 3 hrs Nagoya: 4 hrs Further information: www.shibuonsen.net/english/


Touring the town of hot springs… The key to enjoying the baths of Shibu Onsen The pièce de résistance of Shibu Onsen is of course Shibu Onsen itself - the hot spring that supplies 100 per cent pure natural spring water to the baths found across town. Its various hotels and hot spring inns, or ryokans, source their water from 37 spring-heads, and the locals joke that it’s as if there’s hot water wherever you dig in Shibu Onsen. In keeping with its picturesque, samuraiera townscape, old traditions and common courtesies remain prominent in Shibu Onsen - one of these being that the locals bathe at its 'soto-yu' (public shared baths) on a daily basis. There are nine soto- yu baths, and the locals have their own keys to them. They are allowed to bring in their own soaps and bathing goods, however, visitors are not, and are requested to make use of the baths in their hotels and inns for all general bathing routines. By staying at local accommodation in Shibu Onsen, visitors receive a guest key to the nine soto-yu baths; day-trippers can only gain access to one of these, the 'Ōyu'. One-


day tickets to this bath are available for ¥500 at the Shibu Onsen Ryokan Association office, or the Shibu Onsen parking lot. To miss out on an overnight stay in Shibu Onsen though, is almost like going to Disneyland and just seeing the gates. There are 35 ryokan inns and hotels in town, and they all have hot spring baths. Some get their water from multiple sources, and many have a variety of baths that all differ in size, style and purpose. The ryokans offer private baths for families, couples and others, but the authentic hot spring experience is to share a bath with strangers. The baths are the best place to get to know the locals of Shibu Onsen and learn about the area - a great way to experience the town's traditional culture. Both the soto-yu and ryokan baths use a ‘kake-nagashi’ system, where hot water continuously flows from the spring, filling the bath non-stop. Older water overflows, so there’s always fresh hot water coming into the baths. The baths at the ryokans are managed so

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

the temperature is agreeable for everyone, but the soto-yu baths are not. Some locals and visitors do adjust the water temperature while they bathe, but the water temperature can get insanely hot; The original temperature of the spring can range anywhere from 60°C to 90°C. Enjoying this very hot, hot spring town can’t be done without the nine-bath tour, or the 'Ku-tō Meguri'. The tour includes the nine soto-yu baths of Shibu Onsen, one after the other, and is a truly cleansing experience exclusive to visitors in town. To begin the tour, it’s important to get into the right gear; put on a yukata - the light kimono which you can also sleep in - and a pair of geta - wooden sandals. Shibu Onsen allows visitors and locals to walk around in yukata, a special highlight of staying at an old hot spring town like this. All you need to start the tour is the guest key from your chosen accommodation, a towel, and perhaps some change for an official 'tenugui' towel of the tour - as there are no lockers at the soto-yu baths. A fun tour item sold at the ryokans in town, visitors stamp their tenugui at each of the

soto-yu baths upon entry. Every hot spring in Shibu Onsen, including the nine soto-yu, has a variety of healing properties. For example, the third bath on the tour, the 'bath of cotton', is said to have healing properties specifically for cuts and for fertility. Bath number six is called the 'eye washing bath', and is accordingly believed to be beneficial for eye health. The baths are situated every 50 metres or so, within 600 metres of each other, so the duration of the tour depends on how long you spend at each bath. After the last bath on the tour, the Ōyu bath, the traditional thing to do is to head over to the Shibutaka Yakushi Shrine, and offer your towel as a sign of completion of the tour, and to wish for wellness; however, it does make for a great memento of your time in Shibu Onsen. The locals of the town call themselves lifetime citizens, and refer to visitors as onetime citizens. To be considered a citizen for any amount of time at Shibu Onsen is an honour, and having access to their hot springs is a true privilege.

Further information: www.shibuonsen.net/english/


Meet the other locals of Shibu Onsen

Jigokudani Yaen Kōen, also known and loved as Jigokudani Monkey Park, is located close to Shibu Onsen, and is home to Japan's famous snow monkeys. To see these adorable critters lolling about together in a steaming natural hot spring, just take the 1.6-kilometre stroll along the area's beautiful Yumichi nature trail, a promenade

of seasonal colour. Although Jigokudani Monkey Park is connected to Shibu Onsen by road, this trail becomes the only way to visit during the heavy snows of winter; buses operate throughout the year from Shibu Onsen to the trail-head at Kanbayashi Onsen, less than 15 minutes away.

©Yamanouchi Town/©JNTO

Not even the monkeys can resist a good long soak

Six different springheads. 400 years of history. One hotel. The pride of Shibu Onsen for sixteen gener ations, the Kokuya Hotel has become the second home of guests from around the world for its bewitching selection of private and public hot spring baths, and exquisite creative modern cuisine. M ake it yours too.

Kokuya Hotel Nagano

Shibu Onsen St, Yamanouchi-machi Shimotak ai-gun, Nagano

www.ichizaemon.com 126

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

Jigokudani Monkey Park is all about observing the snow monkeys in their most natural, relaxed state. No feeding is allowed, but the monkeys do come down for the small, supplemental amount of healthy and balanced food the park puts out for them, which reassures the monkeys that humans are not a threat to them.

Suminoyu Ryokan The town of Snow Monkeys, Shibu Onsen Phone: +81-269-33-3128 www.suminoyu.com/ Email: info@suminoyu.com Welcome to Suminoyu in the historic town of Shibu Onsen. Visit the Snow Monkey Park, located close to our inn, then return to a night of exquisite food and relaxing hot spring baths.

Onyado Hishiya Torazo

An established inn with 400 years of history in a hot spring town near Snow Monkey Park. After you enjoy a bath in a private, open-air hot spring bath, wrap yourself in a colourful yukata and learn the art of Origami here. Onyado Hishiya Torazo 2212 Hirao, Yamanouchi-machi, Nagano TEL: +81-269-33-2105 www.torazo.net/english_top.html

The snow monkeys are just like humans in the winter season - they can’t resist a good soak in the hot springs. Watching them make faces that express complete bliss and relaxation is a very heart-warming, very human experience. Further information: www.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp/index.htm

©jigokudani yaen-koen/©JNTO

©Yamanouchi Town/©JNTO

A cozy stay with a nostalgic, warm atmosphere in the stone-paved hot spring town of SHIBU ONSEN. VTrip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2015 & 2016 awardedV VBooking.com awarded 2015 & 2016V VEstablished in 1935 Thanks to 80th anniversaryV

Shibu Hotel

2173 Hirao Shibu-onsen, Yamanouchi-machi TEL: +81-269-33-2551


Free pickup service available from Yudanaka Station. Free shuttle to Monkey Park upon request (subject to availability on the day).

Senshinkan Matsuya 2222 Hirao, Yamanouchi-machi Phone: +81-269-33-3181 Web: http://eihachi.com/english.html

Take a stroll around town in a classic yukata, and come back to the hospitality of a well established, traditional inn at the epicentre of Shibu Onsen.

Kaneki Hotel Tel +81-(0)269-33-3531 Address: 2073 Hirao, Yamanouchi, Shimotakai District, Nagano, Japan



Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata


History flows through this Snow Monkey town near Nagano


idyllic hot spring inn town some 30 kilometres from Nagano City, Yudanaka Onsen is a popular base for visitors to the nearby Zenkō-ji Temple, Jigokudani Monkey Park, Hokusaikan Museum, and Shiga Kogen resort area. The town is the final stop on the Nagano Dentetsu Line from Nagano City, around 45 minutes away on an express service, and is a time capsule of traditional Japan. The spring-head that was first discovered in Yudanaka Onsen is believed to have been enjoyed for bathing and healing since Japan's prehistoric Jōmon period. It was first chronicled in Japanese history some 1,400 years ago by Chiyu, an eminent monk who used it to treat himself, and erected stone Miroku Buddha statues to its east and west. Chiyu named the spring 'Yōkarei', indicating that its waters had beneficial properties for a long life; today, this piping-hot saline spring of around 90°C supplies the town's Yudanaka Ōyu bath. Guests staying at local accommodation


receive entry to the tastefully designed Ōyu included in their room tariff, and this bath offers a genuine traditional hot spring experience. Inside the mens and ladies sections, there are rectangular baths divided into a hot side of around 45°C, and a warm side; for some bathers, the warm option can still feel hot, so it's a good idea to take it slow at first. Accommodation in Yudanaka Onsen ranges from hotels and traditional Japanese ryokan inns to guest houses, which provides guests with a wide choice of Western and Japanesestyle rooms. With such a long history, the ryokan of Yudanaka Onsen feature splendid, spacious Japanese gardens, with established Japanese red pine ('akamatsu') and other trees providing refined character. Their charm and character has famously attracted Japanese literary greats, including Haiku poet Issa Kobayashi, who is commemorated with a monument outside the Ōyu bathhouse. One of the true delights of staying at a

ryokan in Yudanaka Onsen is a seasonal kaiseki banquet. Local specialties to enjoy include fresh home-made soba buckwheat noodles, craft beer brewed with pure local mineral water from Shiga Kogen, and ShinshĹŤ beef. Many inns have been run by families of the town for generations, and provide delicious meals for their guests with produce directly from surrounding farmland - which is also on sale at markets outside Yudanaka Onsen Station every morning. All public hot springs are within a sevenminute walk of the station and can be enjoyed conveniently with a Yu-meguri Tegata pass, available through local accommodation, which includes entry to any three of the affiliated local hot spring baths. And after a relaxing bath, there are welcoming izakaya bars and restaurants to get together at around Yudanaka Onsen Station, and in nearby towns. The Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani Monkey Park can also be visited from Yudanaka

Onsen, aboard a free return shuttle service from local accommodation. Buses depart from here to the head of the Yumichi nature trail, a 1.6-kilometre scenic walking route to the Snow Monkeys, at Kanbayashi Onsen 15 minutes away. Shiga Kogen, a vast snow resort area by winter and hiking paradise by summer, is also close by Yudanaka Onsen. The majority of the ski fields here have a high elevation of over 1,500 metres, and command spectacular alpine views. The Shiga Kogen resort of Ryuoo Ski Park is just some 20 minutes from Yudanaka Onsen, and has a good range of terrain for all riders across 1,080 metres of vertical, from 850 to 1,930 metres. How close is Yudanaka Onsen to? Nagano: 50 min (Nagano Dentetsu Line); Tokyo: 2 hrs 15 min ( JR Nagano Shinkansen, Nagano Dentetsu Line) Further information http://yudanaka-onsen.info/en http://www.avis.ne.jp/~yudanaka/another_ language/en/index.html


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

Take the express route to see the snow monkeys from Nagano

Nagano Electric Railway operates Snow Monkey limited express services from Nagano on the Nagano Dentetsu Line, which are a great way to see the snow monkeys comfortably and efficiently. The cars running

on Snow Monkey services were formerly used for airport express services between Narita and Tokyo, and were refurbished for the Snow Monkey limited express from February 2011. The journey aboard the Snow Monkey from Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station takes 50 minutes, from where the Oku-shigakogen and Shirane-kazan bus companies provide services to Jigokudani Monkey Park. For smooth transfers on all these services and savings on travel costs, purchase a Snow Monkey Pass for just ÂĽ3,200 at Nagano Dentetsu Nagano Station - adjacent to the JR Nagano bullet train station. To get there from the bullet train, take the Zenkoji exit and continue to the right, where the stairs to Nagano Dentetsu Nagano Station are at the far end of the bus terminal. A Snow Monkey Pass includes all return transport from here, as well as entry to Jigokudani Monkey Park.

Yudanaka Hotsprings Experience traditional Japanese culture at Yudanaka Onsen. This town prides itself on 1400 years of history, and there are 9 other baths in the surrounding area. Located closely to the snow monkey park, there is so much packed in this small town - a rarity even in Japan - visit and enjoy the best in traditional style inns and B&Bs at Yudanaka Onsen.


Yudanaka Yumoto







2848 Yudanaka Onsen, Yamanouchi-machi, Nagano Tel: 0269-33-2131

Yudanaka Onsen, Yamanouchi-machi, Nagano Tel: 0269-33-3515

Yudanaka Onsen, Yamanouchi-machi, Nagano Tel: 0269-33-2151

3137 Hirao, Yamanouchi-machi, Nagano Tel: 0269-33-2111

3080 Hirao, Yamanouchi-machi, Nagano Tel: 0269-33-2141

3174 Hirao, Yamanouchi-machi, Nagano Tel: 0269-33-1010

2982 Hirao, Yamanouchi-machi, Nagano Tel: 0269-33-2769

3201-1 Hirao, Yamanouchi-machi, Nagano Tel: 0269-33-2649

Enquiries: (please ask to Takefushi) Yudanaka Onsen Ryokan Association Phone: +81-269-33-2851 Fax: +81-269-33-8177 www.avis.ne.jp/~yudanaka/another_language/en/index.html


RYOKAN BIYU NO YADO www.yudanakaview.co.jp biyunoyado@yudanakaview.co.jp +81-269-33-4126

•Feel and experience Japan and the 400 years Japanese Ryokan tradition. •Enjoy the appetizing food made from local produce and served in Japanese Kaiseki-style. •Relax, refresh and rejuvinate at our 100% natural hot spring spa direct from the source. •Free shuttle to all ski areas in Shiga Kogen and the YudanakaSibu Onsen Village.

Outdoor Rotenburo Onsen

Roof deck Private Onsen

FREE shuttle to/from

@snowmonkey.town From BIYU no Yado


www.shigapalace.co.jp/english/ shigapalacehotel@gmail.com +81-269-34-2221

•Located at the foot of the highest ski resort in Asia - Mt. Yokote, 2,307m in altitude. •A wholesome, family-friendly and relaxing ambience combined with sincere service to ensure guests' satisfaction. •In-hotel rental skis, snowboards, snowshoes and ski instructors available and the biggest sundry store in the area. •19 interlinked ski slopes with ONE pass and enjoy "JaPow", the best and the finest powder snow in Shiga Kogen Resort.

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

SHIGA KOGEN -> Japan's biggest resort area -> Hot spring heaven -> Snow Monkeys AND Snow Monsters It's become common knowledge that Japan has a number of impressive powder resorts, all vying for attention with their huge snowfalls, relaxing hot springs, and exceptionally good local cuisine. There's only one though, that comes complete with snow monkeys. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Shiga Kogen resort area in Nagano Prefecture. For skiers and boarders, it's like going to a music festival with more great bands than you can physically manage to see. As well as the snow monkeys, the bill at Shiga


Kogen features 19 different resort areas across 400 hectares of snowy land, which lies at altitudes of between 1,340 and 2,307 metres within Joshin'etsu Kogen National Park. The 52 lifts and gondolas that connect to all courses and the inter-resort shuttle buses can be accessed with one single pass. The season at Shiga Kogen is one of Japan's longest, beginning in mid November and continuing in its uppermost areas through until late May. To satisfy serious powder skiers and boarders, Shiga Kogen implements a no-

Shiga Kogen is just over three hours from Tokyo by bullet train and bus

Shiga Kogen Narita 3 hours

Step into a snowy land full of never-ending adventures‌ www.shigakogen-ski.com


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

grooming policy the morning after a fresh dump at its Terakoya, Ichinose Family, Ichinose Diamond, Higashitateyama and Nishitateyama resorts, while there are permanently non-groomed slopes at its Takamagahara and Mauruike resorts. Yokoteyama Ski Resort is home to Japan’s highest ski field, and the highest slopes in Shiga Kogen. Seeing the rare natural phenomenon of 'juhyō', frost-covered trees known as snow monsters, adds to the excitement of skiing down from the 2,307-metre summit of Mount Yokote. Yokoteyama is a mecca for riders who hunger for a taste of quality powder all season long. The most expansive and well-developed of Shiga Kogen's resorts is Yakebitaiyama, which has 19 courses connected by two gondolas and two highspeed chairlifts, as well as a terrain park. Experienced riders will enjoy the challenge of its Olympic Course - specially constructed for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics and Expert Course, which has a cartwheelinducing 39° incline.



Recently, Shiga Kogen was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The area has been loved by skiers since 1960, and although its infrastructure and facilities have been developed, most remains in a natural state. The surrounding environment is well looked after and maintained to live up to its title as a Biosphere Reserve. Shiga Kogen is also pursuing an ecologically friendly way to develop and enjoy all that the area has to offer, to encourage local eco-tourism. Accommodation options in Shiga Kogen are

as vast as the resort area itself. In addition to the convenience and comfort of plush ski-in, ski-out hotels, there are a number of traditional Japanese hot spring inns located in towns inside the resort area, such as Yamanouchi, Yudanaka Onsen and Shibu Onsen. The inns in these towns are a great opportunity to experience an outstanding kaiseki banquet prepared with the seasonal produce of Nagano Prefecture, which can include delicious salmon, beef and mountain vegetables. They also make superb bases to enjoy the powder at a variety of Shiga Kogen resorts, and visit the snow monkeys of Jigokudani Monkey Park, boutique breweries, restaurants and other essential attractions in the area. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, you'll return at the end of the day to the luxury of a steaming hot spring bath.

Ryuoo Ski Park Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort


Yakebitaiyama Ski Resort Shiga Kogen Ichinose Yamanokami Ski Field Yudanaka Onsen Ichinose Family Ski Field Shibu Onsen Jigokudani Yaen-Koen Nishidateyama Ski Field Higashidateyama Ski Field

Kidoikeonsen Ski Field Main Road Railway Expressway

Kumanoyu Ski Area Yokoteyama Ski Field

Ichinose Diamond Ski Field Takamagahara Mammoth Ski Field

Shiga Kogen Ichinose Yamanokami Ski Field Ichinose Family Ski Field Terakoya Ski Field

Giant Ski Field

Nishidateyama Ski Field Higashidateyama Ski Field Hoppo Bunadaira Ski Field

Sunvalley Maruike Ski Field Hasuike Ski Field



Higashi Tateyama Ski Resort

www.shigakogen.co.jp | 7149 Hirao, Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun | 2+81-269-34-2301 | Days 8:30-16:30 | Tokyo: 3hrs 30 min (car), Osaka 5hrs 30min (car) Dec
















QUALITY FROM THE TOP DOWN From the summit of the Higashi Tateyama Ski Resort, the Northern Japanese Alps dominate the horizon. The scale of this view is as breathtaking as the runs that fly down the mountain, and it's an absolute must-try for skiers and snowboarders in the Shiga Kogen resort area. Famously covered in some of the finest, driest powder the area has to offer, its five-kilometre run is the longest in Shiga Kogen. A set of refurbished gondola cabins was unveiled for the 2016-2017 season at Higashi Tateyama Ski Resort, and with a central location in the Shiga Kogen area, it has good access to surrounding resorts. Veteran skiers give this well-known area Shiga Kogen institution their stamp of approval for its slalom course, which was selected for giant slalom races in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, and its quality powder burns. Higashi Tateyama Ski Resort also has powder burns designed specially for kids and beginners; whether you're on skis or a snowboard, there is space here to make tracks at your own pace. The view across the ZenkĹ?-ji Plain from the terrace of the resort's 2,000-metre observation deck is magnificent, and with hot drinks and hearty meals at the cafe inside, it's an amazing spot to eat, drink and relax.







Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

EXPLORING THE SLOPES AROUND HIGASHI TATEYAMA SKI RESORT Higashi Tateyama Ski Field Centred around its advanced Olympic Course, which was used for races at the 1998 Winter Olympics, this ski field is popular for having the only five-kilometre course in Shiga Kogen. Higashi Tateyama also has a scenic, gently undulating tree course, where rabbits and foxes may appear in the snow, as well as more challenging courses for intermediate riders. Its famous gondola lift just received a set of new cabins in the 2016-2017 season; both these and the original cabins have their own standout features, which visitors can now enjoy as a combination.

Terakoya Ski Field If there is anywhere in Shiga Kogen with the definitive ideal of powder snow, Terakoya Ski Field is it. Located at an altitude of 2,100 metres, it is a household name among powder skiers and boarders for the standout quality of its snow, even among the already renowned powder resorts of the Shiga Kogen area. The mountains of Hakuba and MyĹ?kĹ? line the horizon of Terakoya Ski Field, an in addition to the powder, this scenery is what brings many visitors to the resort. When the weather conditions are just right, this ski field commands an exceptionally good outlook over a sea of clouds below, which is in itself enough reason to experience it.

Ichinose Area The Ichinose area is comprised of three ski fields at the heart of Shiga Kogen, and offers the best choice of accommodation, dining and rentals locally. A number of hotels are right at the base of the slopes here, and this great location makes it the official base camp of many skiers and snowboarders. With a range of activities and a kids park, the Ichinose area also caters well for kids and beginners. Night skiing is available, and with runs from around the summit of Mount Higashi Tateyama, there is great powder for intermediate and experienced riders to explore.


Yakebitaiyama Ski Resort

princehotels .com/en/ski/shigakogen | Yakebit ai yama, Yamanouchi - machi, Shimot akai gun | 2+81-269-34 -3111 | Days 8:30-16:00, Nights (Sat only) 18:00-20:00 | Travelling times to Yakebitaiyama Ski Resort Tokyo: 4 hrs (car), Osaka: 5 hrs 30 min (car) Dec





















SHIGA KOGEN'S BIGGEST Yakebitaiyama Ski Resort is the largest of the interconnected resorts in the Shiga Kogen area, and was the stage of the first ever Olympic snowboarding race at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. This very race track is now its Olympic Course - a 650-metre speed run with a 30° incline, among an even spread of great courses for all levels. The Panorama Course, a 2.5-kilometre ride with magnificent views of the Japanese Alps, is a highlight for intermediate riders, while at the Yakebitaiyama Family Snow Park, kids and grown-ups alike enjoy a wide variety of

terrain and activities. English lessons and backcountry guiding trips are also available from the resort, and nearby attractions include the famous snow monkeys of Jigokudani Monkey Park, and Togakushi Kids’ Ninja Village. Three Shiga Kogen Prince Hotels lie at the foot of Yakebitaiyama Ski Resort, and during the season, happy hour is on from three to five at the bar in the East Building. With local craft brews included in the range of beers on tap, it's a great place to wind down after-ski.

Ski-in and fulfil all of your snow holiday desires at Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel. Wake up to champagne powder and spend your night relaxing in a warm, comfortable room at the largest resort in Shiga Kogen. All three hotel buildings are set up with Wi-Fi facilities. Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel Yakebitai-yama, Shiga Kogen, Yamanouchi-machi Tel: +81-(0)269-34-3111 www.princehotels.com/en/shiga/ 140

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

OKUSHIGA KOGEN -> Olympic-quality powder and terrain -> Dedicated English snow school -> Quality gourmet attractions and hot springs

A powder sanctuary hidden in the northernmost reaches of Shiga Kogen, Okushiga Kogen is a rewarding trip for all riders. The resort's terrain park is designed and managed by internationally renowned High Cascade company, and its Shiga International Ski School, the only 100% English ski school in Shiga Kogen, provides excellent quality lessons with instructors from all around the world. Powder falls at Okushiga Kogen from December to May, and thanks to the resort's north-facing slopes and high altitude range between 1,500 and 2,000 metres, the quality of it is exceptional. Okushiga Kogen is also one of the best places in Shiga Kogen to enjoy backcountry and side-country riding. Within the surrounds of Okushiga Kogen are some of the best attractions in Nagano Prefecture. As well as the world-famous snow monkeys in Yamanouchi, there is the nearby hot spring village of Shibu Onsen, a collection of beautiful old inns with a tradition of refined hospitality stretching back more than 400 years.

Boutique breweries are another highlight of the area, including Tamamura Honten, which produces not only acclaimed Belgian and Czech-style craft beers, but also its own brewing ingredients at local farms. To go with the local beer and sake around Okushiga Kogen is the fresh produce of Nagano Prefecture, a feature on the menu at the fine dining restaurants of Okushiga Kogen's two hotels, the Okushiga Kogen Hotel and Hotel Grand Phenix Okushiga. These hotels offer easy access to the slopes, and a range of convenient guest services that include Wi-Fi and gear rentals. Inside, they are decorated tastefully with warm, welcoming timber paneling. The capacity of the accommodation facilities in Okushiga Kogen as a whole has been carefully planned to maintain the peaceful ambience of the spectacular surrounds, and it succeeds brilliantly, providing the perfect environment for those who want to enjoy a long holiday at a relaxed pace. Further Information www.okushiga.jp


Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort

www.okushigakogen.com | Shiga Kogen, Yamanouchi-machi, shimotakai-gun | 2+81-269-342034 | Open 8:30-16:30 | Taravelling times to Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort Tokyo: 3 hrs 10 min (car), Osaka:5 hrs 10 min (car) Dec




















GREAT COURSE VARIETY Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort has nine courses with a good spread of terrain for all riders, a High Cascade terrain park and a kids park - as well as acres upon acres of backcountry skiing. The resort was exclusive to skiers until recently; now both skiers and boarders

can enjoy the slopes, including the lengthy south-facing 2.2-kilometre downhill course that comes with a spectacular view. The winter season at Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort runs from December to early May, so it can be enjoyed even during




Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

cherry blossom season. Out of the nine courses at the resort, six are beginner and intermediate friendly, so there is plenty of terrain for new riders. If you’re an experienced skier or a boarder, you’ll want to try the 400 metre-long Kumaotoshi course, which is the steepest slope at Okushiga Kogen. You can also ski among the amazing forests surrounding the resort; if it is your first time, hire a guide for lessons in backcountry skiing. The kids park provides for a great spot for children to learn how to ski through play, with three family friendly courses for parents and their kids to ski or snowboard together. Okushiga Kogen is also home to the Shiga International Ski School. It’s the only 100% English ski school in Shiga Kogen, providing excellent quality lessons with instructors from all around the world. Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort is also set up with a ski and snowboard rental store. From basic ski and snowboarding equipment and snow wear to cross-country skis and snow shoes, they’ve got you covered. Should a major powder dump at the resort temporarily suspend lift operation, there is a heated pool and other activities to enjoy indoors. Restaurants in the resort's two

hotels are situated near the high-speed pair lift station, and between them, offer a rich variety of cuisine including Japanese, Chinese, Italian and French. Bars in either hotel are the place to head for a beer or two after a day on the slopes.


HOTEL GRAND PHENIX OKUSHIGA Situated amongst the 1500 metre high Okushiga Kogen, Hotel Grand Phenix was made to please skiers and sport enthusiasts. The hotel has a warm atmosphere with touches of Europeanstyle decors. Each of the room is prepared to provide guests with the utmost comfort during their stay. There are a variety of suites available at Hotel Grand Phenix, including 2 Japanese style rooms. All of the guest rooms are homely and spacious, even the Standard Twin comes with a balcony and is a comfortable 42 square metres. There are so many fantastic facilities at Hotel Grand Phenix that will please any kind of sports enthusiast. On the fourth floor is the large common bath which comes with an adjoining sauna; you can see the gorgeous view of Okushiga Kogen from the both of them while completely relaxing. For skiers there’s ski rental facilities with the newest models of the world-class brands and a locker room right in front of the entrance close to the slopes, so you can easily ski in and out. The chefs will prepare you fabulous meals each night to keep you energised. Guests can choose from Italian, Japanese and Chinese and they are all made with fresh products from all over Japan. In addition to all of the amazing facilities available here, there's also a bar and a lounge with a Swiss fireplace which will help you further relax and feel right at home at the end of the day. Whatever your purpose may be in Okushiga Kogen, Hotel Grand Phenix will ensure that you enjoy the most wonderful holiday possible.

HOTEL GRAND PHENIX OKUSHIGA Okushiga Kogen, Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun, Nagano, Japan Home Page : http://www.hotelgrandphenix.co.jp/ Email: gphenix@hotelgrandphenix.co.jp Phone: +81-(0)269-34-3611

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata


Welcome to the ‘little Kyoto' of Japan's snow country Iiyama's noroshi-nabe hot pot: a beacon


city of Iiyama lies at the northernmost tip of Nagano, one of Japan’s snowiest prefectures. The Iiyama Valley is at its centre, and the gorgeous landscapes of Madarao Kogen and the heartshaped Hokuryuko Lake surround the city. Often referred to as the ‘little Kyoto' of the snow country, Iiyama is as rich in snow and nature as it is in culture. Much like Kyoto, many temples, shrines and townscapes of old Japan remain right in front of Iiyama Station. Inside the station is the ShinetsuShizenkyo Activity Center, where rental fat bikes (equipped for riding on the snow) and snow shoes can be booked - in addition to a number of great tours of Iiyama's natural and cultural attractions. The city is also home to unique events that showcase the traditional snow country lifestyle, such as Restaurant Kamakura Village. A gourmet event held during the winter in February, it features the traditional local mushroom hot-pot of 'Noroshi-nabe' on the menu inside an igloo village lit up beautifully at night. The Iiyama Snow Festival happens during the same period in midFebruary, and features more local cuisine, a snow sculpture contest and live music. Getting to the slopes is easy Iiyama Station is within 30 minutes of three great ski resorts: Madarao Mountain Resort: 30 minutes by bus Togari Onsen Ski Resort: 25 minutes by bus Hokuryu Onsen Family Ski Resort: 30 minutes by taxi


of great taste A steaming hot pot dish laden with locally grown produce, Iiyama's winter specialty of noroshi-nabe is inspired by a beacon of a powerful lord. Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578) had a smoke-signal platform ('noroshi-dai') erected atop the area's Mount Kuroiwa, but today, it is just the noroshi-nabe hot pots which send signals into the chill winter air. Featuring premium local Miyuki pork and Shinshu miso, as well as locally grown hon-shimeji, enoki and eringi mushrooms and Chinese cabbage, some of the best noroshi-nabe are on the menu at Iiyama's Restaurant Kamakura Village event, from late January to late February 2018. Also keeping the cold out here are delicious onigiri rice balls, made with Iiyama koshihikari rice. The village is an idyllic collection of igloos ('kamakura'), which are enchantingly lit at night and make a memorable place for a get-together. Book ahead by email to the Shinshu Iiyama Tourism Bureau, at info@ iiyama-ouendan.net.

Journey times to Iiyama on the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train Tokyo: 1 hr 40 min; Nagano: 11 min; Kanazawa: 1 hr 16 min Further information http://www.iiyama-ouendan.net/en/

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata


-> Two interconnected resorts famous for deep 'Madapow' -> Amazing tree runs, natural bowls, jumps and half-pipe

-> Ski-in, ski-out accommodation with delicious local dining Madarao Kogen is an all-season alpine resort in the far north of Nagano Prefecture, with magnificent views to the Sea of Japan from its highest peak, the 1,382-metre Mount Madarao. Its fluffy powder is known as 'Madapow', and is definitely making a name for itself: snow depth at this naturally bowl-shaped resort reaches three to four metres during winter. With 60 per cent of its terrain left ungroomed, it delivers the goods for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. A Mountain Pass at Madarao Kogen provides open access to its interconnected Madarao Kogen Ski Resort and Tangram Ski Circus, and an adult 1-day pass is available for ÂĽ5,500. The slopes at these resorts on Mount Madarao face towards the north and west, keeping the Madapow at optimum freshness. Among the ungroomed sections, skiers rate the deep-powder tree runs especially highly; the resorts at Madarao Kogen encourage tree skiing, and thin out the birch forest in sections to make them more accessible. The natural jumps and bowls at Madarao Kogen are a big hit among snowboarders. Some of the funnest to check out are on the Ninja course, which has an eight-metre log jump. The powdery natural half-pipe of the recently opened Sawa course is also a popular snowboarder spot, along with the freeride park. For all riders, the Crystal course at Madarao Kogen has been divided into three sections


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

that feature an amazing powder bowl, tree runs and views out to sea. The base section of this course is ideal for beginners, and Madarao Kogen also provides a kids' park and childcare for young families to enjoy the Madapow. A highland area at an altitude of around 1,000 metres, Madarao Kogen is surrounded by superb scenery that can be appreciated on a snowshoe trek from the resort. Heading out from the resort area into the backcountry, these tours follow a route across a nearby frozen laze, encountering animal tracks and exploring forest normally inaccessible during summer. Local guides also run tours into the backcountry around the resorts, navigating safely through forested slopes and avalanche areas to open deep-powder sanctuaries. A wide variety of boutique hotel and lodge-style accommodation is available at Madarao Kogen. The ski-in, ski-out Madarao Kogen Hotel has a refreshing natural hot spring bath open to both guests and day visitors. High in sodium and calcium, its waters are revitalising after a day in the snow, and warm the body to the core. For deluxe Japanese, Chinese and Western cuisine, with the best of local


Nagano-Niigata produce, the hotel's buffet restaurant is the place to go. There is some seriously satisfying 'gereshoku' (slope food) on the menu around Madarao Kogen too, including spicy ramen noodles, cream pasta with truffle oil and local Shinshu salmon, and Thai Gapao rice, a juicy chicken and basil stir fry. Importantly for coffee drinkers, premium coffee brewed with a cafe espresso machine is available at Madarao Kogen. Head to the pub at the base of the kids park to the left of the Yutopia course; also in this location is the resort's English ski and snowboard school, and backcountry tour office. Madarao Kogen is connected to the other northern Nagano powder giants of Togari Onsen and Nozawa Onsen by a Nagaden winter shuttle bus, as well as the new Iiyama bullet train station, on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line. The journey time to Iiyama from Tokyo is around two hours, and many skiers and snowboarders at Madarao Kogen use these convenient services to maximise their time on the slopes, and enjoy any number of these three amazing resorts. How close is Madarao Kogen to? Tokyo: 2 hrs 20 min (train and bus) Iiyama: 30 min (bus)

Tangram Madarao Tokyu Resort

www.tangram.jp/foreign/english.html | Shinano-machi, kami-minochi-gun | 2+81-26-258-3511 | Days 8:30-16:30 | Travelling times to Tangram Madarao Tokyu Resort Tokyo: 3 hrs (train), Osaka: 5hrs 30min (train) Dec
















ONE-STOP POWDER SHOP Tangram Madarao Tokyu Resort has refined every element required for a great holiday for guests of all ages, and with two hotels right next to the ski fields, it’s the ultimate one-stop powder shop. Tangram Ski Circus, the north-facing ski field at the resort, is covered in top quality, deep powder snow. It is adjacent to Madarao Kogen Ski Field, which combined with Tangram Ski Circus, gives guests a fantastic variety of courses and areas for pros and beginners alike to try during their stay. A new addition is the Powder Zone, a tree run course where skiers can test their reflexes weaving through trees and natural terrain as they ride through fine, ungroomed powder. Tangram Ski Circus is just as exciting for the kids, who can sleigh down the slopes and run around in the snow in the dedicated kids area. And while adults acquire a snowmobile licence, the kids can play on miniature child-friendly snowmobiles – there’s no shortage of things to do as a family. The resort’s Hotel Tangram and Hotel Harvest Madarao have both Japanese and Western-style rooms able to accommodate up to five guests, and offer facilities including indoor pools, saunas, hot springs, restaurants, and a well-stocked gift shop, making their hospitality as high quality as the fine champagne powder found on the slopes outside.







Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

Madarao Mountain Resort Advanced Course&Area Intermediate Course&Area Beginners' Course&Area Lift

Tree-Run Powder Area


Madarao Kogen Hotel

Madarao Kogen


Enjoy powder-coated tree runs at Tangram! Tangram has two tree run courses of 500 and 400 metres: the Apricot ('Anzu') downhill, and the Peach ('Momo') downhill. These are just two of the more than 16 tree run courses on Mount Madarao, which provide diverse and exhilarating terrain for skiing and snowboarding - some of which is left ungroomed in its natural state. Activities such as snowmobiling and snow-rafting provide more options for enjoying the snow here, and the elegant Hotel Tangram tops off this resort as an ideal snow holiday destination.


Madarao Mountain Resort

www.madarao.jp/ski/_en | Madarao-kogen, Iiyama City | 2+81-26-964-3214 | Days 8:30-17:00, Holiday Nights 17:00-21:00 | Travelling times to Madarao Mountain Resort Tokyo: 3 hrs (train), Osaka: 5 hrs (train) Dec





















UTOPIAN POWDER RESORT Madarao Mountain Resort is loved by many, thanks to its amazing variety of 'Madapow'-laden slopes. A 1,382-metre mountain accessible in under 2.5 hours from Tokyo via bullet train to Iiyama Station and shuttle bus, it features 30 separate courses. Some 60% of these are left ungroomed, making this resort a powderlover's dream come true. For beginners there are wide, slowpaced courses like Utopia, and for those with experience, there’s the Ninja, with challenging eight-metre high log jumps. The Sawa is a great example of the courses

at Madarao Mountain Resort that maximise its natural terrain features. Powdery natural half-pipes made this tree run an instant favourite among experienced riders, and in 2016-2017, the resort incorporated more natural half-pipe terrain into its River Line tree run. The Family Adventure tree run was also newly completed in the same season, extending the fun and excitement of a natural slalom course to more skiers and snowboarders. Backcountry tours and powder-riding lessons are also available at Madarao Mountain Resort with Englishspeaking guides, and there are plenty of other engaging terrain features and activities to try between the Freeride Park, Snowmobile Land and Kids Park.

Madapow Tree Ski Course 152

A place for first timers and experienced skiers alike - try everything and anything. Whatever you do, Madarao’s exquisite powder snow, Madapow will ensure you have the ski of your lifetime!

Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

NOZAWA ONSEN -> Deep powder resort with a vast slope area -> Grand samurai-era bathhouses and inns -> Traditional hot spring healing destination

Nozawa Onsen has depth as a snow holiday destination in more ways than one. The first things that come to mind for skiers and snowboarders are its average 12-metre snowfall every year, and snow pack exceeding five metres in the highest sections of the resort during the peak of the season. Another for more seasoned riders is Nozawa Onsen's deep history as one of Japan's legendary ski villages, having produced no less than 15 Olympians over close to a century of involvement with the sport. Then of course is the even deeper history of the village's abundant hot springs, long famous for the healing properties of their mineral-rich waters. The classic way to experience them is by visiting one of the soto-yu, 13 public hot springs in magnificent feudal buildings scattered throughout the village. They are a great place to soak up the local atmosphere at the same time. Luxury private hot spring baths are also available for guests to enjoy in a number of Nozawa Onsen's hot spring inns. Ryokan

Sakaya, a seventeenth-generation inn which won the title of Japan's best boutique ski hotel in the 2013 World Ski Awards, is one of the many inns, bed-and-breakfasts, restaurants and izakaya bars in Nozawa Onsen that showcase the delicious local food and sake. A free shuttle bus conveniently connects accommodation facilities in the village with the slopes, operating every day from December to March. And getting to Nozawa Onsen from Tokyo is easier than ever. The Hokuriku bullet train line now connects Tokyo with Iiyama, and Nozawa Onsen is only a 25-minute drive from there. Nozawa Onsen is a great place to visit and enjoy during your snow holiday. The hot springs will aid with resting your body, and it's also a fabulous destination to enjoy purely for its hot springs and luxurious hospitality.

Travelling times to Nozawa Onsen Tokyo: 2 hrs 25 min (train); Osaka: 4 hrs 30 min (train)


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata


Nature's gifts passed down from generation to generation

Hungry for powder? Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort is the place to satisfy your appetite. The fine, dry quality of its powder dumps in the ungroomed runs has to be ridden to be believed. A child or an Olympic athlete, there's something exciting for all; with 36 courses, a kids park and a snow park, as well as a high-speed lift network all within this 300ha resort.

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort 7653 Toyosato, Nozawa Onsen Village Shimotakai-gun Nagano Prefecture 389-2502 Phone: +81-(0)269-85-3166 www.nozawaski.com/en/ Email: info@nozawaski.com


The 13 soto-yu (public baths) spread across the village of Nozawa Onsen are a shared asset of all the people in the village. These baths get their mineral-rich waters from 30 different hot springs, including one, Asagama-no-yu, which pulls its water from the 'ogama' - a large, public boiling pot used to cook vegetables and eggs. These shared baths are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike; while there is no set fee, there are small money boxes in which visitors leave a donation on entry, so that the locals can maintain the baths the way they have for hundreds of years. Ask any Japanese and they’ll say that there’s never a bad time to take an onsen trip. A visit to Nozawa Onsen's soto-yu baths makes it obvious why this luxurious tradition should be enjoyed no matter what the season.

Over 1,000 years of hot spring tradition, and still soaking... Nozawa Onsen - a beautifully maintained time capsule of Japanese hot spring tradition enjoyed for over 1,000 years. Each season brings a different flavour to the experience of Nozawa Onsen's 100% natural hot springs, which must be enjoyed after a beautiful traditional meal in town.

Nozawa Onsen Tourism Association Please contact us 8:30-17:30 7 days Phone: +81-(0)269-85-3155 Email: info@nozawakanko.jp

Take advantage of the transeasonal offerings of Nozawa Onsen Nozawa Onsen is a popular Winter holiday destination, frequented by many overseas ski and snowboard enthusiasts. But each season brings out a different side of Nozawa Onsen, and the atmosphere of this renowned hot spring town is every bit as exciting as it is during Winter. There are hiking trails and plenty of outdoor activities to be enjoyed during Spring and Summer. The world famous snow monkeys of Jigokudani Monkey Park is just

45 minutes from town and open all year. No matter what season you visit, the friendly locals will welcome you with open arms and generous hospitality. Of course, the main attraction to Nozawa Onsen is the many hot spring baths in town. There are thirteen public bath houses around town, which are shared with the locals but open for visitors to enjoy. During your time at Nozawa Onsen, ryokans like Ryokan Sakaya

and Ryokan Jonnobi will provide you with a comfortable home away from home. Both of these traditional Japanese inns come with relaxing hot springs, which are amazing to wind-down in no matter the season. One of the biggest perks of staying at a traditional Japanese inn is the food. Both Ryokan Sakaya and Ryokan Jonnobi, utilises local produces of the season in their menu, which is another reason to visit at different seasons.

An award winning inn, refined by 17 generations of tradition and family, R yok a n S a k aya is one of Noz awa Onsen's most established hot spring inn. Its sister, R yokan Jonnobi, is another place of rela xation and moder n beaut y - both are per fect places to enjoy the best of Nozawa Onsen in food, hot spring and service.

Ryokan SAKAYA 9329 Nozawa Onsen, NAGANO, 389-2502 JAPAN information@ryokan-sakaya.co.jp http://ryokan-sakaya.com/

Japanážżs Best Ski Boutique Hotel

Ryokan Jonnobi 9288 Nozawa Onsen, NAGANO, 389-2502 JAPAN info@jonnobi.jp www.jonnobi.jp/en/index.html

After the snow melts‌

Experience a different, greener Nozawa Onsen.

Because of its location in 'ski country' Nagano, the image of Nozawa Onsen is covered in snow, but Nozawa Onsen is a relaxed, beautiful town that is open all year around. It's a hop and a skip to Nozawa Onsen; Iiyama station which is a 25 minute drive away is now connected directly to Tokyo via bullet train. Use one of many hot spring accommodations in the area as a base camp to explore a different side of Nagano. During the 'green season', the nearby Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort transforms into a beautiful green field, where you can mountain bike or take in a big breath of fresh air from the 1,450m tall peak. The snow monkeys minus the snow will be monkeying

around the park during the off season. Located just 45 minutes away from Nozawa Onsen, and no matter what time of the year, it's a hit attraction with the kids. KANAZAWA



25min 100min 60min




JR bullet train


ur nkey Toe sn Snow Muroto ow monkeys! mee t th Half -day to


Book in on the day at your accommodation for a great afternoon with the snow monkeys. The Snow Monkey Park is only 45 minutes from Nozawa Onsen, closer than Nagano or Hakuba.

For more information


Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort

www.nozawaski.com/winter/en/index.php | Toyosato 7653, Nozawaonsen-mura, Shimotakai-gun | 2+81-269-85-3166 | Days 8:40-17:20, Nights 16:30-20:00 | Travelling times to Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort Tokyo: 2 hrs 25 min (train), Osaka: 4 hrs 30 min (train) Dec





















QUALITY AND QUANTITY Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort redefines the meaning of 'powder dump'. Fine, dry powder cascades down on the resort during a long season from December to May, and the snow pack reaches depths of over five metres around its 1,650-metre summit, Mt Kenashi. There are ungroomed burns aplenty to enjoy it among the 36 courses, which criss-cross an area of almost 300 hectares from the summit down to the village - a vertical drop of more than a kilometre. One of the best things about the courses at Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort is the enormous variety they offer all skiers. Beginners are well-catered for with 40 per cent of the terrain, and some of its scenic highlights include a five-kilometre tree run linking the Paradise and Hikage slopes. The Hikage slope is Nozawa's main slope, and is great for families and beginners with its ski school, kids park and child care facilities. Ski and snowboard lessons for all ages can also be booked through the Hikage Ski Center. The remainder of the terrain is divided evenly between intermediate and expert courses, which incline as much as 39°, and tours of the amazing backcountry beyond them are available in English. Nozawa's Uenotaira Snow Park boasts a 3.5-metre tall, 110-metre long, and 4-metre wide half-pipe, to complement a good selection of fun boxes, waves, rails and kickers designed with something for all riders in mind.


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

ECHIGO-YUZAWA -> Prime location for enormous powder dumps -> Filled with traditional snow country charm -> Just 77 minutes from Tokyo on the bullet train

Echigo-Yuzawa inspired the Nobel Prizewinning novel Snow Country, and has created a dream-like legacy of romance in the white winters of the north-eastern Japanese countryside. The novel was born from the pen of Yasunari Kawabata in the Takahan Ryokan, one of Echigo-Yuzawa's fine hot spring inns, and a tasteful example of vintage Japanese interior design. Kawabata's room, the 'Kasumi-no-Ma', has a magnificent view over the township and surrounding countryside, and is open for visitors to experience the ambience which inspired him to write Snow Country. Echigo-Yuzawa is blanketed under an

Local flavours in Echigo-Yuzawa

average of almost 12 metres of snow during winter, and is surrounded by 12 different ski resorts. Bullet train services from Tokyo rocket visitors directly to Echigo-Yuzawa in as little as 77 minutes, and with a huge range of rental gear available, it's possible to leave Tokyo with nothing but a backpack to enjoy a day out in the snow country. As well as the winter season, skiing and snowboarding is even possible in EchigoYuzawa during summer at its Kagura and GALA Yuzawa ski resorts.

Travelling times to Echigo-Yuzawa Tokyo: 1 hr 17 min; Niigata: 46 min

of Echigo-Yuzawa include hearty ramen noodles, sizzling yakiniku barbecues, and satisfying soba. Visit the town after a day on the slopes, and let your In addition to artistically presented inn banquets, nose guide you! The town has some great izakaya local food and drink to enjoy in Echigo-Yuzawa bars, which make for a top finish to the day; to take includes fresh sushi fish, or 'neta', from the Sea of Japan. And for sushi rice, or 'shari', the rich farmland home some of the beautiful local sake, stop in at the Ponshu-kan sake museum in Echigo-Yuzawa Station. of Minami-Uonuma provides. Echigo-Yuzawa is situated in the back yard of this prime rice farming country, and its koshi-hikari rice adds mouth-watering flavour to the local food and sake. After trying a deluxe rice ball (onigiri) at a restaurant in town, the convenience store version of this Japanese snack is very difficult to go back to. Other delicious features


ENJOYING THE CHARMS OF ECHIGO-YUZAWA Winter festivities The Yuzawa Snow Festival has been going for more than 60 years, celebrating the powdery EchigoYuzawa winter every March with fireworks, a portable shrine procession, torchlight ride, taiko drumming and beauty pageant. The festival happens at the Yuzawa Kogen ski resort, which is beautifully decorated with snow sculptures in candlelight. Yuzawa Kogen is just one of the 12 resorts around Echigo-Yuzawa, with ski-in, ski-out hotels, and amazing runs for all riders.

The Tour de Baths Gushing forth around 300 litres every minute at 43°C, the water from Echigo-Yuzawa's original spring-head is the lifeblood of the town's famous inn, the Takahan Ryokan. With an alkaline pH level of 9.6, it was first discovered over 900 years ago, and has long attracted visitors for its healing properties. Other hot springs around Echigo-Yuzawa, including private baths for couples and families, typically have mild alkaline pH levels of 7.5 to 8.5, which like the waters of the Takahan, leave skin soft, smooth and glowing. They are also commonly used to maintain healthy joints, circulatory and nervous systems, relieve aching muscles and aid digestion. A discount pass for visitors to five of EchigoYuzawa's public hot springs, or 'soto-yu', is available from visitor centres in town. It's called a 'soto-yu meguri-ken', and provides an excellent introduction to the charms of Echigo-Yuzawa's soto-yu baths, which are set in beautiful locations about town.

The local bounty of Gangi-dōri Go shopping for the best of gourmet EchigoYuzawa at Gangi-dōri, inside Echigo-Yuzawa Station's CoCoLo Yuzawa building. An excellent source of traditional sweet and savoury foods, as well as premium sake, CoCoLo Yuzawa also conveniently has a visitor centre for assistance with bookings, internet, luggage storage, maps and local information. A sake-tasting session is customary at the Ponshukan - an entertaining and beautifully designed sake museum, with around 100 boutique brews to experience.

Visit Echigo-Yuzawa online www.e-yuzawa.gr.jp/english/index.html


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata

A snow resort paradise Kagura Ski Resort

Naeba Ski Resort

Once Siberian weather fronts cross the Sea of Japan coast in Niigata Prefecture, the Echigo Mountain Range is one of the first alpine areas they make contact with, unleashing some of Japan's heaviest powder dumps. Situated right at the foot of this mountain range on the Sea of Japan side, this is why Echigo-Yuzawa receives such an enormous seasonal snowfall, averaging some 12 metres. There are 12 ski resorts around EchigoYuzawa, including the vast Naeba and Kagura ski resorts. Kagura Ski Resort opened for summer skiing and snowboarding in 2016-2017, and with


GALA Yuzawa also operating slopes here during summer, skiing and snowboarding has become one of the latest and greatest additions to Echigo-Yuzawa's summer activity line-up. GALA Yuzawa is closest to the bullet train line, with its own adjoining station, while Ipponsugi and Yuzawa Kogen ski resorts are within ten minutes on foot. For the snowiest and most expansive slopes around Echigo-Yuzawa, visit Naeba and Kagura ski resorts. They enjoy high altitudes of close to 2,000 metres, and attract all levels of skiers and snowboarders from midNovember right through until early May.

Naeba Ski Resort

http://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/naeba/mountain.html | 202 Mikuni, Yuzawa-machi, Minami Uonuma-gun | 2+81-25-7892211 | Days 8:00-17:00, Nights 16:00-20:30 Dec





















CLOSER THAN YOU THINK From its 1,789-metre summit over 889 metres of vertical, Naeba Ski Resort has a total of 22 courses. It is also connected to Kagura Ski Resort next door by the 5,481-metre Dragondola, overwhelmingly Japan's longest. Standout amenities

include the 1,224-room Naeba Prince Hotel and Family Snowland; just 2.5 hours from Tokyo by train or car, it is an exceptionally convenient destination for experiencing a taste of some of Japan's classic snow country.

Kagura Ski Resort

http://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/kagura/mountain.html | 742 Mitsumata, Yuzawa-machi, Minami Uonuma-gun | 2+81-25-788-9221 | Days Mon-Fri 8:00-17:00, Sat & Sun &Holidays 7:30-17:00 | Travelling times to Naeba & Kagura Ski Resort Tokyo: 2 hrs (bullet train and bus) Dec





















TOP SHELF Consisting of the Kagura, Tashiro and Mitsumata areas, Kagura Ski Resort is known for its high-quality powder, snow parks, exciting backcountry courses and lengthy tree runs from its 1,845-metre summit. This 23-course ski field is open

from late November to late May, and its Powder Station specialty store has a wide range of rental gear suited to the conditions. Children 12 years and under receive free lift passes at both Kagura and Naeba ski resorts.


Powder bliss in Nagano-Niigata


-> 14 metres of amazing powder a season -> Five different types of hot spring water -> Fresh seafood from the Sea of Japan

Myoko is a vintage Japanese alpine retreat, comprised of nine different slopes and seven hot spring villages. The area is situated in the heavy snowfall prefecture of Niigata, 2 hours and 40 minutes from Tokyo in the mountains of Joshin'etsu Kogen National Park. Spread around the foothills of the 2,454-metre Mount Myoko, one of Japan's 100 famous mountains, it has four main resorts: Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Ikenotaira Onsen and Suginohara. They receive an average of 14 metres of high-quality powder snow each season, and are accessible with convenient lift passes. Resort guests staying at selected hotels are eligible for a Myoko Big-4 lift pass; book through the Myoko Tourist Office for this great-value pass, starting from ÂĽ4,800 for an adult 1-day pass. Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Ikenotaira Onsen and Suginohara offer riders 43 runs between them, including kids slopes, and eight terrain parks over 1,125 metres of vertical. After a day in the snow, there are the hot spring villages of Akakura, Shin-Akakura,


Ikenotaira, Suginosawa, Myoko, Seki, and Tsubame to explore at Myoko, featuring five types of hot spring water. With varied combinations of revitalising minerals, the colours of these springs range from black clay to reddish-brown and milky white. The Akakura area has many of Myoko's hotels and restaurants, followed by ShinAkakura, a ten-minute walk away, and Ikenotaira, Myoko Onsen and Taguchi, which are all connected by town shuttles, taxis and hotel vans. Myoko is just 30 minutes away from the Sea of Japan, making it a delicious choice for enjoying a traditional kaiseki banquet of sushi, featuring the best of seasonal fish. Thanks to its location in Niigata Prefecture, one of Japan's best rice farming regions, premium local rice and sake also adds more flavour when dining and drinking around Myoko.

How close is Myoko to? Tokyo: 2 hrs 40 min (train) Osaka: 4 hrs 20 min (train) Further Information www.myoko.tv/english

Zao Onsen Ski Resort


Kajyo Park

Goshikinuma Lake

Yamagata Prefecture A feast for the senses awaits you all year round in Yamagata Prefecture, just a couple of hours on the bullet train from Tokyo.

Yamagata Tourist Information Center Kajo Central, 1-1-1, Jonanmachi, Yamagata-shi 2023-647-2333


•Shin Aomori


Tazawako Akita• • Akita Shinkansen

•Morioka Tohoku Shinkansen



•Sendai Yamagata Shinkansen •Yamagata •Zao

Steep and deep days in Yamagata


A scenic 'hot spring kingdom' filled with natural and cultural highlights

Yamagata Prefecture is one of Japan’s heaviest snowfall areas, making it a naturally blessed snow holiday destination just 2.5 hours north of Tokyo by bullet train. Some 160,000 hectares of the prefecture is national park and other natural reserve area, with some stunning scenery that melts from the white of winter to a lush green in summer, flaring with vibrant red and gold in the autumn. The winter conditions and mountainous terrain of Yamagata create its rare and beautiful ‘snow monsters’: trees covered in ice crystals that expand and contort into twisted, surreal shapes. Illuminated beautifully at night, they are one of the highlights of Zao Hot Springs Ski Resort in Yamagata, which is renowned as a historic resort with superb powder. Resort Data Icons


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Snow depth, terrain, longest run, and the number of gondolas and lifts at ski resorts are displayed as icons for quick comparison. Snow depth figures are a guide only, and may fluctuate from season to season.


Nearby is the 1,900 year-old hot spring village of Zao Onsen, one of countless hot spring villages in Yamagata. The prefecture is famously known in Japan as a 'hot spring kingdom', filled with spring-heads that supply public and private hot spring baths at local bathhouses, inns, bed and breakfasts, hotels and other facilities. The hot spring inns of Yamagata are especially good places to experience the local food, which includes delicacies like Yonezawa Beef - ranked in Japan's top three wagyu breeds – and regional sake from the prefecture’s many boutique breweries. Yamagata also offers some exciting day trips and other journeys in winter. Take a cruise past the waterfalls of its impressive Mogami Gorge while dining on a hearty nabe hotpot, have a drink in the ice bar at the Yuki Hatago Festival in Gassan-Shizu Onsen, or see a special performance by Yamagata maiko apprentice geisha, and let the depth of its local culture add the unique touches that turn a good snow holiday into a great one. How close is Yamagata City to? Tokyo: 2 hrs 30 min; Osaka: 5 hrs Further Information yamagatakanko.com

Steep and deep days in Yamagata

The charms of Yamagata’s hot spring inns

Lounging around in a comfy yukata kimono, eating delicious gourmet cuisine, ready to slide into a hot spring at a moment’s notice – there’s nothing quite like the luxury of a hot spring inn, or 'onsen ryokan'. Yamagata Prefecture is rich in historic hot spring inn communities, some hidden away in remote alpine regions, and others within an hour of Yamagata City. A favourite hot spring destination for its vintage early twentieth-century townscape is Ginzan Onzen, 40 minutes from Ōishida Station on the JR Ōu Main Line in the north of Yamagata. The magnificent scenery around this town makes it a magical place to stretch out in an outdoor hot spring bath (rotenburo), listening to the murmuring of the nearby river, and watching steam waft into the air. Refreshing and revitalising for skin, the spring waters of Ginzan Onsen are a pretty crystal blue, and flow forth direct from the ground at steaming temperatures in the vicinity of 60 °C; they are comprised of minerals such as sulphur, sodium, chloride, and leave skin smooth and glowing. After a hot spring bath, join other inn guests in yukata to stroll through the historic heart of town, and soak up the heritage of one of Yamagata's most memorable hot springs.

GJ Story

The perfect place to enjoy the flavours of Yamagata When it comes to meals, hot spring inns specialise in fresh and seasonal local ingredients – typically serving breakfast and dinner in a traditional style of cooking known as ‘kaiseki’. Beautifully presented, it showcases small dishes that present a variety of colours, flavours and textures to stimulate the palate. Especially in winter, Yamagata specialises in hearty foods like nabe hotpots, which pair well with sake rice wine from the prefecture’s many small but excellent breweries.


Steep and deep days in Yamagata


Charming winter journeys in Yamagata

GJ Story

Gassan-Shizu Onsen Visitors journey through deep winter snow to Gassan-Shizu Onsen, a hot spring town at the foot of the 1,984-metre Mt Gassan, for its Yuki Hatago light-up festival in late February every year. It re-creates the atmosphere of Gassan-Shizu Onsen in the days when its inns bustled with pilgrims to the nearby sacred peaks of Dewa Sanzan, featuring lifesized snow sculptures of traditional ‘hatago’ inns. These intricate structures are literally carved out of the snow, which can reach depths of as much as six metres in the town. Lit up magically with candles and LED lights, they are fun to explore for visitors of all ages, and make a great venue for festival performances, and local food stalls. The snow is even used to build a giant snow slide for tubing down; a great way to round things off after a visit to the Yuki Hatago festival is its ice bar, which includes hot mulled wine on its drinks menu to enjoy in its very cool and colourful ambience.



scenic Mogami region, named for the 229 kilometre-long river which flows through it, is more than three-quarters covered in mountainous forest. Much of the forest is ancient, some of the trees millenniumold giants measuring three metres or more around the base of their trunks. The impassable forest made the Mogami River a vital link in an ancient trade route from the port of Sakata on Japan’s western coast to Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo – then known as Edo. Used to transport consumables like rice, tobacco, salt, and sugar, this route was romanticised by wandering seventeenth century haiku poet Matsuo Basho in his famous work 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North'. Today, Mogami Gorge is one of the most popular stretches of the Mogami River for cruising throughout the seasons. The winter scenery can be enjoyed on a 'kotatsu-bune' barge cruise, fitted with heated kotatsu tables; along the way, take in over 50 waterfalls, and enjoy a hearty banquet from the warmth of the kotatsu table.

Steep and deep days in Yamagata

ZAO ONSEN -> Soak up 1,900 years of hot spring tradition -> Make tracks in the domain of the snow monsters -> Experience traditional geisha entertainment

The historic hot spring town of Zao Onsen lies within the Zao Mountain Range, an impressive cluster of stratovolcanoes 40 minutes from Yamagata City. Legend has it that a wounded warrior stumbled upon the first spring-head in the area after a battle over 1,900 years ago. The waters have since earned the title 'Springs of Beauty', for their rich concentration of cleansing and refreshing minerals for the skin. Zao Onsen is also famous as the home of Zao Onsen Ski Resort, one of Japan's most unique. This is one of the only places that 'snow monsters' come out to play, a natural phenomenon formed by ice crystals expanding and contorting on high-altitude stands of fir trees. Known as 'juhyō', they populate the slopes of Zao Onsen Ski Resort's 1,331-metre Juhyō Kōgen gondola station. Lit up in brilliant colour at night for the Zao Juhyō Festival from mid-January until the end of February, an unforgettable way to meet the snow monsters is aboard the Nightcruiser, a heated snowcat that winds its way through these natural works of art.

The many hot springs at the base of Zao Onsen Ski Resort are steaming oases in the deep snow, and soaking in a stone outdoor hot spring bath after a day on the slopes is simply magical. As part of Yamagata Prefecture, Zao Onsen also offers a rare opportunity to experience performances by Yamagata Maiko, apprentice geisha entertainers. Yamagata is a traditional safflower growing region of Japan, and as a result of exchange with merchants from Kyoto and Osaka, the geisha entertainment culture prospered in the prefecture. Today, Yamagata Maiko visit ryokan inns and hotels around Yamagata, including the Zao Onsen area, to perform dances accompanied by singing. Yamagata City's Hotnaru Yokocho laneway dining and drinking strip is also an essential when visiting town from Zao Onsen Ski Resort, for some great traditional nightlife. Travelling times to Zao Onsen Tokyo: 3 hrs 20 min; Yamagata: 40 min Further Information http://zao-spa.or.jp/english/


Zao Onsen Ski Resort

www.zao-spa.or.jp/english/index.html | Zao Onsen, Yamagata-shi | 2+81-23-694-9328 | Open 8:15-21:00 | Travelling Times to Zao Onsen Ski Resort Tokyo: 3 hrs (train), Osaka: 5 hrs (train) Dec





















SNOW MONSTER COUNTRY Zao Onsen Ski Resort is one of Japan's vintage snow resorts, famous for its combination of rare scenery, abundant hot springs and amazing powder snow. It was established in 1925, soon after the birth of skiing in Japan, and now covers an area of more than 300 hectares in Yamagata Prefecture's Zao Mountain Range. The slopes near the 1,660-metre summit of the resort are home to its 'snow monsters' - conifers covered in ice crystals that expand to form wildly abstract shapes.

They are a unique highlight of Zao Onsen's 10-kilometre top-to-bottom course, and can also be experienced up close on the Nightcruiser, a snowcat tour that winds its way through these surreal figures in the colour of a magical night-time light up. There are 12 courses and 14 slopes in total to be enjoyed at Zao, ranging widely from gentle beginners' slopes to pro racing courses, and the resort is family-friendly with a kids park and childcare facilities. The high-altitude Paradise Slope offers a great

Yoshidaya Ryokan

Hotel Oakhill

Relax and revitalise at a our ryokan inn, located in the historic Zao Onsen. Conveniently situated within five minute walking distance from buses and ski fields.

Our stunning view of Mt Zao and the slopes gets even better from skis or a snowboard - and we're just a 2 minute walk from it all!

13 Zao-Onsen, Yamagata Ph: 023-694-9223 www.hoteloakhill.com/yoshidaya01.html

756 Zao-Onsen, Yamagata www.hoteloakhill.com

Enquiries: yoshidaya@view.ocn.ne.jp (We accept correspondence in English.)


Steep and deep days in Yamagata

combination of courses for all levels, with the challenging Yokokura-no-kabe wall for experts, and mellower, open sections for beginner and intermediate riders. The slope is surrounded by Zao's snow monsters, and is open until early May - a true paradise for skiing and snowboarding. And after a day on the slopes, the famous hot springs of Zao Onsen village are pure bliss.

http://www.zao.co.jp/lang/en/ Takamiya Hotel Group Relax and rejuvenate yourself in the rich mineral waters of Zao Onsen, a hot spring which has been steadfastly flowing from the source for over 1900 years. Takamiya Hotel Group manages a variety of accommodations. These include Miyamaso Takamiya which has 300 years of history, and Takamiya Village Hotel Jurin that’s located right in front of the slopes.

Miyamaso Takamiya  +81-23-694-9333

Meitoya So  +81-23-666-6531 http://www.meitoya.com/

Meitoya So - Onsen

Takamiya Village Hotel Jurin  +81-23-694-9511

Hotel Lucent Takamiya  +81-23-694-9135

Takamiya Rurikura Resort  +81-23-694-2520

Hotel Hammond Takamiya  +81-23-694-2121


Steep and deep days in Yamagata

A deep soak in Zao Onsen, Yamagata's 'Fountain of Beauty'

Steaming mineral-rich pools of health and happiness are found everywhere in Yamagata, from the prefecture's coastline to its mountainous interior. Its hot spring bathing culture dates back over 1,900 years, when a wounded warrior is said to have stumbled upon one of its most legendary spring-heads: Zao Onsen. Known as the 'Fountain of Beauty', the

Jyurouzin (Private Outdoor Bath)

Ebisuten (Private Outdoor Bath)

Daikokuten (Private Outdoor Bath)

We offer three types of private open air hot spring baths. All complementary and open 24 hours. Both western and Japanese style rooms are available - smoking is not permitted on premises.

Oohira Hotel | Mogamitakayu Zenshichinoyu

825 Arashiki Zao Onsen, Yamagata | Phone: 023-694-9422 | Email: oohira@oohira.co.jp www.oohira.co.jp Feel free to contact us with any queries Pets welcome - we have our very own mascot dog, very popular amongst pet lovers! Courtesy bus service available between JR Yamagata station and Zao Onsen. Located five minutes walk from the slopes, courtesy shuttle bus service available within Zao Onsen resort area.


milky-white waters of this hot spring are especially abundant in nourishing minerals for the skin, and the sulphur they contain sterilises the skin's surface of any bacteria or dirt - leaving a smooth, silky finish. These properties have even inspired special Zao Onsen bath salts ('yu-no-hana'), which visitors take home to re-create a nourishing hot spring experience. The long-established inns and bed and breakfasts, intermingled with stylish modern hotels that make up the presentday resort area of Zao Onsen are nestled in the volcanic Zao Mountain Range. Its heart lies just 40 minutes by bus from Yamagata Station, and with Tokyo just 2 hours and 30 minutes away by bullet train, zipping up for a relaxing day-trip or weekender is easy. There are five hot spring facilities for day visitors to the area, as well as three public hot spring baths with entry fees of just ÂĽ200. Almost 50 different spring-heads are clustered around Zao Onsen, and many of the resort's accommodation facilities offer the luxury of hot spring bathing just minutes from the slopes of Zao Hot Springs Ski Resort. This adds to the village's allure in winter, making it a perfect destination to experience authentic local Japanese culture, while enjoying the magic of its powder snow to the fullest.


The Ultimate Japanese

Staycation Guide Discover the real Japan in Sydney

The multicultural setting of Australia has allowed outstanding elements of Japanese culture and cuisine to become a part of everyday life Down Under. The love Australians have for Japan, which for many nowadays almost certainly includes sushi, embraces a variety of fields including fashion, beauty, traditional arts and technology. The more you learn about Japanese culture the more deeply you experience it, and the better it gets - something which can happen right here in Australia. In the Ultimate Japanese Staycation Guide, we take a closer look at some of the best ways to experience the real Japan in Sydney. . .



How to eat sushi like a sushi chef Fish first into the soy sauce - sushi etiquette you mustn’t forget Eat sushi the connoisseur’s way Side menus that improve your sushi dining experience Sushi is a big part of the everyday Australian food culture now, so it’s time to start perfecting the art of eating sushi. The most important thing to remember when enjoying sushi is to respect the flavours in front of you. There is no need to drown it in soy sauce and wasabi. The trick to making sure the sushi doesn’t fall apart is this: lay it on its side then pick it up with chopsticks, so you're applying a gentle pressure to the fish and rice at once. To cleanse your palette during your meal, go for drinks like green tea, water or sake. Sushi and Japanese food in general is a cuisine of subtlety; drinking anything with overpowering flavour can take away from the whole experience. Sushi connoisseurs of Japan are often heard advising people to eat sushi in a particular order, starting with light, more plain-tasting fish, and gradually working up to fattier types of fish. Sushi Studio’s chef Taka Ueda, however, suggests that the best way to eat sushi is to simply enjoy it the way you want to. When serving sushi according to his own taste, he usually brings out his signature dishes first. Chef Ueda also likes to showcase the uniqueness of Japanese cuisine through his side menu. As he explains, ‘In Japan, we use as many parts of the fish as we can’. Suitably, you’ll find delicacies such as miso-grilled salmon kama (meat above the gills), and red snapper fish-head soup ('ara-jiru') on this menu. These special touches show precisely why when you bring an understanding of sushi etiquette and culture to the table, you're in for a superb dining experience.

Welcome to the world of real Japanese sushi!

We uphold all the traditions of an authentic Japanese sushi restaurant because we want to offer a truly unforgettable sushi experience for our customers.

75 Military Road, Neutral Bay NSW 2089 Tel & Fax 02-9953-7317 http://www.sushistudio.biz/

Trading Hours: Mon, Wed, Thu: 6pm-11pm (Last order 9:45pm) Fri, Sat, Sun: 5:30pm-11pm (Last order Fri, Sat:10pm, Sun: 9:45pm) Tuesday Closed



Easy, tasty Japanese snack time In and out: sushi is the perfect snack in a hurry Explore the amazing side menu and desserts Take home a party platter and enjoy sushi at home Sushi Train has been an integral part of making sushi happen in Australia, and they are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. As the first restaurant to introduce Japan's famous rotating sushi bar system, they are interchangeable with sushi itself for many. Today, almost 50 Sushi Train restaurants around Australia and New Zealand are serving fresh sushi daily. In addition to being healthy and delicious, they make sushi quick and easy. If you’re in a hurry but feeling peckish, all you need to do is to pop into Sushi Train and grab a few plates to have on the spot, or take away on the go. The salmon volcano ship and the kakiage mixed vegetable nigiri are amongst the most popular items on the menu. There are plenty of options for vegetarians too, in addition to the aforementioned nigiri, there are popular side dishes of edamame and agedashi tofu. What some may not know about Sushi Train is that it also provides a great selection of Japanese food in addition to sushi. On a day when you have a craving for Japanese, but not particularly for sushi, their side menu is perfect. From chicken kara-age (fried chicken) to udon noodles, there’s much that will satisfy your appetite. Or if you're in the mood for something sweet, try their chocolate fondant. This melty delight is sure to conclude your meal on a sweet note. Also on the dessert menu are Aussie favourites chocolate mousse and Tiramisu. The dessert portions are perfect for snacking and even after a feasting on sushi. To make sushi part of a home party with a delicious feast, Sushi Train also provides. The world of sushi in Japan has traditionally been steeped in ritual and formality, but like Sushi Train, it continues to develop in new ways that make the sushi dining experience more open and easy to enjoy for everyone. So much sushi, so little time!


Celebrating Our 25th Anniversary! Genuine hospitality by an authentic Japanese company. CAIRNS North Cairns Cairns City Place Earlville Mt Sheridan Smithfield

BRISBANE Algester Aspley Cannon Hill Capalaba Carseldine Chermside Clayfield Eight Mile Plains Greenslopes Indooroopilly Junction Mango Hill Southport Springwood Victoria Point

SYDNEY Bondi Beach Bondi Junction Cronulla Dee Why Maroubra Neutral Bay Newtown Oxford Randwick Sutherland

GOLD COAST Benowa Gardens Broadbeach Christine Corner Coolangatta Elanora Labrador Miami One Nerang Oxenford Surfers Paradise Treasure Cove

ADELAIDE Central Market Grenfell St. Clair St. Peters Unley Metro Welland Plaza

A pioneer of Australian conveyer-belt sushi restaurants. Expanding across Australia with 46 stores combined!

At Sushi Train, you can expect a diverse menu at a reasonable price enjoy as much of your favourite sushi as you CAN!



Ramen dining 2.0 Slurping: the key to appreciating ramen Enjoying the ‘men’ of ramen Upgrading your ramen dining experience The hearty goodness that is ramen is loved by many Australians, among other diners around the world today. The Ippudo restaurant chain is one of the trail blazers responsible for this, expanding from its original Hakata restaurant to major global cities such as Tokyo, New York, London, and thankfully, Sydney. More and more diners have come to know and enjoy Ippudo's signature tonkotsu broth ramen, Akamaru and Shiromaru. Now, the chain is evolving their menu further to better showcase all that makes for a fantastic ramen dining experience. New menu items have the same respect and regard for the basics of Japanese cooking as Akamaru and Shiromaru ramen, and are just as innovative. The experience of enjoying ramen can’t be done without one essential technique: 'zuzutto', as the Japanese put it. As described on the Ippudo menu, this very method is what allows one to taste the soup with the noodle: 'The key to enjoying ramen is sound. One should 'inhale' the noodles, creating a distinct sound that Japanese describe as zuzutto.' Ramen is just as much about the noodles as it is about the broth. At Ippudo you can actually select the firmness of your noodles for maximum enjoyment. A good combination for example is going al dente with the thinner noodles used in Shiromaru and the Akamaru. In general, it is still quite difficult to find a vegan option at ramen restaurants, but Ippudo has its very own: grilled tomato as a substitute for slices of chashu pork, and a vegetable-based soup. What makes the ramen dining experience at Ippudo a cut above is the innovative creations on the side menu. The portion sizes are just right for having with your bowl of ramen, and the flavours in each dish balance well with ramen. There are plenty of salads and fresh items, as well as a la carte and rice dishes for those looking for non-ramen items. Having this choice is what makes your ramen dining experience at Ippudo extra satisfying.


Ippudo Westfield

Ippudo Central Park

Westfield - "Premium Ramen Dining" Wine, dine, and finish with a hearty bowl of ramen. IPPUDO Westfield offers a premium ramen dining experience for special occasions or for when you want to treat yourself.

Central Park - "Casual Ramen Dining" Come by with friends or alone just on your way to the shops. IPPUDO Central Park offers a warm and casual environment where anybody can enjoy a hot bowl of ramen in an at-home environment.

Ippudo Macquarie

Ippudo Chatswood

Macquarie - "Modern Classic Ramen Shop" Compact and lively, IPPUDO Macquarie is the classic Japanese ramen restaurant re-imagined. With a menu bursting with ramen and some delicious sides, it offers a quick but high-quality experience.

Chatswood - "Smart Casual Ramen Dining" Located in The District above Chatswood Interchange, IPPUDO Chatswood is smart and well-balanced, incorporating both casual and premium qualities into a medium-sized restaurant. Offering quality ramen as well as non-ramen mains, IPPUDO Chatswood is an easy choice when dining with a large group of friends with diverse tastes.

Level 5, Westfield Sydney, Cnr Market and Pitt Streets, Sydney NSW 2000 02 8078 7020

Level 4, Macquarie Centre Cnr Herring and Waterloo Roads, North Ryde NSW 2113 02 8964 7490

Lower Ground, Central at Central Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008 02 8036 4534

The District Podium Level, Chatswood Interchange, 438 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood NSW 2067 02 8084 0704


See it, buy it, try it: Japanese home cooking Introduce healthy Japanese food into your daily life Use Japanese food products to step up your cooking game The must-have items for a Japanese breakfast Every day, thousands of Australians stop in to a Japanese restaurant or lunch bar for a delicious, healthy meal. Words like ‘sushi’ ‘matcha’ and ‘ramen’ are a part of our vocabulary, and we are becoming well acquainted with different facets of 'washoku', or Japanese food. So why not take your love for washoku to the next level? Step into the kitchen and channel your favourite Iron Chef, to create a delicious Japanese dish. It’s important that you have all the right ingredients before you start; Japanese soy sauce, mirin and miso are three essential pantry items that cover the basics of Japanese cooking. In Sydney, one of the best places to find them is Tokyo Mart at Northbridge Plaza - along with much more. From a fantastic selection of Japanese beers and sake to cooking utensils, the shopping experience alone is fun and exciting at Tokyo Mart. You’ll want to have things like dashi and nori. Dashi is the soup base for many Japanese dishes, including miso soup and udon. While it is usually made with 'katsuo' (bonito), shiitake mushroom and konbu (seaweed) dashi is also available for vegetarians. In addition to being used for sushi rolls, nori can also be chopped up and sprinkled over a dish - such as an okonomiyaki pancake - for added flavour and nutrition. Dried bonito flakes ('katsuobushi') are another classic okonomiyaki topping, and a standard accompaniment to tempura dipping sauce. By just having these simple items in your pantry, you can start creating authentic Japanese dishes using fresh and frozen produce, and groceries. For example, they can be used to

Tokyo Mart

Great range of high quality Japanese groceries, all at a reasonable price One of the biggest Japanese supermarkets in Australia Product lines almost identical to supermarkets in Japan From everyday foods and sweets to Japanese sake and beers, diverse variety of products in stock Freshness, quality, and value guaranteed on all products

Shop 27, Northbridge Plaza, Northbridge NSW 2063 T: (02) 9958 6860 Open: Mon-Wed, Fri 9:00-17:00, Thu 9:00-18:00, Sat 9:00-17:30, Sun 10:00-16:00 Closed: Public Holidays Visit your local Fuji Mart! Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth www.junpacific.com/ | www.facebook.com/tokyomartsydney


prepare frozen edamame or lotus root ('renkon'), for the perfect side dish to any Japanese meal. At Tokyo Mart, the selection of healthy frozen foods like these makes it easier when starting out with Japanese cooking. Washoku meals have traditionally been balanced according to a basic approach of ‘ichijū-sansai’, a set meal of one bowl of soup, and three side dishes with rice. Depending on region, season and taste, sides may include any one of grilled fish, tofu, omelette, beans, seasonal vegetables or pickles. The simple food in this format makes it easy to create a healthy, filling meal - the beauty of washoku.

Putting together your own basic Japanese breakfast One of the best ways to ease into Japanese home cooking is by making a simple, satisfying ‘ichijū-sansai’ breakfast like this one: Steamed rice Short grain white rice is standard, and is often sprinkled with nori seaweed and sesame seeds at breakfast. Miso soup Miyasaka Jozo instant miso soup easily takes care of the 'ichijū'. Grilled fish Seasonal. Omelette (with a dash of miso for a more Japanese flavour) and tofu are two vegetarian substitutes. Nattō The Japanese version of Vegemite, these nutritious fermented soybeans are full of probiotics, and available in convenient single-serve packs. Umeboshi Pickled plums. A salty, sour superfood that will definitely wake you up! For less intensity, try pickled vegetables ('tsukemono') or a seaweed salad.



The art of izakaya hospitality and dining The drinking order of a sake connoisseur The right sake temperature for the right dish Leaving the carbs to last The spirit of Japanese hospitality is known as ‘omotenashi’, and is all around you at an izayaka bar. It means entertaining guests in a selfless, respectful and warm manner, and also reciprocating as a guest by following dining and drinking etiquette. You can experience 'omotenashi' at Izakaya Masuya, and here is some basic knowledge on how to match great food and sake to add to your experience. A standard match with entrees and seafood dishes at an izakaya is a light, aromatic Ginjō or Daiginjō often served chilled ('reishu') or at room temperature ('jō-on') in a wine glass to accentuate its fragrance. Warm ('nurukan') and hot ('atsukan') sake is typically served later with main dishes - especially during winter - in a ceramic carafe ('tokkuri') with matching cups ('ochoko'). On special occasions, sake is traditionally served in a wooden square cup ('masu'), a style of drinking known as 'masu-zake'. While drinking at an izakaya, you'll notice that Japanese people follow a custom of never pouring their own drinks, but also never letting anyone else's cup remain empty. When you're ready to stop, just leave your cup full. After a light tapas-style menu with drinks, the done thing is to finish with something simple and carb-heavy, to replenish blood sugar levels. Udon noodles in broth or fried, or rice steeped in green tea and stock with plum, salmon and a variety of other healthy toppings ('chazuke'), are two great ways to round off the night.

MASUYA INTERNATIONAL Masuya Basement Level, 12-14 O'Connell Street, Sydney 02-9235-2717

Miso World Square, Shop 20 644 George Street, Sydney 02-9283-9686

Izakaya Masuya Ground Floor, 12-14 O’Connell Street, Sydney 02-9233-8181

Chatswood Makoto 336 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood 02-9411-1838

Masuya Suisan 5/447 Pitt Street, Sydney 02-9280-0377

Makoto Bento Shop 64, Chatswood Interchange, 438 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood 02-9411-1863

http://www.masuyainternational.com.au/ 180


Evoking the ambience of Japan with essential oils Properties of Japanese botanicals Where to find quality Japanese essential oils in Sydney Inviting Japanese aromas into your daily life Temples, shrines, houses and even bathtubs in Japan have long been constructed with hinoki, a culturally sacred species of cypress. Also known as Japanese cypress, it is incredibly robust, resistant to insects and decay, and prized for its sweet aromatic properties as an essential oil. Organic beauty and aromatherapy specialist Marvo & Co now make it possible to enjoy hinoki and other rare Japanese essential oils ('waseiyu') right here in Sydney. These oils are a wonderful way to bring the natural ambience of a Japanese forest or traditional building into your surrounding environment on a staycation, not to mention enjoy their therapeutic benefits. As well as hinoki, the Marvo & Co range includes kusunoki (Japanese camphor), wahakka (Japanese mint) and yuzu (Japanese citrus). They showcase some of the unique, versatile properties of waseiyu oils, and can be used in oil burners, directly applied with a carrier oil, or added to bath salts. Hinoki, for example, has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties; it can also be used as an insecticide or sedative, and to relieve tension. As such, the incorrect use of waseiyu oils can be hazardous, and Marvo & Co provide guidance on not only their positive effects, but also hazards to be avoided. The company is professionally accredited by the International Federation of Aromatherapists, and with a range of vegan and certified organic hand creams, facial serums and other essential oil products in addition to waseiyu oils, they are a quality source of botanical products.

Vegan Hand Balm Hand cream born out of a vegan lifestyle. A classic and elegant blend of organic Lavender and Sandalwood Oil. marvoco.com 181


Ryokan Gojyuan: a little bit of Japan in Balmain Experience an authentic ryokan, complete with a Japanese garden Soak for hours in the aromatic hinoki bath to music of your choice Savour a classic ichijū-sansai breakfast overlooking the koi pond In Sydney's inner west suburb of Balmain lies a boutique Japanese ryokan inn, Ryokan Gojyuan. A classic 1850s heritage sandstone building on the outside, the only clue to what's inside are the tasteful wooden signs beside the front door, featuring the inn's name in Japanese calligraphy. Step inside, and you'll easily forget that you’re in the Harbour City. Ryokan inns around Japan are typically models of traditional Japanese design and landscaping, with calming, aromatic timber paneling, sliding screens and straw tatami mats - and the sound of a stream trickling gently in the background, or koi making a sudden splash on the surface of a meditative pond. Ryokan Gojyuan is no exception, featuring these design elements with authenticity and style in its Matsunoma and Takenoma guest rooms. The Matsunoma, or 'Pine Room' overlooks the main garden and a Wollemi Pine from beside a koi pond. Over this, a wooden walkway leads to the Takenoma, or Bamboo Room. With a view curtained by bamboo, it is also used for special workshops on the art of Samurai Tea Ceremony. Between the Matsunoma and Takenoma is the bathhouse of Ryokan Gojyuan, another standard of a Japanese inn. The ‘ofuro’ (bath) here is made of hinoki, or Japanese cypress, which has a subtly calming aroma that makes it easy to spend hours relaxing in the tub. Linda, the innkeeper of Ryokan Gojyuan, has spent countless hours studying the traditions of ryokan hospitality. Her travels in Japan have taken her to Nakatsugawa in Gifu Prefecture, where the hinoki bath of Ryokan Gojyuan was custommade by Hinoki Soken. An important post town on the Nakasendō, an ancient mountain highway from Tokyo to Kyoto, Nakatsugawa is the gateway to the Kiso Valley - a prime hinoki growing region. Bringing another special touch to the Ryokan Gojyuan bathing experience are the speakers in the bathhouse. Linda provides a selection of meditative traditional Japanese music for guests, who may also listen to music of their own choice. Ryokan Gojyuan follows the Japanese bathing custom of showering and rinsing


off all soap outside the bath first, and then getting in to soak and relax. Guest rooms at Ryokan Gojyuan also have their own showers and futon beds - and you can even choose to sleep in a yukata, a light cotton kimono. Japanese aromas to enjoy along with the hinoki bath are the camellia (Japonica Lovelight) in the main garden, green tea, and of course, Linda's amazing breakfast. Modelled on the healthy traditional 'ichijĹŤsansai' format, it consists of rice, miso soup, pickles, vegetables, egg and fish, served in the lobby on beautiful tableware. This room looks out over the koi pond, and is decorated with quintessentially Japanese wood features and pottery pieces. Ryokan Gojyuan is also a strong supporter of Japanese cultural exchange in Sydney, and its website and Facebook page are good sources of information on workshops and events, including Japanese theatre and music. Until you're back out in the streets of Balmain, the inn really feels like you are in Japan - making it the perfect place for the ultimate Japanese staycation.

Traditional Japanese accommodation and culture in the heart of Sydney



Authentic Japanese design harmoniously blended within a heritage sandstone building Guest services include tatami rooms, aromatic cedar bath and kaiseki degustation banquets Regular cultural workshops by Japanese artists and craftspeople, and other events 208 Darling St, Balmain NSW 2041 Phone: (02) 9810 3219

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Go beyond the surface Japan is ďŹ lled with endless discoveries. Behind every icon is a whole other side waiting to be explored. Think you know Japan? Think again. jnto.org.au