- Ski station
By Paul Dubrûle, Ski Sales Director
When one thinks of snow and winter sports, Asia isn’t usually the first place that comes to mind. Yet, oddly enough, Japan is actually one of the fastest growing ski destinations in the world! Last December, I was catapulted to the other end of the globe, right into one of the most unique ski experiences I have ever had. I spent an incredibly unforgettable week in Hakuba Valley. Although I knew that one could ski in Japan—I too had seen it while watching the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics—I really had no idea there were so many options to choose from!
During my vacation, I stayed in Hakuba Valley, an authentically rural spot in the heart of the Japanese Alps. There are a dozen or so resorts in this area including Happo-one, Tsugaike Kogen, Cortina and Hakuba 47-Hakuba Goryu. The first two of these are pretty centrally located while the other two are a bit more off the beaten path, although still accessible by shuttle. Despite what many people might think, snow is far from being on the verge of extinction in Japan. In fact, it snows all the time here, and the place has even earned a reputation for its legendary powder. So, make sure you pack your powder skis if you don’t want to disappear under all that snow!
During my trip to Japan, I spent a day ski touring (using climbing skins). If you plan on making this part of your trip, I highly recommend using the services of a guide. From experience, I can say that it will help you move out of your comfort zone and explore your surroundings a little more. As far as accommodations go, I stayed at a fabulous hotel where breakfast and dinner were included as part of my package— something of an all-inclusive formula, you could say. As a result, I got to indulge in delectable sushi, okomomiyaki (Japanese crepes) and soba noodles. I also took a not-to- be-missed dip in an onsen (hot springs). These thermal water sources (where nudity is de rigueur) are the perfect place to relax those tired muscles after a day of tearing up the slopes.
Before heading back home, I made a pit stop in Tokyo where I spent two days enjoying yet another change of scenery. There is just so much to see here, and always something going on… day and night! I couldn’t have picked a better way to wrap up my first Asian vacation. In short, skiing in Japan is a unique experience that delights all of the senses. To think that, after 30 years of travelling and skiing around the world, I thought I had seen it all… until I made my way to the Land of the Rising Sun, and discovered all of its unexpected wonders.”
Asia - Alpine skiingHakuba – Happo-One area, Japan January 24 to February 1, 2019 On request
Asia - Alpine skiingHakuba – Cortina area, Japan January 24 to February 1, 2019 On request
Asia - Alpine skiingHakuba – Happo-One area, Japan February 7 to 15, 2019 On request
8 spots available at this price!
Asia - Alpine skiingHakuba – Cortina area, Japan February 7 to 15, 2019