By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

30 January 2014

Hakuba Ski Resort, Cool!

Last week I went to Hakuba Happo Ski Resort in Nagano Prefecture.


Surprisingly beautiful place to be because it was really clear day. Views from mountains were spectacular.


On top was like lunar surface.


The courses are great.

One more surprising thing was that there were many foreign skiers or snowboarders. At least one out of 10 people skiing or snowboarding were foreigners, mostly from Australia.

I spoke with one Australian woman about why she chose to come to Hakuba. She said the place is better than Australia in terms of skiing or snowboarding because Australian snow are not good quality and snow leisure are more expensive. Since the season is opposite over there, people want to get away from summer heat, so snow leisure in Japan are very popular. There are repeaters of Hakuba visits. She said locals in Hakuba were so friendly and she and her family enjoyed spending vacation there.

I met many Australian skiers in Niseko, Hokkaido 3 years ago. Niseko is 2 hour flight from Tokyo. It is great in terms of snow quality, better than any other places in Japan or even the world. That is why I could meet skiers from Sweden in Niseko. Recently US Ambassador, Caroline B. Kennedy skied there.

Hakuba and Niseko both have other great tourism resource, Natural Hot Spring, Onsen. I bathed in hot spring bathes over there and of course met foreigners naked in bath tubs. Warming your body by natural heat water from volcano after skiing in the cold weather is one great feature of Japan's skiing.

But it seems Hakuba or some other ski resorts are better in the sense that the resort is closer to Tokyo, biggest tourist spot in Japan.











I heard some Australian tourists spend several days in Tokyo for sight-seeing and then got on the train to Hakuba. It took about 2-3 hours by train. Some use Japan's state of art express train, Bullet Train (Shinkansen).


After they got to Hakuba, they spend a few days skiing and then took a bus to Narita International Airport to go back to their homeland. There is a direct bus line from the local bus station.


Wow, Japan has great tourism resources. Cool Japan!

If only no nuke accident like Fukushima happened 3 years ago, I can clearly state that. But I am so glad that so many foreign tourists stay in Japan even after such horrible accident that polluted all over the world occurred.

Japan should welcome them heart-warmingly. So we have keep healthy relationship with foreign nations. We must abandon nuclear power plants that jeapordize our nation and our planet.

For Australian we have to halt whaling in Antarctic Sea. No necessity for eating whale meat sailing so far away. Whaling in Antarctic Sea was never our tradition, only coastal fishery villages in a small scale.

I hope our people can improve ourselves by being aware of foreigners eyes. Knowing how other people see us lets us know ourselves better. We can view ourselves objectively. We should be grateful to foreigners.

By the way, I will come back to Hakuba soon.  

I just come up with a good novel idea that can be a good travel course. The title is like "Hakuba International Lodge." I actually saw the sign of lodge over there. Skiers and snow boarders from all over the world joined the lodge and spend wonderful time and share meaninful experiences. Not just skiing or snowboarding, sight-seeing to Tokyo or Kyoto and naked bathing in natural hot spring (sometimes, co-ed style) and learn tea ceremony, zen mediation, etc.

Don't you want to try?

09 January 2013

Why not visit Nozawa Onsen Ski and natural hot spring village?

In the beginning of this year, I went to Nozawa Onsen village in Nagano Prefecture.

The below is last year's footage, February 2012.

It is famous ski resort but it is also famous for natural hot spring town. The word, Onsen means natural hot spring in Japanese.

Interestingly enough, the town is not only famous for Japanese skiers but Australians, New Zealanders and other foreigners. A ski resort famous for foreigners I knew was Niseko in Hokkaido. I visited there two years ago. Then I learnt Australians there became more interested in Nozawa Onsen. That was why I visited Nozawa last year and this year.

The place was better than expected. Snow quality was great. The courses were varied. I saw many Australians and other foreigners skiing and snowboarding. Not as many as number I saw in Niseko but I could meet some Aussies every time I got on a lift. I even could meet them attending ski school which only provided Japanese intruction. They told me they learnt it by body language. Wow!!

I saw them outside the ski areas. That is public bath houses. There are 13 community bath houses in the village. It is open early in the morning until late at night. All of them were managed by localies and free of charge for anybody including tourists. The hot water comes from volcano line underneath the village. It smells sulfur and some of them were really hot. I could not imagine foreigners enjoying that. But I saw them quite frequently. 

I spoke with localies. They told me they actually made sales to Australians flying there. However, they never change their village to resort style. They keep the way they have been from the past. You can't find any big hotels and leisure facilities over there. Just small local hotels, bath houses, temples, shrines, small shops, restaurants and bars. No big places except ski slopes. Very much like Japanese traditional village.

Localies seems to be proud of keeping their originality and personality. When I bathed in a community bath, one local man scolded a young boy saying "wash your penis before you get into the bath tub."  That means keep the bath clean and respect the manners.

It is a very mystique place. Real winter wonderland!

15 April 2010

Connie Francis's "I'm gonna be warm this winter"

The lyric starts with "We met at the Ski lodge, and we fell in love."

I like this song because this reminds me of my ski trip this year.

I've visited 6 ski resorts this year from January to March. I really enjoyed.

The last ski slope I visited was Shiga Highland in Nagano Prefecture. That is where my favorite ski film was shot.

In 1998, winter Olympic was held there.

I skied from one ski slope to another crossing mountains. It was a blizzard day. Very hard to ski but I enjoyed it.

See the below video clip or this site.

Next day was very clear day, so I just enjoyed skiing on the slope. See the below video or this site.

The song matches with the below video.

Not just skiing, I enjoyed bathing in hot spring bath. That is the way Japanese skiers enjoy skiing.

Getting cold on the ski slope and then taking a hot spring bath afterwards. It made me really warm.

Speaking of warming myself, I got warm by trip to Okinawa in late March.

Warming myself seeing emerald green sea. See this site or the below.


Yes, I was warm this year's winter.

Now after my long vacation period was over, working hard in concrete jungle.

That is totally different world. I don't know how to express my current situation.

21:50 Posted in Leisure, Music, Sports, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: ski, snow

09 February 2010

Japan is a Ski Paradise!

I was fortunate to be born as Japanese. I went to 3 places for skiing this year. All three places were fabulous.

I have skied in foreign countries such as Colorado in US and Switzerland in the past.

That was great experiences.

But I enjoyed skiing in Japan. Not just skiing but also hot spring after skiing.

Last week I went to Zao Hot Spring Ski Resort in Yamagata Prefecture. It has great view point with frozen trees (Soft rime) on top of mountain.

It makes you feel being in Fairy Tale.  

You can ski down from there. After you reach the bottom, you can enjoy bathing hot spring and ease your body.
The below video summerises my ski trip of last week.

Japan has various places like the above and beach resort of Okinawa, where you can swim all year around.
Great contrast, isn't it?
I love my country because it has great fun places. I want to protect them.

00:04 Posted in Leisure, Sports, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: ski, snow

1 2 Next