Every now and then there is a ski resort that creeps up on us. Comes from out of nowhere, to become one of the major players in the skiing world. In recent years, that resort has been Japan. Enticing people from countries as diverse as Australia, the United Kingdom, Thailand and the good ol’ USA. Yes, skiing in Japan is hip and it is getting hipper by the day.
But the big question is; what does Japan have that other ski resorts, don’t? Why is Japan the trendiest ski destination going? So, interest of full disclosure here are 5 reasons why skiing in Japan is just that darn popular.
- The Snow Fall- Japan has the nickname “Land of the Rising Sun” but a more fitting name for its ski resorts would be “Land of the Falling Snow”. The sheer volume of powder they get is unrivalled in Europe and America. As strange as it sounds, the snow comes pouring in across the coast from Siberia. There can be days where not a single ray of sunlight can peek through the falling mass of white fluffy stuff. Which brings us onto the next point….
- Night Skiing- One of the main bug bears when it comes to skiing is; having to get up at ridiculous o’clock. Those early rises, to get that full eight hours on the slopes can leave you sapped by the end of a week. Luckily, thanks in large parts to the heavy snow fall; the Japanese have made night skiing the common practice. Skiing in Japan can take place at any time between nine am to nine pm under their floodlit runs. Safe to say that once you leave Japan you won’t have two extra bags located under your eyes.
- OnsenBathing in a volcanic thermal pool, sounds like a good idea right? Well, maybe not, but if it is while skiing in Japan then it definitely is. The communal hot springs are dotted around ski resorts in Japan and are thought to have magical redemptive powers. An afternoon in the steamy pools may be what the doctor ordered to cure a bout of skiing cramp.
- The Food- Let’s face it, Japanese food is exotic and delicious, why else would there be a Sushi restaurant in almost every town. The chefs have perfected the combination of preparing food while putting on a show. Watching the chefs prepare the food with all the flicks, shakes and chops that goes with it, is pure theatre. Now, you don’t get that in the snooty French Alps do you?
- J- Pop après ski- On no other slope in the world will you hear that weirdly enjoyable sound of J-pop in the air. The energetic sound is like they’ve let a two year old become a music producer and he has gone “I want a bit of everything please”. Yes, annoying at first, it somehow grows on you until the point that you are able to rattle off your favourite artists.
So there are some of the reasons why skiing in Japan is unique. The fact that it is so different is probably why it has become popular. Ski resorts that are rich with character are few and far between. So, any resort that combines local culture, local food and a hell of a lot of powder is always going to draw people in. Skiing in Japan, does that in abundance. Trust me, that’s why I’ve already booked my next trip with Crystal Ski.
- -Authors Bio: Martin is a ski enthusiast and a backpacker. Usually the two are mutually exclusive but somehow he makes it work. Spending his winters up a mountain and his summers with a dog eared guidebook. You can read his views at his blog