Winter Holidays: skiing in Japan.

We’ve all heard of the beautiful towering Mount Fuji, but did you know that more than 70 per cent of Japan is mountainous? Add excellent powder snow, and it’s hardly surprising that skiing is a national pastime, reports the Independent. There are further attractions too which you won’t find elsewhere. Try the heated techno-loos, après-ski volcanic hot-spring onsen baths and of course you can snack on reasonably priced sushi. You’ll be one of few tourists there, because despite twice hosting the Winter Olympics, Japan is not a well-known skiing destination beyond its borders.

Great quality snow is to be found on Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido. Niseko offers high-quality acommodation, good restaurants and plenty of ski-runs. A 12-night trip, including skiing in three Hokkaido resorts, stays in Tokyo and Kyoto, flights and accommodation with breakfast costs around £1,999 (skisafari.com).

Alternatively base yourself in Tokyo and head for one of the numerous resorts which are accessible from the capital. The 1998 Winter Olympics were held in the Hakuba Valley near Nagano, four hours by train from Tokyo. Seven-night trips, including five nights skiing in Hakuba Valley and two in Tokyo, cost £694. Lift passes, equipment rental and international flights are not included (insidejapantours.com).

So with winter approaching, there are plenty of options for skiers to enjoy Japan’s cloud-brushing peaks. Japan's nationwide delivery service Takkyubin (kuronekoyamato.co.jp/english) can help to make things easy on arrival by delivering your skis and luggage cheaply. For example, an average-sized suitcase sent from northern Hokkaido to southern Kyushu costs only Y3,040 (£24)


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