The powder is flying and the holiday spirit is in the air. Perhaps it’s the crisp, cool air or the spectacular scenery, but something about the snow, the mountains and the lakes seems to unify people. After all, what’s not to like about a white Christmas?
With the right equipment, the right clothing and the right guidance, a ski trip to Japan can be a lot of fun. The season runs from June to October and the resort towns become crowded with visitors. The snow conditions are fantastic and range from open slopes to freeride and snowboarding terrain. If you’re after a holiday with your family or friends, then Japan probably isn’t far from your mind. But how much is it really worth?
Skiing In Japan: Costs And Taxes
The most convenient way to determine the cost of a ski trip to Japan is to look at the exchange rate. As of January 2020, one Canadian dollar will buy you 106 Japanese yen – so roughly $1 = ¥106, or £76. That’s pretty close to what you’d usually pay in Canada. However, you need to add in some other fees and taxes to make the total amount more realistic.
The most striking difference between the cost of living in Canada and Japan is that rent is way cheaper in Japan. Apartments and houses typically cost far less than in Canada – and that includes owning a property yourself. This makes a massive difference in your costs if you’re traveling with your family. While the exchange rate is a great tool when comparing the cost of living in Japan with that of Canada, other costs such as transportation, food and drink are not converted from one currency to another.
Skiing In Japan: Season And Weather
The best time of year to visit Japan for skiing is between June and October. This is when the snow is at its best and the weather is perfect for keeping fit and enjoying the white stuff. Between June and October, the snow can cover the entire mountain and provide a versatile ski experience. Lift ticket prices spike as well, so you might want to avoid the snowy season if you’re on a budget.
The downside is that the weather doesn’t seem to be consistent from one area to another, which means you might get a bit of a rollercoaster ride when it comes to snow conditions. This is especially true at the bigger and more popular resorts, where you’ll likely find yourself changing lodgings a few times before you find the perfect ski run.
Depending on where you are in Japan and what resort you’re at, you’ll either find warm or cold temperatures. For instance, Hokkaido is the home of the extremely popular Niseko, where you can ski all year long, and it gets extremely cold – dipping to lows in the winter. In comparison, the resorts on Honshu, the largest island, don’t get as cold and instead are warmer during the day. The downside is that it gets very humid and muggy, which makes you want to keep on your parka all the time.
Skiing In Japan: How To Have Fun
As previously stated, the cost of a ski trip to Japan is comparable to that of a skiing trip to Canada. This means that you can have a good time on a budget and without risking bankruptcy. You’ll find plenty of affordable accommodation, with the largest resorts tending to offer budget-friendly packages that include meals and drinks. This is great news both for your wallet and for your taste buds, as you won’t be struggling with expensive buffet lunches all season long.
Japan is a place where tradition and culture meet modernity and innovation. This is apparent in the towns and villages, where you’ll find a mix of both old and new. In the resorts, you’ll find that the buildings are of different styles and colors, but they’ve all been carefully placed to form a cohesive look.
Another great way to have fun on a ski trip to Japan is to join a club. Apart from providing you with discounted ski passes and catering to your every need, the clubs also arrange evening activities and outings, as well as social events, throughout the season. You can find information about the dozens of clubs in Japan here. Just remember to bring your passport and visa with you, as well as a picture ID – as the clubs are often hosts to private parties and events, which require special entry permits.
Another fun aspect of a ski trip to Japan is taking a night off to explore the local town or village. Many of the bigger and more popular resorts have grown exponentially in the past years, so there’s now lots to explore beyond the ski runs. One of the best things about a ski trip to Japan is that while the atmosphere is fun and the food is good, you don’t really need to consume vast amounts of calories. This is especially beneficial for those hoping to lose weight. So, if you’re looking for a country that welcomes visitors, but wants to slim down, then Japan might be the greenest option you’ve ever considered!
With a little planning and research, a ski trip to Japan can be both exciting and affordable. Be sure to pack the right equipment, including snow shoes and ski pants, as well as your ski and snowboard gear. Another key piece of equipment is a jacket or a fleece pullover, which is wind and waterproof. Furthermore, you may want to consider renting a bike to get around since it’s easy to get back and forth between the stations. Finally, make sure to bring a swimsuit and lotion with you, as the water is cool but not cold, and the sun is warm but not too hot.
When it comes to planning your vacation to Japan, there are so many options for what you could do. From a bus tour around the main islands to a full-blown expedition, there’s a lot to see and do. Be sure to get out there and explore as much as you can.