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Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Nikko is way off the grid for most international ski visitors to Japan, and pretty far off grid for locals skiers too judging by the empty slopes we encountered at Nikko Yumoto Ski Area. Which is all the more surprising given that Nikko City is a fantastic and very popular World Heritage site, home to arguably the...
Hokkaido's highest mountains tower behind Asahikawa
COVID UPDATE: With the effects of Covid-19 virus causing mass closures of ski resorts across much of the World here's a little (relatively) good news story from Asahikawa. As of Tuesday March 17 2020 they had a grand total of 10 confirmed cases, up 1 in a week for this area of 375,000 people. "9 in Asahikawa city, and 1...
Iox-Arosa and Taira ski areas in Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture, are another couple of pretty much totally off the western skiers' grid areas well worth checking out. There's a lot to see and do around Nanto City (actually a collection of towns and rural areas amalgamated into one local government area - it's very relaxed round here)...
skiing Minowa ski area with a view to Mt Bandai
Minowa and Numajiri in Aizu are a couple of off grid Japan secret stashes you have never heard of. Good! Neither have the pow hungry hordes in Hakuba or other areas already overrun. After nearly 30 years covering skiing in Japan we love nothing more than finding new places where we are still often the only westerners...
Shiinhotak Ropeway in Gifu
Shinhotaka Ropeway in Gifu Prefecture is hands-down the most spectacular cable car ride in Japan, and the only double-decker model we have ever ridden, anywhere. Soaring into an ampitheatre of some of this mountainous nation's highest peaks, including the third highest, 3190m Okohutaka, it boasts alpine views to rival pretty much anywhere.
Hachimantai Cat Skiing (Hachimantai Cat Tours) is a new and still virtually secret Japanese powder stash gem on Mount Chausu in Iwate Prefecture. Owner/guides father and son team Ikuo 'Boss' Kuragane and Junya Kuragane are both back country ski legends. The cat office base building is in front of...