Ask a casual traveler what he thinks of Japan and most likely, he will start talking about the mega city of Tokyo and its blinding lights, its efficient transport system, high cost of living, and great Japanese food. If the traveler is art and history inclined, then perhaps he will start dreaming of the imperial city of Kyodo, its perfectly preserved wooden houses and the beautiful geishas, clad in beautful kimonos, that walk around the old city.
But Japan is so much more than its first world megacities or historic towns.
Japan, a large archipelago in the East Asian region, has millions of other stories to tell and even more adventures to offer to different folks with different strokes.
Specifically, Japan’s Hokkaido region bristles with snow sports activities come winter season.
The Land of the Rising Sun’s unique feature is its fascinating geography which comes to life in the snow season and boasts of extreme, high-octane sporting activities.
With over 500 ski resorts nationwide, skiing and snowboarding are prominent winter sports best practiced at resorts in Hokkaido, Tohoku, Niigata, and Nagano.
You can also try other snow activities such as snow rafting, snow shoeing, cross country ski, and snowmobiling
Around Mt. Fuji, resorts such as Niseko, Shiga Kogen, and Zao, offer marvelous views of the beauty of the great mountain.Of all three, Niseko is definitely the most popular and it attracts snow sports aficionados from all corners of the its powdery snow.
For travelers who enjoy high altitude, climbing the Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido and Kamikochi in Nagano-ken should be top priority.
For those who are into a ore relaxed experience during the winter, one can head out to the famous Sapporo Winter held in February, and marvel at larger than life ice sculptures depicting famous people, places and landmarks from all over the world.
Started by a few high school and middle school students in the 1950s, the Sapporo Snow Festival has become an iconic event in Hokkaido which attracts about two million visitors from all over Japan and the world, every year. The festival is so popular that teams from Canada and the United States are even participating in it by sending teams.
Cebu Pacific has direct flights to Japan.For more information and flight bookings, visit www.cebupacificair.com
Photo Courtesy of Japan National Tourism Organization