Brought to you by Hakuba Valley
Japan is as hot as any skiing/snowboarding destination can be. You want to go to Japan and you want to go now. It’s only going to get busier every year.
“The time is now.”
Storms don’t matter in Japan. A cold wind blows out of Siberia, crosses the Sea of Japan, picks up moisture, and that moisture slams into the mountains of Japan resulting in ceaseless snowfall – especially in January and February.
If you haven’t been to Japan yet, it’s time to go, ski deep pow, eat great food, poke monkeys in hot springs with sticks, rip sick terrain, and get blown away by amazing culture.
THE TOP 6 REASONS TO GO TO JAPAN THIS WINTER:
#1 = Snowiest Place on Earth
There are places on Honshu Island (Tokyo’s island) that receive 1,200 to 1,500 inches of snow per year. That’s 100 to 125-feet of annual snowfall. Whoa… Hakuba, Japan generally gets about 300 inches of snow in January alone. In 2015, Hakuba saw 600″ of snow in 10 weeks in town.
#2 = The Most Ski Resorts on Earth
Skiing blew up in the ’80s in Japan at the same time that Japan’s economy was blowing up. In the ’80s Japan had over 1,200 ski resorts. Japan is only the size of California. Imagine California with 1,200 ski resorts… Nowadays, there are only about 615 left. Every year, Japan loses more ski resorts, but they still have more than any other country on Earth. The entire USA has only ~480 ski resorts.
#3 = The Best Food on Earth
Japan has spectacular food. We all know about sushi and how good it is here in the USA and around the world. Just wait until you have sushi in Japan. It’s next level. Sashimi, tempura, nabe, gyoza, raw horsemeat, Japanese curry, the list goes on. It’s the best food we’ve experienced by far. Even the airport food in Japan is world-class. Our favorite food there is tempura shrimp and veggies in noodle soup. Unreal…
#4 = Amazing Culture
Japanese culture is hard to describe yet, unforgettable. The people of Japan are obnoxiously nice, overly helpful, ridiculously polite, squeakily clean, and extremely hard working. Everything is done well, done right, and done on time. The architecture, the sumo, the geisha, the samurai, the cherry blossoms, the bizarre festivals, it’s all unreal. There is nearly zero crime in Japan. We repeat zero crime. Tokyo is the largest city on Earth right now with over 26 million people and people don’t lock their bikes up at night. They just park them outside their apartments on their kickstands…
#5 = Snow Monkeys in Hot Springs
Snow monkeys. In hot springs. Need we say more? No, but we will anyway. Only two hours from Hakuba, Japan (where they held the 1998 Winter Olympics) there are snow monkeys chilling out in hot springs. These Macaques are badass as they live in the mountains in the snow in the winter. When they get sick of the snow, they’re smart enough to hop in the springs and warm up. Not all of the Japanese macaques hang out in hot springs, only a few troops are smart enough to pull this off. And yes, they will steal your hat, your sunglasses your phone, anything. They will jump on you and take it. Heads up.
#6 = Japan Has Great Terrain
Japan has gained a reputation for mellow terrain. In many places, that is true. Japan has a ton of mellow, happy, playful, really fun terrain. But if you want to push it, look no further than Hakuba. Hakuba has 10,000-foot peaks that hold big terrain, steep spines, huge open faces, and scary pillow lines.