I confess, I’m one of the many Australians hooked on Japan! It’s my third visit in Winter and I still marvel at the country’s magic.
In the cities there’s that odd mix of ancient customs and traditional costumes alongside pachinko parlours and neon lights. There’s cute snow monkeys that preen or pester each other at the hot springs oblivious to curious onlookers who’ve trudged through the snow to see their bathing rituals.
As for skiing, Japan has the lightest, most consistent powder snow that I’ve ever skied and on the north island of Hokkaido, it seems to get topped up every day. Like the snow monkeys, we blissed out in the glorious hot onsens each night and experienced the restorative powers the next day skiing.
I love the winter wonderland, but now I’m curious to sample Japan in the warmer months where you can walk among the wildflowers, natural springs or cherry blossoms and sample more of Japan’s sometimes quirky festivals and culture.
Photographs taken in an around Nosawa Onsen and Asahidake