Winter isn’t just about celebrating Christmas. It’s also about having fun on the snow, with various fun activities that make people flock to the mountain resorts. One of the best places to go during this season is Hokkaido, Japan’s second largest island.
Although we haven’t been to Hokkaido yet, here are 5 best reasons why we think Hokkaido is Asia’s best winter destination.
1. Tons of resorts to choose from
Japan is a mountainous region with more than a hundred resorts to choose from and the best ones are located in Hokkaido, since it has a cold climate that is longer in duration. Hence, it’s no surprise why many foreigners are also frequent visitors to this part of the country. This is also the reason why most of these retreats, such as the five-star Kiroro Ski Resort, have English-speaking staff. Don’t let the language barrier intimidate and stop you from booking a vacation in Hokkaido.
2. Consistent level of powder snow
Japan is known for its high quality powder snow, which falls in great amounts and has a perfect texture for skiing. This is thanks to the cold winds coming from Siberia which picks up moisture from the sea and falls as snow on the mountains. Since Hokkaido is in the archipelago’s northern area, it is one of the first islands to receive this much snowfall, especially during December and January. This means you won’t have to wait long to see a fresh patch of powder snow on the ground as it’s always there for eager skiers and snowboarders.
3. Wide range of winter activities
If you’re looking for something other than skiing and snowboarding, you can take a walk around the slopes and mountains of Japan. Forest tours, snowmobile rides, and snow park games are just some of the top winter activities in Hokkaido that you can enjoy. The frozen landscape is a treat for the eyes, especially for nature lovers. These tours are done in groups too, so it’s advisable to bring your friends along for a fun-filled experience in exploring Japan’s winter scenes.
4. Hot springs
These geothermal baths are a point of pride for the Japanese, especially in Hokkaido, which has several of them. For one, these waters have a high mineral content. No wonder people believe that these springs can heal a number of illnesses, such as hypertension and rheumatism. That’s why these natural hot springs are perfect for soothing tired muscles after a long day at the slopes and make Hokkaido a top wellness destination even for locals.
5. Japanese food
Since the resorts in Hokkaido cater to an international clientele, you can expect them to serve a fusion of Western and Asian dishes. However, trying the local fare is always a good experience. Ramen, seafood and sushi are some of the island’s must-try eats. Hokkaido is known for its miso ramen, which is composed of wheat noodles and pork slices. This is completed with a soybean-based broth to give the dish its distinctive flavor. You can even pair it with a mug of local beer for a great dining experience.
If you’re looking to visit a place with interesting activities and good food, Hokkaido is your best option. The quality of snow, the different kinds of food, and the famous hot springs all contribute to a complete winter experience that anybody young or old will appreciate.