Movie, 10 Oct 2021 в 5:12 pm

JAPANESE JOYS

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New Year holidays in Hokkaido stay in our memories as something awesome. The snowfalls were so lavish that we could hardly open the entrance door of our house in the morning. The roads of Makkari region, where we stayed for 2 weeks, were cleaned several times a week. So every morning we reached the nearest resort by car and got into the first cable car. Rusutsu that was in 20 minute walk from our house became the most favorite resort almost immediately.

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The runs were not that long but the terrain itself was very interesting, there were also open fields and wonderful forest with small snow pillows. The vegetation was rather strange there. You can even ski out to a field of bamboo!

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It took us a day to find out all the most fascinating routes of each resort but during the nights all the traces were covered by fresh snow.

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The most famous resort in Hokkaido is Niseko. It consists of 4 ski areas with a common ski pass. You can stay here at a boutique hotel with a view of Mount Yotei, find all necessary equipment according to the latest fashion and technology, and also have delicious and quite cheap meal. There are restaurants with European and Japanese cuisine, so there is everything that your heart desires: from sushi to pizza. The resort is huge so it’s easy to get lost. Our leading guide was a professional and he knew all the secret routes. That’s a real buzz! If you get to real top, up by the highest one person lift chair and walk 20 minutes upwards, you can discover untouched slopes on the other side of the mountain. This place reminds a helicopter lading. Skiing there without a guide and avalanche equipment could be dangerous. A big advantage of the resort is night skiing. The slopes are well alight, so you can blow powder in the nearest forest at any time.

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Another attractive resort is located near Sapporo. Kiroro resort is excellent for family holidays. There are many wide and gentle slopes and it’s not crowded. Off piste skiing is also good. There is a panoramic nuddle bar on the top of the mountain and a small sports shop at the bottom.

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There is something enigmatic, even mystic in Windsor Hotel. It’s not like anything in the world. A huge glass pyramid rises on a mountain between lake Toya and Utiura bay in the Pacific Ocean. There is a beautiful hilly island in the center of the lake that you can see from a half of the hotel rooms. The hills almost always live in fog in this time of the year. The common areas of hotel are huge and cold. The tourists here are also quite strange. There are mainly wealthy Japanese guests and few foreigners. You can hardly meet any Russian here.

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During our stay in Hokkaido we also tried a snowmobiling program. Sometimes the resorts are closed because of a strong wind. Then you can take snowmobiles and ski in the forest by a small group.

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Heliskiing in Japan is not a myth. You can do this on the nearest volcano. But one should have a real coup – flying weather during a high season is a real luck. The only way is to pray to Sailor Moon!

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THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU WANT TO SKI IN JAPAN:

- The best time for resort skiing, freeriding and heliskiing is from December to March.

- It takes about 2 weeks to get a visa. If you have an invitation from Japan on hands – about 4 days.

- To rent a car you need to have an international license and you should be able to explain it in Japanese.

- Accommodation during New Year Holidays, including Chinese New Year, should be booked almost a year in advance.

- If you stay in a house you should thoroughly study the rules of sorting garbage.

- You can hardly find a cafe or restaurant where you can order coffee. But you can easily buy it in vending machines that are on every corner.

- Be careful while skiing under the lifts - the chairs pass unexpectedly low. And there are sharp chopped bushes and young trees near the pillars.

- A skier who “hugged a tree” is the most frequent guest of local hospitals.

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PHOTOGRAPH: MAKSIM BALAKHOVSKII

Quality by Sony

Below is a little movie about our Japanese adventures! 

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