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Japan 


Winter in Japan

A combination of numerous mountain ranges and plentiful winter snow especially in Western Tohoku and in Hokkaido makes Japan a wonderland for skiers and snowboarders alike. More snow drops on Japan than any other country of comparable latitude in the world. Nagano, Japan’s most popular winter sports destination, is famous for hosting the 1998 Olympic Winter Games and has facilities that rank alongside the best in the world. Here snowfall is often heavy as the cold, outblowing winter monsoon from Siberia and Manchuria is warmed and picks up moisture over the sea. 

 

Elsewhere in Japan winter is a relatively dry season.  In the south of Honshu and in Kyushu and Shikoku the winters are mild and almost subtropical. This is particularly so around the coasts of the Inland Sea, the narrow stretch of water which separates these islands. Winter rainfall is light here and snow and frost very rare.

 
Winter is also the ideal time to enjoy
onsen. Nothing can beat the feeling of slipping into a rock-lined bath of natural hot spring water in the open air ( known as a ’rotenburo’pictured below) while the snow falls all around you. There are hot spring resorts all over Japan and Japanese-style hotels (ryokan) and inns often have their own hot spring baths.


The colder the water, the better the seafood so winter is an excellent time to visit if you are a fan of sushi. The fish market sushi bars of Hokkaido and the Japan Sea Coast are the places to be for crab, shrimp and all kinds of fish in glorious abundance.

 

 
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