Five Insider Tips for Winter Travel to Japan
Japan is open and ready for international travelers. After being closed to visitors for nearly three years, the country is set to have a spectacular winter season as it welcomes visitors back to Niseko Village. For travelers looking to connect with local cuisine, culture and history while experiencing some of the finest powder snow in the world, here are five ways from YTL Hotels to enjoy a visit to Japan this winter:
Ski the Niseko United Ski Area: One of the most famous ski-spots in Japan, Hokkaido is known for its JAPOW – the iconic great Japanese powdery snow that falls on the mountains creating a haven for skiers. Resting at the foot of Mount Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Village is a prime winter destination and haven for ski lovers who appreciate and long for secluded luxury and culture. Opening for the 2022-2023 season on December 3, 2022, the winter wonderland boasts its very own Snow School and extensive ski trails with access to 2,191 acres of skiable terrain, 70 runs and 29 lifts and gondolas.
Indulge in Local Cuisine: Hokkaido is famed for its dairy and the Niseko Cheese Kobo artisanal factory produces award-winning products such as Momiji, a must-try Mimolette. For travelers looking to warm up with ramen, chef Kazuhiro Sagara moved to Hokkaido after falling in love with Niseko’s nature and opened Niseko Ramen Kazahana. The restaurant pays tribute to the birthplace of miso ramen with its own special potato ramen, featuring an in-house broth made from a blend of 19 miso varieties covered in a potato cream vichyssoise.
Relax in a Traditional Onsen: The quintessential Japanese experience, hot springs or onsen are comprised of volcanic spring water full of natural minerals, providing users with natural health benefits from boosting circulation to reducing stress, promoting sleep, relieving pain, and more. The water source for the hot springs originates from a natural mineral spring deep within the earth, which is cooled to over 100 degrees before entering the onsen. Niseko Village boasts several onsens all surrounded by nature and with views of the mountains, allowing guests to soak in the meditative environment around them.
Stay in Comfort and Style: The first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Japan and the fifth across the globe, Higashiyama Niseko Village, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve features majestic panoramic views of Mount Yotei, 50 rooms and suites, two distinctive restaurants, and a world-class onsen for visitors to stay in style this winter. Niseko Village also boasts four other properties for travelers to choose from, ranging from the exclusive Kasara Niseko Village Townhouses that redefine alpine living to Hinode Hills Niseko Village offering luxury hotel services in apartment-style accommodations, Hilton Niseko Village that whisks skiers to the top of the mountain in less than 10 minutes, and The Green Leaf Niseko Village known for its onsen and spa.
Sip Japanese Whiskies: The Nikka Distillery in Yoichi was founded in the 1930s and has become a world-renowned brand, offering single malt and blended whisky. Whisky aficionados and those just there for the experience have the unique chance to learn the ins and outs of the distillation process firsthand. The distillery is also home to a museum showcasing a range of limited-edition Nikka Whisky bottles, painting a picture of the last 100 years of Japanese history.