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      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

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Cranking Niseko

Niseko is such a popular destination for visitors to Japan that you often go into restaurants and shops to find more foreigners than Japanese people. Several times, I’ve walked into a convenience store and to find myself the only Japanese customer in the shop, I almost lost sense of where I was. Because of high gaijin density in the area, non-Japanese speakers are less disadvantaged and many restaurants and hotels have English services available.

While there are many great places to choose from, I’d recommend staying in one place, using it as a hub, and cranking around the Niseko area each day. Now, let’s enjoy some wonderful Niseko cycling!

Mount Yotei is also known as “Ezo Fuji” as “Ezo” is the ancient name for Hokkaido and the striking mountain you see from Niseko on clear days resembles it’s more famous (and larger) mountain to the south. Yotei-san and the Niseko mountains rise above gently rolling hills, which make for great cycling. Riding in the fields covered with potato blossoms or ears of wheat blowing in the wind is like a dream come true for cyclists. And a cold beer after an onsen (hot spring bath) then topped off with a great dinner makes for an unforgettable day. 

For bilingual route information about cycling in the Niseko area, please visit the Kutchan Toursim Association (www.niseko.co.jp/en/things-to-do/cycling). The Niseko Promotion Board also has information in English on activities and lodging in the area. 

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