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    • Spring
      • Onbashira Matsuri Japan Nagano Festival

        Onbashira Matsuri

        Watch one of Japan's most dangerous festivals in Nagano in 2022. The Onbashira Matsuri is an ancient festival dating back more than 1,200 years.
        Eating Wild in Japan

        Eating Wild in Japan

        Winifred Bird's latest book is an introduction to the world of sansai (mountain vegetables) and foraging in Japan.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkaido

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Northern Tohoku’s Top 5 Spring Hikes

        Chase the cherry blossoms north and enjoy five of Tohoku’s best hikes this spring.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
    • Summer
      • Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Climbing Mt. Fuji Outdoor Japan

        Peaking in 2021: Climbing Mt. Fuji

        Thinking of climbing Mt. Fuji this summer? We talk to Mt. Fuji guides on best practices for scaling Japan's highest mountain.

        Japan Camping Guide

        Check out our picks all the way from Hokkaido to the Okinawa Islands and then plot your perfect Japan camping adventure.
        Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endangered Wildcats

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
    • Autumn
      • Pow Bar Founder Megumi Scott

        Beyond the Brand: Pow Bar

        An interview with Megumi Scott, the founder of Niseko brand Pow Bar.
        Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
    • Winter
      • Indy Pass Outdoor Japan Tohoku

        The Resistance

        The Indy Pass arrives in Japan to bring avid riders to local resorts that punch above their weight class and offer varied terrain.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
        Outdoor Japan Shimoda

        Blue Waves and Black Ships in Shimoda

        Shimoda may be famous for its white sandy beaches and surfing, but it also played a major role in shaping the Japan we know today.
    • River and Lake
      • sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Sawa Nobori, High Above t...

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawa nobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endanger...

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Iriomote Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote Activity Guide

        A guide to Iriomote's outdoors, hiking, diving, cultural experiences and accommodation.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkai...

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor A...

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • Indy Pass Outdoor Japan Tohoku

        The Resistance

        The Indy Pass arrives in Japan to bring avid riders to local resorts that punch above their weight class and offer varied terrain.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
    • Travel
      • Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
        Onbashira Matsuri Japan Nagano Festival

        Onbashira Matsuri

        Watch one of Japan's most dangerous festivals in Nagano in 2022. The Onbashira Matsuri is an ancient festival dating back more than 1,200 years.
        Market Watch Onomichi Market

        Market Watch: Omicho Market

        Discover Omicho Market in Kanazawa, Ishikawa for the best of seafood and local vegetables in Japan.
        sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Sawa Nobori, High Above the Wakasa Waters

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawa nobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
    • Food and Drinks
      • Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
        Onbashira Matsuri Japan Nagano Festival

        Onbashira Matsuri

        Watch one of Japan's most dangerous festivals in Nagano in 2022. The Onbashira Matsuri is an ancient festival dating back more than 1,200 years.
        Market Watch Onomichi Market

        Market Watch: Omicho Market

        Discover Omicho Market in Kanazawa, Ishikawa for the best of seafood and local vegetables in Japan.
        sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Sawa Nobori, High Above the Wakasa Waters

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawa nobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
    • Races and Events
      • Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
        Onbashira Matsuri Japan Nagano Festival

        Onbashira Matsuri

        Watch one of Japan's most dangerous festivals in Nagano in 2022. The Onbashira Matsuri is an ancient festival dating back more than 1,200 years.
        Yuji Hirayama Urban Base Camp

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        One of Japan's top rock climbers Yuji Hirayama has opened Urban Base Camp, a new bouldering gym in the heart of Tokyo.
        Photo by Noriteru Ino

        2021 Summer Music Festivals in Japan

        Camp and listen to great music in the outdoors at these summer music festivals across Japan.

Family Snow Zones

Where to find fun for the whole family this winter

Family friendly resorts have come a long way. Many Japanese resorts now have designated areas for children, day care service, family lifts and ski courses, kids’ ski and snowboard lessons, outdoor winter education programs and events and festivals guaranteed to make a magical winter vacation.

Parents can either join in the fun with the kids or leave them in trusted hands, free to go off and explore the mountains. OJ takes a look at some of the resorts that have gone out of their way to create great family snow zones.

Niseko Annupuri
Niseko, Hokkaido

While mom and dad are experiencing Niseko’s famed powder, the kids can enjoy tube rides and play in oversized outdoor toys at Niseko Annupuri’s “Kids Land.” The resort has a kids ski school and there are daily winter activities such as making igloos and snow lanterns, snow shoe and nature tours with guides at Niseko Outdoor Center.

Kids Land: December 2008 – April 2009: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Kids Room (3 years – elementary school): December 2008 – March 2009: 9 a.m. –  noon and 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., 1-day: ¥3,500. (Reservations must be made by 6 p.m. the previous day.) Tel (0136) 58-3311
Niseko Outdoor Center: Tel: (0136) 44-1133. Web: www.noc-hokkaido.jp

NISEKO ANNUPURI
Tel: (0136) 58-2080, Web: www.cks.chuo-bus.co.jp/annupuri/winter
Access: By train, 120 minutes from Sapporo Station. to JR Niseko Station, then shuttle bus direct to Niseko Annupuri. By bus: Buses go direct to Annupuri from Sapporo Station. and New Chitose Airport. By car: Approximately two hours from Sapporo and New Chitose Airport.

Club Med Sahoro
Sahoro, Hokkaido

With the slopes at your doorstep, indoor pool and onsen, restaurants, Japanese and western-style accommodation, and an abundance of supervised kids areas and activities, Club Med Sahoro guarantees you and the kids will be pampered this winter.

Skiing for Children: Club Med provides a safe learning environment to young skiers. Drop off your kids as total beginners and after a full day of supervision, they’ll be flying down the mountain. Junior Club for ages 11-13; Mini Club for ages 4-11 and Petite Club for ages 2-3.

Transportation Packages: For easy access, why not purchase one of Club Med’s great transportation packages, which include return flights and all transfers. Check their Website for details.

CLUB MED SAHORO
Tel: (0156) 64 6667, Web: www.clubmed.com
Access: By train: 94 minutes from New Chitose Airport. By bus: 15 minutes from Shintoku Station (reservation required). By car: three and a half hours from Sapporo.

Tomamu Alpha Resort
Shimukappu, Hokkaido

Tomamu Alpha Resort is not just a ski resort with courses geared for all ages and abilities; it’s also a family winter wonderland. Family Park, Kids Park, snow rafting area, spa house and a world class ice village are just some of the amazing temptations at Tomamu.

Ice Village: Live out your illuminated dream at Tomamu’s Ice Village. Mom and dad will enjoy the Ice Bar and Ice Hotel. Get crafty with the kids and make your own ice glasses at the Ice Café.

Viz Spa House: Not a snow lover? No problem. Play in the surf in Tomamu’s wave pool, enjoy a luxurious open air hot bath, let the kids splash around in the kids pool and enjoy “Aqua” buffet style dining with the whole family.

TOMAMU ALPHA RESORT
Tel: (0167) 58-1111, Web: www.snowtomamu.jp
Access:
By train, catch the special JR “Tomamu Sahoro Ski Express,” the stress free way to get to Tomamu. See Web for details. By car: Approximately two hours from Sapporo or New Chitose Airport.

Appi Kogen Resort
Hachimantai, Iwate

Tohoku’s Appi Kogen is a great family resort with long, open runs, a nice selection of restaurants and on-site hotel. The kids can enjoy daily events and activities, snow education programs, the kids ski school, a kids room, and even a “Kids Ski Day” once a month.

Kids and Family Land: Kids up to elementary school must be accompanied by a guardian. Dec. 20 – Mar. 29, 9:30 a.m. – noon and 1 – 4 p.m.; One-day: ¥800 (3 years and older); Snowmobile Ride: ¥320.
Snow Bunny Kindergarten:
Kids (3-6 years) can experience outdoor snow education with experienced counsellors. Dec. 20 – Mar. 29, 10 a.m. – noon and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. One-day: ¥4,500 (Reservations required by 5 p.m. the previous day).
Kids Almost Everyday Theatre:
Appi’s kid’s theatre is free for all. Dec. 20 – Mar. 29, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Kids Room: Dec. 20 – Mar. 29 (Appi Plaza 2F). Dec. 20 – Mar. 29, 1-10 years-old. One-day: ¥3,700 (Reservations start from Nov. 29).
Kids Ski Day: From December to March, every third Sunday of the month is Appi Ski Kids Day.  Eight-hour lift tickets are half price for elementary and junior high students.

APPI KOGEN RESORT
Tel: (0195) 73-5010, Web: www.appi.co.jp
Access: Train, Appi Kogen Station, 60 minutes from Morioka Station. to Appi Kogen Station. By Bus: 60 minutes from Morioka Station. By Car: 15-20 mins. from Matsuo-Hachimantai I.C or Ashiro I.C on the Tohoku Expressway.

WEB CONNECTION
Other ski resorts offering kids activities and services to help you enjoy your family vacation:

Hokkaido
Niseko Grand Hirafu Resort: www.grand-hirafu.jp/winter/en/
Niseko Village Resort: www.niseko-village.com
Sahoro Resort: www.sahoro.co.jp

Tohoku
Inawashiro Ski Resort: http://g-jmt.com/inawashiro/
Alts Bandai Ski Resort. www.alts.co.jp

Gunma
Minakami Hodaigi Ski Resort: www.hotakasan.co.jp/hodaigi/
Kusatsu Kokusai Resort: www.kusatsu-kokusai.com

Niigata
Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort: www.galaresort.jp
Akakura Onsen Resort: www.akakura-ski.com

Nagano
Hakuba 47 Ski Resort: www.hakuba47.co.jp
Okushiga Kogen Ski Field: www.avis.ne.jp/~shiga/okushiga-ski/

BABY SITTING
Hakuba Baby Sitting: www.hakubababysitting.com/
Niseko Baby Sitters: http://niseko-babysitters.com

WINTER KIDS CAMP
Discover Japan: www.discoverjapan.co.jp

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