Hotels & Transport Tips

Enjoy the Best Food, Drinks and Onsen – Après-Ski (After Ski) in Hakuba

A huge part of any winter vacation is the après-ski (literally “after ski”) part of the trip and we know that some find it even more exciting than the skiing itself. Compared to other popular winter destinations, Japan has a pretty unique après-ski culture. Rather than going to a bar, most Japanese prefer relaxing their bodies at an onsen (hot spring). While you’re here, we highly recommend you try it out yourself! But first, let’s introduce you to some places to eat and drink.

The Ultimate Bucket List Trip – A Visit to Nagano’s Snow Monkeys

Buried within the mountains of Nagano, there is a natural hot spring that has some very peculiar visitors. Instead of humans, you can find red-faced monkeys bathing and relaxing in the warm spring water. This behavior is what makes them so unique as it’s something that has never been seen with any other monkeys. Thanks to this, the Japanese macaques in this area have become world-famous and are commonly known as the snow monkeys of Nagano.

Cruising Lake Suwa and tasting local sakes during a daytrip to the Suwa area!

In the middle of Nagano Prefecture lies the quiet and peaceful Suwa area. The place is famous for its beautiful lake of the same name that’s also featured in the popular animated film “Your Name” (2016). During summertime, firework festivals light up the surface of Lake Suwa and during wintertime there is a chance that the lake completely freezes over. This phenomenon is called omiwatari.

Gaze upon the Japan Alps while bathing in the hot springs of Shoho

Onsen, or hot springs, are a huge part of Japanese culture and one of the best ways to completely relax. That’s why so many people prefer to stay at a so-called onsen ryokan (Japanese-style inn with hot spring facilities) during the holidays. As one of the best onsen ryokan in Japan, Shoho is famous for its various wonderful hot springs. There are as many as 7 types of baths for you to enjoy during your stay!