Winter

A Must-Visit World Heritage Site! The Historical Village of Shirakawa-go

Hidden amid the mountains and forests of Nagano’s neighboring prefectures Gifu and Toyama, you will find a unique remnant of Japanese history: The Historical Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, these villages should definitely be on your must-visit list when travelling through Japan!

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.

Take a Trip Back in Time to the Age of Samurai in Matsushiro

Samurai – Japanese warriors who were skilled in military strategy and swordsmanship. They were known for their mastery of the sword, their fearlessness in battle and their code of honor called “bushido” which dictated their way of life. Although everyone in the world has probably heard of them, many may not be able to imagine what a samurai’s house is like.

Matsumoto’s New National Treasure! The Former Kaichi School

Matsumoto is arguably most famous for its castle of the same name, which has been designated as a National Treasure of Japan over 80 years ago. For a long time, this was the only National Treasure in Matsumoto, but all of that changed in September of 2019 with the designation of another National Treasure: The Former Kaichi School.

Exciting Snow Activities and More! – Snow Fun in Hakuba

Do you like the snow and the mountains, but you want to take a break from skiing, or you don’t really like skiing at all? Not to worry, as there are dozens of other snow-related activities available in Hakuba Valley for people of all ages, so both adults and children can enjoy a day out in the snow. Ever wanted to slide down the mountain on a tube or ride a snow mobile? You can!

We’ve listed some of the most popular and exciting winter activities for you to try out in Hakuba!

Kaiseki – The Ultimate Japanese Dining Experience

Do you love Japanese food? Sushi, sashimi, wagyu beef, tempura – there are so many delicious dishes to choose from. If you are as crazy about Japanese food as we are, then you cannot miss out on having a real kaiseki meal!

An Introduction to Hakuba Valley – Japan’s Ultimate Winter Wonderland

For those who love wintertime and want to enjoy the season by skiing, snowboarding or participating in any other snow-related activities, Japan is the place to be. Don’t know where to go? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let me introduce you to Hakuba – one of the largest and best ski resort areas in Japan. From mid-December, all ski resorts in the area have officially opened for the 2019/2020 season, so if you’re still looking for your ultimate winter vacation, then look no further!

Discover the World’s Largest Collection of Ukiyo-e – Pictures of the Floating World

Everyone is probably familiar with the image of a giant wave with two boats in the foreground and a small Mt. Fuji in the background. This famous artwork is called “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” and was made by Katsushika Hokusai, arguably Japan’s best-known artist from the Edo period (or in general). What he produced wasn’t really a painting though, but a print created from carved woodblocks. This traditionally Japanese art genre is called “ukiyo-e” and literally translates to “pictures (e) of the floating world (ukiyo)”.