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Skiing, Historical & Culture to do list in Japan

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Hi guys! I'm Collien from Indonesia and living in HK right now. Since i really like Japan for (food, history & culture) and i never touch snow in my life, i'm willing to travel to Japan to skiing/snowboarding this winter.

I wonder what is the best date to come and which area should i stay. I'm planning maybe just like 5 days (tentative) in Japan. This gonna be my farthest place, first time in Japan and touch snow!

I'm really blind about Japan but what i'm looking for after the skiing are the historical (place & story), the culture (tea, sake time, traditional ceremony?) and of course the food it self. I'm so blind about Japan, everything i knew about Japan is from Doraemon, Shinchan, Samurai X and the other movies. Every time i watched movies about Japan, its like my soul has been travel through some dimension!

Need advice from you guys, arigatou!

Cheers!
 
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I've heard good things about Nagano for skiing, and it would keep you reasonably near Tokyo so you could visit it and Yokohama, and within a reasonable shinkansen distance for a few days in Kyoto and Osaka.

Personally, if it were me, I'd want to go to Hokkaido, but only because I haven't been there before. The pictures I've seen are stunning.

I've never skied in Japan, though, so hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I will show up to give some information.
 
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Hokkaido is best for snow, but it is not good for ancient culture. I live there. It is also far from the rest of the country, so I wouldn't recommend it for such a short trip.

Nagano and nearby places will serve you well.
 
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Mount Bandai in Fukushima Prefecture has good skiing/snowboarding. Its' reasonably easy to get to from Tokyo and is also near Aizuwakamatsu City, which has a rich history (It's called Samurai City!) ..... lots of interesting places to visit there.
 

Lothor

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Bandai isn't that easy to get to from Tokyo、and it's very much geared toward locals with cars. Aizuwakamatsu is pleasant enough, though it's a bit of one-trick pony like many Japanese towns and cities. The suggestion of Yuzawa is much better, particularly if the OP is based in Tokyo - he'll be able to take advantage of some of the cheap off-peak day trips to Yuzawa.
 

mdchachi

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The question is what to do you want to do with your five days. Do you want to spend all five days at a ski resort even though you can't ski or snowboard? Or do you want to spend one or two days there and do something else? If you want to spend the bulk of your time in or near Tokyo the most convenient place to go is Gala-Yuzawa. You can literally go from the bullet-train station straight to the ski slopes. And even make a single day trip out of it.

I suggest planning out the non-ski-resort places you want to see first, figure out where you'll be and then select the ski portion based on that.
 
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I've heard good things about Nagano for skiing, and it would keep you reasonably near Tokyo so you could visit it and Yokohama, and within a reasonable shinkansen distance for a few days in Kyoto and Osaka.

Personally, if it were me, I'd want to go to Hokkaido, but only because I haven't been there before. The pictures I've seen are stunning.

I've never skied in Japan, though, so hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I will show up to give some information.
Hi, thanks for your input, i haven't research yet what the attraction of Kyoto, Osaka & Yokohama. I just only knew that the main city is Tokyo, haha.

Consider the Yuzawa Nakazato Ski Resort
Yuzawa Nakazato Ski Resort/Ski Resorts/Japan travel tourism guide - Enjoy Niigata

The best thing about it is that you take one step outside the train station and you are IN the ski resort.
Hi, great links, thanks, i'll note this one!

Hokkaido is best for snow, but it is not good for ancient culture. I live there. It is also far from the rest of the country, so I wouldn't recommend it for such a short trip.

Nagano and nearby places will serve you well.
Yeah, i thought so, Hokkaido looks far away at the north, maybe for my next trip if i'm feeling good with skiing!

Mount Bandai in Fukushima Prefecture has good skiing/snowboarding. Its' reasonably easy to get to from Tokyo and is also near Aizuwakamatsu City, which has a rich history (It's called Samurai City!) ..... lots of interesting places to visit there.
Hi, that's so interesting! Samurai City, i'll note that!

Bandai isn't that easy to get to from Tokyo、and it's very much geared toward locals with cars. Aizuwakamatsu is pleasant enough, though it's a bit of one-trick pony like many Japanese towns and cities. The suggestion of Yuzawa is much better, particularly if the OP is based in Tokyo - he'll be able to take advantage of some of the cheap off-peak day trips to Yuzawa.
So there's no public transport to go to the Bandai?

The question is what to do you want to do with your five days. Do you want to spend all five days at a ski resort even though you can't ski or snowboard? Or do you want to spend one or two days there and do something else? If you want to spend the bulk of your time in or near Tokyo the most convenient place to go is Gala-Yuzawa. You can literally go from the bullet-train station straight to the ski slopes. And even make a single day trip out of it.

I suggest planning out the non-ski-resort places you want to see first, figure out where you'll be and then select the ski portion based on that.
Yeah, i think i'm going to skiing just for 1-2 days max, 1-2 days for historical attraction like ninja house, samurai things, etc, and then 1-2 days for city living! I'll write below, please feel free to give any comment!

Also convenient to Tokyo is Karuizawa. Not bad for a day trip, or an overnight stay. Massive shopping mall nearby too, if you get bored of the slopes.
PRINCE SNOW RESORTS
I think i'll never get bored for Japan, hahaha!

So, it's getting more obvious now. My itinerary is still flexible so please feel free to suggest me anything for better option!

1st Day :
Arrival (Narita/Haneda?)
Preparation & setup anything i need (simcard for internet, transportation card, etc).
Historical/Cultural Attraction (like World War II museum, tea time & hotspring tradition?)

2nd Day :
Skiing! (Niigata/Bandai?)
Historical Attraction on the way if any (Japanese traditional house, ninja/samurai house/museum?)
Stay overnight (nice view, night walk/attraction or just sit on the mountain, watch the sky)

3rd Day :
Historical Attraction (Japanese traditional house, ninja/samurai house/museum?) -the "MUST GO" one!
I don't know what/where is it, but i'll spend a whole day just doing this things!

4th Day :
City living, Tokyo, Shibuya, any suggestion?

Need your advices guys! :p
 

Mike Cash

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You need to carefully research travel times between places when deciding your itinerary. If you're not careful you'll end up with half your time in Japan spent on trains and buses.
 
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exactly Mike, i haven't do the research for that yet, thats why i just pointed out my interest and still looking for the best for it!
 

mdchachi

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For such a short trip and because I'm somewhat biased, my opinion would be to spend it wholly in/near Tokyo. You can get the must-have bullet-train experience by going to Gala-Yukawa or nearby ski resorts & back, so that's two experiences in one. You can get a traditional Kyoto-like experience at Kamakura. (Almost more like traditional Kyoto is than modern Kyoto is itself in some respects.) And of course you can do all the big city things in Tokyo itself including some worthwhile museums such as the Edo-Tokyo museum. On the other hand, if you get a rail pass and love trains, you could run down to Kyoto or even Hiroshima if you want to. The rail pass won't let you onto the fastest trains though.
BTW if your dream is more about snow and less about skiing, there are other things you can do. If you're coming alone, I don't think skiing will be very fun. Hard to imagine going to ski for the first time all alone in a foreign country. For example, spending time in a rotenburo surrounded by snow is an awesome experience.
 
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For such a short trip and because I'm somewhat biased, my opinion would be to spend it wholly in/near Tokyo. You can get the must-have bullet-train experience by going to Gala-Yukawa or nearby ski resorts & back, so that's two experiences in one. You can get a traditional Kyoto-like experience at Kamakura. (Almost more like traditional Kyoto is than modern Kyoto is itself in some respects.) And of course you can do all the big city things in Tokyo itself including some worthwhile museums such as the Edo-Tokyo museum. On the other hand, if you get a rail pass and love trains, you could run down to Kyoto or even Hiroshima if you want to. The rail pass won't let you onto the fastest trains though.
Hi @mdchachi,

these are a very useful comments. I will explore the places you suggested to me. Rotenburo sounds so exciting!
 
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