The crew filming for Classic Resorts Japan (Hakuba, Shiga Kogen, Nozawa Onsen & Myoko) departed Hakuba, having spent a few fantastic days there – ripping up deep powder in the trees and skiing some awesome big lines in the backcountry. Hakuba’s big mountains said farewell to us under perfect sunny skies, as we made our way to Shiga Kogen, located about 2 hours away, to the north east of the Nagano region.
With the amazingly talented Camilla Stoddart on board shooting photos, alongside ace filmer Jase Hancox – the crew are doing an outstanding job capturing what skiing and snowboarding in Japan is really all about.
If you want a snow holiday where you won’t ski the same run twice, then Shiga Kogen is the place to be. It’s Asia’s largest ski area, made up of 21 interlinked resorts. With high elevations, Shiga Kogen offers great snow quality and incredible scenic views of the surrounding mountains, not to mention ski in ski out hotel accommodation.
First stop on our adventure to Shiga Kogen was the Shibu Onsen area in Yudanaka town, located at the foot of the mountains, just 30 mins from the ski resorts – and also home to the famous Snow Monkeys. The quaint winding streets offer a slice of real Japanese culture, with onsen bath houses, traditional Japanese Ryokan inns and little shops dotted along the way. Notice the lack of snow in all the photos, thanks to the natural geo thermal water keeping the roads so warm!
Stay tuned for more updates as the group explore the culture and snow of Nagano and Niigata regions in the Japanese Alps…
One of the bath houses in the Shibu Onsen area
Walking the winding streets in traditional robes, is standard practise and a lot of fun as our crew discovered!
Skier Tom Dunbar with some onsen hot spring tourists
Everyone we bumped into along the streets was really friendly and wanted to talk with us!
Another bath house and more keen bathers!
Bathing monkeys are a big theme here, even making an appearance on the manholes on the streets.
Cute little shops selling everything from traditional hand made pottery to Sake.
Jason Hancox filming outside one of the many Onsen bath houses.
More friendly onsen tourists
Steam billowing out along the streets
Skier Tom Dunbar, our fantastic host Sho from the tourist office and snowboarder Vicci Miller, ready to experience the onsen hot springs.
Tom Dunbar, Amelia Guild and Vicci Miller all dressed up and ready to go!
Traditional Japanese footwear, Geta
The group went wild for the Snow Monkey sweets we found!
Vicci and Amelia loving the Japanese sweet shop
Vicci and Amelia after experiencing a soothing hot onsen bath
Tom and Amelia try a Foot Onsen!
We found a beautiful Origami shop
Beautiful paper cranes displayed at a local shrine