Tour theme - winter experiences
Japan is now firmly established as an international skiing destination, attracting many visitors annually. The magic of the Japanese winter extends beyond the ski runs, as an increasing number of international visitors are discovering. The rigour of the Japanese winter, especially in the north and along the Sea of Japan coast, has given rise to many traditions including festivals. Regional Japan is where many such age-old traditions still survive. Winter festivities played an important role in holding communities together through the season’s hardships, as well as representing people’s hope for good health and bountiful harvests in the year ahead. In recent times, these have been joined by newer winter festival traditions with a greater emphasis on spectacle and entertainment.
Winter is perhaps the best time of the year to experience Japanese cuisine. This is when seafood is at its freshest and richest, carefully preserved bounties of autumn come to maturity, slow fermentation leads to the best ‘umami’ flavours in food and sake, cold temperatures brings out legendary sweetness in vegetables, and long nights are spent conversing around cheerfully simmering hotpots. Regional Japan is the best place to savour the ‘real’ winter food culture of Japan.
The thick snowcover traditionally brought immense hardships in everyday Japanese life. Today, it brings you opportunities for special travel experiences. Snowshoe through the countryside and forests in their stark white beauty. Absorb the fairy-tale atmosphere of historic country towns and villages mantled in their pure winter cloaks. Come in from the cold and discover a hub of activity inside village workshops where artisans work their magic in traditional crafts.
Join one of our winter tours for an unforgettable and heart-warming experience well beyond the typical ski holiday.