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Welcome to Japan

Japan is probably best known for the bright lights and bustle of its two big cities, Tokyo and Kyoto. What is less well known, however, is that only a short distance
away are some 600+ ski resorts, boasting some of the world’s best champagne powder snow, challenging runs and amazing scenery.

Japan’s myriad of ski resorts are well serviced, un-crowded, and offer beautiful skiing across a variety of terrain. Tree runs, backcountry and guided tours further reward
the most discerning deep powder enthusiast, with repeat runs on untracked snow often enjoyed well into the afternoon.

Japan is made up of four main islands. The north island of Hokkaido is probably the most familiar among Australian skiers, and has three outstanding ski resort areas: Niseko, Rusutsu and Furano. The main island of Honshu is home to Japan’s other major ski areas, with four resort towns of particular note. Shiga Kogen and Hakuba resorts in Nagano hosted events of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics and are of world-class standard. These resorts are accessible by train or bus from Tokyo and are within easy reach of each other. Shiga Kogen is one of the world’s largest ski resorts, whilst Hakuba offers Japan’s steepest skiing runs. Myoko and the surrounding region offer almost endless powder skiing and snowboarding options. The area boasts some of the best skiing conditions in Asia, with an average base of four metres each year -
all just a short trip from Tokyo. Nozawa Onsen is about an hour from Nagano City, and one of the more popular Japanese snow resorts. Nozawa is the perfect resort to visit to experience the charm of an old-time Japanese village, while still enjoying the best that Japanese skiing has to offer.

JTB Australia is your one stop ski travel provider. We can arrange flights, accommodation, lift passes, transfers, rail sector tickets/rail-passes, tours and stopovers. Our consultants are fully trained and can book all arrangements for your ski holiday from start to finish.

The time difference between Japan (GMT +9) and Sydney’s Eastern Standard Time (GMT +10) is just one hour. This favours Australian ski travellers, with little jet lag and quick access to the snow. Japan Airlines and Qantas fly from most capital cities to Tokyo, with connections to other cities. Direct flight time to Japan is usually about
8-9 hours from Australia.

On arrival, there are a number of transfer options to get you to the ski resorts.
Hokkaido has excellent bus services to all major resorts, while the Honshu resorts are accessible both by shinkansen (Bullet-train) and bus from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.
Public transport in Japan is easy to use, with English signage, punctual services and
clean, comfortable amenities.

Powder snow regularly falls throughout the winter ski season of December to March,
and average daytime temperatures range between –5°C and -10°C at most resorts.
We recommend you bring warmer ski gear than you would wear at an Australian resort.

Rental gear is usually near-new in Japan and costs are similar to Australia. On average,
Japanese feet are smaller than Australian, so availability of larger sizes may vary.
Check with the resort or consider renting gear in Australia if you use a larger boot size.
Ski and snowboarding schools are located at all resorts featured in this brochure.

Japan has a well-established luggage courier service, and can usually deliver anywhere in Japan overnight. Courier companies operate out of airports, and give you the option of sending luggage to the resort ahead of you.
This is particularly useful to guests taking short stopovers in the main cities, or guests with extra luggage/long
skis etc.

Most ski resorts offer Western style ski-in/ski-out hotels or lodge style accommodation. Japanese resorts are well planned with fast, modern lift networks. All accommodation in this brochure has been inspected by JTB staff and
is to JTB standard, which includes appropriate industry licences and insurance checks.

Japanese is the official language spoken in Japan, though many Japanese also speak some English. Japanese students all study English during their school years, though they may be too shy to admit it. If you are having trouble communicating, try writing it down. Japanese are often better at written English than spoken, with much
emphasis at school placed on penmanship.

Recent fluctuations in the Japanese yen rate make direct comparisons difficult. However, as a rough guide, a simple lunch at a ski-in/ski-out cafe should cost around AUD$10-12, and ski lift passes about AUD$60-70 per day. Traveller’s cheques and Credit cards are not always accepted and it is recommended to carry some cash. ATMs are usually
located in Post offices and Seven Eleven convenience stores, though exchange rates and service charges will
depend on your card issuer.

All package prices include land costs only. We are also happy to quote on air and land packages or tailor a package to your personal requirements. Please contact JTB or your licensed travel agent today for more information.

National Holiday in Japan Dec 2013 - Mar 2014

24 December
The Emperor's Birthday Holiday
01 January
New Year's Day
13 January
Coming of Age Day
11 February
National Foundation Day
21 March
Vernal Equinox Day
* When a national holiday falls in Sunday, the following Monday becomes a holiday.

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