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3-Day Model Trip FOCUS / Japanese Winter Wonderland


3-Day Model Trip FOCUS / Joshinetsu / Japanese Winter Wonderland

The mountainous Joshinetsu region, which lies in three prefectures, has some of the heaviest snowfalls in Japan. Joshinetsu ski resorts and their snow festivals rank with the best.

The Kusatsu ski resort, in Gunma Prefecture, covers almost the entire southern slope of Mount Shirane and offers a full variety of courses to suit every skill level and need. For wonderful scenery, Hakuba, in Nagano Prefecture, outstrips all the numerous other ski resorts in the vicinity. It offers seven ski courses, including Happo One. Hakuba Jump Ramp, the ski-jumping venue in the 1998 Winter Olympics, is worth a visit.

The big attraction of the ski resorts in Niigata Prefecture is convenient access to them from the Tokyo area. One of them, Naeba, is popular with fans because of its long season and high-quality snow.
Local citizens take part in the Tokamachi Snow Festival, which began in 1950 to popularize snow fun. Lasting for three days, it features the world's biggest snow building, a sound-and-light carnival, and a brilliant kimono show.