KJ200701: Winter Sports

Looking for something a bit more active to do this winter?
Try some winter sports, Japan-style!

Kagawa doesn’t see much snow, it’s true, but if you stretch your legs a bit you can find that white-blanketed world you’re looking for.
There is an indoor ice arena(open until May 6th)in Welsunpia Sanuki.
Kita-gun Miki-cho, Shimotakaoka 972-30
(A short walk from Shirayama Station on the Kotoden Nakao line)

Skiing, Snowboarding
“Unpenji Snowpark”
From the Onohara Interchange off the Takamatsu
Expressway, take Route 11, then Prefectural Road 8, then 241.
“Daisen International Ski Slopes”
(Tottori-ken, Saihaku-gun, Daisen-cho, Daisen)
50 minutes by bus or 30 minutes by taxi from Yonako Station on the JR Sanin line.
“Geihaku International Ski Slopes”
(Hiroshima-ken, Yamagata-gun, Geihaku-cho, Nakaso)
About two hours by bus to the Pine Ridge Resort Geihaku from the Shinkansen exit of Hiroshima Station.
“Hachi Kita Kougen Ski Slopes”
(Hyougo-ken, Mikata-gun, Kami-chou, Muraokaku, Oosasa)
50 minutes by bus or taxi from Youka Station on the JR Sanin line.

Telemark Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing
Telemark skis do not fix your heels in the bindings. This allows you to execute “telemark turns,” a characteristic of this type of skiing. You can wander the backcountry freely with the mobility this offers. “Cross-country skiing” might bring to mind grueling races, but it is also an ideal way to see snowy hills and fields while “walking” on your skis.

Japan has had its own version of snowshoes, called kanjiki, since long ago, but this is the Western incarnation of the equipment. Strapping on some snowshoes one can hike throw snowy forests, or follow animal tracks.

There are lots more things to do in snowier climes than those listed above. One can take part in kamakura, in which people build snow houses and go so far as to camp in them. Sapporo has the Snow Festival( or yuki matsuri); fishing for pond smelt is also popular.
Many ski slopes have package deals, and nearby hotels run busses to and from the slopes. Try asking about one of these package tours at your local travel agency or outdoor equipment supply shop.
If you want to get out in the backcountry, it would be best to find a trustworthy guide to help you out.
Avalanches and “cold waves” cause a number of deaths every year. Be careful while you enjoy the beautiful Japanese winter!


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This page was written by i-pal for 3, 2007 3:09 .

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