Hoshino Re­sorts To­mamu, Ja­pan

“... walk­ing (and much more!) in a win­ter won­der­land … ”

Out & About with Kids - - SKI USA, CANADA & JAPAN -

When the Aus­tralian sum­mer ar­rives, Aussie fam­i­lies know to gear up for three months of swim­ming and sun­ning, the long­est school hol­i­day break of the year, and the ex­cite­ment of the an­nual ‘festive sea­son’. Con­versely, while we en­joy our ‘ sun­burnt coun­try’ through sum­mer, our fa­mil­iar festive sea­son mo­tifs are al­most en­tirely based on win­ter im­agery. We joy­fully sing about ‘…dash­ing through the snow’, ‘Frosty the snow­man …’, ‘Ru­dolph the Red-Nosed Rein­deer’ and ‘ Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow’ … with­out a snowflake, snow­man, sleigh, or rein­deer in sight.

So, tell the kids they can stop ‘dream­ing of a white Christ­mas’ and take off for a fam­ily hol­i­day in Ja­pan, where fun-filled days can be spent in the snow at Ad­ven­ture Moun­tain, Nipo Town (snow park for be­gin­ners), the Ice Vil­lage and the GAO Out­door Cen­ter of Hoshino Re­sorts To­mamu in Hokkaido.

In just a lit­tle over the time it takes to fly from the east coast of Aus­tralia to Honolulu or Bangkok, you will ar­rive in Ja­pan, and dis­cover the gate­way to a mag­i­cal win­ter play­ground. From De­cem­ber to March To­mamu of­fers up end­less snow­play and ad­ven­ture for the whole fam­ily. Even bet­ter, here you can ex­pe­ri­ence the best of both sea­sons, thanks to the re­sort’s amaz­ing, trop­i­cal Mina-Mina Beach, where fam­i­lies can re­lax and in­dulge in wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties in the mid­dle of a snowy land­scape. But more about the beach later … It’s not easy to en­cap­su­late the To­mamu ex­pe­ri­ence in words. Is it a su­per fam­ily-friendly ski and snow­board­ing re­sort? Is it a mag­i­cal, white-blan­keted king­dom full of sled rides, an Ice Vil­lage and snow-cov­ered forests? Is it an ex­cit­ing, ad­ven­ture-filled, and un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence for all ages?

Yes, it’s all of those things, and more, be­cause To­mamu’s phi­los­o­phy is truly ter­rific:: fam­i­lies come in all dif­fer­ent sizes and con­fig­u­ra­tions, with a whole bunch of dif­fer­ent in­di­vid­ual in­ter­ests, so a fam­ily hol­i­day in the snow must in­clude am­ple di­verse, ex­cit­ing, age-and-abil­ity-ap­pro­pri­ate, fun op­por­tu­ni­ties for every­body. But it must also in­clude ex­pe­ri­ences that the whole fam­ily can en­joy to­gether, and re­mem­ber for­ever.

And if you’re puz­zling how one re­sort can com­bine so many fan­tas­tic sum­mer and win­ter el­e­ments into one sen­sa­tional fam­ily hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion, ask your hosts when you ar­rive. They are guar­an­teed to smile, and tell you, sim­ply, “This is how we To­mamu.”

Let’s start with ac­com­mo­da­tion …

There are two ho­tels in Hoshino Re­sorts To­mamu – The Tower, a mod­ern, con­ve­nient and af­ford­able ho­tel for fam­i­lies, and Hoshino Re­sort Risonare To­mamu, a lux­ury ho­tel de­signed as a fam­ily re­sort for adults! Both ho­tels of­fer con­ve­nient ski-in/ski-out ac­com­mo­da­tion, and a great range of fam­ily rooms or suites, with op­tions for larger groups and multi-gen hol­i­day­mak­ers, as well as free nap­pies, spas, Books&Café spa­ces and Kids Rooms, where chil­dren can play safely and the whole fam­ily can re­lax.

Fam­ily-friendly eats

The re­sort has at least 20 dif­fer­ent restau­rants and cafes, in­clud­ing sev­eral buf­fet restau­rants, each of­fer­ing a wide choice of fa­mil­iar meals and flavours for all ages. Try some­thing dif­fer­ent and treat the fam­ily to a tra­di­tional Ja­panese break­fast, take a night snow cruise for din­ner in a moun­tain cabin, or dine at Mount Café RAP with its stun­ning bird’s eye view of the re­sort, from half way up the slopes. All of To­mamu’s eater­ies serve up de­li­cious dishes cre­ated from fresh Hokkaido pro­duce, in­clud­ing seafood, meat, dairy and veg­eta­bles.

Ski­ing & snow­board­ing

Whether you are a reg­u­lar snow-lov­ing fam­ily or first­timers, To­mamu’s ski runs and snow­board­ing slopes are

fan­tas­tic, cater­ing for all ages and abil­i­ties. Fam­i­lies can learn both dis­ci­plines to­gether or in sep­a­rate adult and chil­dren be­gin­ners’ pro­grams and classes. If you’re new to the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of glid­ing on white pow­der then be as­sured - To­mamu in­struc­tors will make ev­ery stage of your tu­ition a safe, fun ex­pe­ri­ence.

Chil­dren de­but­ing on skis or snow­boards can start their To­mamu hol­i­day at the Kids Academy, where fun and chal­leng­ing cre­ative story-based lessons give first­timers the con­fi­dence to learn, and en­gen­der a life­long love for the snow! They can then test out their new skills on Ad­ven­ture Moun­tain in two sep­a­rate ar­eas - Chokkari Moun­tain, for lit­tle ones with some ex­pe­ri­ence, and Nipo Moun­tain for young be­gin­ners.

Nipo Town is a kids-only area for chil­dren too young to ski or snow­board and is a fun-filled won­der­land that lets them en­joy some su­per­vised snow time. Com­bine nurs­ery, lunch and snow in a full-day pro­gram at GAO Kids Ac­tiv­ity Club, as well as all-ages pro­grams and fun ac­tiv­i­ties for both par­ents and chil­dren.

Fam­ily snow play

At To­mamu the op­por­tu­nity to play to­gether as a fam­ily is all around you.

En­joy a snow pic­nic in a moun­tain hut in the for­est (and toast marsh­mal­lows); join in a dogsled tour or a ba­nana boat ride across snow-cov­ered ter­rain; try snow raft­ing or a fam­ily snow­shoe walk; start a snow­ball fight, and build a snow hut and a snow­man to­gether. Bait your lines and fish through a hole in a frozen lake, then cook and eat your de­li­cious catch right there and then; go on a fam­ily trea­sure hunt through a win­ter for­est; cre­ate charms from del­i­cate snow crys­tals in a nat­u­ral Ice Vil­lage, and visit with Santa and real rein­deer over the festive sea­son!

The Ice Vil­lage

The re­sort’s spec­tac­u­lar Ice Vil­lage just has to be seen to be be­lieved – made of real ice by hand, the vil­lage mag­i­cally emerges from mid-De­cem­ber (de­pend­ing on tem­per­a­ture). To­mamu is lo­cated near the source of the Mukawa River, which flows into the Pa­cific Ocean. When the sea­wa­ter va­por­ises, it re­turns to To­mamu as rain, which then be­comes ice and, when the tem­per­a­ture at To­mamu drops be­low mi­nus 20 de­grees cel­sius, the Ice Vil­lage – with its ice rink, ice slide, ice chapel and ice restau­rant – comes to life.

…and what about the Beach …?

Pack your cozzies be­cause you don’t have to miss a day of sum­mer at To­mamu! Mina-Mina Beach pro­vides a slice of the warm trop­ics in this win­ter won­der­land, and boasts one of Ja­pan’s largest in­door wave pools. The mas­sive glass ceil­ing over the com­plex ab­sorbs sun­light, cre­at­ing a balmy, beach­side at­mos­phere in­side, re­gard­less of the chill fac­tor out­side.

Big­ger kids can hop in­side the Cy­ber Wheel and roll on the wa­ter while lit­tle ones en­joy a splash and pad­dle in the Kids Pool while mum and dad re­lax on sun loungers near the Pool­side Café.

© Hoshino Re­sorts To­mamu

Far left: Ice Vil­lage Above: For­est Buf­fet Restau­rant Nin­in­upuri Mina-Mina Beach Be­low: Gao Out­door Cen­ter

Above: Ice Vil­lage

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