Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

The vibe: The moun­tains have a Euro­pean feel but the snow is oh so Ja­panese – with pow­der aplenty. The skiing/snow­board­ing: Each re­sort is dif­fer­ent with Iwatake best for fam­i­lies, Hakuba 47 is the pick for park ac­tion, Cortina is ex­cel­lent for ad­vanced skiers and those who love tree skiing, while Happo One has a bit of ev­ery­thing and is the largest re­sort. Vil­lage life: The Happo-Wadano area is where most ac­com­mo­da­tion is based with ev­ery­thing from back­pack­ers to ryokan and five-star Ja­pan Air­lines flies from Aus­tralian cap­i­tal cities to Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda and has on­ward flights to Hokkaido’s New Chitose Air­port. ho­tels. Best for din­ing – Un­cle Stevens and Maeda in Happo, and Wagyu Kobeya in Wadano. Tracks bar in Go­ryu vil­lage is usu­ally rock­ing. Also: Visit Mat­sumoto Castle, Zenkoji tem­ple or To­gakushi Shrine. Learn origami or learn to make soba noo­dles.

VIEWS APLENTY: (from top left) Snowshoeing up Mt An­nupuri at Grand Hi­rafu; the sooth­ing wa­ters of Sakaya, in Nozawa On­sen; and snow mon­keys at Shiga Ko­gen. Pic­tures: Ski­japan.com

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