questions & answers: general japan travel

ski resort

ski resort

Hi! Be going to Japan this winter w/ my 2 kids...we will be staying in Osaka...where is the nearest ski resort? It's not necessary a ski resort for we are not really after the skiing but a place where my kids aged 3 & 10 can enjoy snow....We will be getting the nationwide JR Pass so, please guide us on how to go there via JR.

I read about Sapporo....is it too far from Osaka? Is it accesible via JR without any additional cost?

Please also suggest a hotel near Dotonbori....wanna see the Glico sign & enjoy the food there. We don't want too expensive hotels but we dont want the Japanese style room also for my kids might not be used to it.

Hope you can help me with my concerns.
Thank you so much.

bhel17g
bhel17g

Hi,

There is very little snow around Osaka. When you are in Japan is also very important. The closest would probably going to Takayama and Shirakawago. Another option would be going to Nagano and seeing the snow monkeys, which is always a popular sight. Going from Osaka to Sapporo would take well over 12½ hours sitting on trains, and would be absolute murder for your kids. You could fly quite cheaply though in just a couple of hours on low cost carriers like Jet Star or Peach.

As for hotels go, just do a search on any major hotel booking engine with something like Business Hotel in Namba, which is the major area on the south part of Osaka. Business hotels are generally cheap, no frills places but are clean, comfortable, and quiet. Dotonbori is very close by and a magnificent place to see at night - the food there is also famous and very good. Also the night views from atop the Umeda Sky Bldg, and Abeno Harukas Bldg are top notch.
If you are landing in Japan at Kansai International Airport, then the best places in Japan are within hands reach. Your kids would probably love running through the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, and the Todaiji Great Buddha in Nara is a breathtaking place that you should not miss.

Good luck.

Toraneko
Toraneko

thank you for your response...i will surely put it in mind :) is there already a snow in shirakawago by jan 17-20?

bhel17g
bhel17g

Hi,
Yes, January and February are the coldest months, and that is generally a good time for snow. If you can stay at a farmhouse (minkaen) for a night, you all will probably find it an unforgettable experience. You can see a good example of it here

Good luck.

Toraneko
Toraneko

I checked on the link you sent me....it waa beautiful...we are all excited to visit Japan...it's our first time.

thank you so much, you've been so helpful.

bhel17g
bhel17g

Hello,
No problem, enjoy your trip. Don't forget there is half country south of you that you are not seeing.
Okayama is close by and it is famous for its nice castle, plus Korakuen, one of Japan's Top 3, and also the beautiful Handayama Garden. If you'd like to get off the beaten path for a while, the half day hike up to Konpirasan in Kotohira, Kagawa, is marvelous. Going to Takamatsu is also great - it has one of Japan's finest gardens also, called Ritsurin.
Hiroshima also has several good places. Miyajima is naturally the most famous, and aside from Hiroshima itself, Onomichi with its temple tour and Kosanji Temple is spectacular. Just beyond Miyajima also lies Iwakuni with its historical bridge and castle on top of the mountain. Taikodani is also a beautiful shrine in Tsuwano, Shimane. Hagi Castle was actually delightful, and the preserved samurai district and Mori related temples a rarity. One of the very best is the Akiyoshi Limestone Cave, a 300 million year old wonder with huge caverns and underground river running through it.

If you can, try to find a little time to see the Japanese themselves. Go visit a Japanese supermarket and see what people typically eat. Look through a park and watch the Japanese kids play. Learn about the history of some of the places you visit before your departure - it will give your trip so much more meaning.

You will find a lot more to explore and enjoy.

Toraneko
Toraneko

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