How to Prepare for a Ski Trip in Japan this Winter

From delicate and dry powder snow to excellent service, delicious cuisine, relaxing hot springs, and a beautiful landscape, a ski trip to Japan is a dream. But, if you want to make this dream come true, it will take some work. To properly prepare for a ski trip in Japan this winter, you’ll have to do a lot of research. We hope this guide will help you get started with that research. Spending the winter in Japan is a truly unique experience, so you should do what you can to get the most out of it.

The best places to go skiing in Japan

As it’s a predominantly mountainous country, you can find ski resorts all over Japan. Most are in Hokkaido, Nagano, Niigata, and Tohoku (the North-East region). As a foreign visitor, there are a few factors to consider before choosing where you’ll be going. Some of the essential things would be:

  1. The convenience of travel;
  2. The popularity of English in the region;
  3. The facilities offered;
  4. The scale of the resort area.

Aside from being on every hiker’s bucket list, during winter, Mount Fuji is one of the most popular choices for a ski trip in Japan. However, the fun isn’t limited to just this one mountain. Let’s go through a few equally (if not more) popular options for skiing in Japan.

Nagano

Nagano offers plenty of ski resorts suitable for all levels. The most popular ones would be Hakuba, Nozawa, and Shiga Kogen. Hakuba is an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate-level skiers. Nozawa is better suited for advanced skiers. Snowboarders can also enjoy Nagano. However, Shiga Kogen is better for skiing rather than snowboarding.

Hokkaido

Being one of the most popular choices for skiers, Hokkaido offers a lot of ski resorts. No matter what level of skier or snowboarder you are, there is a place for you in Hokkaido. The three most popular options are:

  1. Niseko – This is the largest ski resort area in Hokkaido. It’s easy to access. English is widely spoken here. There are great nightlife opportunities in neighboring Hirafu;
  2. Rusutsu – The second largest after Niseko, offers many hotels and facilities. It’s a very family-friendly area but with limited nightlife;
  3. Furano – A smaller resort. The nearby town of Furano is a great family-friendly location with lots to do off-piste.

The snow quality in Hokkaido is one of the best in Japan. And since the entire island is so well connected, it’s an attractive option for people who want to venture outside their resorts and explore the full range of what Japan offers. If you’re planning to move overseas to Japan with your family, this trip is a great chance to introduce the other members of it to the culture and beauty of Japan. It’s sure to help you get everyone on board for moving there.

Niigata

The two most popular resorts in this area are Naeba and Gala Yuzawa. Naeba is excellent for all levels. Gala Yuzawa might be boring for advanced skiers and snowboarders. Though it can not compare to Hokkaido, the snow quality is still amazing. While this place should be on your list if you want to prepare for a ski trip in Japan this winter properly, it’s better suited for travelers who wish to spend a few days skiing and the rest exploring Japanese culture.

When does ski season start in Japan?

The ski season in Japan typically lasts from early December to late April. However, it extends to early May in Hokkaido. However, if you prefer skiing during peak season when the snow is perfect and all facilities are active, you should plan to be here between mid-January and late February. To avoid large crowds and slopes full of skiers, you should take advantage of the shoulder season.

Choosing suitable accommodation is crucial

If your goal is to prepare for a ski trip in Japan this winter properly, you must choose a suitable accommodation for your needs. Here are a few things to consider while making this choice:

  1. Choose a hotel with beds if it’s your first time – Most homes and hotels in Japan have futons rather than beds. Remember that you’ll probably be exhausted after a day of skiing, and if you’re not used to futons, a mattress will probably be a lot more comfortable;
  2. Ski-in ski-out is the best choice, but not the only one – While there are a lot of options for ski-in ski-out resorts, they can be pretty expensive. Many hotels offer shuttle bus services, so don’t be exclusive.
  3. Choose a hotel with loads of facilities – The weather during ski season can get nasty from time to time. Having something to do without leaving the hotel can mean a lot during those days.

What equipment should you bring and what should you rent

Most resorts will have all the clothing and equipment you need for rent. You don’t have to worry if you don’t have any of your own. However, some resorts will only have the essentials like boards and skis. So, if you have your helmets and glasses, it’s better not to risk them. The most brilliant move is to call and check in advance.

Eating out in Japan

Japanese food is famous worldwide, and for a good reason. It’s fantastic, and if you plan well, dining out usually doesn’t have to be expensive. The cheapest meal option is to visit a ramen shop. Here you can get a warm bowl of delicious noodles for as low as ¥1000 ($9). Many restaurants offer meal sets at lunchtime. These usually go from ¥1000 to ¥2500 ($9-$20) per person. Tip culture isn’t widespread in Japan, so you shouldn’t leave one unless you see a sign saying the restaurant welcomes tips. There are so many foods to try in Japan that you should not skip. Information is your best tool, so make sure you’re smart about your choices.

Money-saving tips

Japan is relatively inexpensive compared to other popular destinations for skiing. Most all-inclusive ski passes cost around ¥4200 ($40) per day. And you can expect to pay around ¥4500 – ¥6500 ($40 – $60) for ski rentals. Remember that you’re not the only one excited about the affordability of ski trips in Japan. If you plan on visiting more popular sites, always book in advance.

Let’s go through a few tips that are sure to help you enjoy Japan without going broke:

  1. Early bird tickets – Booking early in Japan makes a real difference. You can save over 30% by getting an early bird ticket.
  2. Japan skiing packages – You can, for example, ask your accommodation or resort shuttle bus for a package discount.
  3. Make good use of the JR Rail Pass – This is an excellent way to go on day trips outside your accommodation area.
  4. Japanese-style family rooms are usually enough for four to five people; you probably don’t need more.
  5. If you are traveling with a larger group, it’s cheaper to drive – Public transport is paid per person. When you count it all up, it may be cheaper to rent a car.

Final thoughts

While this is old news to some people, it’s still common for travelers to be surprised that Japan is one of the world’s premier ski destinations. While Japan’s cities, culture, and food, are lovely on their own, their popularity usually leads people to neglect its beautiful nature and outdoor activities. If you take your time and adequately prepare for a ski trip in Japan this winter, you will find out just how many sides there are to this beautiful country.

Amazing Beach Destinations to Visit in November

Beach with clear waters and clear sky with a handful of clouds.

Traveling is always fun, whether flying with a private jet or by car. Seeing new places, experiencing the native lifestyle, tasting the local cuisine, and leaving the monotonous daily routine behind even for a few days or weeks can be a life changer for many. While summer is the usual season for traveling, November makes a trip more enjoyable if you know where to go. However, with numerous amazing beach destinations to choose from, selecting the best one can be pretty challenging. So, let’s explore our options.

1. Seychelles

It is very rare for this exotic island not to cross someone’s mind at least once when thinking about traveling. You can find it in the southern Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar, and its climate is perfect for traveling in November. And, with English widely spoken, you will have no problem communicating with the locals

The famous Beau Ballon area can undoubtedly keep you excited, as it offers many beach resorts with beautiful and warm seas, like the famous Anse Royale in Mahe and Praslin beach, a variety of flora and fauna. If you are into water sports, you may also enjoy Morne Seychellois, a nature park with green tropical forest hills. Lastly, the island offers a lively nightlife with several beachside parties in resorts, making it a good destination for people of all ages.

Over water bungalows in the middle of the beach
Traveling is the best way to leave your daily routine behind.

2. The Maldives

The Maldives lie on the other side of the Seychelles and southwest of the Indian Ocean. An island famous for its luxurious resorts scattered around on pristine little islands and one of the best destinations to travel to this time of the year. It offers a variety of water sports in its deep blue waters, from ferry rides and para-sailing to scuba diving. Finally, its wide variety of sea creatures, like rare manta rays and green turtles, will leave you wondering why vacations have to end.

3. Bora Bora

If, on the other hand, you are into more relaxed kinds of vacations, Bora Bora might be the place for you. It’s a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean that may not have many shops and businesses. Still, its geographic location makes it perfect for those who enjoy the peace and incredible scenery together. With a lagoon formation surrounded by coral reefs on all sides and Mt Otamanu in the middle of the island, it’s an idyllic destination.

4. Bali

A living paradise island made up of volcanic mountains, based in the Indonesian archipelago, Bali is famous for its green fields, white sand beaches, and coral reefs. With the tropical climate, even during November, you can enjoy various activities like surfing or water scooters. And since we are talking about amazing beach destinations, it would be a shame not to mention Bali’s famous Balangan beach, known for its pure waters and golden sand. Furthermore, one good option to consider is buying a beach house. If you can afford it, it can be a great investment and a steady opportunity for vacation throughout the year for you and your family to enjoy.

Tropical trees at Sunset
Nighttime on tropical beaches has its beauty

5. St. Barts

The Caribbean was always a popular destination, and even though the chances to see the black pearl are close to none, its exotic beaches will leave anyone speechless. Especially the Gouverneur beach, filled with golden sand between two rocky headlands and the clearest waters one can ask for, is positively stunning. While it sees nonstop action during summer, it has a surprisingly low-key vibe during fall, making it perfect for enjoying this beautiful island.

6. Aruba

Speaking of islands in the Caribbean, Aruba is also a fine choice. With the incredible beaches and lovely temperatures during November, you will never want to leave. This island does not even have a hurricane season, thus making it danger-free all around the year. It is one of the amazing beach destinations for those not ready to wave the summer goodbye.

7. Costa Rica

For those seeking an eco-friendly destination for their travels, we can not oversee the global leader in sustainable tourism. Over 30 percent of the country is protected land, and almost 100 percent of its energy is renewable. As a result, it is one of the greenest destinations one can choose. It offers a variety of beaches and tropical fruits like mango and papaya or exploring jungles and climbing volcanoes. Whichever it is, you will find it here.

8. Dubai

Being famous for its artificial islands, tall buildings, and prosperous lifestyle does not mean city life is all Dubai has to offer. With many amazing beaches like Sunset, Black Palace, and Al Mamzar, it can offer an option to suit just about every taste. The weather is always pleasant, making it a perfect destination for any time of the year.

9. Puerto Rico

Famed for its tropical climate, the stunning lights on the island of Vieques, and the exciting food and drink choices in San Juan, Puerto Rico can be an excellent fall getaway destination. It has everything from crystalline beaches to outdoor art galleries, and it can be a fantastic experience.

Scenic beach resort
Thailand is one of the amazing beach destinations you should visit.

10. Thailand

Lastly, Thailand is one of the most exotic destinations one can choose for their vacation. It harbors everything, from amazing scenery to famous beaches and waterfalls that lend themselves to various sports. Its low cost, variety of tropical plants and animals, and intriguing cuisine, whose delicacies delight your mouth, will blow your mind. Vibrant nighttime and ancient temples are there for you to enjoy when you are out of sunscreen, thus making it overall a great destination worthy of its popularity.

In conclusion

In closing, these are only a small number of amazing beach destinations one can choose for their November travels and getaways. Numerous options cannot fit into a small article, but the above are definitely the most noteworthy among them.

Jetiquette – The Dos and Don’ts When Flying on a Private Jet

For many people, a lavish air travel experience often means flying first or business class. Compared to economy, you have better beverage and food options, more legroom, and seats you can even turn into beds. However, there’s a more extravagant option if you are willing to pay the price—private jet charter.

If it’s your first time traveling on a private jet, feeling intimidated is normal. However, traveling private can be as easy as searching for the best hotel deals once you have figured out its many ins and outs. Thankfully, traveling on a private jet offers one of the most stress-free travel experiences there is.

Below are some of the dos and don’ts to keep in mind when flying private:

Be on time.

While you are expected to arrive at least an hour (or two) early for commercial flights for baggage check, security, and check-in, you don’t have to be that early when you travel private. However, it’s not an excuse to be late. You must be there at least 30 minutes before your scheduled flight.

Don’t overpack.

Flying private does not mean you can pack as many bags as you like. While weight limitations and luggage capacity will depend on the jet you are flying on, packing lightly is the best way to go. Ideally, it would be best to ask for weight restrictions before flying.

Choose the appropriate outfit.

When flying private, it is recommended that you dress appropriately. For instance, opt for business casual if you are going on a business trip. When going on a trip with family and friends, pick something comfortable but not too casual, like shorts and flip-flops.

Ensure to bring your ID with you.

While you won’t need to go through the TSA checkpoint, you will still be required to provide identification. If you are flying internationally, ensure you bring your passport with you and other travel essentials. Check out our infographic below for other dos and don’ts to remember when traveling private.

jet etiquette infographic

About the Author:

Melissa Hull is the Content Marketing Strategist for Aviation Charters, a West Trenton, New Jersey-based private aviation company that provides on-demand aircraft charter, aircraft management, and aircraft acquisition services. Aside from her passion for writing, she loves to travel and read espionage books.