The Japan ski season for the Christmas holidays will come and go with few if any Australians allowed to visit but put it on the list for the end of next year. Nikko is a favourite for those who want to escape the crowds. Two hours from Tokyo on the Tobu Railway Nikko, the town is nestled on the edge of Nikko National Park. Besides the powder and easy slopes for the first time skier, there are frozen waterfalls, snow sculptures and even an outdoor Samurai village.
Start your day with the frozen Kegon Falls
Nikko’s iconic Kegon Falls stand at almost 100-metres. The waterfall has a proud title as one of the three most beautiful in Japan. The waters from the neighbouring Lake Chuzenji usually flow from the peaks of the cliffs, but in winter the waterfall freezes over, creating a unique spectacle of ice. Visitors can see the frozen waterfall up close from the observation deck, or even take an elevator to the basin to look at it from below. Walking distance from the falls are quaint cafes and restaurants for the ever hungry children.
Nikko Yumoto Onsen Ski Park – a beginner’s haven
Nikko Yumoto Onsen Ski Park is a small ski area located west of Nikko City. It features 4 slopes, which are all wide and gentle, making it a suitable option close to Tokyo for families with small kids who are beginners. The park has a free entry kids play area, allowing smaller children who can’t ski yet to try their hand at sledging and tubing. Nikko Yumoto Onsen Ski Park is also equipped with rental stores for gear and attire.
The ski season usually starts in late-December until the end of March, with Nikko’s temperatures being the best for winter sports in January and February.
End your day with snow sculptures, igloos and fireworks
Around thirty mintues from Kegon Falls is the small hot springs town of Yumoto Onsen nestled deep withing the mountains of the national park. Every winter the town comes alive in celebration of the Yumoto Onsen Yukiakari Snow Festival with over 500 miniature kamakura (igloos) filling Yumoto Park. After dark the igloos are lit up with coloured lights setting the scene for winter magic. The festival also includes an ice-sculpture competition, calling sculptors and even chefs from all over the country to compete for the best frozen artwork. The sculptures glow like crystals when they are lit up.
The Yumoto Onsen Yukiakari Snow Festival is usually held in early February for around two weeks.
The Tobu Railway offers special discount passes only for foreign visitors visiting Nikko from Tokyo which include a round trip from Asakusa in Tokyo to Nikko, as well as unlimited travel on trains and busses in the Nikko area.
About Tobu Railway/Group
The Tobu Railway Co., Ltd. is one of Japan’s largest commuter railway networks which operates in Tokyo as well as in large portions of the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama, Gunma, and Tochigi. It opened in 1899 and was the first railway in the Kanto region to adopt the use of quadruple tracks, and to this day is Kanto’s largest private railway. Tobu Railways is part of the Tobu Group, which is engaged in other transportation sectors such as bus and taxis, they also operate Department stores, Hotels, health clubs, golf courses and theme parks, as real-estate. They are the largest investor in the TOKYO SKYTREE – the tallest structure in Japan, which is the centrepiece of the large commercial development.
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.