On the 27th of December 2016 I flew to Japan with my family to bring in the new year. We all stepped onto the plane at Coolangatta Airport that morning in 35 degree heat, and arrived in Tokyo that evening, it was 10 degrees and it wasn’t going to get any warmer till we flew back home. As soon as we stepped off the plane we knew it would be a great adventure!
Tokyo was an amazing place, we spent hours exploring the different areas in Tokyo. We saw amazing architecture, historical shrines and temples, lush parklands, incredible shopping districts, the most efficient subway system in the world. You could easily spend a whole week just exploring Tokyo alone. A must see was the Tokyo Skytree, if you head up there in the afternoon you can see all the way out to Mount Fuji, hang around till the sun goes down and the city lights stretch out as far as the eye can see.
After a couple of days in Tokyo we got on the bullet train and headed down to Osaka to check out the city and spend a day at Universal Studios. The city was great, full of amazing food and wonderful culture. Universal Studios was incredible, there was something there for everyone, my personal favourite was the Harry Potter Castle, and Snoopy World.
We got up very early the next day to travel north to a place called Hakuba, it is a small town in the Japanese mountains that is famous for its snow sports. From Osaka it took about 6 hours to get there, we arrived in the afternoon at the Rosenheim Hotel where we would be spending the next 5 days of our trip.
Our first day in Hakuba was spent exploring the township, enjoying the coffee shops, booking ski lessons, and appreciating the mountain views, the scenery was amazing! We awoke the next morning to find that it was snowing, this was very exiting for all of us because none of us had ever seen snow fall from the sky, it was very special.
The next couple of days were spent on the slopes, spent a bit of time falling over and laughing at each other, but it was all good fun. The snow was so powdery so it was quite forgiving when you fell over. I hope to go back to the snow and enjoy it again sometime soon.
On our last day in Hakuba we went to see the snow monkeys of Jigokudani and they were absolutely amazing we hiked for about 45 minutes through a winter wonderland of snow covered pine trees and along the side of a running river before reaching the natural springs where the snow monkeys live. It was so lovely to watch them in their natural habitat playing with each other and going about their lives. After this we went to visit one of the oldest temples in Japan, it was covered in snow and looked amazing.
Today we said goodbye to Japan, we had a great time! The culture, the scenery, the people, it was all great, not a single bad thing to say. There is something there for everyone and I urge everyone to go and see it for themselves!