By: Expat Living
Skiing in Japan is hugely popular right now – and it’s no surprise when you consider how brilliant the conditions are. In particular, the northern island of Hokkaido is a hotspot for skiers and snowboarders. Why? Because metres and metres of perfect dry snow falls here every year.
Skiing in Japan the easy way
If you’re new to skiing, or you want to keep things simple on your next trip, Club Med’s two snow resorts in Hokkaido might just be the ideal choice. For one thing, they’re all-inclusive. So, not only do you get full-board meals, drinks and snacks, but also ski passes, lift passes, and ski and snowboard group lessons (for up to 12 people) with certified English-speaking instructors. It means planning can be kept to a minimum, and you’ll be enjoying the powder on the slopes before you know it.
The other good news is that Club Med is currently running a Winter Early Bird offer, with up to 40% off all “Snow & Sun” destinations. This includes everything from beautiful beach destinations like the Maldives and Mauritius, to skiing in Japan, whether it’s at the recently opened Club Med Tomamu or the newly renovated Club Med Sahoro. Here we take a sneak peek at the two properties.
Opened in 2017 December, this is an on-trend, modern family-friendly snow resort. It was voted Japan’s number one hotel for international travellers in 2019 on TripAdvisor. That’s two years in a row for getting the award.
At Tomamu, kids are fully catered for through the Petit Club Med (ages two to three), Mini Club Med (four to 10) and Junior Club Med (11 to 17) programmes. Mini and Junior Club members can enjoy group ski classes (from age four) and snowboard classes (from age eight). Other snow-related activities for families include snow trekking and snow sledding.
Tomamu is also a great option for families looking to enjoy a holiday in the snow together, without necessarily joining skiing and snowboarding activities. Here’s just a handful of the other must-try experiences that are included in the rate:
- Hokkaido sushi making lessons (from age six)
- Mina Mina Pool experience (the biggest indoor wave pool in Japan!)
- Authentic Yakiniku barbecue
With the Kids Stay Free offer at Tomamu, one child under the age of 12 years can stay for free in an upgraded room (across various room categories) with one adult paying full price. The deal covers the travel period from 6 December 2019 to 4 January 2020, and includes the Christmas and New Year’s Eve period, too. (Between 22 and 26 December, the offer is only available for stays in Suites.) Visit the website for more information, terms and conditions, or to make a booking. Note that a minimum four-night stay is required, and the offer can’t be taken up in conjunction with the above Winter Early Bird offer.
This family-friendly ski resort has had a complete renovation, with the reception area, lounge, bar and rooms ready for reopening for the ski season. It’s a great pick for families keen to take their skiing and snowboarding to the next level, but also for parents travelling with babies or toddlers, and those looking for some private time.
Like Tomamu, Sahoro has enjoyed recent TripAdvisor success, voted the number two hotel in Japan for international travellers in 2019. The snow quality here is among the best not just for skiing Japan, but all of Asia. And, as with Club Med Tomamu, ski passes, lift passes and group lessons are part of the deal.
The resort offers a Club Med Baby Welcome service for ages zero to 23 months. It can be booked in advance at no extra cost, and provides baby and toddler equipment (baby bathtubs, strollers and so on) already laid out in your room on arrival. There’s also a “baby corner” at the resort’s restaurants, with microwave, blender, baby-friendly dishes and juices, and more. In addition, the comprehensive Kids Club programme extends to a Pyjamas Club, designed for ages four months to two years.
Here are some resort activities the older kids and adults might want to try:
- Hokkaido soba noodles making lessons (from age six)
- Relaxing ofuro bath
- Sampling authentic Hokkaido hotpot
- Snow trekking (from age 11)
The Winter Early Bird offer is available at Sahoro, with up to 40 percent off stays.
Keen for sun over snow?
If it’s powdery white sand rather than snow that’s beckoning you for your next vacation, Club Med has a wide range of beach resorts in the region. And, if you get in early, you can get some great seasonal deals at these properties, too.
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