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Tim Dawson

The 'it doesn't feel like Japan' scale!

Question

Hello

First time visitor and potential first time visitor to Japan next winter season.

Been doing lots of reading. (Excellent website :thumbsup: such a help).

I am curious about how some people comment about some ski resorts in Japan 'not feeling like Japan'. Presumably because of the large percentage of foreigners there.

I'm keen to hear any comments on this - with regards to different regions/resort areas. We're keen to get a taste of Japan and some kind of cultural experience as well as the skiing.

No mad rush. It'll be autumn before we can make our decisions.

Thanks!

 

 

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I used to be in the Yuzawa region of Niigata and it certainly 'felt like Japan'. Increasing foreigners there I hear the last few years and if you go to GALA Yuzawa you will see quite a large contingent of non-Japanese! Last time I went to Hakuba I was rather surprised at how many more gaijin faces there were. Definitely more than Yuzawa. I can't imagine what Niseko is like.

 

 

 

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Niseko is definitely the closest to 'could be anywhere' but I would say that for the majority of all those ski hills out there in Japan there remains a lot of Japan flavour. Of course more than others. Go to the bigger names and you'll be there with more non-Japanese.

 

 

 

 

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You can still go to Niseko and enjoy a 'Japan experience', though perhaps less so when you're there.  :lol:

Be sure to check out Sapporo and Otaru.

 

 

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Nozawa still 'feels like Japan', but I was surprised at just how many gaijin there were when I visited this year. It had been 7 years previous when I went.

Big change. I really hope it doesn't change too much.

 

 

 

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There are noticeably more foreigners in Hakuba and Nozawa in the last few years compared with when we started going to Japan.

It still feels like Japan though!  But there are places you can go and still feel like the only foreigner. Like Charmant Hiuchi, Togakushi that we experienced. Enjoyed them actually.

 

 

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'Inbound' has been growing quickly in Zao in recent seasons, especially it would seem with guests coming from Asia. Noticeable increase this last season.

 

 

 

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Lots of foreigners in Hakuba but it still felt very much like Japan to us.

We got our Japanese accommodation owner to recommend some less-well-known-with-gaijin local places to eat --- thought that was a good move.

 

 

 

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As much as I realise that I myself would be a foreigner, I kind of like the idea of going to a place that isn't overrun with other foreigners. More of a challenging and fun experience perhaps.

 

 

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SnowJapan.com is the independent guide to skiing and snowboarding in Japan and has been online since 1999.

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