Many associate the term “White Christmas” with the likes of North America or Europe. But this holiday season, one member had a white Christmas of a different kind. After this member’s first Japanese trip left an impression for all the right reasons, they were keen to return. So NoobFlyer took advantage of All Nippon Airways’ new service to Australia to spend a Christmas skiing in the north of Japan!
Having completed my first trip to the Japan earlier this year I was hooked the moment I stepped off the plane in Narita. The utmost politeness and courtesy shown by the general public, the efficiency of the public transport, the superb food, the spectacular scenery, and, most importantly for me at least, the tremendous options available to a skiing addict. So naturally the day I returned from the first trip was the day I started planning the second. Long story short I utilised the compulsory work shutdown to sneak in a week of skiing on Hokkaido, certainly sounds better than enduring the summer heat to me.
The trip began with an overnight flight direct from Sydney to Tokyo on ANA’s new Dreamliner service. Although our member was travelling in Premium Economy, ANA is one of few airlines that offer lounge access to Premium Economy customers before the flight. Our member was delighted with the opportunity to try out the Air New Zealand lounge.
The flight itself was fairly uneventful. ANA has only just started flying the Sydney-Tokyo route, but the flight was completely full. It seems Japan is a popular destination, especially around Christmas time.
A quick turnaround in Tokyo followed and our member was soon in New Chitose, from where they would complete the journey to Niseko by train. Niseko is a popular Japanese skiing town. The ski runs in the area appear top-notch, although some have described the area as a little “touristy”.
After an enjoyable week on the slopes and a particularly unforgettable New Year’s Eve, there was time for just one more day of skiing and sightseeing before the trip back to Australia.
Managed to get up reasonably early on New Years Day and drag myself up to Hirafu for what turned out to be a very special morning of skiing, with about an hour of skiing continuous fresh lines in knee deep powder without any wait at the lifts. A spectacular way to end the skiing portion of this trip and the legs were well and truly gone by the time I wrapped things up in the early afternoon.
To finish off the trip our member visited Sapporo. Being New Year’s Day, it seems that not much was actually open! But an opportunity to take in the view from the JR Tower was not to be missed.
Will the return flight to Sydney live up to expectations?
Read the full trip report HERE.