There are two types of skiers & snowboarders in this world. Those who have been to Japan, and those who will go to Japan. Yes, it really does live up to the hype.
There is a reason tourism numbers to Japan are increasing year on year, and ski resort visitation from international guests is growing steadily. Both the on and off mountain experiences are unlike anything most westerners have experienced in a snow vacation.
The riding in Japan is all about the powder. The quantity and regularity of heavy snow falls is exceptional. Japan sits the perfect distance off the main continental land mass of Asia. Close enough to receive the cold Siberian air from the predominant west to east winds, but with just enough distance across the Sea of Japan to load up with moisture. From December to March regular, cold, moisture loaded systems bump into the mountain ranges running almost the length of Japan and it dumps.
Off moutain, visitors are treated to a rich culture, famous for its amazing food, stunning temples, wild monkeys, and of course onsens.
For those keen to find it, the classic après party scene is available in large resorts like Hakuba and Niseko, but it doesn’t take long to realise the Japanese tradition of Onsen, followed by hearty food, and your pick of local Beer, Sake or top shelf Japanese Whiskey is the way to go here.
The final piece of the puzzle is the Japanese ski industry, and the opportunities available on the back of the bubble. There are some serious challenges to buying a ski lodge, but uniquely in Japan, capital requirements are not really one of them, well at least far less than a Whistler or Chamonix or Queenstown…!
Buyers can expect to enter the market from around AUD $500K for a small lodge, ready to go. Obviously there are many factors that impact this, such as Resort Choice, Lodge Size, Building Condition and my favorite, the effort you are prepared to put in to find a bargain.
Convinced? Are you ready to become a Professional Jerry?