Off the Beaten Path

Discover some of Japan’s best areas away from the main tourist trail…

Japan is a huge country with lots to see and do, we’ve been many times and every time discover somewhere new and exciting. Let us help you plan your next snow & cultural adventure.


The below areas are some of our favourite travel destinations…


Start your trip by flying into New Chitose Airport, visit Sapporo & Otaru before spending some time on snow in Kiroro, Niseko and/or Rusutsu.

Finish your time off by taking the train to Hakkodate before flying back to Tokyo from Hakodate Airport (HKD).

Want to join one of our backcountry tours? Check out our Southern Hokkaido Explorer Tour which travels Otaru – Niseko – Hakodate.


Fly into one of Tokyo’s airport before getting on the shinkansen north to Koriyama. From there pick up your hire car before heading to Aizu Ski Resorts. From there you can enjoy 9 resorts and nearby Aizu Wakamatsu town.

Next head north to Zao Onsen in Yamagata, about 2 1/2 hrs north of Aizu. From Zao you can head further north to Yamadera and then onwards to Sendai and Matsushima.

For those with more time continue further north to Morioka. From there you can ski Geto Kogen, Hachimantai, Shizukuishi and Appi Kogen.

Lastly head north to Aomori for some time at Hakkoda and Aomori Springs. For those on the ultimate road trip you could continue onwards to Hokkaido but you will have to drop your car in Aomori and take the ferry as you can’t return a Honshu car to Hokkaido.

For those of you wanting to explore these areas on one of our tours you can check out the below:


Tokyo & Surrounds
Spend a day or overnight at Nikko or Fuji & Hakone. Both are easily accessible by train and can be done as a day trip from Tokyo. However, if you have the time we suggest spending at least 1 night in a nice traditional Ryokan so you can enjoy an onsen and traditional meal.


Nagano to Kansai
From Nagano you can head to the Kiso Valley, Kanazawa and/or Shirakawago. Visit one or all to make for a great pre/post snow trip. You’ll enjoy the famous thatched roofed houses in Shirakawa-go and a traditional homestay in the Kiso Valley.


Visit Koya-san for a day or even better spend a night in one of the monastery hotels. There’s plenty to see and do over a few days in this peaceful area. A great way to end your trip on a zen note before flying home from Kansai International Airport.


Hiroshima & Surrounds
Work your way down the coast from Kansai through Okayama and Hiroshima, or fly into Hiroshima from Hokkaido and work your way back up to Kansai or Tokyo.

This area is very well connected via the JR train and shinkansen network.

Travelling off the beaten path is the perfect opportunity to discover some of Japan’s more traditional accommodations and meet some of their lovely local owners. You might have to use some basic Japanese to communicate, however, this will be an unforgettable way to experience something truly unique!

Try a high end Ryokan (guesthouse) with onsen, local farmhouse stay or pension (B&B). Save the hotels for the bigger cities and ski resorts.

If you’ve been skiing/snowboarding in Hokkaido and want to sightsee in the south the easiest and quickest way is to fly into the airport nearest your start destination.

Hiroshima (HIJ), Itami (ITM) and Tokyo Haneda (HND) Airports are easily accessed from Hokkaido’s New Chitose (CTS).


Train and/or Shinkansen
Central and southern Honshu are very well connected by local line and shinkansen trains.

See for train timetables and best routes.


Hire Car
If you’re exploring Tohoku we suggest getting a hire car as the resorts are not easily accessible on public transport.

With your hire car you can easily add Aizu-Wakamatsu, Yamadera, Sendai & Matsushima & Morioka to your Tohoku snow adventure.