Happo One, Nozawa Onsen, Tokyo

Update: We used a far more complicated version of this itinerary for our multi-generational holiday to Japan in March 2014.

Intended for: one 5yo, one 3yo, mum and dad, grandparents and whichever aunts/uncles/cousins and friends we can rope in for all or part of the trip

Overview: A ski trip with some town and big city sightseeing at the end. Folds in with work trip for Dad.

Strengths: Using the tourist coach at the start direct to the ski fields minimises stops and changes. Is custom-designed to make the transition to the ski field simple and efficient. Ski setting provides flexibility and allows splitting up as desired. Nozawa Onsen provides a nice village backdrop and plenty of hot springs for non-skiiers. Japanese food should suit all palates. Transport system is efficient and predictable and bullet trains are cool. Sightseeing at end rounds out trip and provides time for non-snow travel. People can join or depart group at any point.

Foreseeable difficulties and mitigating strategies: Very long travel day on first day, with late arrival in to Happo One. Will have to rest up well on day before and after. Expensive. Kids will need to brush up on manners or they will look a bit out of place in polite Japan.

Projected price bracket: Expensive.

Itinerary:

Day One

  • Fly Singapore to Narita, arrive by 5pm
  • Tourist Coach Narita to Happo One (8pm, 5hrs)
  • Overnight Happo One

Day Two

  • Rest/orientation day
  • Hire ski gear
  • Afternoon ski lesson for kids
  • Overnight Happo One

Days Three, Four

  • Snow play/chair lift rides/ski lessons/ski/snow shoe/hot spring
  • Overnight Happo One

Day Five

  • Travel by bus from Happo One to Nozawa Onsen (2hrs, early start)
  • Rest day, hire ski gear
  • Overnight Nozawa Onsen

Days Six, Seven

  • Snow play/chair lift rides/ski lessons/ski/snow shoe/hot spring
  • Overnight Nozawa Onsen

Day Eight

  • Travel by tourist coach from Nozawa Onsen to Tokyo (S station)
  • Overnight Tokyo

Days Nine, Ten

  • Sightseeing Tokyo
  • Overnight Tokyo

Day Eleven

  • Dad works in Tokyo office
  • Depart Tokyo by bullet train on overnight (cherry-blossum?) side-trip, leaving most of stuff in Tokyo with Dad
  • Overnight wherever

Day Twelve

  • Return to Tokyo
  • Overnight Tokyo

Day Thirteen

  • Fly Tokyo to Singapore, leaving Dad behind for a few more days
Nothing like seafood bento with miso soup to keep the dreams of a Japanese ski trip alive.

Nothing like seafood bento with miso soup to keep the dreams of a Japanese ski trip alive.

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