Why Hokkaido in Japan should be your next ski destination

Japan's ascent to being the ski destination of choice for Australians continues.

With planning for the ski season in Japan well under way, Hokkaido is proving once again to be the hottest (although, not literally!) region for Aussie skiiers.

Hokkaido was recently named one of Lonely Planet's 'Best in Asia' locations thanks to its mountainous landscape and alpine villages.

It's also easily accessible on the new bullet train link with Tokyo.

The quality of snow in Hokkaido is without doubt the biggest attraction, which has seen many skiiers swap traditional Australian resorts for Japan.

It's particularly good because of the cold air that collects moisture, creating dense snow clouds that bring heavy snowfall to the western seaboard of the area.

The result is slopes full of powdered, light snow located in two million acres of national park - perfect for skiing or snowboarding.

Cheaper lift passes, falling airfares and Japan's close proximity to Australia are also driving visitor numbers up.

One of the region's hotel providers Club Med has seen a massive 173 per cent increase in Australians travelling to its Asian ski resorts over the past five years.

It's opening another all-inclusive hotel Club Med Tomamu in December, right in time for ski season.

Their research found that 67 per cent of Australians wanted to go to a ski resort in the future, with 80 per cent of those planning to ski overseas.

Club Med Tomamu sits in the Shimukappu Village of the Hokkaido province in North Japan and combines ski lessons with accomodation for an all-inclusive experience that visitors are increasingly asking for.

And those who don't ski can do other activities like sledding, snow rafting and riding a snow mobile, as well as trying out the largest indoor wave pool in Japan, Mina Mina.

Other must-do Hokkaido highlights include ice fishing in traditional Japanese style, visiting an onsen (hot spring) and taking part in the annual Snow Festival (Sapporo’s Yuki Matsuri), which transforms snow in the area into sculptures in February.

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