We returned to Japan for the second time this January to ski and explore the northern island of Hokkaido. We spent a couple of days in Sapporo before heading off to our base in Furano, a town located in central Hokkaido that is filled with lavender fields in the summer. We stayed in a very comfortable hostel run by a very friendly family and had the place almost entirely to ourselves. Most of our skiing was done at Asahi-dake, Hokkaido's tallest mountain and an active volcano. Few things are as memorable as skiing under the steam rising up from the vents.
It snowed every day we were there and it was easy to tire out in snow that deep. We made sure to reserve days to just drive and walk around the area and we are now convinced that we'll be returning in the summer to see the landscape covered in flowers. The rural parts of Japan have been our favourite places to visit because we're able to see a simple and more familiar way of life. It's hard not to take photos of everything.
Our final days were spent in Tokyo - the city with endless things to do. The vibe of each neighbourhood varies so much that each train stop feels like its own separate town. We spent way too much money in the arcades and even made an appearance on a morning TV show as judges for a face mask fashion show.
See you again soon, Japan.