Snowboarding in Hokkaido

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Are you planning a trip to Hokkaido, Japan? The “Northern Sea Circuit” is Japans second biggest island and the biggest and northern-most prefecture Sapporo is the biggest city on Hokkaido, and a Russian island is about 43 kilometers north of the Japanese island.

If you’re planning to visit Hokkaido, there are several fun activities you can enjoy including Snowboarding in Hokkaido. In fact, if you’re a fan of winter sports in general then the island is one you should add to your itinerary. It provides excellent powder conditions, a long snow season, heavy snow cover, and facilities that are equal to ski resorts in North America and Europe.

Niseko and Furano are the two big snowboarding areas to visit on the island. The former includes a huge boom based on an investment mainly from Australia that’s boosted the number of snowboarders that visit Japan’s top areas. Here are some tips for Snowboarding in Hokkaido:

1. Rent a phone/SIM card

It can be tough to get a mobile phone in Japan, so a good option is to rent a phone or SIM card. The rates for data SIMs are sky-high, and you can also find long-term options. Make sure to shop around to get the best rates and service. Even if you don’t buy a phone, it’s important to minimize the number of issues you have texting, calling, surfing, etc.

2. Bring enough cash

Japan like several other Asian countries is mostly cash-based. Should you bring an ATM card? There are some available at convenience stores, post offices, etc. but they’re less common than in regions like the US and Europe. In fact, you should expect to pay cash for lift tickets at several resorts, and it’s a preferred payment at several restaurants/bars also.

You might feel uncomfortable about carrying a ton of cash with you. Take some time to think about how much cash you feel comfortable bringing with you. You can also withdraw cash at places like post offices where the cash withdrawal rates are the lowest available.

3. Bring your snowboarding gear

When Snowboarding in Hokkaido, it’s a good idea to bring your gear with you. There are some places where you can find god retail/rental options like Sapporo and Niseko. However, several regions in Japan have few options for snowboarders. It’s a good idea to purchase your gear before you leave your home country so you won’t have to deal with the issue after you arrive.

4. Learn some basic Japanese

This will help you to get around since English isn’t widely spoken in the country. You can also use apps like Google Translate for written language.

5. Use low-light goggles

You should expect several low-light cloudy days. There are also some bright days, but the light conditions are usually changing and varied. If you wear low-light goggle lenses, you’ll be able you’ll see the terrain better when there’s only snow around you. You should also bring a spare pair of goggles. When they’re full of powder, it’s helpful to have a fresh pair of goggles. You should consider snowboarding at night since the majority of resorts allow night snowboarding.

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