Hokkaido & Tohoku regions
Furano, Asahikawa, TomamuThis area is home to Asahiyama Zoo, which has earned a high profile for innovative ways of exhibiting animals that bring out their natural movements, as well as Furano, which found fame as the setting of the TV drama Kita-no-Kuni Kara ("From the North Land”). The area is known for excellent local cuisine, including Asahikawa ramen, Furano curry omelet, and many other local dishes.
Kanto & Koshin’etsu regions
Kusatsu, ManzaThe famous hot springs of Kusatsu—the water is extremely hot, although some develop a preference for it!—and the magnificent views of the hot springs of Manza, located 1,800 meters above sea level, have both won many Japanese fans. Particularly in Kusatsu, you can find photogenic scenes such as facilities irrigating hot spring water and traditional Japanese hot spring districts.
Yuzawa, Naeba, MuikamachiThis snow area is easily accessible from Tokyo via the shinkansen bullet train. The renowned Koshihikari variety of rice from Minami-Uonuma is harvested in this area—perfect for those keen to dine on delicious Japanese food.
Karuizawa, SugadairaIn Karuizawa, which has some of Japan's top villa-style resorts, you can enjoy plenty of shopping, as outlet stores are situated right next to the shinkansen bullet train station. Catering to the villa patrons, there are many fashionable cafés and famous restaurants here, where gourmets go to dine.
Shiga, Nozawa Onsen, Madarao, IizunaSnow falls in abundance here, earning the area a reputation for high quality snow. This area is also home to the Jigokudani Snow Wild Monkey Park, famous for its snow monkeys. At Nozawa Onsen hot springs, where hot springs are simply an aspect of daily life, a unique sight can be seen in winter: locals washing Nozawana mustard leaf in hot spring water in the streets.
Tateshina, YatsugatakeThis area is famous for its high rate of clear weather days and beautiful starry night skies. Tateshina is home to many popular restaurants that use locally-sourced vegetables, which grow in abundance with intense flavor due to the severe temperature differences and low humidity throughout the year.
HakubaA famous Japanese snow resort where people come from all over the world to ski and snowboard, with Australians in the lead by numbers. There are plenty of bars and clubs here, and the excellent night-life is one reason for its popularity.
List of recommended ski resorts
Naeba Ski Resort
Hakuba Valley Hakuba Happo-One Winter Resort
Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu
Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort
List of recommended areas
Sapporo, Niseko, Kiroro
Yuzawa, Naeba, Muikamachi
Shiga, Nozawa Onsen, Madarao, Iizuna
List of recommended prefectures