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Top 5 Off-Mountain Activities

Not a skier or snowboarder, or just fancy a break from the mountain? We’ve got you covered with our top 5 off-mountain activities

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1. Onsen tour

Visiting an onsen is a must-do when visiting Japan. Onsens are hot springs – or the bathing facilities based around a hot spring – which are naturally-heated thanks to the volcanic activity in Japan. Onsens are widely believed to have healing properties and beauty benefits, and are great for cleansing the skin and easing aches and pains. We love Yukichichibu Onsen – a natural outdoor onsen, featuring a mud bath for the ladies. A perfect post-mountain activity!

2. Snowshoe Tour

A low-impact activity which still gets you out in the elements, snowshoeing is fantastic way to enjoy the snow. Our favourite location to snowshoe is around Half Moon Lake, situated at the base of iconic Mount Yotei. For those who love an onsen, why not combine the two by taking a backcountry snowshoe tour through the national park to see the local famous natural hot springs, with the tour culminating in relaxing visit to Yukichichibu Onsen.

3. Food Tour

Hokkaido has some of the most amazing food, with Niseko famous for its seafood and dairy produce, but there are far more delicacies to discover. With such an overwhelming choice, it’s hard to know where to start. In surrounding areas of Niseko, there are several local artisanal food makers, dairy farms, cheese makers, tofu factories and local bakeries all worth a visit. Combine all of these on a Yotei Food tour and you’re well on your way to discovering the foodie highlights of the Niseko region. Those interested in the historical city of Otaru can learn about the seafood scene and visit the world-famous Nikka Whiskey Distillery on a dedicated Taste Otaru tour. Or perhaps you’re just interested in Japanese booze, in which case, the Kanpai Experience will be up your street, which is also hosted in Otaru and visits a sake shouzo, the Nikka Whiskey Distillery, a Yoichi winery and a local brewery.

Icefishing
Ice Fishing is a unique and fun experience

4. Ice Fishing

Another opportunity to enjoy the outdoors without strenuous activity, ice fishing is a unique activity. Located close to Rusutsu and run by a family business for over 20 years, Big Fight Matsumoto is a private ice-fishing location. Currently run by Arata Matsumoto, learn about ice-fishing from the expert, enjoyed either in comfortable shelters on snowy days or, if the weather is fine and warm, you can fish outside of the shelters in the winter sun!

5. Karaoke

Sing your heart out with Japan’s favourite past time. Utaya Karaoke is a traditional Japanese karaoke in Kutchan, just a 10-minute drive from Hirafu Village. With private rooms available to book, singers can enjoy unlimited drinks from their extensive menu as well as order in food to your own booth. There is a huge choice of songs on their regularly-updated database to choose from, all with on-screen lyrics and videos with an entertaining Japanese-spin on them.

This is our top 5 off-mountain picks out of a huge range of activites. For more ideas check out our activities page.

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