IT’S TEMPLE TIME IN JAPAN
11th October 2019 | James Cove, Kanazawa, Japan
No visit to the country is complete without visiting some of the temples and shrines. PlanetSKI goes sightseeing.
Most people head to the city of Kyoto with its 1000 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines.
Now we are going there later, but we’ve just stumbled across a gem that is less well-known and much closer to some of the main ski areas.
Step forward Kanazawa in Hokuriko region.
It has some fabulous sights plus beautifully preserved samurai and geisha districts.
There are attractive temples, a wealth of museums and a wonderful market.
It is just a couple of hours away from the ski resorts we have been visiting around Nozawa Onsen as a reccie for next winter.
It is even possible to visit the city of Kanazawa as a day trip if time is a bit pressing and you want to maximise your time in the powder.
We were in town on an autumn day.
Time for a temple, a castle and a garden.
First up was the Buddhist Temple of Myoryu-Ji that was completed in 1643.
It contains hidden doorways, escape tunnels, secret chambers and trick doors behind its screens.
And the garden:
Then it was through these fabulous, formal, Japanese gardens.
And just a short stroll away the main attraction – Kanazawa Castle.
It was used as an army base in World War II and until 1995 was part of the campus on Kanazawa University.
And like every good castle it has a moat.
And next door is the Kenrokuen Garden.
It is one of the three ‘great gardens’ of Japan and people come from all over the country to appreciate its charm, beauty and serenity.
It is a typical landscape garden from the Edo period – 1603 – 1868.
It’s not hard to see why.
Inghams offers a five-night trip to Tokyo and Nozawa Onsen from £1,952 per person based on two sharing.
Price includes return flights (direct from London Heathrow), coach transfers, accommodation with ensuite facilities (including the Nozawa Grand Hotel), four breakfasts and a three-day lift pass.
The package is valid for travel departing on 29th February 2020.
To book, visit this section of the Ingham’s web site.
• Nozawa Onsen started life as a hot spring village for resting travellers: the first onsen (traditional Japanese bath house) was constructed in the 16th century.
Today, the onsens are still managed by the local people and are a perfect remedy to aching muscles after hitting the slopes all day.
There is varied terrain, long runs and a great section of tree-lined off-piste skiing, plus the area has a reputation for the heaviest snowfall in the Nagano district.
Accommodation in these resorts range from more Western in style to traditional Japanese-style hotels with communal onsens, offering a choice for all who seek convenience, comfort and an authentic, cultural stay.
• The Hakuba Valley, which spans across 10 diverse ski areas, is all included in one lift pass (which is included in the price of the holiday).
Inghams guests will be able to stay in the main resort of Happo-One, with easy bus links accessing the other resorts.
Put on the map after the 1998 Nagano Olympics, the Japanese Alps provide abundant snow and pristine powder conditions for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities to enjoy, making them the envy of their European skier counterparts. Inghams in Japan:
This vibrant country offers plenty to discover beyond the ski runs too, and Inghams guests can also lose themselves in the bright lights of Tokyo or the tranquillity of the temples in Kyoto since Inghams ski holidays to Japan also encompass an immersive city break.
Combinations and durations are flexible, with the option to ski in either one of Inghams’ resorts and add on Kyoto, which was the Imperial Capital of Japan for over a thousand years.
All trips start with at least one night in Tokyo.
For the Spirit of the Mountains – PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news