Aussie snow lovers preparing to head to Japan in the coming months are set to enjoy a bumper ski season as the land of the rising sun returns to normal safety levels and prepares to deliver stellar winter conditions, according to the Japan Meteorology Agency.
Japanese ski resorts have some of the best and most reliable snowfalls in the world for at least four months of the year and the season has come early in 2016, with Tokyo residents receiving their first November snow in more than 50 years.1 Experts are also predicting a 70 per cent chance that a La Niña episode will emerge by the official start of the season in December, 2 with the combination of cold winds and moisture set to generate large snowfalls and ideal ski conditions.
Claudio Saita, Deputy CEO and Executive Director in Australia for Tokio Marine, underwriters for World2Cover travel insurance, said that despite recent earthquakes, Japan is likely to remain a favoured ski destination for local powder hounds.
“Aussies are keen snow aficionados, despite our sun-loving reputation, with one in 20 saying they regularly or occasionally hit the slopes.3 And with Japan just a 10 hour flight away, and only two hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time, it’s a great option for travellers looking for an active getaway and cultural immersion.
“Last ski season saw the lowest snowfall in Japan on record, 4 meaning the impending cold snap is a great chance for skiiers to enjoy a strong return to form across the nation. Powder hounds should also take the chance while they can as the great conditions are tipped to be an exception to the rule, with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology warning that the impacts of global warming, including lower snowfalls, will strengthen to 2024,” he said.
The core Japanese season lasts from mid-December through to March/April, with January typically the most popular month for Aussie ski tourists, who are also renowned for being rebels on the slopes. In fact, last year, reports from World2Cover and INTAC* showed Australians are the most likely to need accident assistance on Japanese slopes, with 89 per cent of search and rescue efforts spent on Aussies.
“Adequate travel insurance should be a vital part of any ski equipment check list no matter what level of experience you have or which country you go to. Beyond medical support in the event of an accident, it also helps protect against unforeseen issues like cancellations and lost luggage,” Mr Saita said.
For those that need a little more persuasion, World2Cover has revealed these top four insider insights into the country’s ski offerings:
Fewer Crowds – The silver lining of the weakened dollar this year, is that the number of Aussie tourists could drop this season, resulting in fewer people on the slopes.
Powdery Snow – The high quality Japan snow is world renowned, and most resorts receive an average of 10 to 18 metres per regular weather season.
Enjoy Onsen – An onsen is a large bathing pool filled with hot natural spring water from geothermal sources below the mountains. The water is rich in minerals, making an onsen the perfect remedy for sore muscles after a day on the slopes.
Unique Culture – Japan is rich in cultural experiences and history. For example, if you are staying near the Hakuba ski area, you can take a day trip to the nearby city of Nagano – the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics and home to the famous Zenkoji Temple. Other day trips include Matsumoto Castle or see the snow monkeys in Yudanaka Onsen.
To support the growing number of Australians heading to Japan for the coveted ski season, World2Cover has included a winter sports option in several of its award-winning policies to offer peace of mind.
“In the unlikely event of a natural disaster, reasonable expenses are covered, including additional accommodation, meals, and travel costs such as emergency personal telephone calls. If you were injured as a result of such an event, then you would also be covered for reasonable medical costs, offering visitors to Japan true peace of mind,” said Mr Saita.
For more information on the comprehensive range of coverage options from World2Cover, visit www.world2cover.com.au.