Japan ski holiday for a family of five
We arrived in Tokyo on New year’s Eve and accommodation was scarce and extremely expensive right in the city. As luck would have it, we did manage to find 2 units through Sakura House. The units were quite spacious for Japan, with a little kitchen and 2 bedrooms. The roof was head-bangingly low, and we slept on traditional Japanese tatami mats — both took a little getting used to, but great experience nevertheless. Our family of 5 (3,2 and 3 month old) fit in one room and our helper went in the other.
Sleeping on traditional tatami mats.
The units were close to Tabata subway (JR line) station so we took the Shinkansen (bullet) train from the airport into the city (Tokyo Station) from the airport and then jumped on the subway to Tabata. We took a double pram and the 2 eldest ones went in that and my wife carried the 3 month old in a front pack. Aside from the kids and prams, we also had quite a bit of luggage —keeping everything and everyone together was quite a fun experience (in hindsight!). We stayed for 2 nights in Tokyo, visited Legoland (which the kids loved) and just explored on foot via the subway. Everything is well-connected and the people of Japan are so friendly and would go out of their way to help you if you looked lost. It’s a great city to explore.
Legoland Discovery Centre at Decks Mall in Odaiba, Tokyo.
The remainder of the time we had booked this great apartment on the slopes of Hakuba through Alpine Condos Hakuba. We took the Shinkansen from Tokyo station to Nagano (these are always on time — it’s amazing) and then caught a bus from Nagano station to Hakuba where we were picked up in a mini bus and taken to our accommodation. We skied for 5 days and it was magic. The kids got to toboggan on a little slope right out the front of our place and build snowmen and throw snowballs at each other. One tip for travelling with babies in Japan — although supermarkets have a wide range of adult nappies, you buy baby nappies from the pharmacy!
Making snow angels.
The magnificent view from the top!