Japan ski resorts

Japan is fast becoming a well-known ski destination for avid skiers in Asia and the Pacific. There are many famous ski resorts like Niseko, Hakuba, and Furano in the north of Japan, which offer great facilities, and fun apres-ski entertainment.

However, many ski resorts can also be enjoyed during the off-season. There are hiking trails and activities like hot springs which can be enjoyed during any season. The views are also breath-taking. It is worth visiting just for the scenery.

In this blog for people learning Japanese, Yanaka sensei, one of our Japanese teachers at JOI, tells us about her vacation to a famous ski resort during the summer this year.

Yanaka sensei reads the blog out herself, so you can hear and enjoy her natural Japanese accent and intonation. Learn Japanese vocabulary and phrases from the different versions of the blog below.

I went to Hakuba






 白馬の名前の由来は山の雪形から来ていると聞いたので、残った雪の形が白い馬に見えるのだと思っていました。ところが実際には雪が溶けて見えた黒い岩肌のほうが馬の形に見えるのだそうです。白ではなくて黒。では、どうして「白馬」になったかというと、その黒い馬の形が田んぼを耕す代掻き馬」 に似ているからだそうです。「しろかきうま」が「しろうま」となり、「白馬」 「はくば」になったとか。現に山の名前は「白馬岳(しろうまだけ)」といいます。調べてみないとわからないものですね。



To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video. 






I went to Hakuba

During this year's summer holidays, I went to Hakuba (in Nagano prefecture). When you think of Hakuba, you usually think of skiing and it has an image of winter, but summers in Hakuba are nice too. In the summer in Hakuba, you can go trekking and enjoy high mountain vegetation. Luckily we were blessed with good weather and during our stay there it didn't rain at all, so we could thoroughly enjoy our plateau terrain holiday.

Among these enjoyments, the beauty of the mountain belt was truly special. The view of the suspension bridge and mountains from Oide Park, the Happo-ike Pond, and the mountains view from Happoone, the view of the hiking trail and mountains from Kitaoone and the view of the sunset dyed peaks from the village at the foot of the mountains; all and any of the sceneries were splendid, I gazed at them with wonder.

I heard that the name Hakuba comes from the shape of the lingering snow on a mountainside, and I thought that the left-over snow looked like a white horse. However, it was actually the black surface of the rock that could be seen after the snow had thawed that looked more like a horse shape. It wasn't white but black. So the reason it was called Hakuba is because the black horse shape resembles the horses used to help irrigation (known as Shirokaki in Japanese) when they cultivate the rice fields. So it became Shirokaki Uma (or irrigation horse) or abbreviated to Shiro Uma for short. And finally, it became Hakuba. Actually, the name of the mountain at Hakuba is known as the Mount Shiro Uma. You just never know until you research some things, right?

I've heard that the red leaves during autumn are wonderful too, so this place has become one of the places I'd like to visit again. If you ever get the chance, please come and enjoy Hakuba in any one of the four seasons.

幸(さいわ)い fortune

~に恵(めぐ)まれる to be blessed with

~を満喫(まんきつ)する have enough of

山並(やまな)み mountain belt

格別(かくべつ) special

吊橋(つりばし) suspension bridge

山々(やまやま) mountains

散策路(さんさくろ) hiking trail;

麓(ふもと) the foot

見(み)とれる to gaze admiringly

由来(ゆらい) the origin

雪形(ゆきがた) shape of the lingering snow on a mountainside

岩肌(いわはだ) the surface of the rock

耕(たがや)す cultivate

代掻(しろか)き to cultivate the irrigating rice fields for preparation of rice-planting

現(げん)に actually

四季折々(しきおりおり)の of each season


Hajimemashite ! My name is Izumi YANAKA.
Through my work as a System Engineer, I have had the experience of teaming up with foreign members of a team. After seeing the difficulties the team members went through with communication and cultural differences, I got to thinking, "If only there was something I could do to help !" Which was what led me to become a Japanese teacher.

How do you find studying Japanese ? Is it difficult ? Do you find it trying ? At the beginning, easy phrases will do, just think of what you want to say and give it a go. For example, let's talk about your favorite things. I like playing tennis, traveling, and gardening. What do you like to do ?

What's the best phrase to say in this situation ? Is this grammar usage correct ?

If you have questions like these on your mind, I want to answer them all one by one. And in this way, without even realizing it, your Japanese will come to improve.

Once you are able to speak, it gets to be fun. It's not difficult, and not trying at all ! I will help you widen your Japanese speaking world. Let's enjoy learning Japanese together.

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