Hokkaido

What could your snow holiday look like in Club Med Tomamu?

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Think Hokkaido, and powder snow pops to mind... Blanketed in a sheet of pristine white, winter has never looked more captivating! Arguably the best winter holiday destination in Japan, beautiful natural landscapes meet with magnificent volcanic origins to create a mystical wonderland - Welcome to Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido!

Scheduled to open in December 2017, here's a little foretaste of all the Must Try Experiences available in this brand new all-inclusive resort for your next family snow holidays!

The ultimate powder snow experience

Strap on your skis or snowboard and hit the slopes! Gear up with rental equipment and take to the slopes for endless half pipes, table tops, kickers, rails, and boxes – why glide on the snow when you can ride a different wave?

Can’t ski? Experience the rush of wintry winds on snow sleds or ice slides. Snowshoe across soft powder with the mountainscape as your backdrop. With 145 hectares of snow to frolic in, state-of-the-art equipment, and expert instructors to guide you with group lessons, Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido caters to both beginners and experienced snow sportsmen. For the adventurous at heart, night skiing is also available at an extra cost from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm every weekend.

Memorable (or maybe not so...) nights at the Ice Village

The magical Ice Village is available during the winter in Tomamu, where temperature can drop as low as -30°C. Our guests enjoy convenient access to this gorgeous village illuminated by deep blue lights. Create the perfect memory of ice skating, ice slides and dining at the ice restaurant.

Enjoy an icy tipple in hand-carved ice glasses. After all, how often have you hung out at a bar made completely out of ice? Trendy, unique, and eye-catching, it ticks all boxes for an Insta-worthy visit.

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Paddock-to-plate Yakiniku barbecue

Savour an authentic Yakiniku barbecue experience, grilled right at your table at Haku, our specialty restaurant. Choose from a variety of mouth-watering meats including premium cuts such as Japanese Wagyu beef – all perfectly prepared to add some sizzle to your meal. Tenderly chargrilled meats that melt in your mouth – a truly authentic Japanese culinary experience.

Hokkaido is also renowned for its delectable local seafood. Haku offers a selection of fresh seafood such as crabs, sea urchins and scallops for guests looking for an unforgettably fresh dining experience.

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Guided whiskey & sake tasting

The zen-themed Nest Bar is the perfect location to unwind after an exhilarating day on the mountains. What better way to relax than by sinking into a cosy chair with a glass of sake in hand?

Guests can also indulge in a sensory journey with tasting sessions of locally-sourced whiskey and sake. Here, enjoy 5 premium Japanese whiskies such as the award-winning Nikka and Suntory’s single malt Yamazaki or Hakushu, as well as local artisanal sakes.

Japan’s largest indoor wave pool

Make a splash at Mina Mina beach, Japan’s largest indoor wave pool. Paddle board in balmy waters in the 80m long and 30m wide wave pool, or laze in the cradle of gentle waves. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

The Mina Mina Beach bustles with activity during the daytime, but transforms into a peaceful respite after 8:00 p.m. when it is lit up with soft, romantic lights.

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Relax in an open air onsen

Hokkaido is home to a great variety of onsen – unique hot springs dotted around the region for travellers who prefer a more relaxing experience. Soak in a warm outdoor bath while taking in the wintry landscapes. In the daytime, be treated to a sight of endless fields of unspoiled natural beauty. Come nightfall, admire constellations overhead. A delight for both mind and body, Kirin-no Yu in the neighbouring Hoshino resort is located just adjacent to the Mina Mina beach.

Aromatherapy is also offered, where essential oils extracted from Hokkaido vegetation are heated. Guests can enjoy wafts of fragrant natural oils for a soothing experience. Aroma profiles are refreshed monthly, making it both a surprise and a whole new experience every visit!

Double the fun with Club Med Sahoro Hokkaido

If you can’t get enough of Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido, swing by Club Med Sahoro Hokkaido, located just 30 mins away. Tackle the advanced ski trails or simply relish in a more traditional Japanese experience.

Hokkaido has a plethora of sights and activities for visitors all year round, but winter is when the destination truly shines. With its unspoiled natural beauty and inexhaustible list of exciting winter activities, Hokkaido is the ultimate destination for a fun-filled winter vacation.

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So if you are looking for the best time to visit Hokkaido, why not now? Start planning your trip for an unforgettable winter vacation.

Want to discover our Facebook Snow Squad Group? Join us here!

What Every Beginner Skier Needs to Know Before A First Ski Trip

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Do you still think ‘goofy’ is a Disney character? Don't know how to pizza down the mountain? Don't even know what to do with a lift ticket (or why you even need one)? For the uninitiated, whether you're a ski beginner or embarking on your first family ski holiday, it can all be a bit bewildering. Here's everything you need to know for your first ski trip.

The lowdown on the lingo

First things first, you'll need to brush up on the basics of snow lingo:

❅ Lift passes are tickets that allow you to ride the ski lifts up to the top of the mountain to ski down. There are plenty of options, from day passes to annual passes (for the super enthusiastic beginner!)

A run (or piste in Europe) is any marked trail, slope or course designed for skiing.

When snowboarding, riders use either a regular or goofy: The regular stance is with your left foot in front and goofy is with your right foot at the front.

❅ Apres-ski refers to the activities undertaken after a day of skiing, and can include swimming, massages at the spa, or an Aussie’s favourite past-time: enjoying drinks with friends.

What to bring

You will need to pack:

✔️ Thermals

✔️ Insulated clothing

✔️ A ski jacket and ski pants

✔️ Gloves

✔️ Beanies

✔️ Super thick socks

✔️ Warm boots

✔️ Protective eyewear.

☼ It seems silly, but you'll also need sunscreen and lip balm – sunburn and chapped lips are common gripes on the slopes.

Skiing or snowboarding?

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The next thing to decide on is skiing or snowboarding.

The general rule is that skiing is easier to pick up at first but harder in the long run to master; on the other hand, snowboarding can take a good couple of days to pick up, but after that you can become quite competent quickly on your snowboard.

Tips to keep in mind for your first ski trip

✔️ Beginners heading on a ski holiday should allow plenty of time on the slopes (at least a couple of days) – first-timers make take a while to get the hang of it.

✔️ It’s not essential, but we highly recommend you sign up for some ski lessons. Instructors will guide you through how to start and then demonstrate correct techniques – plus they’ll take you to runs on the mountain that suit your ability level. Club Med snow resorts offer snow schools with qualified instructors included in the package, and also many offer kids ski classes.

✔️ The view from the top will be steep... and intimidating for beginners. Whenever in doubt, don’t forget you can 'pizza' (point your skis together at the front to slow you down) to gradually make your way down to the bottom.

✔️ Don't forget to reward yourself after day's skiing by indulging in a sauna, Turkish bath, massage or yoga. Trust us: your muscles will thank you!

Best international ski fields for beginners

While skiing in Australia and New Zealand are viable options, the best part about heading overseas to ski is that you can discover a completely new country and experience some of the best powder in the world. Here’s our pick for the best international ski fields:

✔️ Sahoro, Japan: The skiing mecca of Hokkaido offers soft snow perfect for beginners. Resorts in the region contain traditional Japanese rooms, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and snow gardens for the kids.

✔️ Valmorel, France: with a family-friendly atmosphere, this resort area of the French Alps offers plenty of gentle runs and a host of activities for the little ones.

✔️ Via Lattea, Italy: Nestled on the border with France, the second largest ski field in Europe is popular with families who come to relax in cosy chalets.

✔️ Aspen Snowmass, USA: spread over four mountains, this field features an amazing array of runs from beginner to advanced.

✔️ Big White, Canada: has a huge number of lifts, runs to suit all ages and a popular skiing school for kids.

And finally...

Whether you're hitting the slopes for the first time or taking the kids on their first skiing holiday, good luck, and remember…everybody had to learn once!

See you out on the slopes. ⛄ ❄️ 🎿

Learn more about Club Med’s all-inclusive ski holidays in the video below, or on the Club Med website here.

Want to discover our Facebook Snow Squad Group? Join us here!

Japan or Europe: Which Is Better for Skiers?

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Are you a powder-hound? Or perhaps a professional après skier? Whether you like to hit the parks or the piste, we’re sure you’re dreaming of fresh tracks – especially now that the Australian ski season is winding down to a close.

To find the world’s best snow you’ll have to venture north from the Australian Alps, where incredible powder peaks come to life between December to May, in Japan and Europe. The Northern hemisphere is a playground for skiers, but it can be hard to decide which slopes to take on. Luckily, we’ve done all the research for you! Read on to see which region is best for skiers…

Chase soft powder and cultural discovery in Japan

Japan is renowned for its incredible powder snow, with promises of over 15 meters in some prefectures! Regardless of where you ski, you’re guaranteed the world’s driest, lightest and deepest powder snow. Be sure to take in the beautiful mountain landscapes and the wonderfully unique culture that makes Japan one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, is peppered with phenomenal ski slopes that promise reliable snowfall, which makes it a popular destination for tourists. Ski fields like Niseko are often crowded, meaning queues for lifts; for a quieter ski field, head to Sahoro and enjoy mountains all to yourself – literally!

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With a flight times of less than 13 hours from Sydney, the Japanese slopes are ideal for those travelling with young families. What’s more, parents can make the most of the mountains while the little ones are having a ball in professional ski lessons.

Japan is also the perfect place to combine skiing with a longer holiday. You could easily spend days in the shrines and temples of Kyoto, or head to Tokyo and Osaka to soak in bright lights and unique cityscapes.

Get serious altitude in the French, Italian and Swiss Alps

There’s no mistaking it, the French, Swiss and Italian Alps offer some of the best skiing in the world. Paired with enchanting European charm, delicious mountain food (tartiflette, anyone?) and a long season with reliable snowfall, a ski holiday to Europe is one you’ll never forget.

Europe has an incredibly diverse range ski fields for skiing and snowboarding holidays, and includes: ❅ The world’s biggest ski area, Les Trois Vallees in the French Alps, featuring over 600km of terrain and 335 runs.. ❅ A natural glacier at Paradiski in the French Alps, where there are 425km of slopes with 139 runs, suited for every level. ❅ Another one of Europe’s largest ski areas, the Via Lattea in the Italian Alps, is home to over 400km of ski slopes and 92 runs. ❅ Beautiful alpine skiing trails in Haute-Engadine in the Swiss Alps, with over 570km of slopes and 56 runs.

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Given the sheer size of the European Alps, it’s hard to know where to start. Make the most by booking in professional lessons with the ESF National Ski School – they know the ski conditions and can take you to the best locations, as well as give you the best tips.

The best thing about skiing in Europe is that… well, it’s not all about the skiing! Europeans invented après ski, after all, so it’s no surprise that the world’s best après ski can be found here.

From hearty dishes including tartiflette and raclette, to restaurants and bars on the mountains and outdoor heated pools, there’s no shortage of things to do. Mountain clubs such as the iconic La Folie Douce are definitely not to be missed! A European ski trip is the ideal escape for people who want world class ski fields… and world class après-ski.

So between Europe and Japan, which is better?

It really depends on what you’re after! Located so close to home, the Japanese ski fields are ideal for families and friends who want to discover unique culture and incredible powder. But if you’re seeking the ultimate ski experience, there’s nothing quite like the iconic European Alps. Trust us – it’s worth it.

See you on the slopes! ⛄ ❄️ 🎿 Learn more about Club Med’s all-inclusive ski holidays in the video below, or on the Club Med website here.

Want to discover our Facebook Snow Squad Group? Join us here!

Skiing In Hokkaido With An Olympian

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Whether you are a beginner or a snow expert, the perfect powder snow of Japan makes for an enchanting location for snow holidays. In Japan, experienced ski and snowboard instructors help perfect ski technique and find the best slopes...and none is quite as experienced as Robel Teklemarian. Would you jump at the chance to ski under the guidance of an Olympic champion? Well, you can make your dream a reality at Club Med Hokkaido Sahoro in Japan.


A snow resort where dreams come true

Robel Teklemariam trained to fulfil his Winter Olympic dream in 2006 while working as a Club Med ski instructor. It was the ideal environment for Robel to perfect his talents. Today, as the Hokkaido Ski School Director, Robel is passing on his expertise to Club Med guests.

“I want to ignite the same passion in my students that I felt when I first learned to ski," says Robel. "It’s important to build up their confidence so they can conquer the nerves and become great skiers.”

A paradise for ski enthusiasts

This Olympian feels like he lives in a skier’s paradise.

Hokkaido has incredible snow and Sahoro provides the very best Rossignol mountain equipment, updated every year. Best of all, the mountain is never crowded – sometimes it feels like I’m in my very own private ski resort!”

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Discover more ski options at Club Med here.