Skiing

Experience ‘Hakken’ by Active-Life Madarao

09Jun

Finding the right accommodation isn’t always as easy as you’d think, especially given the sheer volume of options that come up with every search. After a while it can begin to get rather stressful, as when you’re spoilt for choice it gets harder to make a definitive decision. Well, before you make any snap decisions you should ask yourself the following question:

What are your intentions when you book a skiing holiday? To pursue your passions; breathe in the crisp mountain air; push yourself to new heights and most important of all: to discover! Well, Active Life is proud to introduce to you the ultimate discovery: Hakken – a relaxed snow lodge with a unique Japanese experience – the perfect place to rejuvenate after an immense day on the slopes.

‘Hakken’ (Japanese for Discovery) is a newly renovated, quaint and relaxing snow lodge that lay quietly in the heart of  . Less than 5 minute walk from the Madarao resort chairlifts, you’ll find Hakken to be pleasantly convenient. What truly sets Hakken apart from the rest is its unique experience, blending western style amenities with a gorgeous, traditional Japanese twist – (The Tatami floors feel incredible under-foot too, offering a truly authentic experience)

Hakken also boasts a friendly team of Japanese, Kiwi and Australian staff who all breathe an open air of passionate hospitality throughout, waiting patiently to oblige your every need with a warm and receptive smile. You can rest assured that you will be well taken care of, with your best interests at the very epicentre of our priorities.

Recover with a perfect nights’ sleep

After a long and hard day on the slopes, when you’re feeling exhausted and ready for a deep sleep, you’ll feel wonderful in the thought of returning to one of the following room:

  • Family Room for 4 people
  • Deluxe Room for 3 people
  • Standard Room for 2 people

All of the rooms in Hakken are equipped with all of the essentials and amenities needed to make your stay as comfortable and convenient as possible; from FREE Wifi, private bathrooms, an LCD TV, a safety deposit box, refrigerator and the most comfortable and dreamy, western style beds. Why would you want to lay your head to rest anywhere else?

Getting from A to B

Hakken is located in the Madarao Ski Resort, (also known as the renowned ‘Madarao Kogen’) in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture, between Nozawa Onsen and Myoko Kogen. There is a nearby train station named Iiyama, which is easy highly accessible and easy to reach. More importantly, Hakken offers a complimentary shuttle service to all guests, taking you from Iiyama train station, as well as to and from the Nozawa Onsen. Check shuttle timetable here: http://beactive.life/transport

Snow-Lodge Amenities

  • Baggage storage
  • Free WIFI
  • Drying Room
  • Ski and Board Hire
  • Vending Machine (Drinks)
  • Luggage Storage
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Onsen

Hakken hotel operates based on the Japanese Ski Season, from 16 December through until 31 March. Keep an eye out for any up-coming deals and get ready to

 

 

 

First Time Skiing? Here’s what to Expect

02Jun

We’ve all fantasised about it at one time or another; the fresh mountain air caressing your face as you bound down the side of a stunning snow covered mountain. It truly is one of the most natural and exhilarating experiences you can imagine, being both addictive and fun for everyone involved.

That being said, skiing for the very first time is rather scary, but with a little persistence and willpower you’ll soon fall in love (but not before you fall over plenty)

Below you will find a guide on what you can expect when you hit the slopes for the first time.

It won’t be easy

Like most new experiences, it isn’t going to be a walk in the park, (unless you’re walking in a park for the first time) particularly if you’ve no experience with something like ice-skating or rollerblading. It will be an alien feeling, though one that you will almost certainly enjoy. And just like anything else, the more you hit the slopes, the easier the sport will become.

Take full advantage of Ski lessons

We definitely recommend that you invest in some ski lessons for your first time. You don’t have to go too crazy with it, but at least take one or two to familiarise yourself with some of the basics before you go trundling down the side of a mountain. You’ll find that even the smallest hints and tips will make the difference between a good and a great first experience!

It’s important to remember that all beginners are in the same boat as you. It can be embarrassing falling over in front of strangers, but if you just open yourself up, embrace the nature of being exposed to something unfamiliar then you will undoubtedly enjoy yourself all the more.

Where to begin

Well, the beginner’s area is probably a good place to start! I’m not sure about you, but the thought of taking to the harsh slopes of Harakiri for a first attempt makes me feel a little nauseous. A beginners area tends to have a lot of flat surfaces, with a little nursery slope to help you find your feet before spreading your wings so to speak.

You WILL lose your balance

Be realistic and don’t set yourself impossible standards. It’s feels great to excel in everything that we try, though it’s important to remember that there will always be hurdles along the way. (Or in this case; great big trees!) Again, just dust yourself off and have a laugh with it. That being said, at least endeavour to fall over less than your friends and family, that way you can turn the abuse back around on them.

Don’t allow yourself to feel intimidated

As a beginner you are going to be pretty pants at first, so try not to compare yourself with others. When you’re tumbling down a little slope and a toddler zooms past and flips you the middle finger, just remember that it’s your first time – enjoy it!

There’s No Time like Now Time – Book Your Next 2017/18 Ski Season Today!

07Apr

ski japan

If you’re thinking about potentially booking your Ski season for either 2017 or 18 (or both) and you’re dragging your feet a little bit, then here’s a little bit of advice for you: get your rear in gear! There really is no time like the present and as the tide changes like the wind, so too does the cost of flights and late bookings!

If you leave it too late, the prices will rise as gaps are filled and desirability increases. In which case you’ll either not be able to afford it, or you’ll have procrastinated so much that you’ll lose interest all together and promise yourself that you’ll “definitely get round to doing it eventually”.

Learn from the Mountains and be bold and stand firm. Here at Active Life Madarao we are all about grabbing life by the horns and making the most of every given opportunity. Whether you’re an experienced Skier or Snowboarder or you’re an absolute new-comer to the slopes looking to give it a try; get yourself booked in and give yourself something to look forward to!

Not only are the weather projections for 2017 and 2018 going to make the skiing conditions on Madarao Kogen Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture, Japan), absolutely incredible; but having something for you to look forward to, is actually beneficial for your overall happiness mental well-being as well.

The Psychology behind Early Bookings and how they benefit your mental well-being

Happy Skiing coupel skiing

Want to know how having something to look forward to can make you happier?

There are four key stages for enjoying an event in your life:

– Anticipation – This is one of the key stages of a holiday, or an event in your life. By booking something in advance you not only afford yourself a sense of achievement, but also calm. Instead of having the need to eventually arrange your Ski season looming over you, you will have one less thing to worry about and one more, incredibly exciting event to look forward to.

– Savouring – You’ve finally arrived. It’s been months and months of anticipation and finally you have reached the top of the slope with the fresh mountain air in your lungs and an endless bed of soft powder before you waiting to be carved up. Savour these moments, as they are the memories that you will cherish forever – that is what makes it all worthwhile!

– Expression & Reflection – Sharing your passion and pleasure with others is the key to heightening an already incredible experience, and in the same breath having something to look back on makes it all the more special and memorable for you. While you’re there tearing up the mountain, document it on social media and share your excitement with other enthusiasts.

There are where you can kick back and mix with other like-minded people, whilst cutting up your GoPro footage and putting together some truly stunning video memories for you and yours to cherish and adore.

 

So what are you waiting for? Time is ticking, the snow is setting and the spaces are beginning to fill. Your life will pass you by faster than you can say: “I’ll get round to it”, if you don’t throw your procrastination out of the window and do what you want to do today. Be active.

Skiing is Always Better with a Beer Waiting for you at the Bottom

10Mar

If the Perfect Powder Isn’t Enough to Attract You This Season; Madarao Kogen’s Delicious, Local Craft Beer Certainly Will!

 

After a full day of skiing in the gorgeous Madarao Kogen, with the crisp Mountain air in your lungs, the fresh and fluffy powder beneath your feet and 360 degrees of breath-taking views as far as the eye can see; what better a way to wrap it all up than gulping down some refreshing craft beers?

If you can think of one then do let me know, because as far as I’m concerned; when you’re 1382 meters up; only the warming fuzzy-buzz of an expertly brewed pint could possibly raise you that little bit higher toward the heavens!

At the Active Life Madarao Resort you will discover arguably one of the finest beer bars on the entire Mountain: Tap That – It is here that you will be able to actualise this inviting imagery and sample some truly magnificent beer in what is one of the hottest skiing locations!

Be Active Bar

Why Active Life Madarao Ski Resort is the Place to be this Season

Life is all about the adventure!  At Active Life in Madarao, their priority is inspiring others to live life to the very fullest and having the freedom to enjoy everything that this beautiful world has to offer – which is why they’re such avid supporters and advocates of the local Japanese Breweries of course!Beactive Taps

After all, what’s a holiday without a few good beers right? Active Life Madarao prides itself on providing its valued guests with the opportunity to experience some of the finest skiing conditions in the world. They boast traditional Japanese Cuisine, mouth-watering locally brewed craft beers and an infinitely comfortable and relaxing environment in which you can recover from it all.

So pound those slopes and carve your name deep into the powder. Work up an appetite after a hard day of smashing one of the most exciting and fulfilling sports imaginable and then reward yourself with a soothingly smooth pint.

In Tap That you can comfortably kick back with your fellow travellers and locals like, cutting up those awesome Go-Pro clips and sharing your experiences with your new-found friends.

Take Skiing to a Whole New Level

When most people think about skiing, the first place that they picture in their heads will likely be the French Alps. Why not experience something a little different and veer off the beaten track? Life tastes much so much better when you broaden your palate and indulge in foreign flavours.

Madarao in Japan is perhaps one of the most underrated locations, when in actuality it not only offers some marvellous and unique skiing conditions; but is also fused with a delightfully refreshing breath of Japanese Culture.

Elevate your skiing to an entirely new level this season and experience Madarao Kogen. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned professional, an aspiring amateur or a complete newbie; Madarao certainly has something to offer absolutely everyone.

Ski until you drop. Then roll on down to Tap That and allow your body time to recover with the gentle aid of a refreshing beer…then get out there the next day and do it all over again! Trust me…the fresh mountain air will cure the hangover in no time!

Powder Slopes Japan

Grab Your Gear and Head to Japan’s Madarao Kogen This Season!

03Mar

Skiing is much more than just a hobby, but a way of life. It’s certainly not the kind of sport that you can simply pick up now and again when you fancy it. It’s in your blood. Once you get a taste of the crisp mountain air and the soft, powdery snow, there’s no turning back!

If you’re a seasoned professional, an aspiring amateur who loves a good challenge or even a fresh newbie; Madarao Kogen is the hottest spot to check out this season – it has something to offer absolutely everyone!

So Why Choose Madarao Kogen Ski Resort For Your Next Adventure?

Kogen is the Japanese word for “Heights”, or “Plateau”, and Madarao certainly does tower above the rest! Here’s why:

In Madarao, you will find that 60% of the courses are ungroomed, so you’ll definitely be able to tear up some delightfully fluffy and deep powder when you ski. There are many who prefer not to ski on powder as there certainly is a knack to it, though if you’re up to the challenge and keen to truly master the art of skiing then Madaroa will present you with the perfect opportunity to do so (that, and there is rarely a huge amount of competition on these particular slopes)

That being said, Madarao does have a lot to offer, particularly if you’re new to skiing and would rather play it safe and stick to the groomed courses. There is even a Kid’s park, a Tree Run Course, a Free Ride Park and some Wave Courses, so you can rest assured that there is certainly no shortage of things to see and do.

Madarao Slopes

The mountain itself stands 1382 meter tall, boasting a whopping 30 separate courses. Don’t let that put you off though, as getting around is easy too, with 15 lifts to take you from A through to Z.

Madarao is incredibly popular amongst the Japanese nationals, so not only can you guarantee that it’s a great spot, but it also offers a unique experience as opposed to its neighbouring Ski Resorts which are swamped with Westerners. The food is incredible and the craft beers are insane! Immerse yourself in the beautiful Japanese culture and enjoy one of the most incredible skiing adventures that you could possibly imagine.

Where is Madarao Kogen?

Madarao Kogen is located 38km northeast of the city of Nagano in the north eastern part of the Nagano Prefecture, close to the Niigata Prefecture, laid between Myoko Kogen and Nozawa Onsen.  Madarao is situated 11km west of the town of Iiyama.  Everybody is raving about this awesome spot due to its natural aesthetic beauty and perfect skiing conditions.

There are a number of options for accommodation if you’re keen to explore this skiing hotspot and find out what all of the fuss is about.

Check out Active Life Ski Resort if you’re an avid outdoors person with a hunger for the good life! Don’t miss out on a new and exciting experience that you will surely remember for the rest of your days. Book your flights, grab your ski’s and hit the powder hard!

Japan Ski Packages

5 things to remember when travelling to Japan for a skiing holiday

19Jan

If you are looking for an incredible place to Ski or Snowboard this year then you should most certainly check out Madarao in Japan. Japan offers some of the most incredible conditions for skiing in the entire world. They boast deep and consistent powder, relatively untouched slopes and a culture that will render you awe-struck and inspired.

The Japanese culture is however vastly different to that of the western world and some other European skiing destinations such as the French Alps. In this light it is important that you brush up one a couple of essentials and basic etiquette before you arrive at your destination.

1: Blending in

One of the golden rules of travelling is trying to blend in. Now this is understandably easier said than done, being an Australian in Japan, though showing a little respect and taking an interest in their culture and matters that are important to them. The most important of which is minding your tone of voice. It is all too easy for English speaking westerners to come across as overbearing and loud or overly familiar so try to show a little respect and you will be welcomed with open arms.

2: Learn a few of the basics in Japanese

This isn’t an essentiality, though it will certainly go a long way towards making your life easier when travelling through Japan. A few simple words and phrases such as “Hello”, “Goodbye”, and “Nice to meet you” will make all the difference and make you feel more at ease as well. You will find some basics, here.

3: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Within reason! Don’t walk around trying to pretend that you are Japanese, but simply do as they do in the sense that you are respectful of their values. For example: tipping is not a common practice in Japan and is often considered as rude. This may be quite hard to wrap your head around coming from a western culture, though it is something that you must bear in mind so as not to offend anyone.

Also, be prepared to take your shoes off in most places. The Japanese are a very clean people so follow their lead on this. Do not litter and try not to eat in places where nobody else is eating. Again, some of these things may seem rather trivial to you, but a little manners costs nothing right?

4: Gift Giving

If you have thoroughly enjoyed your skiing holiday and you want to reward or thank some of the staff at your resort; tipping is going to feel like the most natural thing to do. Again, as we’ve established leaving a tip can actually be considered as being rude, however gift giving is a different thing entirely. If you really want to make an impact on the people that you are staying with then gifting them something from home will go down very well indeed.

5: Credit Cards are rarely accepted

Carrying cash around with you may not feel safe, or natural, though it will likely be your best option if you don’t want to find yourself stuck and unable to pay for something. Japan is largely a cash based country so do bear in mind that most places will not accept a credit card before you travel. It is always best to ensure that you have plenty of cash, kept safely on you.

 

So there you have it: a few basic bits of information that will assist you on your holiday to Japan. You will never experience a holiday quite like it, particularly if you are skiing. The Japanese are a wonderfully kind and patient people who will most certainly go above and beyond to ensure that your holiday will be one to remember. Find information on our amazing offers, here.

 

TOP 5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO EXPERIENCE SKIING IN JAPAN

19Jan

 

If you are looking for somewhere new and exciting to Ski, Japan is the place for you. It has never really been the obvious choice for those who are looking to experience skiing, especially for those who have never tried it before. Most would presume that the Alps would be your best bet, or perhaps a trek over to Canada, though below you will find 5 reasons why skiing in Japan is definitely your best option this winter.

1: The Food

Wherever you decide to travel this year for your skiing holiday, I am sure the food will be alright – but Japanese Sushilet’s face it: the Japanese really do know their way around a kitchen. After a long day on the slopes, you can recharge your batteries with some of the most delicious sushi of your life. However, Japan’s menu is of course, far more comprehensive than some rolls of rice and fish. Get stuck into a large and piping bowl of traditional noodle soup bowls, followed by some crispy Gyoza dumplings and a refreshing bottle of iced cold Asahi. Ahhh, perfect!

2: No Jetlag

The trouble with living in Australia is that whenever you want to venture out of the country on holiday, you tend to have an incredibly long journey ahead of you. This renders you suffering from jetlag which can take days of adjustment and can sometimes have a very negative impact on your holiday. Fortunately, when travelling to Japan you are only looking at a 2 hour time difference (between Japan and the East coast of Australia) This keeps the jetlag down and means that you can get straight out onto the slopes and enjoy skiing in Japan instantly.

3: The Culture

This is a rather broad point, though represents one of the fundamental reasons why you should want to experience a country like Japan. The Japanese boast one of the most unique and wonderful cultures in the entire world, particularly fascinating for those who have been brought up in western culture. The Japanese are wonderfully respectful people and are incredibly punctual and thorough in every aspect of their lives. This is reflected in the evident synchronicity, cleanliness and organisation of their ski resorts, airports, restaurants and other establishments that you may encounter. If you truly want the best ski packages, Japan offers some very well put-together options.

4: The Nomihodai

To put it bluntly, for a terribly quiet and respectful people; the Japanese love to tear it up and party hard. The term: “Nomihodai” is used to describe a dinner routine that is essentially all you can eat and drink. It is never overly expensive and it is always tonnes of fun. Eat as much delicious food as you can in an hour and half, and wash it all down with gallons of refreshing booze and beverages.

5: The Snow

You have seen the photos and I am sure you have heard all of the stories, they’re all true. You will irrefutably come home after a skiing trip to Japan, boasting that it had the best snow that you have ever skied. It is light and safe, and impeccably consistent. And what’s more, if the weather patterns in the forecast are correct then Japan is in for one hell of a winter season, so you can rest assured that you will experience the best skiing in Japan this year if you visit Madarao Kogen. Just take a look…