On March 9th we travelled from the back-side to the front-side of Japan. Hakuba to Shimoda is only about a 6 hours drive yet feels like a world apart. We run a lodge in Hakuba, Nagano, where our snow-loving guests and staff were lapping up 40 cm of fresh powder while we were in Shimoda thigh deep in spring flowers!
Those of you who have had to choose a Japan Rail-pass know that Japan is usually split into East and West Japan. Which divides the 2 rivaling cities, Osaka in the west and Tokyo in the east, and the 2 different electricity frequencies, 60 hertz in the west and 50 in the east. But in the old days when people lived in tune with nature, revered the changes of the seasons, and struggled with the differences in climate, Japanese people referred to front-side Japan as the place where the climate was mild, the summers were long, and people never saw snow, and the backside where people endured long harsh winters, and spring planting started late as farmers fields were covered with a thick white blanket of snow for a few months every year.
March in Shimoda, Izu March in Hakuba, Nagano
We love all of Japan’s sides!