ADSactly Travel - Where There's Beauty in the Japanese Alps

in travel •  21 days ago

Where There's Beauty in the Japanese Alps

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Where There's Beauty in the Japanese Alps

Every year, skiers & snowboarders from around the world, flock to Nagano in search of the perfect powder, in the Japanese Alps. This Japanese prefecture has over 4 million people visiting per year because its tourism has both a winter season & a "green" season. In the winter season, the Japanese Alps are full of tourists looking for winter sports adventures and the "green" season is known as a place of pilgrimage since the Kamakura period.

The valley that most people choose in winter is Hakuba, a small friendly town with the population of about 9000. The roads are nice and clean and it reminds you of a small town you'd see an action hero go through in a film. It was the chosen location for an event in the 1998 Winter Olympics, and for great reason. The annual snowfall is ideal for winter sports and the ground temperature is bearable for families even with young children.

The Lovely Town of Hakuba

The main ways to Hakuba are either by taking the Shinkansen to Nagano city, then local bus or by taking the local train from Matsumoto. Both train and bus stations are next to each other and are the places where most people begin their Hakuba holidays each winter. We checked-in to a lovely resort with its own onsen and washed off the day's travel, went to the onsen and then prepared for a feast.

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The family & I arrived at The Hakuba Brewery & Restaurant with big dreams and huge appetites. The restaurant is great for the warm & cozy appeal that's suitable for the entire family. To add comfort to the restaurant, they have their own free shuttle bus service, to get their customers & their families back to their destination safely. Which meant my first night in Hakuba, I was going to attempt to taste all of the brewery's best.

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The menu caters more to the international appeal so there are amazing dishes like fish tacos & fish & chips. I'm just naming the dishes I ordered because they complimented the craft & local beers well. The whole night was a superb experience & it was a much-needed meal to ease the fatigue from traveling. We went back to the resort, eagerly awaiting the winter sports to come.

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We started the morning early and headed to my favorite ski center called Iimori. The reason it's my favorite has a lot to do with my skill level. Iimori has awesome beginner to intermediate runs and has the perfect school that teaches winter sports.

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There are about 8 other expert to pro level ski centers that are well accommodating to people at that high level. I'm just not there yet and will probably be a few more years since there won't be snow in Thailand anytime soon.

We spent the next few days in the same routine of eating, sleeping, ski lift, repeat. We may have taken a small break after the second day due to soreness. I'm not 20 years old anymore, you know. My rotation was snowboarding and snowbiking with the family while the kids enjoyed skiing.

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The second level of the lift has a view of the Japanese Alps that's simply breathtaking. I truly love coming here year after year and hope the ye kind universe grants me many more, in the Japanese Alps.

The Legendary Jigokudani Monkey Park

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The legendary Japanese macaque also known as snow monkeys, are the cute monkeys that routinely use the onsen in winter to stay warm. The Monkey Park is in Nagano and a perfect stop if you're visiting Hakuba. Our visit was our last day in Hakuba and we took the all-day bus ticket which was perfect. They routinely get you there and back on a scheduled time frame and bus tickets can be bought at the Hakuba train station.

There's a beautiful hike up through the mountainside, into one of Japan's coldest mountain peak that they call "Hell's Valley." They hike itself in total is about 4 kilometers or 3 1/4 miles so if you have infants or small children under age 4, just keep that in mind. The initial hike up the mountain is beautiful, especially during winter, with the snow naturally decorating the trees. The path is a well established and safe dirt path that reaches a natural gas hole that releases explosive steam every 10 seconds.

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When you've reached the gas hole, you know you've made it to "Hell's Valley."

The next 800 meters is a well-paved walkway that scales the mountain peak upwards towards the ranger station and the entrance to Jigokudani Monkey Park. Once inside the park, while you're still at the ranger station, take time to study the Japanese macaques' hierarchy order they have posted on the outside walls of the station. In the onsen (hot springs), the Japanese macaques have an order of power and not just any macaque can just come up and use the onsen.

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The onsen is only used by the ones that the alpha macaque allows. Which is usually his family and a very select few.

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The other macaques have to huddle together to stay warm and depend on each other's warmth to survive each winter in "Hell's Valley."

The infamous monkey onsen is at the furthest point in the national park and is usually swarmed by amateur to professional photographers patiently waiting for a shot of their favorite macaque bathing.

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I was standing at the very edge of the furthest end of the onsen when I saw the alpha's queen bathing the baby macaques. She gave me this look straight into my eyes & I thought she was about to say, "Hey human, give me a hand, will ya. You see I'm handling 3 babies right?"

It's quite interesting to see them face to face after studying the macaques' hierarchy order at the station. For me, it was almost like I knew them because all the macaques have full names that the rangers refer to them as and they are very aware of their names. They are also very aware of the complete hierarchy order so what the alpha says goes, unless he's being challenged for his position.

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The mountain stream that houses the onsen, runs down to a lower valley area where most of the macaques that aren't part of the Japanese macaque royalty, depend on each other for survival.

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Some are asleep & huddled together for warmth while others are socializing with other monkeys & people. They all have their own little personalities and one even tried to grab a photographers hat.

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The little macaque just really wanted that particular hat to the point I had to run over there and help her scare him off. It was a harmless and cute scene that I hope everyone there will have a memory of, for ages to come.

Nagano was Incredible to Us

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Nagano is a terrific place to enjoy the winter and in addition, it's also the prefecture known for premium apples. With the great Japanese Alps to the Snow Monkey Park, Nagano has endless opportunities for priceless memories. I usually spend 2 months of every year searching for the perfect powder in the Japanese Alps, with my great family & friends along the way. The people from Hakuba all the way to Nagano (city) have been so kind and helping that they've won over my heart & friendship. The locals are the same way I remember them, year after year.

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I hope I get the opportunity to visit Nagano to see them, year after year for the next 100 years.

Authored by: @stewsak

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There is so much beauty in the Japan countryside. Get out of the major cities, and you find beauty everywhere, mountains, rivers, beaches. And Japan is blessed with 4 seasons, accentuating the beauty 4 fold, every season bringing unique and outstanding vistas.Travelling to Izu this weekend did not disappoint. We found our hotel situated on the bank of the Kano River. Our room had a view looking across the river to a mountain which immediately climbed out the river’s opposite bank. Its spring, the mountain is covered in lush greenery, and the river is running noisily, like the sound of heavy rain, the combination of which brings a peaceful serenity.

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The big cities are congested but have their own excitement. I'm a nature guy too, I can find beauty in any season (like most of us). Maybe some big cities for Pachinko and a bourban...and that's it...LOL. Thanks for coming by the post and have an awesome weekend.

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Great travel post! It describes the character of a part of Japan that I haven't been to before, but now want to visit! I've mostly been to the super urbanized areas like Tokyo or Kyoto, which I imagine you've also been to, which are amazingly lively urban centers with a lot of historical character. But your description of Hakuba brings out the winter, more wild, parts of Japan out, and it's a great thing to read about!

While I've seen pictures of the macaque doing antics on tourists before, I hadn't seen them using the onsen themselves - that's hilarious and awesome. It must be pretty relaxing to be in there with all that fur, no wonder why the alpha guards it so jealously. I guess they don't mind tourists watching them too much, it's not like they're completely nude what with all that fur they have. It's pretty cool how animals adapt to where they are, though I wonder where they get food - presumably tourists aren't allowed to feed them otherwise they might get aggressive with begging.

Skiing in this area must be fantastic, after all as you mention a winter Olympics was hosted here. Although I guess it's hard to take a lot of pictures when you going downhill really fast, haha - sorry, I kind of lose track with all these adsactly posts but I infer that you normally live in Thailand since you comment that it's hard to ski there?

I look forward to your next travel posts, and also hope that you (and I and many others) can visit and enjoy the snows of Hakuba some day!

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They say not to feed the wild animals but you know how some tourists are. I may have been that tourist also in my early 20's ...LOL. It was an awesome trip to the snow because yes, I live in Thailand now where we only have the hot & rainy seasons. So being cold for Thais is like an adrenaline rush :) Thanks for coming by and have a great weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

I know little about tourism in Japan. But now thanks to you I have expanded my knowledge. Now I have a positive opinion about Japan and its sights.

You spent an excellent holiday in a great place. I am a supporter of the fact that a good holiday is an active holiday. Although sometimes you want to relax in peace. Apparently you managed to count active rest and quiet. It's prekrasno. The variety of dishes is impressive, I believe that everyone who comes to the country should try their dishes.

Landscapes of the mountains look great. But the main thing is descent. Descent looks great and gives all lovers of skiing incredible impressions. I'm sure of it. I also liked the park of monkeys. These monkeys look pretty calm. Perhaps they are used to a large number of tourists. Explosive steam looks unusual and interesting. In general, a lot of beautiful places. I liked your adventure.

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Hakuba skiing and the local people are world class. Love it out there :) I hope the world of crypto opens up all borders so we can all visit each other's country. Thanks for coming by and have a superb weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

The Nagano Olympics were very successful and the beautiful. I have Japan very high on my travel bucket list. My family used to be a host family for an international launguage school. Basically, people would come to school here in Canada. We built such a wonderful relationship with one of our Japanese students.

The Japanese culture has always been so intriguing and I want to experience that first hand. Not sure I had Nagano on my list but your stories and images are making me include it. I have seen the monkeys in the spa before. So cool that they are interactive with people. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience.

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That's awesome you all used to host students, I can imagine the experiences both ends had. Helping young minds to become positive assets to society can be done in a number ways and that's one cross-cultural experience way. As soon as the opportunity presents itself, I hope to be reading about your trip to Japan, sooner than later. Hope you have a terrific weekend!

The winter and the food, the monkey and the spa... What can I say other than perfect combination! I really enjoy this travel post, really well written and the trip was awesome. Wish I was there haha

But what about those cute little Japanese macaque? OMG I cannot believe that you can go into nature and see something like that. They are enjoying their spa :D Thanks a lot for sharing a bit of knowledge about them and how they behave inside their group. I am amazed that they know their names. That is something really interesting, makes me wonder.

These travel posts are amazing @adsactly! Thanks a lot @stewsak for sharing your journey with us. I loved it, and I really loved that I could learn something from your post. Have a nice day!

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The macaques are quite amazing. Also amazing that photographers will spend hours trying to capture the perfect image of their favorite macaque...LOL. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Where the snow falls, it is difficult for all creatures to live there. It is extremely difficult to deal with the environment and the environment.

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Yes, I can imagine the difficulties of a harsh winter. Hope you have an excellent weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

What i don't like visiting japan is most people over there don't speak English and my sign language are terrible. Though they have so much tourist spots and and climate is pretty good and their food is exceptional.

Beautiful photography and I love seeing nature and wildlife in its natural form. Can you feed and pet the monkeys? They look like they know what they’re doing, taking a nice warm bath in the springs. Did you go to the deer park as well? Thanks for sharing!

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I wouldn't suggest feeding any wild animals anywhere :) If they decide to go hammer time, there's no owner to stop them. It's man versus wild then, and I don't want to get beat up by any monkeys...LOL. And I missed the deer park, next time! Have an awesome weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Cute monkeys!...:)...

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They were super awesome :)

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

🐪

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Thanks a million!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

in addition to tours and beautiful culture, japan is also famous for its cool manga and anime.

one more woman in japan is also beautiful.

hopefully my savings and vote from you kind enough to be able to go to japan holiday. amen

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You betcha, the anime from Japan is out of this world! Thanks for coming by and have an outstanding weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Wow!! That really looks amazing!!
I haven't been skiing in a number of years now 😬
Do you apply a filter to your photos? Seems like their HDR has been upped quite a bit...?

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The mountain was amazing and I gotta get my photo editing skills up :) Thanks for coming by and have a great weekend!

Nagano looks really nice especially with all those beautiful parks including the Snow Monkey Park. I'll definitely keep Nagano in mind whenever the time comes when I visit Japan someday. Great post !

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The monkey park was a plus. Almost didn't make it and snowboard another day but luckily we chose correctly. Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

No Monkeybusiness in the Japanese Alps :-D

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Apparently, they run a hot spring there :) LOL. Hope you have a great weekend!

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Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

really nature is the beauty

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It sure is :) Thanks for coming by and have a great weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

With the great Japanese Alps to the Snow Monkey Park, Nagano has endless opportunities for priceless memories.

Sounds very exciding! Friendly people especially when it comes to tourists. Hakuba shouldn’t definitely be put of the list while visiting Nagano. Afterall, it was chosen for winter ❄️ Olympics. Sounds like they are taking care very well of tourists and visitors when it comes to food and transportation. I was always tempted by Japanese food since it’s known for its healthy tradition. These images with monkey mother and her children are very cute. They are so curious and friendly, but they are also very sneaky. I always wonder what are they thinking about us, humans. Well, you just gave me an answer. 😆 ...
Great post and amazing memories 📝 !

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They are very very sneaky...LOL. I saw one holding and looking at a mobile phone...looked like a Galaxy Note something....then a few minutes later, I heard someone looking for their phone....LOL. Gotta watch them with every eye available :) Have an awesome weekend!

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Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Japan is a country with a distinctive system, beautiful nature and distinctive architecture. On this subject, we will show you pictures of daily life in Japan taken by the photographer Takashi Yasui.

The photographer "Takashi Yasui" targeted the corridors and streets in the photographs he took of his characteristic of other countries and cities, you can see the characteristics of Japan in the following pictures.

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I love how everyone pitches in to take care of nature there. This photographer is legendary. Thanks for coming by and have an incredible weekend.

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Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

As culture and customs differ countries , it’s only natural that something might seem perfectly normal in one place and absolutely strange in another. A lot of travellers like me come to experience the full extent of cultural differences when being an actual part of Japanese life . Everyone always ask me why do I go back to Japan every year but once u travelled there , it’s like addictions wanting to go back . I’ve compiled the most interesting and shocking points about Japan

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Totally agree that Japan is an interesting and exciting country. Nature is beautiful and the people know great health. I always bring back great knowledge from there and hope to bump into there one year soon :) Have an unforgettable weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
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wow sir its a amazing place, i wanna visit this place with my all family but some problem face me now..

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The people there are also awesome. Hope you have an amazing weekend with great luck on your side.

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Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Awesome photo,Nature,Man,Monkey,snow.
I knew something about JAPAN reading by your post.
Thank You for sharing this post. @adsactly

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So happy to see you enjoyed it and hope you have a lovely weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

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Thanks For you invitation.

Japan is an amazing country in various ways ! The culture, the food, and Last but not least: the Respect ! The first day I was so tired and I forgot my backpack on the Train platform with all my money, passport, computer inside... And the Train could not stop before 1 hour ! I was so in deep shit.. but a Japanese woman told me not to worry, that she was sure that nobody would dare to touch it ! And guess what, I came back 2 hours later, it was still there. %#? bless this country !
I live in Bangladesh and can assure you there is no way it could end up well in my country...

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That's really great about the respect thing and impressed me also. The high regards they hold for themselves and the people next to them is quite inspiring. Thanks for coming by and have a great weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

The monkey is so cute, nice shot!

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Thanks a billion, glad you like it :)

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

I wish I can travel to Japan where I would experience the same thing..

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I hope the world of crypto and Steemit allows us all to visit each other's countries soon :) Have an excellent weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

this is simply a wonder on earth, a little piece of paradise

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The people there also made the trip legendary. Love them out there. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Kamikochi is a popular resort area in the Japan Alps, with options for camping or staying at a mountain lodge. There's a pleasant riverside path as well as more challenging trails which head into the mountains. Kamikochi is definitely one of the prime spots in JP Alps, amongst others, not far away from Koyasan in Kumano Kodo you may consider World heritage Nachi Taisha n waterfall.

There are many nice places to visit and stay in north Japan Alps area between Takayama and Matsumoto in addition to Kamikochi. Kamikochi is the most popular, but generally the hotels are relatively expensive. There are nice Onsen Ryokans and the Shin-hotaka Ropeway to enjoy the great views of the Alps in Okuhida Onsen (Hirayu Onsen and Shin-hotaka Onsen). Mt. Norikura is a beautiful mountain and you can go by bus to the 2,700 meter high bus center from where you can climb to the 3,000 meter high mountain top in just one hour. There are many lodges and pensions at Norikura Kogen (highlands) and Shirahone Onsen. It's good to use this pass of Takayama-based Nohi bus and Matsumoto-based Alpico bus to enjoy your trip from Kanazawa - Shirakawago - Takayama - Okuhida Onsen - Shin-hotaka Ropeway - Mt. Norikura - Kamikochi - Matsumoto.

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Would love to check some of those places in the green season too. Especially Nachi Taisha Waterfall. I can imagine how beautiful it must be there camping and hiking during the green season with the hot air ballon festival happening. Thanks for coming by and hope you have a magnificent weekend!

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Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Hi I'm tarokichi.
It's so beautiful picture. snow and monkey!

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Snow & monkeys, perfect combination! LOL

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Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Overall Japan is best country for travel

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That unlimited Shinkansen for tourists is priceless. They are very accommodating to tourists indeed :)

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Hey thats really cute. I love this photo :)
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I love monkeys and those look really cute with a lovely color.
It is an amazing place and lovely photos :) Enjoy your time!

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Only the photo is cute because that monkey was not playing around...LOL. He really wanted that hat :)

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Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

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Ahhhh now I got it! They are really like small Babies and cute :)

That's really cool

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It was a great trip. Made some great monkey friends :)

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Wow.... I would love to visit Japan one day.. I have always loved the culture, so if I can ever afford to go I'm going. One of my bucket list is to physically see Mount Fugi.

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You would love the history of the culture... I could stay there for months studying each prefecture. Thanks for stopping by and have an incredible weekend!

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Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Resteemit done sir

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Thanks a million!

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I loved this place with everything, and I liked the wonderful pictures, thank you for sharing with us

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Happy to see you liked it and have a superb weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

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I love and wish that it is a great honor for me thank you

Nice recipe

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Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Nice recipe bro.

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"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

What a wonderful report about a magical place!

I'm no skier, and really don't like the cold. But I would pretend to be a skier and brave the cold for a look at the Snow Monkeys. That would be magical for me, as I'm sure it was for you.

Thanks for a truly wonderful post.

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The snow wasn't that bad but for some reason, Hiroshima was like breathing in crisp ice. The Snow Monkey Park was pretty brisk though. And as luck would have it, the wind was super blowing while I was there...LOL. Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

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All of the photography so beautyful , i hope your travel was enjoyble , great job .

Your post is always different i follow your blog everytime , your post is so helpful . I always inspire of your post on my steem work . Thank you for sharing @adsactly

Follow my blog @powerupme

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Thanks for the kind words and hope you have an excellent weekend!

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This pictures made me think how much I want tovisit Japan :( I hope one day I can take this kind of pictures myself.

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I hope to one day be watching your vlog about traveling :) Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome weekend!

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Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

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Thank you (/'-')/

thanks for the information !!!

I like it

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Thanks a million!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

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Great post, really inspiring

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Thanks a million!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Great travel report.. Thanks for the insight

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Happy to see you enjoyed it :) Thanks for coming by and have an excellent weekend!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Really want to visit these beautiful places

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I hope crypto and Steemit allows us to all visit each other's countries one day soon :)

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Japan is one of the most famous country in the world because of their technology and also tourism. I think that places was so perfect for the family such summer in my country, maybe someday i will go there with my family or friend.. thank you for dropping @adsactly

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Yeah, the technologies are amazing. This trip I was also in Tokyo and saw a real life driveable Transformer-like car at a robot expo. Crazy! Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.

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The view is so relaxing though its winter, its a good time to play with snowballs. The place and food is awesome!

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Snowballs and snowboards! All I need for the winter..LOL

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goods

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Thanks a billion!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
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@adsactly sir THANKS for shear you travel experience with us I hope you had great time there

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Super glad to see you enjoyed it :) Have a marvelous weekend!

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Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Like Post.JPG

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Thanks a trillion!

"Appreciate you coming with us on our travels..."
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Awesome review of the Japanese Alps. The place is so beautiful @stewsak. I really appreciate the share of such an amazing place. Way to go @adsactly. What a wonderful trip it must have been. But, having said that, myself being from Southern California, and myself being a Child of the Sun. I may not be able to handle the cold very well. Although I would very much like to try one day.

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You would do fine in the snow Brother Rubio!

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Snow skiing best sports in winter. Also the mountain is the best place to shoot pictures.

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Hakuba was awesome for skiing. Next time I'm on that mountain, I'll bring a go pro for recording the top :)

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Perfect travel your explanation is Awsome buddy ...

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Thanks a million, glad you enjoyed it :)

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Congratulations @adsactly!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 9 with $ 475,16

@adsactly very intresting blog, though it is very cold for me, but I liked that you travelled as a family, it had human warm, the children won´t foget that trip please keep doing it as a family ad will become a family tradition

I can only think about Japan and its meals.