Click here for Travel Moments and Photo Essays on Japan with kids from our community. An Archipelago of 6,852 islands, Japan is home to over 126 million...
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Hodding Carter said, “There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.”
Mark Twain, he reminded us,”Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
And we say, “Welcome to KidsOnBoard.net!”
KidsOnBoard.net is all about travelling with the family – the big kids, the small kids, and the babies. Sometimes with the grandparents and the whole extended horde too!
Editor’s note: If you are looking for an alternative to Niseko this ski season, check out Ling’s mini-guide on Skiing in Hakuba. Located in central Japan just five hours from Tokyo, it’s great skiing minus the crowds over at the popular Hokkaido resort. We think it looks beautiful, too!
Hakuba Valley is located within the Nagano prefecture, on the main island of Japan, Honshu. Hakuba’s claim to fame – the city hosted the Winter Olympics of 1998. The ski resorts in the area, as you can imagine, are some of the best anywhere in the world.
We’ve just learned skiing the previous winter, a couple months back (at Niseko, of Hokkaido fame). Keen to practice our newfound “skills”, we thought a March ski trip was in order – any excuse for a holiday really! The plan is to ski together, this time without the instructors.
With only a few days on hand, we decided to visit one of the resorts closer to Tokyo, instead of venturing to Hokkaido. After studying many ski maps – of nearby Nozawa Onsen, Zao Onsen, Gala Yuzawa, Shiga Kogen etc, we finally decided on the Hakuba Valley. With nine resorts in the valley, connected by free, frequent shuttle services, we figured we would be kept well entertained! And while we are no party animals, we wanted a “township” with choices of izakayas and eateries for the evenings – we didn’t want to be boxed up in an all-inclusive resort.
Hakuba Valley is not as commercialised or westernised as Niseko and Hirafu village. Though hardly a “secret” amongst skiers and snowboarders, Hakuba is considerably less crowded. Skiing in Hakuba with the kids was fantastic. The snow kept falling though it was already almost spring when we visited. The landscape was beautiful.
Photo taken at Hakuba 47, at the view point by the Restaurant Alps 360, near to the submit. We stuck to the green runs, and were able to ski top to bottom at some resorts. We identified three resorts with green runs that looked challenging enough, yet “doable”, and were not disappointed.
Evenings were spent soaking in our hotel’s mineral bath, before venturing out for dinner at one of the many restaurants in the valley.
All in all, it was a great decision and we had a lovely holiday. If you’re looking for a location for that annual ski vacation, or indeed to pick up skiing, we’d recommend skiing in Hakuba wholeheartedly.
Hakuba Valley has 9 ski resorts. We spent four days skiing at three of them.
Happo One, the flagship and biggest ski resort in the valley. The Sakka Beginner’s area, with it’s wide, gentle ski slopes, are perfect for warm ups and getting back our ski legs. My younger son was at first jittery, but after several runs up and down Sakka 2, he’d gained back his confidence. Happo One offers a “beginners pass” for unlimited day use of the Sakka area, and this is great value if you need a day to get back into the groove of things. Later that afternoon, we attempted the Kitano course, further up the slopes.
This was a relatively flat run, so much so that we found ourselves having to “walk” along several stretches. Read More
Editor’s note: Malaysia. A favourite destination we (Singaporeans!) just love.
Cheap shopping and affordable kids-friendly theme parks aside, the food up north is always THE draw. We round up THREE parents and quizzed them on their family’s favourite food destination in Malaysia. Read on and see what they have to share!
Contributed by: Mummy Ling. Part-time online bookseller; full-time Mum to two almost-tween boys; travel writer wannabe.
It’s touristy and always crowded. If you arrive on a Saturday afternoon without a reservation, it’s impossible to walk into one of the more popular Nonya restaurant for a meal. Queues form early at popular eateries. But Jonker Street of Melaka is still my family’s all time-fave food “pasar”.
An easy 3-hour (really, less) drive from Singapore, Melaka is this charming old town that we just adore.
We always make room for chicken and rice balls. There are three prominent eateries in the Jonker area – Chung Wah, Hoh Kee and Famosa. We are not fussy and will just go to whichever restaurant had a manageable queue when we arrive.
Or indeed, whichever eatery has chicken and rice balls left when we reached town – this dish sells out fast! Read More