Skiing is a booming sport in Japan and the island of Hokkaido, with its rugged mountainous terrain and abundant snowfall, is fast becoming the Asian answer to the Alps Europe.
GV Snow on buildings (3 shots)
GV Department store (4 shots)
CU INT Store with skis for sale (8 shots)
CU Skiers out of tour bus onto ski slope (4 shots)
GV Skiers onto ski-lifts (3 shots)
GV People skiing (3 shots)
GV Group ski lessons in progress (9 shots)
Initials BB/0235 MF/AH/BB/0130
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Background: Skiing is a booming sport in Japan and the island of Hokkaido, with its rugged mountainous terrain and abundant snowfall, is fast becoming the Asian answer to the Alps Europe.
Although skiing is not new to Japan the sport has been widely popularised by the 1972 Winter Olympics, which were held in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido. Since then an average of 8 million visitors, mostly Japanese from the south, have been arriving in Japan's northernmost island between January and March each year.
The rising popularity of skiing in Japan has spawned a major new industry. Japanese-made ski equipment and clothes are now sold alongside imported items in the country's sports shops and department stores.
But despite efforts to promote the sport among foreign tourists, skiing in Japan has so far been mainly for the Japanese. If the foreign tourist is prepared to live in a Japanese-style inn, room and board usually costs as little as six U.S. dollars (GBP3.00 sterling) per night, but the cost of western-style accommodation at one of Japan's 40 ski resorts can be as high as 50 U.S. dollars (GBP25.00 sterling) per night.
SYNOPSIS: This is the town of Sapporo -- capital of Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido -- Asia's answer to the Alps of Europe. The Winter Olympics were held in Sapporo in nineteen-seventy-two and since then skiing has been Japan's fastest-growing sport. The mountainous terrain of Hokkaido and its abundant snowfall make it an ideal location.
An average of eight million visitors, mostly Japanese from the south, have been arriving in Hokkaido between January and march since the Olympics. This rise in the popularity of skiing has spawned a major new industry...Japanese-made ski equipment and clothes are now sold alongside imported items in the country's sports shops.
Flights leave Tokyo's Heneda airport for Sapporo every hour of the day during the peak skiing season in February -- there are package tours of course and if you want to live Japanese-style, accommodation can cost as little as three pounds sterling per day for room and board. While purists still prefer the Alpine slopes of Europe for their skiing holidays the facilities and proximity of Japan are steadily attracting enthusiasts from other parts of Asia. but despite efforts to promote the sport among foreign tourists, skiing in Japan is still mainly for the Japanese.
Western-style accommodation can cost as much as twenty-five pounds sterling per day and all of the sixty hotels in Hokkaido are booked solid in the peak season ... some of the since the summer.
Over three million people are expected to visit Sapporo in February this year -- when the annual Snow Festival coincides with the Lunar New Year holidays.