There is no sand or sea in sight, but the view is just as impressive as any beach.

Thanks to a dizzying range of local delicacies and hot springs loaded with cool features, Nagano Prefecture remains one of the best places to visit in Japan.

To top it all off, a winter ski resort has been recently converted into a summer recreational facility called the Hakuba Mountain Beach. Our Japanese-language reporter Momo Momomura found the name rather curious, as she recalled that Nagano Prefecture did not have any sea or ocean to speak of.

Nevertheless, the best way to find out was to head down herself.

▼ She had to take a gondola lift from the foot of the mountain in order to access the facility,

▼ Usually covered with snow throughout winter,
cable car riders are granted a stunning view at this time of the year.

▼ The cafeteria is open to all,
but access to the sauna and jacuzzi requires a fee of 1,500 yen (US$14.20).

Customers opting for the two-hour sauna or jacuzzi experience are provided with face towels, bath towels, and sandals. As only swimwear is allowed in the jacuzzi area, those who forget to bring their favorite swimsuits can rent from a selection of stylish Roxy pieces for 1,100 yen.

▼ Sauna hats to keep your head cool and bags
to store belongings are also available at the reception.

Donning beachwear and heading up to the top deck located 1,400 meters (4,593 feet) above sea level, Momomura finally realized why it was called the Mountain Beach.

▼ The hazy blue outline of the Japanese Alps under the summer sky
painted a perfect illusion of a gorgeous beach resort.

Scattered about were hammocks, umbrellas, cushions, and comfortable chairs that reminded her of spending countless hours staring at the beautiful sea when she was younger. A quick scan of her surroundings revealed several types of awesome-looking saunas available.

▼ There was a dry four-seat sauna set to 65 degrees Celsius (149 Fahrenheit)…

▼ …and a wet six-seat type at 45 degrees Celsius.

▼ Both repurposed gondola lifts boast fantastic views of the Japanese Alps.

▼ Another square tent sauna with a temperature of
60 to 70 degrees Celsius could hold up to five people.

This one had sauna stones, a bucket of water to mist up the interior, and an aromatic sauna whisk made of Japanese white birch. For those who don’t know, such whisks are soaked in warm water and slapped onto skin to release pleasant aromas, cleaning skin and promoting blood circulation.

▼ She gave herself a few pats for a luxurious massage .

▼ On the site were also fancy baths filled with water from the alps.

▼ A trip to a resort like this would not be complete without
getting a nice tan on comfy beach chairs.

▼ Gazing at the splendid view and enjoying the cool air of the mountains,
Momomura found it hard to stay awake as tension steadily oozed out of her body.

▼ And with a magnificent place like Hakuba Mountain Beach, who could blame her?

▼ Lunch consisted of delicious burgers and refreshing drinks.

Despite it being an outstanding trip by our reporter’s standards, there were some things she wanted to let readers know before embarking on this journey. For one, there is simply no hiding from the sun even though there are plenty of parasols around.

▼ So remember to bring some sunscreen.

Second, the tent sauna did not come with instructions of any sort, which means that newcomers to the scene would have little idea of how to use the sauna whisk.

▼ “What a fancy looking fly swatter!”

Even so, our reporter highly recommends Hakuba Mountain Beach to anyone hoping for a summer experience unlike any other, lasting until October 27 when the weather turns colder and snow begins to fall.

So go out there and snap photos of the Japanese Alps, take a dip in the pools, or simply chill out in the cafeteria. Once that’s done, remember to hunt for some quirky local specialties to take home with you.

Hakuba Mountain Beach / 白馬マウンテンビーチ
Address: Nagano Prefecture, Kitaazumi District, Hakuba, Hokujo
Open: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Until October 27)

Source: Hakuba Mountain Beach
Images: ©SoraNews24

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