Snow-hit tourist sites try to regroup

Kyodo

A week after record snow hit the Kanto-Koshin region for the second time within the month, tourist destinations in Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures are trying to lure back visitors after their numbers plunged due to road closures.

Nagano Prefecture, flooded with queries regarding the accessibility of ski resorts, started Thursday providing traffic information to its destinations. “The snow is really good in Shinshu,” the website says.

The prefecture and its tourism association also provide tourists with information using social-networking services like Twitter and Facebook.

The areas most affected by heavy snow include the city of Karuizawa, where ski resorts were temporarily closed. In other tourist destinations, the number of visitors dropped by half because the traffic was blocked.

In Yamanashi Prefecture, which is still partly buried in snow, the famed Fuji-Q Highland amusement park in the city of Fujiyoshida opened Wednesday, but some of the park’s popular outdoor attractions, including the Fujiyama roller coaster, remained closed.

Takashi Suzuki, manager of the nearby Fuji Yamanakako Hotel, said although the snow has been removed, they have faced more than 30 cancellations following the Feb. 14 blizzard.