Husbands Justin and Greg are set to host Japan’s first gay ski week in March, 2019… and it’s all happening because of their love of skiing and each other.
“We got married in Hakuba in a mountain-side chapel in March. Everyone was dressed in traditional Japanese kimonos, which was fun and memorable,” says Justin. “It was not only the first foreign wedding in Hakuba but also the first gay wedding.”
“The wedding was such a big hit with friends that many requested we do it again! So the idea of a gay ski week was born.”
The couple, a Canadian and an Australian, relocated to Japan nine years ago to pursue their love of skiing. They opened the Penke Panke Lodge and then the Penke Bar And Bistro as the business grew.
“We host visitors from all over the world who come to the Japanese Alps for skiing, onsens (hot springs), historic sites, cherry blossoms, amazing Japanese food and culture,” says Justin.
Gay Ski Week Hakuba will be an intimate event where skiers and snowboards can experience the best skiing along with fully hosted nights in a safe environment. Imagine coming off the slopes, enjoying a mulled wine by the fire pit, dinner at a local Japanese restaurants and then hitting the hot-springs with a bunch of butt-naked fellow snow bunnies.
Japan is increasingly encouraging LGBT visitors, and skiing in Japan is incredibly affordable with lift tickets in March at around $US50, and accommodation starting from $US60 per person, per night. With some of the best skiing in the world, it’s the perfect place to learn.
What: Gay Ski Week, Hakuba
Where: Hakuba, Japan
When: March 8 to 17, 2019