Despite being obsessed with Japan, my idea of the country was always limited to neon lights, quirky establishments, polite people and the revered Mount Fuji. However, it was only while planning a month-long trip to my favourite place in the world that I chanced upon the Japanese Alps. Yes! The central island of Honshu has several long stretches of Alpine peaks that bisect its dagger-like shape. I was intrigued and unlike most travellers, I decided to spend a week in the sublime mountain towns of Hakuba and Matsumoto, both of which are located in the Nagano Prefecture. Considering the beautiful memories that I brought back home from these resorts, I can say with a lot of confidence that the Japanese Alps are as glorious, if not better than their European counterparts.