If you want to go skiing over President's Day weekend, which falls on the weekend of February 17 this year, it may very well be cheaper to go to Japan than it is to go to Aspen.
In fact, it's $6 cheaper, round-trip, to fly from LAX to Tokyo. Our dates: Friday to Tuesday for Aspen, Friday to Friday for Tokyo — because ain't nobody going to Japan for three days.
But we're talking about skiing.
Cheapest tickets at the moment from LA to Aspen for the holiday weekend are just under $700.
To Fukushima, they're more — around $1029 on ANA. (You can cut a sliver off that price by flying into Tokyo and taking a training to Fukishima — about $150 round-trip for less than two hours of your time.)
But once you get to Aspen, you are going to pay out the nose for everything. Fail to purchase your Aspen Snowmass lift ticket in advance and you'll pony up $145 for the privilege.
Let us contrast that to your experience in Fukushima. Where, it turns out, a local tourism initiative will offer foreigners free lift tickets to 22 ski resorts.
There is an asterisk: You need to be between the ages of 19 and 24.
For everyone else: It's $17 a day. Chances are, with a few healthy years in the workforce, you can cover it.
Book your tickets now, people.