PM Lee Hsien Loong runs into Singaporeans while holidaying in Japan

PHOTO: Facebook/Lee Hsien Loong

SINGAPORE - Even on holiday in wintry Japan, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong found himself running into Singaporeans.

"It seems that anywhere I go, Singaporeans aren't too far away!" he quipped in a Facebook post on Dec 24.

It seems that anywhere I go, Singaporeans aren’t too far away! Pleasantly surprised to come across our National Boys...

Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Friday, December 23, 2016

PM Lee, who is on leave till Dec 31, came across athletes from the Singapore Gymnastics team who were training in Tsubame-Sanjo, an area in Japan's Niigata prefecture known for its metalwork and production of craftsmen's tools.

The gymnasts' Japanese coach had taken them to his hometown to train together with the local gymnasts, wrote PM Lee.

"Hope both sides are enjoying the experience, and making friends," he added.

Read also: 5 destinations to explore in Japan besides Tokyo

Mr Lee, who has been travelling around Japan to areas including Nagano and Niigata, has been posting photos from his trip on his Facebook page.

He said he enjoyed a "white Christmas weekend" in the snowy terrain, taking a hike in Bijin Bayashi Forest, and visiting the snow-flecked Jigokudani Monkey Park, where he watched wild Japanese macaques soaking in hot springs.

Spotted lots of happy kids at the mall in Karuizawa, and managed to catch a few in action. It was fun to do people watching and street photography, without being noticed or recognised! (Photos by me)

Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

"They mostly ignore human visitors, but try Googling 'snow monkey cellphone' to see what can happen if you get too close," he wrote.

Besides Japan's landscapes, Mr Lee also captured photos of its people, such as one of children playing at a mall in Karuizawa, a resort town in the mountains near Nagano.

He wrote: "It was fun to do people watching and street photography without being noticed or recognised!"

Rounding off my Japan trip with pleasant hikes in Karuizawa, a mountain town about an hour away from Tokyo by the...

Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday, December 29, 2016

This article was first published on Dec 29, 2016.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.