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editor’s note

Making each issue of Lonely Planet magazine is always a fun and mindexpanding experience – this month it has also given me both the sweats and the chills! Within these pages the heat first gets dialled up in a seemingly improbable place, high in the Japan Alps (p68). In this home of hot-springdwelling snow monkeys and ancient traditions kept raucously alive, the annual Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival sees a towering bonfire lit in tribute to the spirits said to inhabit the surrounding mountains. A blend of sunshine and fearsome chillies keep the temperature rising as local chefs guide us through some of Mexico’s most authentic dishes (p80), while the photographer Charlotte Curd presents her take on Sydney’s beach culture (p100), right now basking in the height of summer. Back in the northern hemisphere, we whisk you through our favourite unusual winter experiences (p90), and head to a corner of the US state of Vermont where Christmas is equally a classic and a kitsch spectacle (p56). Which is my prompt, alongside the donkey in his Santa hat below, to offer you festive greetings and wish you the happiest year ahead. As always, thank you for joining us on (multiaward-winning) Lonely Planet magazine’s ever-evolving adventures.

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About Lonely Planet Traveller (UK)

In the January issue… Find your dream winter amid Yuletide cheer in Vermont, fire festivals in the snowbound Japan Alps and a selection of seasonal experiences out of the ordinary, from the Cairngorms to Lapland; also, head off on a Great Escape to the east of Germany, taking in Berlin, Dresden and classic scenery around both cities; take a food tour of Mexico through five great recipes; and much more