Skiing in Japan – Overview
Ski Season is upon us, so it’s time for an overview of the fantastic skiing in Japan. The snow season in Japan is long and in some places begins as early as November and lasts into May, with the peak being in February. So, our advice? Bonzai!
Ski Japan for some of the best powder skiing in the world. The Japan snow is world renowned and most of the Japan ski resorts average 10 to 18 meters of snow per season! If you are a powder lover or just like good skiing conditions, Japan should absolutely be high on your bucket list.
Japan Ski Resorts
There are hundreds of ski resorts in Japan, located on either the north island of Hokkaido or the main island of Honshu. Many of them fly under the radar of international skiers, but here are a handful of well known Japan ski resorts.
Niseko is a very popular Japanese ski resort and is famous for excellent powder, the tree skiing, the vibrant nightlife, and the family friendliness. If you’re a little nervous about travelling in a foreign land where English isn’t spoken, Niseko may be a good choice – the Aussies have big presence here.
Furano (Hokkaido) is another large ski resort that is well known for the long groomed runs.
Shiga Kogen and Hakuba (Honshu) are also sizable and great for on-piste skiing and snowboarding for beginners through to advanced riders. Hakuba also has a decent nightlife and caters very well to English speaking visitors. Also it was home to the 1998 Winter Olympics so it has world class slopes and for the few who want to see something really impressive (and scary) take a look at the Big and “small” ski jump hills which are still in use today as Olympic hopefuls train for their dreams.
Nozawa Onsen offers some delightful Japanese culture. The town is authentic and endearing, and there are lots of onsens (hot springs) to soak in after a hard day on the slopes. The skiing and snowboarding is also very impressive.
For determined powder lovers who want to get off the beaten track to get away from the crowds, be assured of fresh tracks, or experience the real Japan, there are many other options. Examples include Asahidake and Kamui Ski Links in Hokkaido, or Hakkoda in Honshu.
Japan skiing can be typically categorised as deep not steep, but if you’re looking to ski or snowboard steep pitches, there are some resorts that will fit the bill. Examples include Sapporo Teine and Kurodake.
The Famous Japan Snow
Skiing or snowboarding in Japan provides for some amazing snow conditions! The weather systems that move across the Sea of Japan from Siberia are responsible for the massive amounts of snowfall. In addition to quantity, Japan snow also consistently rates exceptionally well in terms of snow quality. Hokkaido skiing is particularly well known for the cold, dry, fluffy stuff as are Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen in the Japan Alps of Nagano.
Why Go On a Japan Ski Holiday?
Some of the major benefits of skiing in Japan aren’t even related to the skiing and snowboarding. The people are friendly and hospitable, the food is fabulous, the culture fascinating and most of the resorts have great facilities and accommodation. When you go on a Japan ski holiday, you have the chance to immerse yourself in the wonderfully interesting Japanese culture and see things you just will never see or experience elsewhere. We highly recommend getting off the slopes and seeing more of the country, either at the start or end of your skiing, or even in the middle. There is lots to see and do and we are here to help.
Sapporo Snow Festival (Yuki Matsuri) – Hokkaido