Furano is situated in Hokkaido`s beautiful Daisetsu-zan National Park. The ski resort with over 950 vertical meters of skiing is one of Japan`s biggest and most famous resorts. Skiing Furano is spectacular, with virtually every run giving you great views of the peak of Mt Furano and the summits of Hokkaido`s highest mountains.
Search Hakuba accommodation, hotel deals, winter specials, Hakuba lift passes and ski packages now. Ski Hakuba 47, Hakuba Cortina, Goryu, Happo One and more. Call the Hakuba ski holiday experts on 1300697669.
Myoko Kogen ski resort is located one hour north of Nagano Japan in the Niigata prefecture. Founded in the 1930’s Myoko Kogen ski resort is claimed to be the oldest ski locations in Japan and is made up of nine mountains with three distinctive areas.
There is something for everyone at Mt Naeba, which combines the Naeba and Kagura Ski Areas to form a comprehensive winter resort located just two hours from Tokyo. Renowned for superb snow conditions and extensive family-friendly facilities, this is a truly convenient destination for outstanding skiing, snowboarding, sledding and other winter activities.
Niseko is regarded as one of the world's best ski resorts and is an extremely popular destination for Australians. Niseko has been voted Japan's #1 ski resort multiple times, and it's well-deserved. Renowned for some of the driest, lightest powder in the world, Niseko offers an unforgettable experience for all levels of skiers and snowboarders.
Nozawa Onsen is one of the classic ski resorts in Japan that has expanded over a 70 year period into one of the largest ski areas in the country servicing more than 50 kilometres of trails.
Rusutsu is one of Japan’s most popular resorts all the year round. If you don’t like sharing when it comes to untracked powder then Rusutsu is the place for you. The main advantage Rusutsu has over other resorts in Hokkaido is the accessibility of the tree runs and back country.
Shiga Kogen is a cosy ski resort nestled in the heart of the Joshinetsu National Park in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Famous for its grand scale, ranging ski terrain, amazing panoramic views, and powder quality snow.
Tomamu is situated in central Hokkaido and while it may not receive as much snow as coastal destinations like Niseko it’s snow quality is better and there are very few people their to track it out, the end result is you can still find fresh pristine powder a week after a storm.
Why People Choose to Ski in Japan
An increasingly popular destination for Australian skiers and snowboarders, Japan offers incredible powder snow conditions, warm hospitality, cultural experiences, and high-tech wonders. Known specifically in the ski community for #JaPOW (the low-humidity powder snow), Japan's ski resorts are a powder-lover's dream. Japan is Asia's premier ski destination and attracts visitors from across the globe to experience the float and face shots provided by the famous powder snow.
Stretching along the east coast of China, Korea, and Russia, Japan's islands offer everything from tropical oases in Okinawa to winter wonderlands in the north on Hokkaido. Compared to mountains across Europe, the USA, and Canada, Japan's mountain ranges are relatively low in altitude. The magic and volume of Japan's light, dry powder snow come from the weather patterns that deliver copious amounts of snowfall from the north to the middle of Honshu. Winds cross over the cold, dry expanse of Russia and China, moisture is picked up crossing the Sea of Japan, and as these clouds hit land – Japan – they dump light, dry, fluffy snow. Snow blankets the entire island of Hokkaido throughout the winter, and it is not uncommon to get snow down to sea level on the mainland, even in Tokyo!
Where to Ski in Japan
In total, the archipelago of Japan is made up of over 6,800 islands, but when you are talking about skiing, you are generally focusing on Hokkaido and Honshu. Let's start at the top, on the north island of Hokkaido. Accessible via New Chitose Airport, Hokkaido is home to Japan's most famous ski resort, Niseko. Niseko offers the largest bed base, with options for everyone from backpackers and hostels, moderate hotels, and self-contained apartments; through to luxury hotels and condos offering full-service perks such as ski valets. Niseko has plenty of delicious restaurants, bars, and cafes which can be found buried under meters of snow.
The second largest ski resort in Hokkaido is Furano Ski Resort, which is fast becoming one of the most popular ski destinations for Australians who want to experience JaPOW but avoid the crowds that frequent Niseko. Furano is an excellent all-round ski destination suitable for all levels of experience with long, wide groomed runs and fast lifts. Family-friendly activities include bowling, snow rafting & banana boats, snowmobiles, snowshoeing, and sledding.
Only an hour from Furano is Tomamu Ski Resort, which offers a purpose-built ski resort, modern western-style facilities, and a plethora of family-friendly winter activities to enjoy. An incredible value for money makes the ski resort, the Tomamu Ice Village, and multi-million-dollar Mina Mina Beach will ensure that you have a memorable and unique holiday experience.
Hokkaido is also home to smaller ski resorts like Rusutsu Ski Resort, which has great off-piste and tree skiing, and Kiroro Ski Resort, home to 23 runs catering to all levels of experience. Rusutsu has an excellent selection of luxury ski-in, ski-out accommodations available, and both of these resorts are growing in popularity each year.
Over on the mainland of Honshu are the Japanese Alps. The southern region cuts through the Nagano and Niigata prefectures and boasts a variety of ski resorts tucked away on different aspects of the mountains. Larger resorts typically offer multi-resort lift passes, providing guests the opportunity and flexibility to explore the region. Hakuba is the most popular ski area in the region, with a wide offering of hotels, condos, and chalets to stay in. Hakuba has 10 resorts on one lift pass, with a great variety of terrain to choose from. Wander the streets of Happo village and explore the local food and beverage choices. Nightlife in Hakuba is also lively, and there are plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained on and off the slopes.
Only a few hours away, Shiga Kogen first hit the radar for international skiers and snowboarders in 1998 during the Nagano Winter Olympics. Boasting 19 ski areas and over 600 hectares of on-piste terrain, it has been increasing in popularity for Australians in the last few years. Sitting at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level, Shiga Kogen averages 10 meters of snow every winter, and is a powder hound's dream!
About 2 hours north of Tokyo on the bullet train is the region of Tohoku. The region is home to more local resorts such as Shizukuishi and the excellent family-friendly Appi Ski Resort. Appi has attracted a great number of international ski instructors and is an excellent place to learn to ski or snowboard. These ski resorts were relatively unknown on the international ski scene until recently and aren't yet crowded like Niseko and Hakuba – get in before everyone else does!
Other popular ski resorts to explore in Honshu include Madarao, which offers a quiet base to access Nagano's ski slopes such as Myoko Kogen, and the luxury ski resort Lotte Arai. Finally, Nozawa Onsen is a hot springs and ski resort with beautiful Japanese architecture and a more authentic cultural experience.
Things to do in Japan during Winter
Off the slopes, one incredible feature is Japan's natural hot springs, with mineral-rich waters warmed to varying temperatures, the experience of bathing in onsen pairs perfectly with skiing and snowboarding! Let the baths soothe your sore muscles while the mineral water beautifies and softens your skin. Traditionally, this is experienced fully undressed in gender-segregated public baths, but you'll find varying experiences and one you're comfortable with in the ski resorts. Other cool experiences to tick off while you are in Japan include riding the bullet trains, which operate at speeds over 300 km/h. Disney lovers may want to include a trip to Disneyland Tokyo. If you haven't done Karaoke, have you even been to Japan? Visit one of the many unique cafes and themed restaurants such as the Owl Café, Hedgehog Café, or Robot Restaurant. If you can spend a few extra days in Japan, we recommend taking in the contrasting cities of Tokyo and Kyoto. Incredibly, new and old coexist beautifully in Japan, with castles, temples, and shrines all over the cities, villages, and mountains. Your cultural experience will be intertwined with the beautiful Japanese people and their incredible food. From sashimi to ramen, fine dining to convenience store, devour it all! Stock up on snacks, sweets, and treats before returning home – this is a cultural experience of its own, of course – bringing local specialty treats and produce home as gifts to loved ones is called omiyage, which we highly recommend observing. Other cultural experiences you may like to include are a traditional tea ceremony, a visit to one of many ancient castles and beautiful Japanese gardens, or experience a Geisha or drumming show. No matter where you choose to go in Japan, you will no doubt be humbled by the hospitality of its people and their culture of respect.
Getting Around Japan
For those who want to get straight to the snow, shuttles, transfers, and trains are all available to suit your destination, budget, and time