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Top Places to Ski and Snowboard in Japan

OUR FAVOURITES

Niseko Ski Resort - Hokkaido

Happo One Snow Resort - Hakuba

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort - Nagano

Furano Ski Resort – Hokkaido

Japan is home to some of the most magnificent ski resorts to ski and snowboard in the world. With over 500 ski resorts and hosting two Winter Olympic Games, Japan is one to put on your bucket list for your next snow season trip. The conditions during the peak winter season bring in the best pure snow you'll ski on. Get ready to book a flight, pack a bag, and head to one of our favourite ski resorts in Japan.

 Niseko Ski Resort – Hokkaido

Niseko is Japan's most famous ski resort. With its vast terrain, unbeatable powder, and endless riding opportunities, Niseko should be on the top of your list. The resort is famous for many international travellers as they cater for English speakers better than any other ski resort in the region while further providing western meals at restaurants.

 

Located southwest of Sapporo, it consists of 47 kilometers of slopes with one of the highest average snowfalls in Japan at over 15 meters. With Niseko offering deep, high-quality powder all season long, it's a no-brainer why the resort is everyone's favourite. The long slopes and soft snow provide the perfect place for families, beginners, and intermediates.

 

The ski resort has a peak elevation of 1,308, with picturesque views right by the slopes. The base village boasts insane views of Mount Yotei, with ski-in-ski-out accommodation and direct access to the slopes and lifts. Niseko restaurants and après scene is like no other, with a vibrant nightlife, the village is always buzzing and full of life. Niseko ski resort is one of the top places to visit, and although it comes at a price, it is more than worth it.

 

 

Happo One Snow Resort - Hakuba

Happo One Snow Resort is recognised as a popular mountain to ski and snowboard in Japan. Happo One hosted the winter Olympic Winter Games in 1998 due to its pristine snow conditions and beautiful village. The resort is higher than others in Japan, providing the mountain with super dry powder snow conditions and consistent snowfall.

 

Happo One is perfect for intermediate riders, with 50% of their terrain suitable for riders with some experience. It also caters to the experienced with steep runs, ungroomed powder terrain, and a terrain park. Beginners can also experience everything Happo One offers, particularly near the Sakka region, including specific novice ski areas, tubing courses, trampolines, and a children's park. However, the mountain is more suitable for intermediate and advanced riders.

 

There are various places to eat on the mountain and off at Happo One Resort, providing bars and restaurants to soak up the winter wonderland experience after your day riding the slopes. You'll find both Western dining and traditional Japanese Izakaya within their restaurants. Incredible mountain range views surround Happo One Resort, and in the foreground, you will see Asama volcano and Yatsugatake mountain ranges.

 

 

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort - Nagano

Nozawa Onsen has grown in popularity over recent years, and it offers more than just a snow tip – the village is immersed in authentic Japanese culture. Nozawa Onsen is famous for its hot springs, incorporating them into village activities for you to enjoy; they have around 13 that can be used free of charge. Steam from the natural hot springs rises everywhere amongst cobblestone buildings and the traditional ryokan inns and shops.

 

The resort is located in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture, ideal for beginners and intermediate riders making up the majority of their terrain. However, around 30% of the runs are classified as expert, allowing advanced riders to enjoy what Nozawa Onsen offers.

 

There are two main areas for accommodation, though neither offers the ideal location for ski-in-ski-out availability to the slopes and centre of the town, you have to pick one over the other. Restaurants provide delicious traditional Japanese cuisine throughout the village, known for their incredible après-scene and nightlife and their renowned fire festival. You will also find traditional architecture with temples, shrines, and other cultural experiences that make Nozawa Onsen your favourite place to visit in Japan to snow ski and snowboard.

 

 

Furano Ski Resort – Hokkaido

Furano Ski Resort is located in the middle of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. It comprises two zones, the Kitanomine zone, and the Furano zone, only a few minutes shuttle bus away from each other. The ski resort is vastly popular and caters well to international travellers without losing its authentic Japanese culture.

 

You can't compare Furano's snow to any other ski resort in the area. The location allows heavy snow dumps and pristine snow conditions throughout the season, with annual average snowfall at 9 meters, the fresh powder is hard to beat. Furano slopes cater to all ability levels making it an accessible and enjoyable mountain for everyone to enjoy. Night skiing in Furano is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Ride down the slopes until 8 pm and enjoy the views of the nearby town lit up while carving under bright lights. Then head down to the apres scene and soak up the buzzing atmosphere while devouring delicious Japanese and western food.

 

Furano Ski Resort provides English-speaking ski instructors so you can learn how to be confident in the mountains before heading out there yourself. They can also show you the secret spots and their favourite slopes, so you waste no time on the mountain. Kojima Academy Kids Park is a great way for kids to spend their day, with indoor and outdoor play areas at the adventure centre and other activities for them to get involved in, it's the best way to keep them entertained.

 

 


Japan is nothing short of spectacular when it comes to skiing and boarding. If you're planning to head there, drop into Auski, pick up the ultimate gear that will keep you warm and dry on Japan's slopes, and speak to some of our team that has experienced Japan's winter wonderland. If you liked this blog, check out our top ski resorts in Canada for more insight into the slopes around the world.


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