Skiing In Japan

Japan has some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world. Here’s a list of six resorts you absolutely have to check out on your next winter trip to Japan.

Asahidake, Hokkaido

Price for an adult day pass: 4,000 Yen, or about 39 USD

Average annual snowfall: 14m

Open: December 1 to May 6

Number of runs: 4

Total number of lifts: 1

Asahidake is essentially a backcountry ski area that has the luxury of being serviced by a cable car. As such, it’s a haven for all powder fiends — perhaps the best powder in all of Japan. This is probably not the best place for beginner skiers.

Kiroro Snow World, Hokkaido

Price for an adult day pass: 5,000 Yen, or about 49 USD

Average annual snowfall: 13m

Resort elevation: 234m – 1180m

Open: November 23 to April 6

Number of runs: 21

Kiroro’s biggest draw is how uncrowded it is. The snow is still great, and you can get incredible off-course tree runs, but the resort doesn’t draw in as much of a crowd as others on this list, making it a nice place for beginners to learn on uncrowded groomed runs, as well as the more experienced who can venture off the main runs into the untouched powder.

Hakkoda Ski Resort, Honshu

Price for an adult day pass: 3,000 Yen, or about 29 USD

Resort elevation: 658m – 1324m

Open: Early December to mid May

Total number of lifts: 3

Similar to Asahidake, this is not your typical resort. Hakkoda is essentially a backcountry area with untouched powder that’s accessible by a few lifts. If you want to beat the crowds and get into some real powder, this is the place to go.

Niseko Village Ski Resort, Hokkaido

Price for an adult day pass: 5,000 Yen, or about 49 USD

Average annual snowfall: 16m

Open: December 1 to April 5

Unlike a couple of the other resorts on this list, Niseko is not the place to escape the crowds as it’s probably the most well known ski resort in Japan to international travellers. The reason Niseko is so popular is because it has something for everyone from well groomed tracks for beginners to alpine and tree runs to great off-course powder.

Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, Honshu

Price for a day pass: 4,600 Yen, or about 45 USD

Average annual snowfall: 10m

Resort elevation: 565m – 1,650m

Open: Not specified to early May

Number of runs: 36

Total number of lifts: 21

Located in Nagano, Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort is considered by some to be the birthplace of skiing in Japan. It’s a relatively large resort with steep tree skiing and plenty of variety for all levels of skiers.

Rusutsu Resort, Hokkaido

Price for a day pass: 5,500 Yen, or about 54 USD

Average annual snowfall: 13m

Resort elevation: 400m – 994m

Open: Late November to early April

Number of runs: 37

Total number of lifts: 18

Rusutsu Resort has some of the best powder and tree skiing to be found anywhere in the world. The groomed runs for beginners, and especially intermediate skiers, are also fantastic. All the runs are incredibly accessible from the lifts as well, even the tree lined off-course runs.

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