Niseko - the Premier Hokkaido Ski Resort
Niseko - the Premier Hokkaido Ski Resort
Rusutsu - Great Tree Skiing in Japan
Rusutsu - Great Tree Skiing in Japan
Yuzawa: only 75-80 mins on the bullet train from Tokyo
Yuzawa: only 75-80 mins on the bullet train from Tokyo
Popular Japan Ski Resort - Hakuba
Popular Japan Ski Resort - Hakuba
Furano Central Hokkaido
Furano Central Hokkaido
Kurodake - Steep & Deep
Kurodake - Steep & Deep
Ski Japan for the Amazing Powder
Ski Japan for the Amazing Powder
Shiga Kogen near Nagano
Shiga Kogen near Nagano
Asahidake - Off-Piste Powder Skiing Japan
Asahidake - Off-Piste Powder Skiing Japan
Tomamu Hokkaido - The Secret Stash
Tomamu Hokkaido - The Secret Stash
Asahikawa - Central Hokkaido
Asahikawa - Central Hokkaido
Appi Kogen - A Fantastic Family Resort
Appi Kogen - A Fantastic Family Resort
Myoko Kogen - For Families & Powder Hounds
Myoko Kogen - For Families & Powder Hounds
Nozawa Onsen - A True Taste of Japan
Nozawa Onsen - A True Taste of Japan
Zao Onsen - Fabulous Cultural Experience
Zao Onsen - Fabulous Cultural Experience
Yudanaka: close to various ski resorts and great cultural experiences
Yudanaka: close to various ski resorts and great cultural experiences
Japan Heli Skiing Near Niseko
Japan Heli Skiing Near Niseko
Japan Powder: even more delicious than ramen and sushi
Japan Powder: even more delicious than ramen and sushi
Shibu Onsen: close to Shiga Kogen and snow monkeys, great cultural experiences
Shibu Onsen: close to Shiga Kogen and snow monkeys, great cultural experiences
Japanese snow monkeys
Japanese snow monkeys

Japan

Skiing in Japan

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 get dumped with an average of 10 to 18 metres of snow per season! If you are a bit of a powder hound or wanna-be powderhound, skiing in Japan should absolutely be up there on your bucket list.

Japan Ski Resorts

There are hundreds of ski resorts in Japan on the north island of Hokkaido and the main island of Honshu. Many of them fly under the radar of international skiers, but here are several well known Japan ski resorts.

Hokkaido - North Island
Niseko is a very popular Japanese ski resort and is famous for the big dumps of 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.

Furano (Hokkaido) is another large ski resort that is well known for the long groomed runs, the off-piste riding, and its family friendliness. It also makes a great base to visit other nearby ski areas.

Tomamu has plenty going for it including off-piste skiing, lots of family oriented activities, and good value considering the high quality accommodation and amenities.

Honshu - Main Island
Shiga Kogen and Hakuba (Honshu) are also sizeable and great for on-piste skiing and snowboarding for beginners through to advanced riders. Hakuba also has a decent nightlife and caters well to English speaking visitors.

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.

Myoko Kogen is a group of ski areas near Nagano. The main village, Akakura Onsen, has retained plenty of its “Japanese-ness” but it also caters well to English speaking guests with child care and group ski and snowboard lessons in English.

Zao Onsen is very slowly growing in popularity with the westerners yet it still provides lots of opportunities for cultural and onsen (hot spring) immersion! It’s particularly ideal for intermediates, and other pros include the famous snow monsters.

Or if you want ease of access from Tokyo, check out the Yuzawa ski resorts.

For powder hounds 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 many of the Tohoku ski resorts.

Japan skiing can be typically categorised as deep not steep, but if you’re looking to ski or snowboard steep pitches, there are some lift serviced backcountry-type ski areas that fit the bill. Examples include Tenjindaira and and Kurodake.

For more detail on deciding where to ski in Japan, we’ve compiled information on some of the differences between the Japan ski resorts.

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 rates highly in the quality stakes. Hokkaido skiing is particularly well known for the cold, dry, fluffy powder!

The Cost of Japan Skiing

Many people have the misconception that Japan is an expensive country to visit, and whilst that might have been true back in the “bubble era”, skiing in Japan is now very inexpensive compared to Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. As a general rule, lift tickets are significantly cheaper, some resorts have good budget accommodation options, and cheap meals are available.

Niseko tends to be the most expensive of the Japanese ski resorts, and resorts such as Appi Kogen and Kiroro can also hit the hip pocket. At the other end of the spectrum, there are many no-frills resorts where everything is dirt cheap!

With regards to accommodation, most ski resorts cater very well to middle-of-the-road budgets, whilst luxury accommodation or backpacker digs are somewhat more unique. See our where to ski in Japan page for information on which resorts have luxury or backpacker accommodation. And you can save if you travel during the shoulders of the Japan ski season.

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, 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.

However the best thing about Japan skiing or snowboarding is the dry dry powder. It’s ichiban! 

Japan Ski Tours

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Hokkaido Snow Tow DETAILS
HOSTED & SELF-GUIDED ADVENTURE
6 Nights | 7 Days | 5 Skiing | 5 Ski Areas
From price based on triple/quad-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,530
Book and pay deposit prior to Nov 30, 2016 and get 14.7% off advertised price
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Take the hassle out of organising your powder adventure to Hokkaido Japan next season by joining one of these great unguided tours. You still have the freedom to do your own thing at the ski areas but all of the logistics are taken care of.
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Hokkaido Storm Chaser DETAILS
GUIDED STORM CHASING SAFARI
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Areas
From price based on twin-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including 8% consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,610
Book and pay deposit prior to C.O.B. August 31st 2016 and get 10% off the advertised price.
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Chase the storms and access the deepest and best quality snow conditions on the day in the Niseko United area and Central Hokkaido's world famous deep dry powder.
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Frontier Explorer DETAILS
GUIDED SAFARI - NORTHERN HONSHU
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Areas + Cat Skiing
From price based on twin-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,610
Book and pay deposit prior to COB August 30 2016 and get 10% off the advertised price.
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are looking for an adventure away from the masses where you will experience Japanese culture, food & unlimited powder then this tour could be the one you are looking for. Chase the best snow on the day in the far northern parts of Honshu.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Japan here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Nagano Ski Buffet DETAILS
GUIDED SKI ADVENTURE (SKIERS ONLY)
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on quad-share room at Hostel Aibiya with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,241 USD 2,241
Book before June 30 and get 5% off displayed prices
Book by June 30 & get 5% off displayed prices
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Combine deep untracked powder skiing where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, traditional Japanese accommodation and authentic Japanese food, and you have the perfect Japanese ski adventure!
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Nagano Ski & Snowboard Progression DETAILS
SKI / SNOWBOARD GUIDED INSTRUCTION
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on quad-share dorm room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,241 USD 2,241
Book & pay deposit by June 30 & get 5% off advertised prices
Book by June 30 & get 5% off advertised prices
Ability: Intermediate to Strong Intermediate
Learn to ski and ride deep powder with more confidence or improve your on-piste technique whilst checking out some of Nagano's fabulous ski areas away from the masses of foreigners. In addition to the skiing and snowboarding, experience an area rich in culture and history.
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Nagano Beginner Packages DETAILS
BEGINNER HOSTED INSTRUCTION PACKAGES
3, 4, 5 or 6 Nights
From price based on 3-night twin/double-share package staying at Hostel Aibiya.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 675 USD 675
Book & pay deposit by June 30, 2017 and get 5% off advertised prices
Book by June 30 and get 5% off advertised prices
Ability: Beginner
This package is ideal for beginners (families, groups, couples and solos) who are looking to experience the great Japanese snow and culture, and have some support to learn to ski or snowboard. Packages include ski/snowboard rentals and lessons, and the opportunity to visit the snow monkeys.
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Japan here
Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours
Kiroro Guiding DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TRIPS IN/FROM KIRORO
Private (up to 7 guests) or mixed group
From price based on guided day tour in Kiroro (mixed group).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 135
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you're based in Kiroro, make the most of this powder laden resort by getting a guide to show you all the tastiest spots. Join a group for lift access backcountry riding or snowcat assisted BC touring, or private guiding is available for sidecountry & backcountry tours, or day trips to Niseko, Moiwa, Rusutsu, Teine..
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Mt Rishiri DETAILS
RISHIRI ISLAND BACKCOUNTRY TOURING
Private Customised Tour
From price based on twin/triple-share based on group of 5 (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
Enquire Enquire
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This CUSTOMISABLE backcountry guided ski/ split board tour heads to Rishiri Island, way up north off the NW coast of Hokkaido, where those famous weather patterns from Siberia bring loads of powder.
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See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Japan here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Alps to Coast Tour DETAILS
HAKUBA & MYOKO BC ADVENTURE
9 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin share room (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,691
Ability: Advanced to Expert
The HAKUBA ALPS are the ultimate when it comes to steep alpine terrain in Japan and the MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. This backcountry tour takes in the steep & deep alpine terrain of the Hakuba Valley and the deep POW around Myoko.
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Hakuba Powder Tour DETAILS
HAKUBA BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURE
9 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin share room (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,691
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Most people who visit Hakuba only ever drool at the possible backcountry endless lines from a distance. This sidecountry and backcountry tour is your chance to explore the steep & deep backcountry terrain of the Hakuba Valley.
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Hakuba Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TOURS from HAKUBA
For PRIVATE GROUPS of up to 5 people
From price based on Hakuba day tour, group of 5 (price displayed is per person however full tour price is 5 X that price).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 124
10% discount for tours Feb 12-18 & during March
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
If you are in the HAKUBA area, you can't go past a day or more of a guided ski or snowboarding adventure. The area (and also other nearby resorts) is huge and the best skiing is actually outside of the resort boundaries which should only be accesses with a guide. Tours are for PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 5 guests.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Japan here
Cat Skiing Tours
Shimamaki Snowcat Adventures DETAILS
GUIDED CAT SKIING ADVENTURE (2 or 4 days)
Stay in a Traditional Japanese Inn Inc All Meals
From price based on triple share 2-day package.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,305
Book by June 30 2016 and get 10% off advertised price
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This is the best Japan cat skiing! Departing from Niseko, the trip offers incredible snowcat accessed powder skiing & boarding, staying in a traditional coastal Japanese inn. Ride deep untracked powder all day, feast on Japanese cuisine and soak in the hotel's onsen in the evening.
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Chisenupuri Cat Skiing DETAILS
CAT SKIING NEAR NISEKO (1 day)
From price based on 1 day package per person.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 298
Ability: Strong Intermediate
The cat skiing near Niseko is at the former ski resort of Chisenupuri and is ideal for those learning to ski or snowboard in powder. For any apprentice powder hound heading to Niseko, Chisenupuri cat skiing is a lust-do! Finish the cat ski day with a soak in an amazing onsen.
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Niseko Cat Skiing DETAILS
NISEKO CAT SKIING | Single day, guided
From price based on per person with a minimum of 4 persons to operate. Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
Price p/p
USD 486
Ability: Advanced to Expert
A day of awesome guided cat skiing near Niseko in backcountry terrain with some steep lines, technical trees, and pillows and mushrooms. The snowcat skiing is ideal for those craving bottomless untracked powder runs.
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Japan here