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.

Lotte Arai Resort is a newly opened resort providing luxurious accommodation, exceptional facilities and amenities, plenty of kosher off-piste riding, and an abundance of snow. Not for ski bums, but rather the discerning powder hound (or those who just need some R&R in the onsens). Or good for a day trip from Myoko.

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 Japanese ski resort accommodation, most 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
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 2,697
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
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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Powder Odyssey DETAILS
GUIDED SAFARI - TOHOKU
7 Nights | 6 Days Guided Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,864
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are looking to go off-the-beaten track in Tohoku (northeastern Honshu) where there are abundant lines of fresh powder and no foreigners, this tour is perfect! Visit Tohoku ski areas you've probably never heard of before and immerse yourself in the Japanese culture.
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Hokkaido Explorer Tour DETAILS
FULLY GUIDED & HOSTED TOUR
12 Nights - 10 Ski Areas - 10 Days Skiing/Riding
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,338
Deposit must be paid by end of the promotional period to qualify for discount; no exceptions.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Based in Niseko Hirafu then Furano then Otaru, chase the best conditions and snowfall at 7 of Hokkaido's best ski areas and lesser known ski areas including Niseko, Rusutsu, Moiwa, Furano, Asahidake, Kamui Links, Mt Racey and Tomamu.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Japan here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
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 698
Book & pay deposit by June 30, 2017 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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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 2,316
Book & pay deposit 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 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 2,316
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
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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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Japan here
Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours
Niseko Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TRIPS IN/FROM NISEKO
For PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 6 guests
From price based on a PER PERSON rate for Niseko guided day tour (private groups only of 6 guests) in low season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
From 60,000 yen for a group. *Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 85
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are in Niseko with a group, you can't go past a guided ski or snowboard day tour in Niseko or at one of the nearby ski areas (off-piste, sidecountry or backcountry). PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 6 guests (i.e. you cannot join a group).
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Backcountry Skiing Tours
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 2,781
To qualify for promotion, deposit is required by promotion cut-off date.
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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Myoko Deep Tour DETAILS
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 2,781
Deposit is required by cut-ff date of promotion to qualify for discount/offers
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. This tour takes you to the deep backcountry and sidecountry terrain of Myoko and surrounding ski areas.
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Guided Tours DETAILS
GUIDED BACK/SIDE-COUNTRY DAY TOURS
Private & Mixed Group
price is per person per day (min 3 guests required for tour to operate)
base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen
Prices include tax.
Price p/p
USD 186
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Niseko Black Snowsports offer lift-access backcountry & sidecountry guiding services for advanced to expert mixed & private groups around Niseko/Moiwa, Rusutsu & Kiroro. Book for your own private group tour or join a group.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Japan here
Heli Skiing Tours
Shiribetsu-Dake Day Heliskiing DETAILS
DAY HELI SKIING NISEKO - 6 RUN PACKAGE
Includes Niseko pickup & lunch
From price based on 6-run heli ski day.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,488
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
At last, a Niseko heli skiing operation! Make this one of the best days of your life skiing Hokkaido's deep dry powder on a dormant volcano (next door to Rusutsu and not far from Niseko).
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Cat Skiing Tours
Iwanai Cat Skiing DETAILS
MIXED GROUP DAY CAT SKIING
6 - 8 Runs of 600-800m vertical
Price is per person per day
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen
Displayed price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 605
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Iwanai Cat Skiing serves up powder runs of 600-800 metres of vertical bliss, with 6 to 8 runs for the day. Located near Niseko, the Iwanai Resort snowcat skiing terrain scores masses of snowfall. Ideal for strong intermediate & advanced riders
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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 1,349
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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Niseko Cat Skiing DETAILS
NISEKO CAT SKIING
Single day, guided inc lunch
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 502
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