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 20 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.

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! You can check out some of our Japan powder skiing videos to get an idea of what everyone is raving about.

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 and riders, 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 is another large destination 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.

Other popular Japan snow holiday destination resorts in Hokkaido include Rusutsu, Sahoro and Kiroro.

Honshu - Main Island
Trendy Japan ski holiday destinations in Honshu are mostly centred around Nagano.

Shiga Kogen and Hakuba are sizeable and great for on-piste skiing and snowboarding for beginners through to advanced riders. Hakuba also has a decent nightlife caters well to English speaking visitors, and has a broad range of accommodation for different budgets.

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 much of its “Japanese-ness” but it also caters well to English speaking guests with child care and group ski and snowboard lessons in English.

Madarao is growing in popularity as the “it” spot to ski Japan, and in addition to providing good value, it makes a great base to explore other nearby Nagano and Niigata ski resorts.

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).

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.

Appi Kogen is another well known Japan ski holiday resort which caters well to English speaking guests, yet it’s less busy than other resorts further south.

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

Other Skiing/Snowboarding in Japan

There are hundreds of other Japan ski resorts, so for powder hounds who want to get off the beaten track to get away from the crowds, be assured of fresh tracks, experience the real Japan, or save some yen, there are many other options. There are lots of non-destination resorts (ie ideal for a day trip only) where you can get your Japan powder skiing fix, but you’ll need to rent a car to do a DIY road trip or go on a guided multi-resort Japan skiing tour.

Japan skiing can be typically categorised as deep not steep, but if you’re looking to ride steep pitches, there are some lift serviced backcountry-type ski areas that fit the bill. Examples include Tenjindaira and Kurodake. And there are many great spots for backcountry skiing in Japan (check out the Japan backcountry ski tours).

Still Can’t Decide Where to Ski in Japan?

The Powderhounds have compiled various resources for more info on the differences between the Japan ski resorts:

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 many 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 Storm Chaser DETAILS
GUIDED STORM CHASING SAFARI
7 Days | 6 Nights | 6 Ski Areas

Base/invoice currency is in yen not including 8% consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,552
Book before Aug 31st to receive 40,000 yen discount off the advertised price
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Chase the storms and access the deepest and best quality snow conditions on the day in the Otaru 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 2,552
Book before Aug 31 2018 to get 20,000 yen off the advertised price.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Trying to get away from the crowds & the tracked out snow? Away from the masses you will experience Japanese culture, food & unlimited powder on this Tohoku tour. 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 1,836
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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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 2,279 USD 2,279
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
5% discount off advertised price for bookings made during Nov for 3 Jan tour
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/Board 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 2,279 USD 2,279
Book & pay deposit by June 30 & get 5% off advertised prices
5% discount off advertised price for bookings made during Nov for 19 Dec & 3 Jan tours
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 748
Book & pay deposit by June 30, 2018 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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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 for 2018-19 season (private groups only of 6 guests) in shoulder 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 103
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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Shiga Rookies - NEW for 2019! DETAILS
SHIGA ROOKIES PACKAGE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 5 Skiing at Shiga Kogen
From price based on twin-share, 7 nights Villa Alpen inc breakfast, dinner, lift passes, 1 day of lessons.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,311
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
This package is aimed at those who want a ski-in/out experience that offers the opportunity to learn to ski or snowboard or improve on their existing skills. These packages can be CUSTOMISED from 5 nights including airport transfers, accommodation, meals, lessons/guiding, lift passes & rental equipment.
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See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Japan here
Ski & Snowboard Camp Tours
Ultimate Early Season Camps DETAILS
EARLY SEASON TOUR
8 nights | 7 days | Cat Skiing, Avi Training
From price based on twin/double-share, 9-day package for 2018-19 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,839
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Beat the high season rates and crowds and get Japow earlier than the punters. Based in Niseko, you'll visit 4 ski resorts for lift accessed sidecountry, enjoy a day of cat skiing at Chisenupuri, receive 2 days of avalanche awareness training & get an intro to backcountry touring.
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Backcountry Skiing Tours
Alps to Coast Tour DETAILS
HAKUBA & MYOKO BC TOUR
9 Nights | Option of 1 Day Cat Skiing | Deluxe Option
From price based on a twin share room for group tour (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 2,772
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This backcountry tour includes the HAKUBA region with its steep alpine terrain and the MYOKO area which receives big snow falls. Choose from either a side country tour (lift accessed backcountry) or ski touring/skinning backcountry. Option to include a day of cat skiing & option for deluxe accommodation.
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Hakuba Backcountry Powder DETAILS
HAKUBA BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
9 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin share room for group tour (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 2,772
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Most people who visit Hakuba only ever drool at the possible backcountry endless lines from a distance. Explore the steep & deep backcountry terrain of Hakuba with either a lift accessed side country tour or go deep in the backcountry via skinning/split board.
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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 for fixed date group tour (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 2,772
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. On this Myoko tour you can head deep into the backcountry or just score the powder in the sidecountry (lift accessed) terrain of Myoko and surrounding ski areas.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Japan here
Heli Skiing Tours
Shiribetsu-Dake Day Heliskiing DETAILS
DAY HELI SKIING RUSUTSU - 6 RUN PACKAGE
Includes Niseko pickup & lunch
From price based on 6-run heli ski day 2018-19 early bird rates.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,408
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
Shimamaki Snowcat Packages DETAILS
GUIDED CAT SKIING ADVENTURE (2 or 4 days)
Stay in a Traditional Japanese Inn Inc All Meals
Display price is based on 2 days + 2 nights per person for 2019 season (regular season)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
Price p/p
USD 1,404
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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Iwanai Cat Skiing Day Package DETAILS
MIXED GROUP DAY CAT SKIING
8 - 10 Runs (Approx 4,600m vertical/day)
Price is per person per day for high season
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen
Displayed price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations. Price includes 8% sales tax
Price p/p
USD 618
Deposit must be paid prior to promotion end date to qualify for any discounts offered.
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Iwanai Cat Skiing serves up powder runs of 325-650 metres of vertical bliss, with 8 to 10 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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Niseko Cat Skiing Day Tours DETAILS
NISEKO DAY CAT SKIING
Single Day Guided, Inc. Lunch
From price is per person (min 4 persons required to operate)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese yen in taxes
*display price may vary slightly with fluctuations in currency
Price p/p
USD 493
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