Niseko - Premier Hokkaido Ski Resort
Niseko - Premier Hokkaido Ski Resort
Kiroro Snow World - perfect for families and cheeky powder hounds
Kiroro Snow World - perfect for families and cheeky powder hounds
Rusutsu: Best Skiing in Japan for Powder Hounds
Rusutsu: Best Skiing in Japan for Powder Hounds
Hakkoda is Honshu's Backcountry Mecca
Hakkoda is Honshu's Backcountry Mecca
Hakuba - huge ski area perfect for piste ski fanatics
Hakuba - huge ski area perfect for piste ski fanatics
Asahidake is a backcountry mecca in Hokkaido
Asahidake is a backcountry mecca in Hokkaido
Furano: Best Skiing in Japan for Intermediates
Furano: Best Skiing in Japan for Intermediates
Appi Kogen is ideal for families particularly with littlies
Appi Kogen is ideal for families particularly with littlies
Sapporo Kokusai - best Japan ski resort award for side-country
Sapporo Kokusai - best Japan ski resort award for side-country
Best Japan Ski Resort Terrain Park: Naeba
Best Japan Ski Resort Terrain Park: Naeba
Kagura is a great side trip when visiting Naeba (they link by lift)
Kagura is a great side trip when visiting Naeba (they link by lift)
Kurodake Ski Area Hokkaido - serious backcountry for advanced skiers & boarders
Kurodake Ski Area Hokkaido - serious backcountry for advanced skiers & boarders
Chisenupuri (only 30 mins from Niseko): Best Ski Resort Japan for Uncrowded Slopes
Chisenupuri (only 30 mins from Niseko): Best Ski Resort Japan for Uncrowded Slopes
Moiwa (connected to Niseko) is also uncrowded
Moiwa (connected to Niseko) is also uncrowded
Nozawa Onsen - highly rated Japanese ski resort
Nozawa Onsen - highly rated Japanese ski resort
Shiga Kogen: one of the best ski resorts in Japan for intermediates
Shiga Kogen: one of the best ski resorts in Japan for intermediates
Myoko Kogen has nice stashes of POW
Myoko Kogen has nice stashes of POW
Madarao - a great day trip from Nozawa Onsen
Madarao - a great day trip from Nozawa Onsen
Zao Onsen ski resort - a great traditional Japanese experience
Zao Onsen ski resort - a great traditional Japanese experience
Sapporo Teine: best skiing in Japan award for the steeps
Sapporo Teine: best skiing in Japan award for the steeps

Best Ski Resorts

Powderhounds Awards for the Best Ski Resorts in JapanThe Powderhounds offer awards for the best skiing in Japan in case you can't decide on where to go skiing in Japan? Here are our picks for the top ski resorts in Japan:

Top Rated Japan Ski Resorts for Powder Hounds
Based on advanced/expert terrain + snow quality & quantity
+ lack of people riding off-piste
Top rated resort for Powderhounds in Japan: Kiroro Hokkaido Top rated resort for Powderhounds in Japan: Hakkoda Honshu

Many of the Japanese ski resorts are up there as the best ski resorts in the world for powder hounds. Japan has amazing powder and some of the resort are uncrowded so there are often lots of "freshies" on offer.

Other resorts that we've rated highy for powder hounds are Geto Kogen, Moiwa, RusutsuHakuba Cortina, Sapporo Teine, Kamui Links, Tomamu, SahoroMyoko, Furano, Nozawa and Madarao.

Best Overall Ski Resorts
Based on infrastructure & services, terrain, snow & cost
It can get busy but you can beat it for its size and 15m annual snowfall. Number 3 Top rated overall Japan resort Rusutsu

Other top overall rated resorts include Myoko Kogen, Kiroro and Furano.

Other Powderhounds.com Awards for the Best Skiing in Japan
Skiing and Snowboarding
Japan Snow
Best ski resort in Japan for first-timers and beginners: 
Kagura has the best beginner terrain, but this ski resort doesn't cater particularly well to international visitors. Niseko is the best ski resort for beginners who don't speak Japanese. The novice terrain at Niseko is very good, there are group or private ski/snowboard lessons in English, and the staff at the equipment rental shops speak English. 

Other


Best ski resort in Japan for kids: 
Appi Kogen and Naeba are very family friendly, but these ski resorts don't cater particularly well to international visitors. Sahoro, Nozawa and Niseko are the best ski resorts for children who don't speak Japanese. Niseko has child care and ski lessons with English speaking staff, and there are various kids' activities on offer. Happo at Hakuba and Furano are also very good. See our where to ski in Japan page for more information on family friendly ski resorts in Japan for English speaking visitors.

Nightlife
Tours and Activities
Cost & Value for Money
See our Japan ski resorts ratings to see how Japanese ski resorts compare on various factors including the terrain, powder, apres and family-friendliness.

Best Skiing in Japan - Readers' Reviews
These awards for the "best ski resorts in Japan" are based on the public reviews on Powderhounds.com. Come and have your say on the best skiing in Japan by reviewing and rating a ski area. Navigate to the Japan ski resort you want to review and click on the "add review" link in the left-hand-column. Put your vote in!

Best overall ski resort 1: Nozawa OnsenRusutsu, Sahoro
Best Japan ski resort for powder hounds 2: Asahidake, Moiwa, Rusutsu
Best snow: Asahidake, Moiwa, Kiroro, Sapporo Kokusai
Most uncrowded: Asahidake, Kamui Links
Best lifts: Rusutsu, Kiroro
Piste trails: Appi Kogen, Shiga Kogen 
Off-piste: Asahidake, Rusutsu
Child friendly: SahoroTomamu
Value for money: AsariKaguraKamui Links
Nightlife: Niseko, Nozawa Onsen, Hakuba

NB only ski resorts with a minimum of 3 reviews were considered in the awards. Where there are equal scores, the Japan ski resort with more reviews is selected as the best.
1 The best Japan ski resort is based on an average of the other above factors.
2 The best ski resort in Japan for powderhounds is the average of the scores for snow, uncrowded and off-piste.

Japan Hosted & Guided Multi-Resort Ski Safaris  If you are a powder junkie, a multi-resort hosted and guided ski safari could be the best way for you to get your powder fix. Once you have done one of these tours you will find it hard to ever go back to staying at one resort!

The larger resorts like Niseko get inundated with people all chasing that elusive powder. Meanwhile there are hundreds of smaller ski areas in Japan which most people don't visit as they are too little to visit for more than a day or two before getting bored; however they have some amazing powder skiing with little or no competition to get to the powder. A guide can get you to the good stuff fast and safely and another bonus is that they can drive you from one location to another. 

Various tours are designed to cater to different abilities of skiers and snowboarders. 

For an indication of dates and availability, check out the Japan Tours Schedule page.

Japan Ski Safaris Hokkaido Hosted & Guided Ski Safaris 
Hokkaido is famous for what is probably the best powder on earth. Central Hokkaido in particular gets some of the deepest and driest snow. Jump on a tour with a guide to see the best of Hokkaido....
Japan Ski Safari Honshu Honshu Hosted & Guided Ski Safaris 
Honshu is said to have over 500 ski areas. The problem is, trying to find those that have great off-piste skiing on your own is near impossible. Go with an expert who has spent years finding the best Honshu has to offer...
Hokkaido & Honshu Combo Ski Safaris Honshu + Hokkaido Combo Guided Ski Safaris 
If you can't decide which island in Japan to hit & you have a bit of time, why not do both! There are several tours available to choose from between 8 - 18 days in duration for varying abilities....

Progression Tours If you would like to experience different ski areas and at the same time progress your skills to master the deep Japan powder, one of these packages could be ideal for you. These are not instructor courses, they are more about learning skills whilst on the slopes; not in a classroom.

Japan Ski & Snowboard Progression Tors Japan Ski & Snowboard Progression Tours 
Most of these tours are based in a single location with day trips to nearby ski areas and/or runs in the sidecountry & backcountry. Great for solo travelers wanting to hang out with like-minded people...


Ski Tours
Ski Vacation Quotes


Compare Resorts Japan Ski Resort Statistics
Japan Ski Resort Ratings

Hokkaido Ski Resorts
SW Hokkaido
Niseko
Moiwa
Rusutsu

Sapporo Ski Resorts
Asari
Kiroro
Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Teine

Central Hokkaido
Asahidake
Furano
Kamui Ski Links
Kurodake
Sahoro
Tomamu

Honshu Ski ResortsNagano Ski Resorts
Hakuba Ski Resorts
Madarao Kogen
Myoko Kogen Resorts
Nozawa Onsen
Shiga Kogen
Tangram Ski Circus
Togakushi

Bandai Ski Resorts
Alts Bandai
Inawashiro
Nekoma

Yuzawa Resorts
Kagura
Naeba

Yamagata Prefecture
Zao Onsen

Iwate Prefecture
Appi Kogen
Geto Kogen
Hachimantai
Shizukuishi

Aomori Prefecture
Hakkoda

Transport Providers JR Rail Passes
Train Timetables

Train / Road TripsCentral Hokkaido