Kurodake is fantastic for powder hounds
Kurodake is fantastic for powder hounds
Niseko: a fantastic overall Japanese ski resort
Niseko: a fantastic overall Japanese ski resort
Nozawa Onsen: one of the best Japan ski resorts overall
Nozawa Onsen: one of the best Japan ski resorts overall
Tenjindaira is Honshu's Backcountry Mecca
Tenjindaira is Honshu's Backcountry Mecca
Furano - one of the best Japanese ski resorts overall
Furano - one of the best Japanese ski resorts overall
Minowa is a great Japan ski resort for powder hounds
Minowa is a great Japan ski resort for powder hounds
Many of the Hokkaido ski resorts have the best snow in Japan (and the world)
Many of the Hokkaido ski resorts have the best snow in Japan (and the world)
Tazawako: Best Skiing in Japan for Finding Fresh Powder
Tazawako: Best Skiing in Japan for Finding Fresh Powder
Hakuba: lots of great terrain for piste riders
Hakuba: lots of great terrain for piste riders
Best Japan Ski Resort for Powder Hounds: Tanigawadake Tenjindaira
Best Japan Ski Resort for Powder Hounds: Tanigawadake Tenjindaira
Japan powder is even more delicious than sushi...
Japan powder is even more delicious than sushi...
Geto Kogen: Great Skiing in Japan for Powder Hounds
Geto Kogen: Great Skiing in Japan for Powder Hounds
Zao: Best Ski Resort Japan for Intermediate Skiing
Zao: Best Ski Resort Japan for Intermediate Skiing
Myoko: one of the best Japanese ski resorts overall
Myoko: one of the best Japanese ski resorts overall
Shibu Onsen provides a great cultural experience
Shibu Onsen provides a great cultural experience
Zao Onsen: one of the best ski resorts in Japan for intermediates
Zao Onsen: one of the best ski resorts in Japan for intermediates
Asahidake has nice stashes of POW
Asahidake has nice stashes of POW
Niseko: Best Skiing in Japan Overall
Niseko: Best Skiing in Japan Overall
Kiroro: a good overall Hokkaido ski resort
Kiroro: a good overall Hokkaido ski resort
Furano: best skiing in Japan award for the overall terrain
Furano: best skiing in Japan award for the overall terrain

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 resorts are uncrowded so there are often lots of "freshies" on offer.

Other resorts that we've rated highy for powder hounds are Geto Kogen, Hakkaisan, Tazawako, and Hakkoda.

Best Overall Ski Resorts
Based on infrastructure & services, terrain, snow & value
It can get busy but you can beat it for its size and 15m annual snowfall. Furano: rated #3 best overall Japan resort by Powderhounds.com

Other top overall rated resorts include Myoko Kogen, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Appi Kogen and Okushiga Kogen.

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: 
Naeba and Joetsu Kokusai 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 Japan Ski Resorts - 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 top Japan ski resorts 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!

NB only Japan ski resorts with a minimum of 4 reviews were considered in the awards. Where there are equal scores, the resort with more reviews is selected as the best.
1 The top overall Japan ski resort is based on an average of the other above factors.
2 The best Japan powder skiing 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 Ski Tours Schedule page.