Ski Japan with the Kids
Ski Japan with the Kids
Club Med Sahoro: kids lessons are included
Club Med Sahoro: kids lessons are included
Club Med Hokkaido: the kids are well looked after
Club Med Hokkaido: the kids are well looked after
Tomamu: Top Family Ski Resort in Japan
Tomamu: Top Family Ski Resort in Japan
The wave pool at Tomamu
The wave pool at Tomamu
Nozawa: a popular family Japan ski holiday destination
Nozawa: a popular family Japan ski holiday destination
Kids group lessons with an English speaking instructor
Kids group lessons with an English speaking instructor
Hakuba: one of the best Japan ski resorts for kids
Hakuba: one of the best Japan ski resorts for kids
Hakuba Japan
Hakuba Japan
Rusutsu is a rather family friendly Japanese ski resort
Rusutsu is a rather family friendly Japanese ski resort
Furano: very good for a family ski holiday in Japan
Furano: very good for a family ski holiday in Japan
Hanazono Niseko: kids activity central!
Hanazono Niseko: kids activity central!
Appi Kogen is an upscale family oriented ski resort
Appi Kogen is an upscale family oriented ski resort
Niseko: a top ski Japan with kids destination
Niseko: a top ski Japan with kids destination

Family Ski Holidays

Family Ski Holidays Japan

The top family friendly ski resorts in Japan include Tomamu, Sahoro, Niseko, Furano, Myoko Kogen and Hakuba. Particularly if you’re a family that wants to ski Japan with young kids, you probably want your snow holiday to be as easy as possible and know that the kids will have the best time!

Factors we’ve taken into consideration when picking the top family ski holidays in Japan include the availability of ski and snowboard lessons for kids in English (group lessons and private lessons), childcare (ideally with English speaking staff), ease of getting to ski school and the slopes, a range of kids’ activities and family activities, and good beginner slopes. You can also check out the ski school tables regarding which resorts offer kids group snowports lessons in English and childcare, and the minimum age for ski school and child care.

Our best ski Japan with kids destination ratings don’t take into account other factors when choosing a Japan ski holiday destination, but you can check out our Japanese ski resorts ratings to provide an overview of other factors. Alternatively, we outline the pros and cons of each resort on the specific resort pages.

Ski Japan With Kids – Best Ski Resorts

Tomamu
Tomamu is the best family friendly ski resort in Japan, particularly if you stay at Club Med Tomamu where the kids are well taken care of and slope access is very easy. Packages include group lessons for kids (and adults), kids club, entertainment and child care for ages 4 and up, and child care for ages 2-3 can be added. As Club Med is an all-inclusive snow holiday (including meals and alcohol), it’s not for those on a budget.

Club Med Tomamu is directly opposite the ridiculously big wave pool and spa complex, and Tomamu has an ice village, ice skating, snow rafting, dog sledding and various other family activities. The Tomamu ski resort also has very good beginner slopes. And it’s not as busy as some of the other family oriented Japan ski resorts, so combined with the amazing central Hokkaido powder, it’s great for powder hounds as well. See the Tomamu Japan page for reviews and pros and cons of Tomamu.

Sahoro
Heading to Sahoro in Hokkaido to stay at the ski-in ski-out Club Med Sahoro is also the ultimate family ski holiday, where parents will have a completely stress free time. As with Tomamu, the Sahoro Club Med packages include ski lessons for the kids and kids club (ages 4+) and Petit Club can be provided for ages 2-3. In addition to kids’ entertainment and activities, there is a swimming pool and table tennis. The all-inclusive Club Med Sahoro packages are not ideal for those wanting a ski Japan family holiday on the cheap.

Sahoro Resort has great novice slopes and very few powder hounds head into the trees (which is somewhat rare for a family friendly ski resort in Japan). See the Sahoro Hokkaido page for reviews and pros and cons of Sahoro.

Niseko
Niseko Japan seems to have everything you’d ever want in a Japan snow holiday, so it’s no great surprise that it’s also great for a family ski holiday. Niseko has good options for kids ski and snowboard lessons in English and child care, and evening babysitting is readily available. Hanazono has a range of kids’ activities and lessons on offer, but negligible accommodation (as of 2017-18 season). Niseko Village is very family friendly and has ski-in ski-out hotels. The main village, Hirafu has several options for luxury apartments and hotels that are on or near the slopes (see the Niseko family friendly accommodation page for some recommendations). Niseko is mostly targeted to high end families, but moderately priced ski holidays are also possible if you stay in villages near Hirafu that aren’t slopeside and require a shuttle bus to get to the slopes. Some parents find it a little difficult getting small children onto a bus, but it’s a good way to save some yen.

Myoko Kogen
The Akakura Onsen village of Myoko Kogen offers English group snowsports lessons and childcare. There aren’t a lot of activities on offer in Myoko besides the skiing and snowboarding, but it’s popular with some families because there are lots of ryokans and other Japanese style hotels with onsens, so it provides a nice balance between westernised family convenience and a Japanese experience. It's also reasonably priced.

Hakuba
Hakuba is a reasonably westernised Japanese ski resort that has good services for English speaking guests such as group ski and snowboard lessons with a native English speaking instructor (at Happo One, Iwatake, Tsugaike and Goryu/Hakuba 47). There isn’t a lot of slope-side accommodation, but the Evergreen ski school (who also provides child care) offers a transport service to/from your accommodation. If you want to stay in a modern apartment or slopeside hotel, expect to pay a lot, but one of the huge advantages of Hakuba is that it offers a lot of moderately priced and economical pension, inn and lodge accommodation.

Furano
Furano is a great pick for families and powder hounds. Furano ski resort offers some fantastic powder skiing, but it can also act as a great base to visit nearby ski areas that are highly rated by the Powderhounds as powder skiing destinations. Furano ticks plenty of boxes for families including group lessons, child care (that is easily accessible from the Kitanomine village), and a good range of activities for the kids.

Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa Onsen is very popular as a Japan family ski holiday destination because the charming onsen village is still hanging onto its traditional roots, yet it has enough westernisation to provide an easy holiday for English speaking guests. Nozawa has group ski and snowboard lessons, childcare and kids snow park. The only potential limitation of Nozawa is the ease of access to the slopes where ski school is located (despite the Yu Road travellator and the snowmobile shuttles from the Nagasaka gondola), and/or ease of access to restaurants in town. It’s a rather hilly town, so the kids are likely to have to walk up and down hills. Check out the Nozawa Onsen accommodation page for tips on the pros and cons of different lodging locations.

Other Japan Family Ski Holiday Destinations

As a general rule, very family oriented Japanese ski resorts are also rather busy (except Tomamu and Sahoro), so if you’re looking for reasonably untracked powder, here are some other family oriented Japanese ski resorts to consider.

Madarao Kogen offers a reasonably inexpensive snow holiday, has a couple of small ski schools that offer group or private lessons, and there is childcare.

Okushiga Kogen (part of the bigger Shiga Kogen) offers group lessons and is reasonably close to the snow monkeys.

Appi Kogen is an upscale family friendly ski resort with lots of activities for small children as well as childcare. The only group lessons available are for beginners and for ages 7 and up, otherwise there are private snowsports lessons available.

Rusutsu is like the Disneyland of ski resorts for kids, with plenty of fun things to do including a mini wave pool. The only potential limitation may be that only private lessons are on offer, for which you’ll need to pay a premium.

Or if you want a luxury family Japan ski holiday then check out Lotte Arai. Kiroro also offers a luxury Japan family ski holiday and it has group ski/snowboard lessons for kids and an array of kids' activities (if you have the budget), but no childcare.

Kids Ski Lessons Japan, Child Care


 
Kids
activities
Child care Child
care in
English
Group
lessons in
English
Private
lessons in
English
Asahidake
         
Furano
Kiroro
 
Niseko





Rusutsu





Sahoro





Tomamu

~


Appi Kogen


~

Arai      ~    
Hakuba




Madarao        ~  
Myoko Kogen
~




Naeba




Nozawa Onsen





Shiga Kogen


~


Zao Onsen



~

~ = partially or somewhat

Minimum Age for Kids Ski School and Child Care

 
Child Care
Min Age (yrs)
Private Ski Lessons
Min Age (yrs)
Group Ski Lessons
Min Age (yrs)
Appi Kogen 1 3 7
Furano
1 4 6
Hakuba 1.5 3 3
Myoko Kogen
0.5 3 3
Niseko
0 2
3
Nozawa  1 3 4
Sahoro
1 2 4
Shiga Kogen  0.5 3 4
Tomamu 8 mths
3
3

Other Things to Consider for a Ski Japan With Kids Holiday

Instead of staying in a hotel or pension, some families like to stay in self-contained accommodation such as an apartment or house, in part so that they can have evening meals at home. The first thing to consider is that self-contained accommodation is a rather westernised concept so it’s only the westernised Japanese ski resorts that have apartments or houses (see the accommodation table for a list of resorts with self-contained options). Some of these resorts (but not Niseko!) only have a small amount of self-contained lodging, so it’s in hot demand and often comes with a premium price tag. The other factor for consideration is the type of food available in the local supermarket for home cooking, as it definitely won’t be what you’re used to and you’ll potentially using the google translate app a lot!

The type of airport transfers you choose may also determine how relaxed you’ll feel when you arrive at your Japan family oriented ski resort of choice. For the Honshu ski resorts, there is the option of initially catching the bullet train which can be incredibly fascinating for children, but you’ll have to lug your bags around train stations. It may be easier to get a Nagano Snow Shuttle bus which takes you from Narita Airport to your accommodation.

For the main Hokkaido ski resorts there are inexpensive buses from Sapporo Airport to designated points at the resort, from where you may need to get a taxi or ask your lodging to pick you up. An easier but more costly option for Niseko and Furano is to get a private door-to-door transfer (child booster seats available). You can look at Hokkaido transport options here.

Tokyo Disneyland is a popular side trip for families. There is a train station at Disneyland so you can readily catch the train there or get a taxi from your Tokyo hotel. Or otherwise you can stay at a Tokyo Disneyland hotel.

Cost of a Ski Japan Family Holiday

If low cost is a major factor in choosing the right Japan ski resort for a family holiday, you may want to look at the Madarao Ski Resort and Hakuba.

Niseko is one of the most expensive (accommodation, lift tickets, lessons, rentals, food etc) ski resorts in Japan, but it is possible to find some economical lodging in Niseko away from the lifts.

And as a general rule, you’ll need to forego the convenience of slope-side accommodation if you want to save some money.