Ski Japan

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Skiing in Japan is Ichiban (#1)
Skiing in Japan is Ichiban (#1)
The powder skiing in Japan is like no where else on earth
The powder skiing in Japan is like no where else on earth
Soaking in natural hot springs (onsens) is all part of a skiing adventure to Japan
Soaking in natural hot springs (onsens) is all part of a skiing adventure to Japan
Some Japan ski resorts are linked with traditional villages like Nozawa Onsen
Some Japan ski resorts are linked with traditional villages like Nozawa Onsen
Samurai castles like Matsumoto castle are an insight into Japan
Samurai castles like Matsumoto castle are an insight into Japan's ancient civilization
Zenko-ji Temple is a must see if you visit the Nagano area
Zenko-ji Temple is a must see if you visit the Nagano area
The famous snow monkey onsen (near Yudanaka) is a must if you are in the Nagano/Niigata area
The famous snow monkey onsen (near Yudanaka) is a must if you are in the Nagano/Niigata area
Getting to some of the Japan ski resorts can be half the fun on a bullet train (Shinkansen)
Getting to some of the Japan ski resorts can be half the fun on a bullet train (Shinkansen)
Eating out on a Japan ski holiday is an absolute highlight
Eating out on a Japan ski holiday is an absolute highlight
The food in Japan is clean, fresh and "oishi" (delicious)
The food in Japan is clean, fresh and "oishi" (delicious)
Restaurants are mostly small and very cosy on those cold nights
Restaurants are mostly small and very cosy on those cold nights
Indulge in one or more of the thousands of varieties of sake
Indulge in one or more of the thousands of varieties of sake
Staying in a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) is a unique cultural experience
Staying in a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) is a unique cultural experience
The rooms are cosy with futon beds on the tatami (woven mat) floor...sort of like glamping!
The rooms are cosy with futon beds on the tatami (woven mat) floor...sort of like glamping!
Japan has its own unique architecture and some buildings have stood for hundreds of years
Japan has its own unique architecture and some buildings have stood for hundreds of years
Japan has a festival for everything; like the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival
Japan has a festival for everything; like the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival
The Sapporo Ice festival in early Feb is a spectacle
The Sapporo Ice festival in early Feb is a spectacle
A samurai suit reminds us of Japan
A samurai suit reminds us of Japan's ancient civilisation
Takaragawa in Gunma is one of the largest and oldest onsen in Japan
Takaragawa in Gunma is one of the largest and oldest onsen in Japan
If you are in central Hokkaido, a day trip to Asahiyama zoo is a must do
If you are in central Hokkaido, a day trip to Asahiyama zoo is a must do

Ski 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

Snowboarding or skiing 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 why everyone is raving about skiing in Japan.

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 (see powder gem examples here), but here are several popular 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.

You can ski Japan in style at Kiroro, which is an upscale resort with great lifts, lovely hotels, and lots of kids’ activities. It also happens to score the most snow of the Japan ski resorts.

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 and Sahoro.


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

Hakuba is probably the second most well-known Japan ski destination behind Niseko. The Hakuba Valley has multiple ski areas with great on-piste skiing and snowboarding for beginners through to advanced riders, and some phenomenal backcountry skiing. Hakuba also has a decent nightlife, caters well to English speaking visitors, and has a broad range of accommodation for different budgets.

The 3rd most popular destination for skiing in Japan is Nozawa Onsen. It is very unique and one of only a handful of Japanese ski resorts that has a town or village at its base. There are lots of onsen (hot springs) to soak in after a hard day on the slopes. Nozawa offers some delightful Japanese culture, especially if you stay in a ryokan or other traditional Japanese lodging.

Myoko Kogen is a group of ski areas near Nagano. The main village, Akakura Onsen, has retained some 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 has gained 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.

To ski Japan with luxury, Lotte Arai Resort is a new resort that provides upscale accommodation, exceptional facilities, plenty of kosher off-piste riding, and an abundance of snow. This Japan ski resort is not for ski bums, but rather the discerning powder hound.

Shiga Kogen is probably the largest ski resort in Japan, and with negligible foreign ownership, it provides a classic Japan ski resort experience.

Appi Kogen is another popular Japan ski holiday resort which caters well to Chinese and 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 one of the guided multi-resort Japan ski tours.

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 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 & Snowboard Tours

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Hokkaido Storm Chaser
GUIDED STORM CHASING SAFARI
7 Days | 6 Nights | 6 Ski Areas
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.
Price p/p .
AUD 4,178
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Frontier Explorer
GUIDED SAFARI - NORTHERN HONSHU
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Areas + Cat Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Get away from the crowds & the tracked out snow, and also experience Japanese culture, food & unlimited powder on this Tohoku tour. Chase the best snow on the day in the far northern parts of Honshu.
Price p/p From price based on twin-share room occupancy for 2021 season.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 4,300
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Hokkaido Backcountry Powder Quest
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR | 7 Nights / 8 Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Jump on the Hokkaido Backcountry Powder Quest tour & experience the magical powder wonderland Hokkaido is famous for along with its rich culture & incredible cuisine. Join as a solo, couple or small group; max 6 guests per tour & guaranteed departures.
Price p/p Price based on per person twin-share.
base/invoice currency is in USD
*displayed price may vary slightly due to recent exchange rate fluctuations.
$600 deposit is fully refundable no questions asked until October 27, 2020. Tour requires min 4 guests to proceed.
AUD 5,361
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Japan here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Nagano Ski/Board Progression
SKI / SNOWBOARD GUIDED INSTRUCTION
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
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. Share
Price p/p From price based on twin-share dorm room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 4,030
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 5% off price for bookings before 31st Oct 2020
Nagano Ski Buffet
GUIDED SKI ADVENTURE (SKIERS ONLY)
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
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! Share
Price p/p From price based on twin-share room at Lodge Aibiya with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 4,030
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 5% off price for bookings before 31st Oct 2020
Myoko Progression Tours
GUIDED PROGRESSION TOUR
8 Days | 7 Nights | 5 Days Skiing | Up to 7 Ski Areas
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
Want to improve your riding to tackle bigger and better terrain? Well this tour could be for you! Get ski or snowboard instruction and learn to ride & ski deep powder whilst immersing yourself in Japanese culture.
Price p/p From price based on twin/triple/quad-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 4,043
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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
GUIDED DAY TRIPS IN/FROM NISEKO
For PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 6 guests
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).
Price p/p From price based on a PER PERSON rate for PRIVATE group of 6 in peak season. Full price is 78,000 yen for group.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 175
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Nagano Beginner Lessons
PRIVATE BEGINNER LESSONS
Pick up at Yudanaka for Shiga Kogen
Ability: Beginner
Learn to ski or snowboard at Shiga Kogen with fully qualified English speaking instructors. Private lessons for the day or multiple days. Includes pick-up from your accommodation in Yudanaka (near the snow monkeys) or Shiga Kogen. Share
Price p/p From price based on 6 people in a private group.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 112
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 5% off price for bookings before 31st Oct 2020
See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Japan here

Ski & Snowboard Camp Tours

Niseko Beginners Camps
SKI & SNOWBOARD BEGINNER CAMPS
3 Nights, 4-Days | Niseko Japan
Ability: Beginner
Whether you are an absolute first-time skier or snowboarder or a beginner looking to improve your skills this is a great value all inclusive package. Experience Japan, meet new friends and learn to ski or snowboard at the same time!
Price p/p From price based on 3-Night/4-day camp; per person.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 1,240
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See all Ski & Snowboard Camp tours that visit Japan here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Hakuba Steep
HAKUBA BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
7 Nights | 5 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
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.
Price p/p From price based on a twin share room with a group of 6 for 2020-21 (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 3,100
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Alps to Coast Tour
HAKUBA & MYOKO BC TOUR
9 Nights | Option of 1 Day Cat Skiing | Deluxe Option
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.
Price p/p From price based on a twin share room for group of 6 for 2020 (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 4,246
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Myoko Deep Tour
MYOKO BC ADVENTURE
7 Nights | 5 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. On this PRIVATE 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.
Price p/p Indicative price based on a twin share room for tour in 2021 with 6 guests (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 3,100
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Japan here

Heli Skiing Tours

Shiribetsu-Dake Day Heliskiing
DAY HELI SKIING RUSUTSU - 6 RUN PACKAGE
Includes Niseko pickup & lunch
Ability: Advanced 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 (adjacent to Rusutsu and not far from Niseko).
Price p/p From price based on 6-run heli ski day 2019-20 rates.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Enquire Enquire
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Japan here

Cat Skiing Tours

Iwanai Cat Skiing Day Package
MIXED GROUP DAY CAT SKIING
8 - 10 Runs (Approx 4,600m vertical/day)
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Iwanai Cat Skiing serves up powder runs of 325-650m 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.
Price p/p Price is per person per day
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen
Displayed price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations. Price includes 8% sales tax
AUD 1,078
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Shimamaki Snowcat Packages
GUIDED CAT SKIING ADVENTURE (2, 3 or 4 days)
Stay in Traditional Japanese Inn Inc All Meals
Ability: Advanced 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.
Price p/p Display price is based on 2 days + 2 nights per person for 2021 season (regular season)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
AUD 2,365
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Chisenupuri Cat Skiing
UNGUIDED CAT SKIING NEAR NISEKO
Single Day, Pick Up & Return Niseko
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Unguided cat skiing near Niseko is at the former ski resort of Chisenupuri. You have the freedom to explore and it is ideal for apprentice powder hounds or advanced riders heading to Niseko. Chisenupuri cat skiing is a lust-do! Finish the cat ski day with a soak in an amazing onsen.
Price p/p Price is per person per day
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
AUD 741
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Japan here