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

Powderhounds: Your Ski Japan Resource

Ski Japan for some of the best powder skiing in the world. The Japan snow is world renowned and many 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 powder hound, a Japan skiing or snowboarding trip should absolutely be up there on your bucket list.

The Famous Japan Snow

Snowboarding or skiing in Japan often 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 snow in Japan. 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 the snow 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 - here's a list of ski resorts in Japan (well the good ones anyhow). Many of them fly under the radar of international skiers and riders (see powder gem examples), 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. The powder is of high quality and some of the finest snow in Japan. It also makes a great base to visit other nearby ski areas that are ideal for powder hounds.

You can ski Japan in style at Kiroro, which is an upscale resort with great lifts, deluxe condos and two Club Med 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, a Club Med, and other 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 has a town at the base which offers plenty of charm. 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 City. The main village, Akakura Onsen, has retained some of its “Japanese-ness” but it also caters well to English speaking guests and there are group ski and snowboard lessons in English.

Madarao has gained popularity as a great spot to ski Japan, and in addition to providing good value, it makes an ideal base to explore other nearby Nagano and Niigata ski resorts.

To ski Japan in luxury, Lotte Arai Resort 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 up in Iwate Prefecture 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 - see the list of Japan ski resorts) where you can get your Japan powder skiing fix, but you’ll need to rent a car to do your own 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:

Other Info for a Japan Ski Holiday 

Some of the major benefits of a Japan snow trip 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 is the snow in Japan, especially when it is 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 Displayed price may cary slightly due to exchange rates fluctuations
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Price includes 13% tax.
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Price includes 13% tax.
USD 2,765
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Tohoku Storm Chaser
GUIDED SAFARI - NORTHERN HONSHU
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Areas + Cat Skiing
Ability: Advanced 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, using the lifts as well as touring gear at times
Price p/p
USD 2,765
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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 per person, based on 2024 group tour
USD 4,299
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Japan here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Nagano Powder Chaser
HOSTED & GUIDED SKI & CULTURE PACKAGES
3, 4, 5 & 6 Nights | 2, 3, 4 & 5 Days Skiing/Boarding
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Don't let a lack of time, budget or resort knowledge hold you back from a ski/snowboard trip in Nagano this winter. Experience many of Nagano's best ski areas with guides who have an intimate knowledge; based in the culturally rich town of Yudanaka. Tours can be CUSTOMISED for 3 nights or more. Share
Price p/p From price based on 3-night stay with 2 days skiing/boarding) in a twin share Japanese room with private bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,049
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 5% Off tours between 13th and 31st March 2024
Nagano Beginner Packages
BEGINNER HOSTED INSTRUCTION PACKAGES
3, 4, 5 or 6 Nights
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 hire, lessons, and the opportunity to visit the snow monkeys. Share
Price p/p
USD 1,049
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 5% Off tours between 13th March and 15th April 2024
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 per person twin-share room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,963
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 5% off price for 27th Feb and 4th March Tours.
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Japan here

Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours

Guided Photography Tours
GUIDED PHOTOGRAPHIC TOURS
Half & Full Day Package | Private Groups Only
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Experience Niseko’s world-famous powder snow with your guide and professional photographer. Incredible snow… the best zones… epic shots!! Private groups only of up to 5 in a group. Suited to all abilities.
Price p/p Form price based on half-day package per person in a private group of 5
base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price might vary slightly from actual due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 112
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Hokkaido Northside
GUIDED SIDECOUNTRY & BACKCOUNTRY
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Days Guided Skiing
Ability: Advanced to Expert
The Hokkaido Northside Kurodake Tour incorporates a mixture of lift assisted sidecountry plus backcountry touring, with a focus of riding at the famed Kurodake, renowned for being steep & deep. You will be rewarded with face shots of the deepest & driest powder on planet earth!
Price p/p From price is based on per person min 3 people on tour
Bas/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price in other currencies may vary slightly to actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 2,541
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Niseko Guiding
GUIDING IN/FROM NISEKO or OTARU
For PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 6 guests
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are in Niseko or Otaru with a group, a day or multiple days of guiding at Niseko or nearby ski areas will make sure you get to the powder stashes (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 per day for PRIVATE group of 6 in peak season. Full price is 110,000 yen for group in peak season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 121
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See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Japan here

Ski & Snowboard Camp Tours

NZSIA Ski Instructors Course
LEVEL-1 SKI INSTRUCTOR COURSE
5 Days Instruction | 6 Days Lifts | 7 Nights Lodging
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Come and ride in Japan as a solo or with a couple of mates and achieve your level 1 NZSIA ski instructors certificate. Professional NZSIA qualified coach, great accommodation & more...
Price p/p Based on bed in a shared room (max 3 per room)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 1,907
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NZSIA Snowboard Instructors Course
LEVEL-1 SNOWBOARD INSTRUCTOR COURSE
5 Days Instruction | 6 Days Lifts | 7 Nights Lodging
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Come and ride in Japan as a solo or with a couple of mates and achieve your level 1 NZSIA snowboarding instructors certificate. Professional NZSIA qualified coach, great accommodation & more...
Price p/p Based on bed in a shared room (max 3 per room)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 1,907
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See all Ski & Snowboard Camp tours that visit Japan here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Niseko Zen Guided Day Tours
GUIDED DAY TOURS IN / AROUND NISEKO AREA
For PRIVATE GROUPS only
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Niseko Zen offers a variety of PRIVATE GROUP (max 4 per group for touring or 5 per group for lift access backcountry) tours in and around the Niseko area and Rusutsu. The tours range from in-bounds resort powder hunting to full blown backcountry touring.
Price p/p From price based on private group of 4 people on a full-day "Lift-Accessed" backcountry tour of Niseko in 23/24 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 173
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Lessons & Resort Tours
SHIGA KOGEN RESORT TOURS & LESSONS
From 1 to 5 hours
Ability: Beginner to Strong Intermediate
Learn to ski or snowboard on the beginner slopes of Shiga Kogen or improve your ability whilst exploring the massive 19 ski areas of Shiga Kogen. Options are available for people to travel from other nearby ski areas such as Nozawa Onsen.
Price p/p *based on per person in a private group for a 1 hour lesson for 23/24 season.
base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
Displayed rates might vary to actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 66
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Shiga Backcountry Tours
PRIVATE SHIGA KOGEN BACKCOUNTRY GUIDING
Single & Multi-Day Tours
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Venture into the backcountry of Shiga Kogen with guides with your private group. Have the mountain to yourselves. Go for easy hikes, learn avalanche safety skills, or go ski touring to explore further afield.
Price p/p *based on per person in a private group of 3 for a full day tour for 2024.
base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
Displayed rates might vary to actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 103
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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
A heli skiing operation near Rusutsu & Niseko. 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 2023 rates.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,214
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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
7 - 9 Runs
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Iwanai Cat Skiing serves up powder runs of 450-680m of vertical bliss, with 6 to 9 runs for the day. Located near Niseko, the Iwanai Resort snowcat skiing terrain scores masses of snowfall. Ideal for advanced riders with powder experience for group tours or strong intermediates for private snowcat.
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
USD 858
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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 inclusive of tax
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 561
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Niseko Cat Skiing Day Tours
NISEKO DAY CAT SKIING
Single Day Guided, Inc. Lunch
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.
Price p/p From price is per person for 23/24 season (min 4 persons required to operate)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese yen in taxes
*display price may vary slightly with fluctuations in currency
USD 521
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Japan here