Tomamu Resort Terrain

Tomamu Resort Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

  • Vertical (m)
    540 - 1,239 (699)
  • Average Snow Fall
    8 metres
  • Lifts (6)
    1 Gondola
    5 Lifts
  • Ski Season
    early Dec - early Apr
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 29
    Longest run – 4.2 km
    Beginner - 30%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Advanced - 30%

Tomamu Skiing and Snowboarding

Tomamu Resort has a variety of piste terrain suitable for most levels of riders except experts, as is generally the case in Japan. There are two sides to the Tomamu Ski Resort. The face above the sky-scraping towers on Tower Mountain (lookers’ right) is mostly suited to beginners to intermediates, whilst the Tomamu Mountain area above the Resort Center serviced by the gondola (lookers’ left) has piste for a range of abilities as well as a terrain park.

Tomamu has small, designated areas for off-piste riding amongst well gladed trees, whilst off-piste skiing elsewhere seems to be well tolerated. Backcountry skiing outside the gates is also permitted.

Tomamu Lifts

Gone are some of the clunky old pair lifts and the single chair at Tomamu Resort. Tomamu has streamlined the lift operations and now most of the terrain is serviced by 3 express quad chairs (the hoods are a god-send on those foul weather days) and an old relic of a 4-person gondola (or gondora as the Japanese like to call them!) that is in desperate need of maintenance or replacement. There is also a pair lift that connects the two sides. Called the Romance Chair, it’s so slow that you could have a long marriage on it. The other slow double chair is for the novices, and hopefully they appreciate having a really long rest on the chair.

There is also a series of magic carpets in front of the Tomamu Club Med for the many beginners that stay there.

The Powder Chair doesn’t open until 9:30am so those staying at the Risonare and Tower will have adequate time to get over there, but if you were super keen to be first in line for the Powder Chair, you could get a shuttle over to the resort center. Night skiing is provided on Tower Mountain for 2 hours each evening.

Lift queues can develop for the gondola, in part because there are lots of pedestrians that head up to the Cloud Walk. When the gondola breaks down, the queues to the Tomamu Express quad chair can get really long.

Lift Passes

Lift tickets are reasonably priced and come in configurations of 4 hours, 1 day or an evening pass and there are beginners’ passes. Kids’ lift passes are for children ages 7 to 12.

Tomamu Snow

The frequency of big resets and general snow volumes are less than that of resorts closer to the sea such as Kiroro and Niseko. However like other Central Hokkaido resorts, the temps are usually very low and the Tomamu snow falls light and dry. One of the negatives of the resort is that most of the slopes don’t have a favourable aspect. The Tower Mountain mostly faces south whilst Tomamu Mountain has a mostly southeast aspect. After a few fine days, the front side can become sun baked.

Tomamu Resort is not renowned for amazing early season snow volumes, unlike the coastal Hokkaido ski resorts, so you may have to negotiate the abundant bamboo off-piste when the tide is low. At least there are snowmaking guns on some of the main trails to supplement the natural snow cover.

Tomamu tends to get decent snow from southerly systems compared to nearby Furano that fares well out of more northerly storms. Be mindful that the Tomamu gondola may go on wind hold as the southerly storm takes hold, and when the storm swings more westerly it can game on at Tomamu Resort. 

Tomamu Ski Terrain for the Beginner

The bottom third of the vertical of the mountain is very gentle so there are various easy slopes on which beginners can practise. For guests of Club Med Tomamu, there is a large beginner zone out the front of the building on a really low gradient slope. Other first timers will want to head up the Nipo Chair in front of The Tower Hotel, with gentle trails that also meander round past the Risonare.

Other bunny slopes are located near the Resort Center, and more adventurous beginners can head to the winding slope that travels from the top of the gondola down to the base. Watch out for the snow scooters!

Intermediate Ski and Board Terrain

The mountain has a small number of good intermediate groomed runs, which are just adequate to keep an intermediate rider entertained for a short while. For intermediates wanting to experiment off-piste there are lots of spots where they can dabble in the powder without being too far away from the safety of the groomer.

Terrain Park

Tomamu Resort has a terrain park with an advanced, intermediate and beginner lane of jumps and kickers. The park also has some rails and boxes.

Tomamu Skiing On-Piste - Advanced

Tomamu only has 4 black courses (ie runs) and they are not that steep. The steepest run “No Gravity” has an exaggerated name as it only hits a maximum of 35 degrees. The black runs are ungroomed and often develop into bump runs, and surely you don’t come all the way to Tomamu to waste your time on these runs?!

Off Piste Skiing Tomamu

The real joys for advanced riders are the off-piste areas which are plenty of fun. Generally these have well gladed trees as well as some bamboo to add some fun obstacles. In a few places the trees are tight, but the powder rewards are worth the effort of having to do all those turns.

Tomamu rates all their off-piste areas as "expert", although considering none of the areas are palm-sweatingly steep and there are no drop-offs or cornices, they are more aptly rated as advanced.

On the Tomamu Mountain side, these are strange wedges of terrain that try to draw you away from a creek. On the Tower Mountain side there is a wide area that includes former lift serviced piste, as well as trees. You can hike up to where the old lift was or traverse in for fewer turns. Keep in mind that the snow quality isn’t as good on this side of the mountain if the sun’s out.

In order to ride in the designated off-piste areas, riders need to register in the Resort Center. You also need to download an app that allows ski patrol to GPS track you (hopefully this app will be in English in the future). The off-piste is usually only officially operational from mid January onwards.

Like most ski resorts in Japan, the terrain can get a bit boring if there’s not fresh snow.

Tomamu Sidecountry & Backcountry

Whilst the snow within the Tomamu Resort is sometimes sun-affected, there is very good news for skiers outside the top backcountry gate where there is often pristine powder. Some areas are a bit bushy, whilst other zones offer wide open trees where you can fly. You can only get in about 300 metres of sidecountry vertical, whilst snowboarders may get in even less vertical due to the extent of traversing required, but it’s all about the quality turns. Those with touring set-ups can continue down to the valley floor – absolute bliss! The Tomamu backcountry is a major highlight of the area.

The backcountry gate past the Cloud Walk also provides some varied frontside backcountry for when the snow is fresh. There are good ski touring and splitboarding options onto the adjacent mountain which open up multiple bowls. Or if you don’t want to hike you can have a short dabble in the trees and pop back into the current ski area, or push out into the more open areas if you have good route finding capabilities or a guide and drop into the former ski area for road pick-ups or train station shuttles. The lower part is really flat and can be a massive slog out, particularly for snowboarders.