Ani

Ani

Overall Rating

Ani

Ani4/54
Ani4 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Powder Odyssey - chase the powder in Northern Honshu
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Ani - Reviews

Ani - Reviews

Unicorn Ski Resort

04/04/2020

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    N/A
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    N/A
  • Admin Rating
    1

Unicorn Ski Resort

04/04/2020
Sidecountry is a major appeal
Mt Moriyoshi is mellow near the top
Skinning above the Gondi
Beginner run
We found a unicorn ski resort! If you’re not sure what a unicorn ski resort is, it’s one with the highly sought-after combination of lots of snowfall, great advanced and expert terrain, and low crowds. Sounds dreamy doesn’t it?! And unlike some quiet Japanese ski resorts where you really worry whether they’ll remain financially viable, at least the Ani Gondola has some summer and winter pedestrian tourists (the latter definitely won’t steal your fresh powder because they’re just looking at the snow monsters on Mt Moriyoshi). That being said, the ski resort would happily appreciate some more lift ticket sales.

It was so refreshing to visit Ani Ski Resort, especially after we’d just come from Niseko and all its fabulous craziness. Going to Ani was like skiing in Japan was back in the good old days. The staff were so happy to see us and chat to us, we were the only gaijin there, and the only powder chasers there. And the food in the cafeteria was half the price that it was at Niseko.

We visited in a season where Puki Yuki was in a bit of a bad mood, so we didn’t score over-the-shoulder blower powder, but we could certainly appreciate the allure of the place. Ani was a real gem!

We stayed at Hotel Fusch down the road, and that was an old-school experience too. The owner was a real joy to watch in action.

You can see our thoughts on the pros and cons on the Ani overview page and see how we rated it on the Japan ski resort ratings.

Wow

Heather
16/11/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    March
  • Admin Rating
    2

Wow

Heather
16/11/2019
Backcountry was amazing, definitely a highlight of my trip. The best pow days I had were here, on and off the ski runs.
Get a guide and get out there!

The food, facilities and folks were wonderful too, not crowded and super affordable.

Ani: Japan's hidden gem

JG
07/08/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    March
  • Admin Rating
    5

Ani: Japan's hidden gem

JG
07/08/2019
Where to start with this place?! First of all, it's basically all yours. During the three pow days we rode we hardly encountered other people in the lodge much less on the snow. What a pleasant change from the chaos of Hokkaido's holiday resorts. Lift tickets are incredibly affordable, and they even ran a dirt-cheap snowcat when the gondola was grounded by weather. Despite being cheap and empty, the base area had everything we needed. Everyone who worked at Ani was super friendly and the food was excellent. I had a really tricky splitboard problem on my first day, and the repair folks went way out of their way to help me fix it.

OK, let's get to the important stuff: the riding. Wow! Don't be fooled by the trail map. If all goes well you won't be needing that very much. Although a fun day of epic pow laps awaits just beneath the upper chair, you don't want to be stuck with only your resort gear at Ani. Bring your backcountry setup and route finding skills (i.e. hire a guide or pack your GPS) to access what Ani really has to offer. From the top of the gondola, a 20-30 minute tour out either ridge leads up to partially buried mountain huts and shrines. From here you can drop into any of the river valleys for some of the best steep tree skiing anywhere. Keep touring along the ridgetop for another 20-30 minutes and you'll find yourself on the top of an abandoned ski resort where perfectly spaced glades (or wide open runs) are literally all yours. At the end of the day drop under the gondola line, slash your way down to the gully bottom, and take a short tour back up to the groomer to sail victoriously down to the parking lot.

The bottom line: This place has all the potential for adventure and maybe even better access/layout/riding than its closest comparable mountains: Asahi-dake or Hakkoda. All for less money and with fewer crowds. Get it before the world finds out!

The last hidden backcountry gem in Japan

Zoe McMain
26/06/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February

The last hidden backcountry gem in Japan

Zoe McMain
26/06/2019
I’ve been skiing in Japan for many years and I almost lost it on my first day at Ani. It really is the last backcountry-playground hidden gem, as more and more previously unknown ski areas get more crowded, especially in Hokkaido and Nagano.

I’d say this spot is the best fit for the backcountry enthusiast, and not a great fit for someone looking to ski easily accessible pow with zero effort. If you’re willing to put in even a 30 minute hike here and there, Ani will pay you back gorgeously!

Backcountry experience or a guide is required here for sure as it’s in the same vein as Asahidake or Hakkoda. I had to post a review because everything on the internet says getting there is super inconvenient but it’s only 40 minutes from ONJ airport and the ski hill has a shuttle bus that’s coordinated to match the flight schedules. The price is 3,000yen for the one-way transfer.

Cool spot, can’t stop thinking about it even in the summer.