Shizukuishi Ski Resort

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Shizukuishi Resort Japan
Shizukuishi Resort Japan
Shizukuishi has some lovely tree skiing
Shizukuishi has some lovely tree skiing
Some of the Shizukuishi ski terrain
Some of the Shizukuishi ski terrain
The Shizukuishi Prince Hotel is ski-in ski-out
The Shizukuishi Prince Hotel is ski-in ski-out
Ski-in ski-out hotel at Shizukuishi
Ski-in ski-out hotel at Shizukuishi
Shizukuishi Prince Hotel
Shizukuishi Prince Hotel
Some magical trees at Shizukuishi
Some magical trees at Shizukuishi
Defunct gondola but tasty terrain above it
Defunct gondola but tasty terrain above it
Gorgeous tree skiing
Gorgeous tree skiing
Shizukuishi cat skiing
Shizukuishi cat skiing
Single run cat skiing on a former piste run
Single run cat skiing on a former piste run
A small mid-mountain restaurant
A small mid-mountain restaurant
Alyeska Restaurant
Alyeska Restaurant
The Prince Hotel has a few English speaking staff
The Prince Hotel has a few English speaking staff
Ski and snowboard rental is inside the Prince Hotel
Ski and snowboard rental is inside the Prince Hotel
Ski and snowboard lockers inside the hotel
Ski and snowboard lockers inside the hotel
The hotel has a gift shop
The hotel has a gift shop
Souvenirs, snacks and sake - all you need!
Souvenirs, snacks and sake - all you need!
The gorgeous Takakura Onsen
The gorgeous Takakura Onsen
Looking across to Amihari and Iwate Kogen
Looking across to Amihari and Iwate Kogen

Shizukuishi Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Shizukuishi

Shizukuishi4/53
Shizukuishi4 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
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Shizukuishi Ski Resort

The Shizukuishi Ski Resort in Iwate Japan is owned by the Prince Hotel group, and during the bubble era it was known as the flagship destination of the Prince dynasty. Perhaps the flag is now just flying at half mast because the resort is starting to show its age a little, despite Shizukuishi marketing itself as “pristine grandeur”. Some parts of the ski area have closed down, a major lift no longer runs, only some rooms at the Shizukuishi Prince Hotel have been renovated, and other signs of financial constraints have crept in.

However Japanese ski resorts that are shiny and glitzy don’t necessarily equate to fantastic, and one possible allure of Shizukuishi for westerners is the lack of other gaijin. At Shizukuishi, you’ll definitely know you’re not at Niseko or Hakuba, but a real Japanese ski resort.

Pros and Cons of Shizukuishi Resort

Pros
  • Shizukuishi has the convenience of a fully ski-in ski-out hotel.
  • The Takakura Onsen is beautiful.
  • The Shizukuishi ski resort is great for intermediate riders.
  • Some of the side-country terrain is super fun.
  • The resort is not westernised, yet it caters somewhat for English speaking guests. A few staff speak English and there are lots of signs in English.
  • The area offers dramatic views of Mt Iwate.
Cons
  • Shizukuishi doesn’t receive as much snowfall as many other Japanese ski resorts, although the powder is generally of very good quality.
  • Shizukuishi is not a very steep mountain, which can play out for powder hounds if the snow is a little heavy. There’s pitchier terrain above the lifts if you’re prepared to hike to the peak.
  • The resort doesn’t cater particularly well for western children, with no group lessons in English and no child care. On the plus side, kids under 13 ski for free.
Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective
  • Off-piste skiing is frowned upon but it is possible. The advantage of the prohibition on tree skiing is that combined with only minimal gaijin visiting, there are abundant freshies.
  • Shizukuishi probably only has enough variety for powder hounds for one to two days, but Shizukuishi makes an ideal base to visit other Iwate ski resorts.

Where is Shizukuishi?

Shizukuishi ski resort is located in northern Honshu in the prefecture of Iwate, 560km north of Tokyo. The Shizukuishi Resort is situated just north of the town of Shizukuishi and about 13km from the Akita Shinkansen’s Shizukuishi Station, and 28km northwest of the city of Morioka (a drive of about 35-45 minutes). From Tokyo, train travel is the easiest way to get there (see Hyperdia for routes and timetables) and the Prince Hotel provides irregular free shuttles from the nearby shinkansen stations to the resort. To have the flexibility to also visit nearby ski resorts, you’ll ideally have a car or be on a multi-resort guided tour.

Shizukuishi Prince Hotel

There’s no village at Shizukuishi, with the Prince Hotel acting as the centrepiece of the base area. The Shizukuishi Prince Hotel is perfectly ski-in ski-out and provides western style accommodation. The hotel has a couple of restaurants, a ski and snowboard rental outlet, and a 3Ss retail shop - snacks, souvenirs and sake (OK they have beer too!). One of the highlights of the hotel is the Takakura Onsen, a hot spring that has been recognised as an onsen heritage site. The outdoor undercover onsen is particularly beautiful, surrounded by snow-covered rocks, little waterfalls and a large pond that has oversized goldfish (carp) that you can peer at.

If you have a car, you could stay at other accommodation options in the area.

Pension Sanrinsha is a charming and economical lodge 2km from Iwate Kogen ski resort and 2km from Amihari Onsen ski area. The owner speaks English and is incredibly welcoming. The compact rooms have western beds (either twin or triple rooms) and bathroom facilities are shared, which includes a bath with onsen water. The Powderhounds have stayed there. The meals were superb and it was a great find!

Book Shizukuishi accommodation:


Facilities & Services

In addition to ski and snowboard rentals, other ski resort amenities include on-mountain restaurants and ski and snowboard lessons. For English speaking guests, lessons are only conducted in a private format.

Shizukuishi Cat Skiing and Other Activities

Shizukuishi Cat Skiing operates in a zone that was formerly part of the ski resort. It typically only runs on Saturdays and is a single run affair and piste only skiing, unless you’re part of guided tour (see below) that includes some cat skiing such as the Shizukuishi Cat Powder Adventure.  

The Shizukuishi Resort offers snowmobiling tours and has a tubing park and kids’ snow park. And ninja related activities are on offer (lord only knows what that entails!).

Koiwai Farm is nearby and offers illumination and fireworks shows on Saturday nights, which could be fun for the family. Don’t bother going to Koiwai Farm during the day. It’s the biggest tourist trap whereby you pay too many yen to enter and there’s nothing much to do except spend more money by eating lunch or buying their produce or cheesy souvenirs (pun intended!).
Tours That May Include Shizukuishi

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

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.
USD 3,062
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Northern Powder Odyssey
GUIDED SAFARI - NORTHERN TOHOKU
7 Nights | 6 Days Guided Skiing
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Get off-the-beaten track in Northern Tohoku where there are abundant lines of fresh powder and negligible foreigners! Visit Northern Tohoku ski areas you've probably never heard of before and immerse yourself in the Japanese culture.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option for 2021 season.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,183
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Tohoku Powder Tour
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK ROAD TRIP
10 Nights | 8 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Tohoku skiing & snowboarding is all about heading to ski resorts that most people have never heard of, where there are freshies galore in the off-piste areas. Head to Geto Kogen, ski areas near Morioka & the mighty Hakkoda.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share mixed-group tour for 2021.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,224
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Shizukuishi here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Central Iwate looking at Amihari & Iwate Kogen from Shizukuishi
IWATE SKI & SNOWBOARDING TRIPS
PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are heading to the Iwate & Akita regions these PRIVATE guiding trips will maximise your Tohoku powder experience. Minimum 4 days. In-resort powder hunting, lift-access sidecountry & backcountry touring options. Resorts include Shizukuishi, Geto Kogen, Tazawako, Ani, Hachimantai, Amihari & Appi Kogen.
Price p/p Displayed based on 4 days per person if 3 in a group 1-3 People: ¥55,000JPY flat rate per day plus tax 4-5 People: ¥65,000JPY flat rate per day plus tax 4-6 People: ¥55,000JPY flat rate per day plus tax
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Displayed price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
USD 704
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Shizukuishi here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

IWATE Powder Experience
APPI & SHIZUKUISHI + CAT & BC
5 Nights | 2 Resort | 1 Day BC | 1 Day CAT
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Experience some of the best powder in Tohoku at Shizukuishi & Appi Kogen plus a day of cat skiing & backcountry skiing. This sample package can be customised from 2 nights or more to suit you/your group, from early January though to early March.
Price p/p Sample price based on twin-share accommodation
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen & may vary depending on dates
Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,334
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Shizukuishi Cat Powder Adventure
SHIZUKUISHI CAT + BACKCOUNTRY DAY TRIP
PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY up to 6 guests
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This fantastic PRIVATE GROUP day-tour includes 3 epic cat skiing runs at a disused ski area plus up to 3 adventurous powder runs in the backcountry of Shizukuishi ski resort. Grab up to 5 other friends & enjoy what is sure to be one of the most memorable days you will have skiing in Japan.
Price p/p Price is per person based on 6 in group for 3 cat runs
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Displayed price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
USD 203
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Tohoku Backcountry Tour
LIFTS + TOURING BACKCOUNTRY
8 Nights | 7 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Head to Northern Tohoku on this lift accessed backcountry tour where you'll use the lifts as well as touring gear to score the best powder. This region provides an authentic Japanese cultural experience & lots of historic onsen.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share mixed-group tour for 2021.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,600
View Details
 
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Shizukuishi here
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