Japan boasts some of the most impressive ski areas in the world. The regular snowfall, the well-groomed slopes and the wonderful mountain views make this part of the universe the Holy Grail for snow hobbyists who love to explore the slopes.
On a ski tour to Japan you have the opportunity to try the freshest sushi. Not to forget a soothing après-ski immersion in an incredible variety of hot springs. You will also have some of the most memorable cultural experiences.
But where exactly should you go with more than 500 ski areas? To help you answer this question, we have listed 10 ski resorts that offer the best skis in Japan. Let’s get started!
The 10 best ski resorts in Japan:
If you are looking for a luxury ski vacation with hot, lush spring baths, Rusutsu is the place to be.
But the exaggerated life is not the only thing Rusutsu has to offer; the resort is home to the deepest snow you are likely to ski on in your life. It’s also not as crowded, which you might not find in the other ski areas.
The serenity of the place and its ability to accommodate both beginners and professionals are probably one of the reasons why it’s one of the best Japanese ski resorts. There is a lot of gentle terrain for beginners and great climbs for those who like to go steep.
In addition, Rusutsu is equipped with high-quality ski lift systems to keep you comfortably warm. Think gondolas and impressively fast hooded chair lifts; It couldn’t be easier and fun to move up or down the slopes.
The only downside is that this place doesn’t have much nightlife. So if you’re a party animal, Rusutsu may not be the best choice for you. But honestly, after a long day in deep snow, you are likely to be too tired to dress up for a party.
Why we love Rusutsu
– Less crowded slopes
– Suitable for skiers of all levels
– Insanely deep powder
– Modern elevator system
– Elaborate accommodation
Niseko is another great destination for skiers planning a ski trip in Japan. Of all the Japanese ski areas, this is the snowiest.
With its extensive terrain and access to the picturesque hinterland, Niseko is a great choice for beginners in the country. It attracts more visitors than Rusutsu because it offers an abundance of bars, restaurants, and nightlife for entertainment after skiing.
English speakers are well catered for here. Some restaurants even offer Western cuisine so that foreigners don’t feel like they’re out of their comfort zone.
It is also very easy to get to the place as there are several transport links. And if you are worried about accommodation prices, don’t worry because there are hotels for every budget.
The Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Annupuri and the village of Niseko are amazing areas to explore. However, if you want to escape the crowds or ski off-piste, you should go to Moiwa. Life is a little relaxed here, but you will experience an unforgettable day of skiing. Powder snow also gets extremely deep at times and can create unforgettable moments for those who love skiing in deep snow.
Why we love Niseko
– English is widespread
– Lively nightlife
– Beautiful hinterland
– The abundance of transport options
– Massive terrain
The Furano ski area located in Hokkaido is a gem when it comes to providing breathtaking terrain for skiing and snowboarding. You will love the high quality powder snow and the breathtaking view of the Tokachi mountain.
Furano offers great experiences for both beginners and experts. The lift system includes cable cars and gondolas.
This place is great for family outings, so it would be perfect if you want to teach your kids skiing or if you need a family-friendly resort.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, visitors to Furano can also enjoy snowmobiling, snowshoeing, snow rafting or a hot air balloon ride. The resort also offers equipment rental and ski courses.
Why we love Furano
– Beautiful view of the snow-covered Tokachi mountain
– Suitable for beginners and advanced
– Large selection of elevator systems
4. Happo One
Are you looking for a challenging terrain? Then Hippo One could be your best choice. Well, Japan may not be that popular for steep slopes, but it will no doubt satisfy you. With an abundance of bustling bars and first-class restaurants, you will also be entertained off the slopes.
The backcountry offers lots of deep snow with beautiful trees that cover the area. You can easily reach it from a groomed terrain that is always nearby when you need a break from skiing. Eat well after a long day of skiing and have a beer with friends.
If you’re looking for a place to take off your winter boots and relax by the fire with a plate of street food, go to Sakka. Here you will find a variety of dining cars that offer trips from different parts of the world, with the fire roaring, music playing and beer flowing. You should not miss this experience.
Why we love Happo One
– Wide range of terrain
– Lots of nightlife
– Offers both off-piste and groomed slopes
– Experts friendly
Another destination for the best ski in Japan. With over 10 different ski areas, Hakuba remains a favorite of many international tourists.
It is located in the northern Japanese Alps, 27 miles (44 km) west of Nagano. This amazing ski area became a center of interest in 1998 after hosting the Winter Olympics.
Hakuba offers 85 miles (137 km) of slopes and over 200 courses, making it suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Happy is the main village in Hakuba and offers excellent restaurants and izakayas. There are also many quieter villages for snow hobbyists who want to experience adventures far from the crowds.
Why we love Hakuba
– Over 10 ski areas to choose from
– Allows both slope and off-road
– Suitable for all levels of skiing – Availability of quieter villages with fewer crowds
If you are an advanced skier, Asahidake would be a great place for you. With lots of tree skiing and alpine skiing, it’s one of the best places to show off your advanced ski maneuvers.
If you want to have fun off-piste, you can visit the backcountry slopes in Daisetsuzan National Park near the Asahi mountain, about 60 minutes east of Asahikawa. Skiers visiting Asahidake Resort have access to 4 groomed slopes and 1640 ft. (500 vertical meters) of terrain.
Since Asahidake is more of a national park than a resort, the skiing options are not as extensive or improved as in other ski areas. While this can be an obstacle for beginners or snowboarders, advanced snow sports fans who face a challenge or want to escape the rush are drawn to it.
There are also a few cross-country trails in Asahidake. So if you want to go on long tours, this place should be at the top of your favorite Japanese ski resorts. Most hotels also have hot springs to help you relax after a long day of skiing.
Why we love Asahidake
– Cross-country trails
– Ideal for advanced skiers and boarders
– Hot springs
– Tree skiing and alpine skiing
7. Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa is 28 miles (46 km) northeast of Nagano and is a great place for family outings. Both adults and children can enjoy skiing and snowboarding on the well-groomed slopes.
It opened in 1924 and has remained one of the best and largest Japanese ski resorts to date. With over 50 km (31 miles) of groomed slopes, the resort is ideal for new and experienced skiers. You can ski on mogul slopes, on slopes of up to 40 degrees, or on flat slopes if you are a beginner.
If you are not a skier and want to train a little, you can do so here. There are many English speaking instructors for those who want to take ski lessons.
And if you want to learn something about the Japanese tradition, you should go to the city of Nozawa Onsen. It is particularly charming and rich in Japanese culture.
Why we love Nozawa Onsen
– Large slope area
– Ideal for all levels of skiing
– Rich culture
– Family friendly
8. Sapporo Teine
Sapporo Teine is 12 miles (20 km) northwest of Sapporo. It is one of the best destinations for beginners.
The resort’s Olympic zone offers wide, gentle slopes for beginners and night skiers. The highland zone offers intermediate and advanced courses, making it suitable for intermediate and advanced skiers.
Sapporo Teine can be a wonderful place for family ski tours. There is a family park with sledge and tubing equipment and a snow park with rails, jumps and boxes.
Why we love Sapporo Teine
– Family friendly
– Perfect for all levels of skiing
– Night skiing
Yuzawa, located in Niiga Prefecture, 124 (miles) 200 km from the city, is a great place for anyone looking for convenience in transportation. It is only 2 hours by train from Tokyo.
There are about 20 other resorts in the area, all accessible by bus and other public transportation. Beginner slopes are located near the city center, while more demanding slopes can be found near the resorts on Mt. Naeba. There are also excellent thermal baths in Yuzawa.
Why we love Yuzawa
– Easily accessible
– Ideal for beginners and advanced
– Hot springs
In the center of Hokkaido, 93 miles (150 km) east of Sapporo, is Tomamu, a top-class ski area. This elegant facility offers elegant hot springs, sophisticated restaurants and a wave pool.
Tomamu offers 13 miles of slopes with a wide variety of trails for beginners and advanced skiers. There are also sanctioned areas for off-piste skiing and expert-level courses for skiers.
Tomamu not only offers the best ski slopes in Japan, but also numerous opportunities for snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, heli-skiers and snow rafters. There is also plenty to do for children. For example, there are snow boat rides and a snow playground.
In the evening you can have dinner, drink a beer or go shopping in the resort’s Ice Village. You can also explore the wedding chapel, housed in ice and snow domes.
Why we love Tomamu
– Classy facilities
– Ideal for all levels of skiing
– A lot to do for children and adults
Japan is home to some of the most amazing ski areas in the world. With great snow-covered slopes, inviting culture and incredible cuisine, this part of the world will spoil you with a ski vacation that you probably won’t get anywhere else. Whether you’re just starting skiing or have been in the game for a while, the choices above will help you get the most out of the land of the rising sun!