Currently there are over 500 places to ski and snowboard in Japan, ranging from Mega-Resorts to tiny local ski areas. The time the venues open are from mid December through March and early April. Ski terrains at Gassan in Yamagata have such heavy snowfall that slopes usually open in April and continue till July.
Japan is well known for its excellent powder conditions, challenging terrain, and consistent snowfall. Exceptional onsen ( Hot Spring ) to soak away your body after a long day at the slopes. Lift passes per day range from 4000 to 5000 Yen.
Rental gear either skis or snowboard equipment, can be rented at most resorts for about
4000 Yen per day. If going for several days, suggest you bring your own gear. The Takkyubin services are so good, if you bring your gear you can ask them to deliver to your place of stay as long as you call them a few days prior, no need to bring on the train or your own car.
Suggested areas to spend your ski weekends or holidays.
NIIGATA ( 1 hour 30 minutes train ride from Tokyo or 4 hour 20 minutes by car )
Right in front of the station are your ski slopes.
16 runs, longest is 2.5 miles, Prince Hotel at your door steps, many other hotels and ryokan in the area
NASPA Ski Garden
Joetsu Kokusai Ski Resort in Minamiuonuma
NAGANO ( 1hour 35 minutes by train from Tokyo or 3 hour 22 minutes by car )
Karuizawa Prince Ski Resort ( 2 hours 30 minutes by car, 1hour 5 minutes by train )
Operating for 70 years. On January 15th Dosojin Fire Festival, one of the 3 largest of such festivals in Japan, is attended by many visitors. Unlucky men at the age of 25 and 42 come to ward away bad spirits.
IWATE ( 3 hours 30 minutes by train or 6 hours 32 minute from Tokyo )
Appi Kogen Ski Resort
850 acres of skiable terrain with 21 runs, 1 gondola lift and 10 lifts
FUKUSHIMA ( 2 hours by train or 3 hours 40 minutes by car from Tokyo )
Grandeco Snow Resort in Kitashiobara
Hoshino Resort Alts Bandai
Major areas are Mt. Bandai and Mt. Adatara
YAMAGATA ( 3 hours by train or 4 hours 40 minutes by car from Tokyo )
Zao Onsen Ski Resort
Largest ski resort in the Tohoku region, popular for skiing as well as trekking in other seasons. Popular scene is the Snow Monsters, where non-skiers are able to view them.
HOKKAIDO (1 hour 30 minutes by plane )
Kiroro Snow World
Good place to stay is the Sheraton Hotel
West and East mountain range also Mt. Isola, places to stay are the Westin Hotel, Vale and Kotobuki.
Above areas available by the Wonderland Chair Lift A
Enjoy your winter in Japan at one of the wonderful “ ski-jo “ ( ski resorts ), with its powder snow, great food and onsen.