SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING IN JAPAN SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING IN JAPAN

Skiing and Snowboarding in Japan


2017.03.31

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING IN JAPAN

The 1998 Nagano Olympics was the first time that many foreigners were introduced to the idea of winter sports in Japan.

  • Powder. When skiers talk about Japan, they are talking about the Hokkaido powder. Japan is a destination for skiers of all types and interests. From hardcore enthusiasts, to the luxury resort experience, and everywhere in between, we have you covered.

    SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING IN JAPAN

    SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING IN JAPAN

  • 02

    Rentals and Lift Tickets

    For the vacation skier, the exorbitant price of purchasing ski or snowboard gear can be daunting. Luckily most resorts rent gear for roughly 5,000 yen per day; some places also rent ski wear: pants, gloves, goggles, and jackets.

    Lift Tickets

    Lift Tickets

  • 03

    Resorts

    Japan ski resorts stand apart from their international counterparts by providing the unique experience of the Japanese hotel (ryokan). After a long day of skiing, you come back to the onsen (natural hotsprings) to relax the weary bones. Followed by a traditional Japanese meal before heading to your tatami mat room and futon bed. A new and relaxing way to enjoy your vacation.

    Resorts

    Resorts

    The hills in Japan are not typically as steep as their international counter parts. Though they use the international classification of green triangle through double black diamond, the existing mountains do not provide the same thrill seeking cliffs you might have seen in a YouTube video once.

    Fear not, for those dare devil ski aficionados Japan does provide heliskiing. For those looking to dive out of a helicopter into back country powder, this is your ticket. Be warned, this option is for the truly adventurous at heart; nobody can say that skiing in Japan is for wimps.

  • 04

    Après Ski

    If you are coming to Japan for the night life of the ski town, you might find yourself disappointed. Fine dining, lounges with fireplaces, and even dance clubs are common resorts abroad. However, the bars and karaoke rooms to be found at hotels in Japan are intended for small groups. The ski resorts cater to a clientele looking for a more intimate experience with friends.

    ONSEN

    ONSEN

    The 1998 Nagano Olympics was the first time that many foreigners were introduced to the idea of winter sports in Japan.

    Powder. When skiers talk about Japan, they are talking about the Hokkaido powder. Japan is a destination for skiers of all types and interests. From hardcore enthusiasts, to the luxury resort experience, and everywhere in between, we have you covered.

    Skiing, hakuba, winterPhoto by kawahara
    Rentals and Lift Tickets
    For the vacation skier, the exorbitant price of purchasing ski or snowboard gear can be daunting. Luckily most resorts rent gear for roughly 5,000 yen per day; some places also rent ski wear: pants, gloves, goggles, and jackets.

    Skiing, winter, zaoPhoto by Christopher Johnson
    Resorts
    Japan ski resorts stand apart from their international counterparts by providing the unique experience of the Japanese hotel (ryokan). After a long day of skiing, you come back to the onsen (natural hotsprings) to relax the weary bones. Followed by a traditional Japanese meal before heading to your tatami mat room and futon bed. A new and relaxing way to enjoy your vacation.

    Skiing, hakuba, sunset, winterPhoto by Petra Benstead
    The hills in Japan are not typically as steep as their international counter parts. Though they use the international classification of green triangle through double black diamond, the existing mountains do not provide the same thrill seeking cliffs you might have seen in a YouTube video once.

    Fear not, for those dare devil ski aficionados Japan does provide heliskiing. For those looking to dive out of a helicopter into back country powder, this is your ticket. Be warned, this option is for the truly adventurous at heart; nobody can say that skiing in Japan is for wimps.

    Skiing, winter, yuzawaPhoto by shinji_w
    Après Ski
    If you are coming to Japan for the night life of the ski town, you might find yourself disappointed. Fine dining, lounges with fireplaces, and even dance clubs are common resorts abroad. However, the bars and karaoke rooms to be found at hotels in Japan are intended for small groups. The ski resorts cater to a clientele looking for a more intimate experience with friends.

    Skiing, nozawa onsen, winter
    Photo by Peter Cartledge
    Skiing, nozawa onsen, winter
    Photo by Ichiro Murakami
    Japan’s version of après ski is sipping on a cold drink while you soak in the onsen after a tiring day of smashing through hip deep powder. If you are lucky, the hot spring will feature an outdoor roten-buro bath. Can you imagine anything better than relaxing outside in hot spring water with a cold beverage as snow continues to fall all around?

    If traditional après ski is a must on your list, Niseko and to a lesser extent Hakuba are your best choices.

  • 05

    Off-Piste, Backcountry, and Tours

    A final note for those hard core powder junkies, the powder in Japan really is as good as advertised. There is a wide variety of back country options: snowshoe, snowmobile, snowcat, and even heli-skiing. Be sure to take a local guide, and use the correct equipment. That said, go enjoy the powder and come back next year to tell us all about it!

  • 06

    Suggested Resorts

    We are highlighting these resorts as the biggest baddest ski locations in all of Japan.
    Niseko, Hokkaido – World-renowned. The “powder king” resort.
    Shiga-Kogen, Nagano – Massive interlinked resort area. Home of the Snow Monkey Beer Live festival in mid-March.
    Nozawa Onsen, Nagano – Picturesque village and snow resort.
    Zao Onsen, Yamagata – Home of the ‘Ice Monsters’ illumination.
    Hakuba, Nagano – The best powder outside of Hokkaido.
    GALA Yuzawa, Niigata – A bus ride away from Naeba and Kagura, popular day-trip resorts.

    Niseko
    place
    Hokkaido
    Shiga Highlands
    place
    Shiga Kogen in Shimokitai-gun Nagano-machi, Nagano Prefecture
    phone
    0269342404
    opening-hour
    Freedom to walk
    Nozawaonsen
    place
    Nagano Shimotakai-gun Nozawaonsenmura Toyosato
    phone
    0269853155
    Zao Onsen
    rating

    4.5

    108 Reviews
    place
    Yamagata Yamagata-shi Zao Onsen
    phone
    0236949328
    Hakuba Goryu Snow Resort
    place
    Nagano Pref. Kitadumigunhakubamura Kamishiro 22184-10
    phone
    0261752101
    opening-hour
    [Early Morning] 6:30-8:00[Su…
  • GALA Yuzawa Ski Resort
    place
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Yuzawa Chihira 1039-2
    phone
    0257856543
    opening-hour
    [Sky Center] 7:00-19:15 (Sub…

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