Ski resorts in Japan have become increasingly popular with skiers from all over the world. The increased popularity is down to the perfect powder and jaw dropping mountain views that surround each resort. With over 500 ski resorts, of all shapes and sizes, you have plenty of choice but a lot of them are often overlooked by tourists from abroad.
The thing I love about skiing in Japan is that they put just as much effort into what happens off the slopes as they do on them. Of course you’ll have some of the best powder in the world, but when you take off your boots you can expect the ultimate in relaxation, activities and festivities.
Here are 3 of my favourite places to ski in Japan:
Hakuba is extremely popular with international tourists, in the valley you will find 11 ski resorts. Hakuba is situated in the northern part of the Japanese Alps, roughly 45 kilometres from Nagano. This place really shot to fame during the 1998 winter Olympics because people from around the world saw several events hosted here. People love visiting Hakuba because the resort has a variety of runs that are suited to all levels – with over 200 runs you are guaranteed to find the right ones for you.
Niseko has around 50 kilometres of groomed piste and it is widely believed that it gets more snowfall that any other ski resort on the planet. You’ll find it on the map southwest of Sapporo, roughly 100 kilometres away. Niskeo has fantastic runs which are ideal for all levels, especially families and beginners. If you like a bit of adventure then you can try some off piste skiing, all you have to do is sign up for one of many guided tours – if you’re confident in your ability then I would highly recommend signing up.
Rusts is easily my number one resort in Hokkaido, the 40 kilometres of piste are so well taken care of its a real treat to ski there. Spread over 3 mountains there’s an abundance of runs for beginners to enjoy. For the more advanced skiers, they enjoy the tree trails and back country, that can all be reached straight from the lifts which is always a bonus. My kids really enjoyed the activities here such as; tubing, night skiing, dog sledding, ice skating and even snowmobiling. The grown ups got the ultimate relaxation in the pool and also onsen.