Updated: December 13, 2017
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Japan Ski Resorts: Some Of The Best In The World Await You In The Mountainous Land Of The Rising Sun!

A large part of Japan is covered by impressive mountain ranges. In the winter, even in the southern latitudes of the country, the mountains become snow covered and some areas reliably receive a heavy amount of powdered snow every year. Which means, Japan is a great country for skiing! Here are some of the top ski resorts in Japan.

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Niseko Ski Resort (Hokkaido)

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Niseko Ski Resort, located on the northern island of Hokkaido, is most definitely one of the most popular destinations in Japan for skiing for good reasons. Firstly, you get a breathtaking view of the Mount Yottei, often referred to as the "Mount Fuji of Hokkaido". Secondly, the 1,300 meters mountain receives an average of 15 METERS of powdered snow every year. And thirdly, the ski resort has about an equal amount of terrain for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Best way to get there from Tokyo is to fly to the Chitose Airport. From there, there is public transport that goes to the resort.

Furano Ski Resort (Hokkaido)

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Furano is another great ski resort in the snow kingdom of Hokkaido. This mountain has a vertical drop of 957 meters and receives on average 9 meters of snowfall per year. The snow it receives is light and dry. Furano has a good variety of terrain. 20% of the mountain is rated advanced. It's a good mountain for snowboarding. It hosted the 2005/2006 Snowboard World Cup. What's more, the Furano Ski Resort is located right next to the majestic Daietsu-zan National Park. There are plenty of things to admire from this area of Hokkaido!

Rusutsu Ski Resort (Hokkaido)

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Rusutsu is a safe bet for a good family winter vacation. The ski resort spreads on three different mountains that receive on average 12 to 14 meters of snow per year. There are plenty of accommodations and other forms of winter entertainment such as snowmobile riding and snow rafting. The resort consistently ranks among the best in Japan. It is located 90-minute drive from Sapporo or the Chitose Airport.

Hakuba Ski Resort (Nagano)

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Hakuba Ski Resort is the home of the 1998 Nagano Olympics' alpine competitions. Needless to say, the resort has world-class slopes and facilities. Nagano is on the west coast of Japan's main Island of Honshu, which makes it more easily accessible from the metropolitan area of Tokyo. By bus, it takes about 5 hours to get there from the capital. The Hakuba resort is in the heart of the Japanese Alps, with many mountains having an elevation of approximately 2,000 meters. The natural beauty of the Hakuba valley is outstanding because of that. Hakuba is a collection of 11 major resorts that include the famous Hakuba Cortina Resort. You'll have plenty to explore at Hakuba.

Appi Ski Resort (Iwate)

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Appi Resort is located in Iwate Prefecture, in the north-east of the Honshu Island. The area receives an abundance of good snow and is a well-known spot in Japan for alpine sports. The 824 meters high mountain is suitable for all levels: its steepest, most challenging slope has 34 degrees angle and some other cruising scenic slopes are good for lower levels and for enjoying an amazing view. You can see Mount Iwate, the tallest mountain in the area while you slide down the slopes of the world-class ski resort. It has a ski and snowboard school that offers lessons in English and other activities in nature. It takes about 3 hours to get there from Tokyo using the Hayabusa Shinkansen to Morioka and then taking a bus.

Gala-Yuzawa Ski Resort (Niigata)

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The Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort is perhaps your best choice for your day ski trip from Tokyo. You can get there in just 75 minutes from the Tokyo Station using the Shinkansen train. The ski resort is directly connected to the Shinkansen station, so getting there is super easy and convenient. It is located in Niigata Prefecture, to the west of the Kanto plain. The height of the mountain is 800 meters and the area is also blessed with an abundance of snowfall in the winter. Aside from the slopes, there are other winter activities that can be done such as snowshoe trekking tours.


These are a couple of ski resorts in Japan that you should definitely consider when planning your next winter vacation. If you are living in Japan, it's definitely worth it to try skiing even if you have never done it before. The country has some stunning mountains and you can rent your equipment at the resort if you don't have your own.
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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