Your Preview of Japan’s Top Ski Resorts

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If you DON’T like gliding through pristine snowfields, breathtaking mountain views, and indulging in some après-ski delights, then this is NOT the article for you – for everyone else, Japan’s ski season is calling your name! Strap on your skis, tighten the buckle on your snowboard and get ready for an adventure like no other with our ultimate guide to Japan’s top ski resorts. 

Niseko United

This powder paradise in the picturesque Hokkaido region attracts snow junkies from across the globe. Renowned for its legendary powder snow, Niseko offers an extensive variety of terrain suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. From beginners finding their ski legs through to experts, Niseko has something for all. After a day on the slopes, unwind in one of the many natural hot springs (onsen) scattered throughout the area, or warm up with a steaming bowl of ramen.

Hakuba Valley

In the heart of the Japanese Alps on the main island of Honshu, you’ll find Hakuba Valley – somewhere not to be missed by winter sports enthusiasts. With multiple resorts interconnected by a single lift pass, Hakuba is diverse in terrain, from gentle groomed runs to more challenging adventures for the experienced skiers. Offering a unique blend of traditional Japanese culture and world-class skiing you can also explore the charming villages full of Japanese Inns (ryokans) and sample authentic Japanese cuisine, while immersing yourself in the warm hospitality of the friendly locals.

Rusutsu Resort

Tucked away in the quiet countryside of Hokkaido, Rusutsu Resort boasts some of the lightest and driest powder snow in Japan. With over 37 kilometres of ski slopes, Rusutsu offers endless opportunities for exploration and excitement. The wide-open spaces and gentle slopes make this a perfect resort for families, while the thrill seekers can test their skills in the resort’s renowned terrain parks. One also can’t visit Rusutsu without experiencing their world-famous ice cream, made fresh daily using local Hokkaido milk.

Nozawa Onsen

If Japanese history and tradition is your things, then Nozawa Onsen is for you, offering a unique blend of authentic Japanese culture and exceptional skiing. Situated in the northern Nagano prefecture, this charming village is famous for its onsens and traditional architecture. Ski enthusiasts will delight in the resort’s terrain. After a day on the slopes, immerse yourself in the local culture by participating in one of the village’s many traditional festivals or sampling the delicious local delicacies.

Shiga Kogen

Welcome to Japan’s largest ski resort, Shiga Kogen – offering unparalleled variety of terrain spread across multiple interconnected ski areas. Part of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park in Nagano Prefecture, the snowfall at Shiga Kogen is abundant, ensuring perfect conditions for skiing and snowboarding. With over 600 hectares of skiable terrain and 51 lifts, there’s always a new adventure waiting to be discovered. After a day on the slopes, relax and rejuvenate in one of the resort’s natural hot springs, or sample the local sake brewed in nearby Nagano.

Appi Kogen

Appi Kogen is in the northern Tohoku region and offers a blend of world-class skiing and traditional Japanese hospitality. With over 21 kilometres of groomed trails, Appi Kogen caters to skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Families will appreciate the resort’s extensive range of beginner-friendly slopes and ski schools, while advanced riders can challenge themselves on the resort’s steeper runs. After a day on the slopes, indulge in a sumptuous Japanese kaiseki meal.

Furano Ski Resort

Set against the backdrop of the majestic Daisetsuzan Mountain Range in central Hokkaido, Furano Ski Resort offers some of the most picturesque skiing in Japan. Its 23 kilometres of groomed runs provides an unforgettable skiing experience for enthusiasts of all levels. Known for its light, dry powder snow and stunning panoramic views, Furano is a favourite destination for skiers and snowboarders seeking both thrills and tranquillity. The town of Furano is also renowned for its lavender fields which cannot be missed. 

So, there you have it– your ultimate guide to conquering Japan’s epic ski season. From the legendary powder of Niseko to the traditional charm of Nozawa Onsen, Japan offers an unforgettable winter wonderland experience that will leave you longing for more. Now all that’s left to do is pack your bags, wax your skis, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime! 

Travel Insurance

We all know that the good times can take a slight detour when travelling. When the going gets tough, Travel Insurance Direct policies aim to do the heavy lifting and may assist with travel insurance cover for activities such as skiing or snowboarding to help keep your trip moving in the right direction, so you can refocus on the fun.


TID is an Australian online travel insurance company.


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