The best ski resorts in Japan for snowy winter holidays, even in spring

By Anna Veselova-SolovoniukMar 16, 2024 18:10 PMThe best
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The best ski resorts in Japan for snowy winter holidays, even in spring
Attractive ski resorts in Japan. Source: https://www.facebook.com/

Japan's ski resorts offer some of the best conditions for skiing and snowboarding. If you missed out on winter fun on the snowy slopes, Japan provides ample opportunity for snowy adventures even into spring. This period offers lower prices while still maintaining solid white coverage. We've compiled a list of the best skiing destinations in Japan so you can make the most of the winter season and experience the latest technology to enhance your skiing and snowboarding experiences. Discover how and where to ski in Japan in our comprehensive guide, featuring recommendations from experts and locals. Our locations also offer opportunities to enjoy onsen hot springs, top-notch restaurants, and a variety of additional experiences alongside the slopes.

The best ski resorts in Japan for snowy winter holidays, even in spring
Modern gondolas at the Nozawa Onsen ski resort in Japan. Source: https://www.facebook.com/

Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort - Nagano

Originally a hot spring resort, Nozawa Onsen has evolved into one of the premier ski villages in Japan. Today, visitors can enjoy both experiences to the fullest, as they hold equal importance in this charming village.

With 13 public baths scattered throughout the ski town, visitors flock to them like bees to honey to soothe their muscles after a day on the slopes and indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments.

The diverse terrain surrounding the village offers a variety of slopes suitable for beginners as well as seasoned skiers and snowboarders. Families particularly enjoy visiting the resort due to its ample entertainment options for all ages. Imbued with Japanese charm, the village offers a delightful opportunity to immerse oneself in another culture. The compact size and the presence of a single ski resort in the village make everything easily navigable, whether choosing accommodation or planning daily activities. Accommodation options include Japanese guesthouses, which have long catered to international tourists and offer services in English.

Nozawa Onsen's location makes it an ideal skiing destination in Japan. Just a two-hour journey from Tokyo via shinkansen (to Iiyama station) followed by a 25-minute bus ride, it's possible to escape to snowy slopes even for a weekend getaway.

The best ski resorts in Japan for snowy winter holidays, even in spring
The romance of Niseko ski resort in Japan. Source: https://www.niseko-village.com/

Niseko Ski Resort - Hokkaido

As Japan's most renowned and popular ski resort, Niseko boasts the highest snowfall and longest winter season in the country. Its expertly crafted slopes cater to guests of all skill levels, from beginners and families to seasoned athletes. Escaping the crowds is a breeze here; simply veer off the main trails to find your own tranquil run where you can hone your skills.

Upon descending the mountain into Hirafu Village, visitors are greeted with a plethora of activities to suit every taste, from kids' play areas and ice cream parlors to chic bars, gourmet restaurants, and boutique stores. Nightlife in the ski village is lively, ensuring that those with boundless energy will find plenty of outlets for their enthusiasm.

Accommodation options at Niseko Ski Resort are varied and comfortable, catering to a wide range of budgets. Whether you opt for a townhouse, apartment, or simply a cozy room depends on the purpose of your visit.

Accessing this iconic ski village in Japan is convenient, with routes available from the city of Sapporo and direct transportation from New Chitose Airport, making it especially convenient for those who prefer to avoid navigating city transportation systems.

The best ski resorts in Japan for snowy winter holidays, even in spring
Your snow vacation will last until the end of spring at Shiga Kogen Resort in Japan. Source: https://shigakogen-ski.or.jp/

Shiga Kogen Ski Resort - Nagano

Your destination for a winter getaway, even if it's already May. The remarkably long winter season at Shiga Kogen Resort allows visitors to enjoy winter activities and welcome spring amidst cherry blossoms. Another highlight of this location is its partnership with 19 other ski resorts in Japan, offering visitors a single ski pass that covers a vast array of slopes, lifts, sceneries, and opportunities for skiing and snowboarding.

The expansive resort area is equipped with slopes suitable for all skill levels and preferences. Opting to stay in one of the traditional Japanese guesthouses ensures guests receive the utmost hospitality and expert guidance from local advisors. Don't miss out on visiting the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, located in close proximity to the resort, for an unforgettable experience.

Indulge in the resort's culinary scene, where you can explore Japanese cuisine from A to Z.

Situated within the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, the resort is easily accessible from Tokyo via shinkansen (1.5 hours) followed by a bus transfer in Nagano (just over an hour).

The best ski resorts in Japan for snowy winter holidays, even in spring
A children's snow park at the Rusutsu resort in Japan. Source: https://rusutsu.com/

Rusutsu Ski Resort - Hokkaido

Hokkaido's mountains are blanketed in thick layers of snow that replenish quickly and melt slowly. The Rusutsu ski village itself is less crowded than Niseko, offering a pleasantly relaxing setting for skiing and snowboarding in Japan.

The resort is ideal for a quick weekend getaway or a day trip. Located just half an hour away from Niseko by car, the village is popular among local tourists. Rusutsu caters to beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers, offering pristine slopes, untouched powder, and numerous tree obstacle courses.

Whether you prefer the comfort of a hotel or the coziness of a guesthouse, the choice is yours. Either way, you'll be immersed in cultural events, nightlife, and top-notch experiences.

To reach this fantastic ski resort in Japan with its laid-back and casual atmosphere, take routes from New Chitose Airport or Sapporo City.

The best ski resorts in Japan for snowy winter holidays, even in spring
Climb above the Hakuba Valley for fast downhill skiing in Japan. Source: https://www.hakubavalley.com/

Hakuba Valley Ski Resort - Nagano

Skiing in the Japanese Alps offers a variety of experiences across 10 different ski resorts. The interconnected roads make it easy to visit multiple resorts during a single snowy vacation. Traveling between resorts is an experience in itself, with the stunning scenery of the Hakuba Valley providing its own form of vacation therapy.

Adding to the skiing experience are the numerous hot springs scattered throughout the valley, making it convenient for any stopover. The valley's hospitality and proficiency in English have made it popular among international tourists, further enhancing its allure. Ongoing investments in the development of ski resorts in the Hakuba Valley ensure they remain up-to-date with the latest technological advancements, consistently surprising guests with incredible innovations.

Getting to the resorts from Tokyo is convenient. Take the Shinkansen or bus to Nagano, then transfer to another bus for the hour-long journey to Hakuba. Many hotels offer shuttle services, making transportation even easier and more straightforward for guests.

The best ski resorts in Japan for snowy winter holidays, even in spring
Skiing downhill to the sounds of rock at the Naeba resort in Japan. Source: https://www.princehotels.com/

Naeba Ski Resort - Niigata

Winter draws rock and ski enthusiasts to the southern part of Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture. Among the 20 separate ski resorts in the area is Naeba. Staying at the resort's hotel puts you right next to the slopes, saving you travel time and ensuring more time on the slopes. Additionally, the resort offers convenient access to Kagura, where you can experience Japan's longest gondola cable car, the Dragondola.

Naeba features terrain parks, appealing to snowboarders looking to perform tricks or maneuvers. Families will also find it comfortable here, as the variety of slopes caters to beginners and experts alike.

Traveling from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa Station takes about an hour and a half. From there, you can transfer to a free shuttle provided by Naeba Prince Hotel, which will transport you to one of Japan's premier ski resorts.

The best ski resorts in Japan for snowy winter holidays, even in spring
Ski with the locals at the Appi Kogen ski resort in Japan. Source: https://www.appi-japan.com/

Appi Kogen Ski Resort - Iwate

Follow the locals' lead to Appi Kogen, which offers a wonderful balance of value for money, comfort, luxury, and experiences without the tourist crowds. While the resort may not be as hyped up, its atmosphere is pleasantly calm and measured, allowing you to avoid exhaustion from rushing around on your first day. English-speaking services ensure a relaxing experience at the resort, where you can enjoy 21 diverse trails, authentic national gastronomy, charming stores, and uninterrupted views of the snowy landscape.

Traveling from Tokyo by shinkansen, you'll arrive at Morioka Station. From there, transferring to a bus or train will take you directly to Appi Kogen.

The best ski resorts in Japan for snowy winter holidays, even in spring
Keep on course for the ski resorts of Japan. Source: https://www.appi-japan.com/

Myoko Kogen Ski Resort - Niigata

You'll have a choice of 9 locations at once when visiting Myoko Kogen Ski Resort in Japan. While you can enjoy any resort, if you're seeking something historically significant, head to Akakura Kanko—it's one of the founding European ski resorts and continues to thrive today. Its location will place you right on the hill, offering luxurious views and easy access to the slopes.

The Myoko area boasts 7 famous hot springs, providing ample opportunities for relaxation.

For convenient transportation, take the shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano Station, and from there, transfer to a bus or train bound for the Myoko Ski Area.

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