World-class powder at Japan’s most famous ski resorts.
A destination that has gained international recognition over the last decade, Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido is a dream come true for any powder hound and here are five of its most attractive ski resorts.
Kiroro is located very close to Hokkaido’s main city of Sapporo and is a modern facility that is very family oriented with lots of fun activities. It offers plenty of pristine soft powder snow surrounded by the majestic nature that characterizes Japan’s northernmost island. There are 21 courses with the longest run being four kilometers. The area also receives a lot of snow, with an annual fall of more than 17 meters – even more than popular Niseko.
Why go? Kiroro is not as well-known as other resorts in Hokkaido so it’s less crowded, but still provides enough facilities for a complete ski trip.
Rusutsu is an all-in-one ski resort with deep, light powder snow and a wide range of activities. It’s the largest single ski resort in Hokkaido, offering 42 kilometers of immaculately-groomed slopes covered in a variety of trails to suit experienced ski and snowboarders, as well as complete beginners. Kids can enjoy dog sledding, tubing and snowmobiling, while the adults can indulge in a great selection of restaurants.
Why go? Rusutsu is beloved for its top-notch powder and opportunities for off-piste skiing.
Furano with its tree-lined runs, light dry powder snow and friendly warm relaxed atmosphere is a fantastic all-rounder to suit any level of skier and boarder. The popular resort is spread over two main areas, offering 25 kilometers of well-groomed runs, plus well-developed amenities and services. The resort is ideal for families with beginner runs in addition to an attraction called “Family Snowland”- providing fun winter activities for kids.
Why go? Furano isn’t just your standard self-contained ski resort; the town is famous in its own right as one of Hokkaido’s top tourist destinations.
Moiwa is the hidden gem of Hokkaido’s famous skiing paradise, Niseko. Located slightly apart from the area’s four main resorts, it sees the same abundance of top quality powder snow with just a fraction of the crowds. Having just eight courses and three lifts, Moiwa is undoubtedly a small resort, and its longest run is just 2,000 meters. The resort still has plenty to offer, however, including spectacular scenery, great off-piste opportunities, and an average of 10 meters of snow per season.
Why go? Moiwa is relatively unknown compared to the other Niseko resorts, but still receives plenty of fantastic powder snow. This makes it the perfect place to carve some fresh tracks in peace on pristine slopes.
Top spot goes to Niseko, the largest and most famous ski resort in Japan. Located just southwest of Sapporo, it features 47 kilometers of well-groomed terrain with seven ski areas that boast one of the highest average snowfalls in Japan (at over 15 meters). The resort is renowned for its deep, high-quality and consistent soft powder snow and long runs, which are ideal for families, beginners and intermediates. Since it is so popular, it can get quite busy during peak season – but with the fun, international vibe you’re guaranteed to make friends.
Why go? The reasons why Niseko consistently features on “World’s Best” lists for skiing and snowboarding are too many to name here. So go check it out for yourself!