Mountains stretch across three-quarters of Japan, making it a dream destination for many skiers. If going there has never occurred to you, read this article and then see if you change your mind!
Why go to Japan?
Snow in Japan doesn’t come in halves! The trees are sometimes completely covered in snow and are called “snow monsters”. The roads are lined with imposing walls of snow, the likes of which are rarely seen in Europe.
There are more than 600 ski resorts, which differ greatly from their European counterparts. They are much smaller, but have a cosy atmosphere and music is played across the slopes.
It’s a true snow paradise for all ski lovers.
Who can go skiing in Japan?
Japan has become a popular destination for all snowsports enthusiasts. In Japan, you can enjoy both a fantastic trip and the pleasure of skiing half a world away in pristine conditions. Keep in mind that you need to have set aside some good savings for the trip. It’s a world-famous skiing destination due to the quality of its facilities, its snow, the atmosphere and the reasonable prices.
When to go skiing in Japan?
The ski season in Japan is from mid-December to April and sometimes even May for certain high-altitude ski resorts. If you’re looking to travel in December, the Niseko ski resorts in Hokkaido are the safest bet for good snow conditions given their location in the north. From the end of March, the resorts often have special “spring skiing” ski passes at lower prices. Contact the resorts for more information.
A handful of high-altitude ski resorts are open till late May, but don’t count on it too much as good snow conditions are not guaranteed.
Where to go skiing in Japan?
We list the most famous ski areas and some handy tips in our article “Japan, a snow paradise for skiers”.
Getting to the ski resorts
Japan has one of the best public transport systems in the world. Their trains are world class and they have a well-developed network, making it very easy to get around the country with this mode of transport. All the most popular ski resorts can be reached by train and there are often several trains running every hour which take you to the foot of the slopes.
Do your research before choosing your ski resort, the best option is to choose one that is served by the train network, otherwise you’ll have to rent a car. Note that in Japan you drive on the left side of the road and a special permit is required.
Also, the high-speed trains run through the Japanese countryside, allowing you to see the landscapes in a new light.
What gear shouldI bring?
MySkirent has got you covered in Japan as well. To consult all the recommended ski hire stores by resort, click on the following link. You’re guaranteed to find all the gear you need. It is often possible to hire both your ski gear and clothing on site. We highly recommend that you contact the ski hire before your trip to ensure they have the gear you want and your size in stock.
Apres ski – relax in an onsen
Plunging into water heated at over 30° with mountain views is an unforgettable experience not to be missed. After a day of carving down the slopes, you’ll be able to enjoy a relaxing moment in one of the many hot springs. Onsens are naturally heated by the high volcanic activity of the Japanese archipelago. These hot springs have been present in Japan since Antiquity and are famous for their therapeutic properties. Most hotels have their own onsen, but you have to remember a few essential rules prior to use. The most important being that Japanese baths are not mixed and you must be naked!
Enjoy your trip!