Top 10 Best Ski Resorts for Powder Snow in Japan (Part 1)

Ever wanted to ski in Japan? Japan is famous the world over for its first-class ski and snowboard resorts offering high-quality powder snow, beautiful scenery and relaxing hot springs. Whether it's in Hokkaido, Yamagata, Niigata or Nagano, you'll be able to find slopes for all skill levels and resorts that provide the perfect base to recharge.

In this passage, we would like to introduce the top 10 best ski and snowboarding resorts for powder snow in Japan.

Let's discover great ski and snowboard holidays to Japan this winter!

This article is split into two parts, so be sure to check out part 2 as well!

10) Zaō Onsen(蔵王温泉): Yamagata Prefecture

Zaō Onsen is one of the most famous skiing and snowboarding resorts located in Yamagata prefecture as well as a popular all year traditional onsen hot spring resort village. The longest course starts in the territory of the "snow monsters", trees coated with ice and snow that take on a surreal appearance, a rare winter phenomenon worldwide at the summit of the mountain and is about ten kilometers long.

Zao Onsen Ski Resort (蔵王温泉スキー場)

Address: 708-1 Zao Onsen, Yamagata-City, Yamagata 990-2301
Access: ・By Bus: Express buse to Zao Onsen from Yamagata Station or New Chutose Airport daily.
Operational Dates: November 25, 2017 (Sat) - May 6, 2018 (Sun)
Tel: +81-23-694-9328
Tickets: http://www.zao-spa.or.jp/english/ski/
Plan your Stay: http://www.zao-spa.or.jp/english/stay/
Website: http://www.zao-spa.or.jp/english/

9) Naeba(苗場): Niigata Prefecture

Hi! I'm back. #snowworld #snowboarding #naebaskiresort #snowseason

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Naeba Ski Resort (苗場スキー場) is a ski resort on the eastern slope of Mount Takenoko(筍山) in Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture. The entire area is called “Mt. Naeba”, which consists of 4 ski areas and has many fans from home and abroad. Naeba is one of the most popular ski resorts in Japan due to its accessible location from Tokyo and relatively long snow season with snow making machines.

Naeba Ski Resort (苗場スキー場)

Address: 202 Mikuni, Yuzawa-machi, Minamiuonuma-gun, Niigata 949-6292
Access: ・By Bus: Operate buses to Naeba Ski Resort from Echigo-Yuzawa Station daily.
Operational Dates: December 9, 2017 - May 6, 2018
Tel: +81-25-789-4117
Tickets: http://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/naeba/webket/
Plan your Stay: http://www.princehotels.com/naeba/
Website: http://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/naeba/

8) Myoko Kogen(妙高高原): Niigata Prefecture

Anna Segal launching in Myoko! Pic @andrew_fawcett

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Myoko Kogen(妙高高原) is a town in Kyoto-shi, Niigata Prefecture. Myoko Kogen is famed for its ski resorts which were founded in the 1930s, making it one of the oldest established ski areas in the world. Winter skiing and snowboarding options in Myoko Kogen’s powder snow and the surrounding regions are almost endless!

Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort (妙高杉ノ原スキー場)

Address: Suginosawa 272, Myōkō-shi, Niigata 949-2113
・By Train: Taking the local Kita Shinano line from Nagano Station to Myoko-Kogen Station.
・By Bus: Myoko Shuttle offers two shuttles daily to Myoko Kogen and Madarao Kogen from Narita Airport (12,000 yen), Haneda Airport (9,000 yen), Niigata Airport (6,000 yen) and Toyama Airport (5,000 yen). Click here for scheduled times and bookings.
Operational Dates: December 17, 2017 to April 1, 2018
Tel: +81-255-86-6211
Tickets: http://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/myoko_kogen/webket/
Plan your Stay: http://myokokogen.net/myoko-accommodation/
Website: http://myokokogen.net

7) Hakuba(白馬): Nagano Prefecture

Hakuba(白馬村) is a village located in Kitaazumi District in far northwest Nagano Prefecture. Hakuba is an internationally renowned ski resort town in the northern Japan Alps. As the surrounding valley has an annual snow fall of over 11 meters, it is the central hub for 10 ski resorts with more than 200 runs. The view from Hakuba47 is truly spectacular, with rugged mountains providing and dramatic backdrop!

Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park

Address: 24196-47 Kamishiro, Hakuba-Mura,, Kitaazumi-gun, Nagano 399-9211
・By Train:
(1) The closest train station is Hakuba Station on the JR Ototsuki line. Direct JR Azusa trains run from Shinjuku once daily - departing Shinjuku at 07:30.
(2) The bullet train goes from Tokyo directly to Nagano station in 88minutes. They run frequently through the day.
(3) Direct buses from Nagano station on the Nagano - Hakuba line take approximately 1 hour and run frequently.
・By Bus:
(1) Direct buses run from Tokyo several times a day to several main stations around Hakuba.
(2) Nagano snow shuttles also run direct buses from Narita airport to Hakuba several times a day.
Operational Dates: December 1, 2017 - May 7, 2018
Tel: +81-2161-75-3533
Tickets: https://www.hakuba47.co.jp/winter/en/tickets/lift_tickets/
Plan your Stay: http://www.hakubatourism.jp/accommodations/
Website: https://www.hakuba47.co.jp/winter/en/

6) Shiga Kogen(志賀高原): Nagano Prefecure

Shiga Kogen(志賀高原) is a ski resort and hiking spot, located in the Joshientsu-kogen National Park in the highlands of Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture. The resort was the site of several events in the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Entertainment can also be found at the nearby hot spring resort towns of Shibu Onsen(渋温泉) and Yudanaka Onsen(湯田中温泉) or the Jigokudani Monkey Park(地獄谷温泉), whose wild monkeys bathe in natural hot springs!

You can find more informations about Snow Monkey on this article.

Shiga Kogen 18 Ski Area (志賀高原)

Address: Shiga Kogen, Yamanouchi-cho, Shimotakai-gun, Nagano 381-0400
・By Train: Nagano Station Zenkoji Exit(Nagano Railway [A Private Railroad]) - Yudanaka Staion (Bus [Shiga Kogen Direction]) - Shiga Kogen
・By Bus: Nagano Station East Exit (Nagaden Bus [Direct Bus]) - Shiga Kogen
(Direct Bus during the April - Early December will be operated about 4 times a day)
Operational Dates: November 18, 2017 - May 6, 2018 (Sun)
Tel: +81-269-34-2404
Tickets: http://en.shigakogen-ski.com/lift-tickets/
Plan your Stay: http://www.princehotels.com/shiga/
Website: http://en.shigakogen-ski.com

Experience the wonders of a Japanese winter with skiing & snowboarding in Japan holiday! Be sure to read part 2!

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Koki Miyashita

Author & Editor