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Top 8 Ski Resorts in Japan

Skiing in Japan 500
Top 8 Ski Resorts in Japan

Which one is the best ski resort in Japan? There are more than five hundred ski resorts located across Japan, from Hokkaido's northern island to southern Kyushu. Below are the top 8 ski resorts in Japan as your reference.

Shigakogen Resort
Located in the highlands of Nagano Prefecture, the Shigakogen Ski Resort is the largest ski resort in Japan, composed of 18 ski areas. It is also the second highest ski resort in Japan, with the altitude of most of the skiing area at least 1500 meter. The highest altitude can reach 2307 meters, and yields a vertical drop of 1000 meter in the area. The Shigakogen Resort has 79 ski trails, adding to 80KM in total.

The greatest slope angle can reach 39 degrees. The 52 ski lifts also total to 49 KM. The resort gains its fame after hosting the Winter Olympic Game in 1998. With Japanese tradition well preserved in the area, the resort has been ranked as one of top ski resorts in Japan for vacation. Convenient public transportation allows guests to arrive at the resort by shuttle. Additionally, the neighborhood offers numerous accommodation choices. The price for the lift tickets varies depending on the date and length of the visit.

Karuizawa Prince Snow Resort
Karuizawa Prince Snow Resort is located in Karuizawa in the Nagano Prefecture.  Found on a highland at an attitude of 1000 meter, the resort offers an ideal site for winter activities. Surrounded with luxurious vacation homes, the Karuizawa Prince Snow Resort is the top choice of the upper class for winter vacation.  Numerous onsens are also abundantly available in the area.  The longest trail stretches to 1200 meters. The maximum pitch about 30 degrees. Also, the vertical drop can reach 215 meters.

The Karuizawa Prince Snow Resort has a total of 10 ski trails, including 5 for beginners, 2 for intermediates, and 3 for the advanced.  The beginner trails are flat and spacious, best for guests to learn skiing and snowboarding.  Near the popular beginner trails, the Prince Trail and the Mominoki Trail, is the Kids Park.  The Kids Park does not only offer a bouncy house but also professional skiing lessons for the children.  The Karuizawa Prince Hotel is nearby the skiing areas, allowing a convenient transfer back to the hotel after exhausting activities. Thus, the resort is an optimal destination for a family trip. Travelers can also enjoy night walk in the snow and sightseeing in a cable car. The price for the lift tickets varies depending on the season.

Niseko Annupuri
Hokkaido is famous for its skiing fields, and the best skiing resort in Hokkaido is undoubtedly the Niseko Annupuri. Due to the advantageous location, Niseko Annupuri received the softest snow in the country.  The snow quality is even recognized by the Forbes as the second best in the world. Niseko Annupuri has 13 ski trails in total, and the diversity on terrain offers a great site for all skier at beginner, intermediate and advanced level. The average slope angel is about 10 degree, with the max pitch hitting 34 degree.

The resort also has 6 ski lifts, commuting guests at an altitude difference of 756 meter.  The resort updates the ticket fee every season, and offer student discount.  Additonionllay, the resort requires a 1000 JPY as deposit, which will be fully refunded at the end of the day.  Guests can check out equipments at rental stores, which usually run from 8:30 to 18:00.

Rusutsu Resort
Stretching over 3 mountains, the Rusutsu Resort has the most skiing trails in Hokkaido.  It has a total of 37 trails, 30% for beginner, 40% for intermediate, and 30% for advanced. With the diverse terrain on the resort, guests can always find a perfect trail suiting their need.  The weather is usually sunny, thus the resort offers a glorious view of the Lake Toya and the Lake Shikotsu from the top.  In the resort, guests can always find entertainments in different period. Snow Candle Night is held towards the end of December.

Starting February, ice craft exhibitions reveal world class crafting skills to visitors. Travelers can also participate in the unique winter camping experience. Moreover, guests can try horse riding, motorcycle sightseeing, dog sledding and other fun activities in the snow field.  The resort is also a family friendly destination, offering both children amusement park and day care service.

GALA Yuzawa Resort
Japan Rail provides a direct transfer from Tokyo to GALA Yuzawa Resort.  From Tokyo Station to Gala-Yuzawa Station, the whole trip only takes 77 minutes, and the resort is immediately located next to the Gala Station. GALA Yuzawa Resort is the most famous ski field in the region. The resort has a total of 17 trails, with 35 % for beginner, 45% for intermediate, and 20% for advanced. Each trail is different in length, vertical drop, and slope angle, thus guests can choose their best fit route. Dominated with mellow terrains, the GALA Yuzawa Resort attracts many novices every year. The price for lift tickets varies depending on the season.

Sahoro Ski Resort
Located in the center of Hokkaido, the Sahoro Resort presents one of the most charming views of the city.  Unlike other part of the Hokkaido, the weather in Sahoro is mostly sunny in winter.  The resort has 17 skiing trails open to the public.  With 9 trails for beginner, 3 for intermediate, and 5 for advanced, the resort welcomes visitors at all levels.  The resort is also equipped with seven gondolas and one lift to transfer guests to their desired location.

Visitors can enroll in the basic lessons, private instruction (advance appointment required), or youth course (4 years old or above) available on site. Furthermore, the professional instructors are best at exposing visitors to the delight of different winter activities. Lastly, the resort has amusement park providing a wide range of entertainments such as fishing, horse riding, and snow rafting. The price for lift tickets varies depending on the season, and discounts are offered occasionally.

Naeba Ski Resort
Naeba Ski Resort has almost 80 skiing areas, and it is one of the best in Niigata Prefecture. The resort has the longest lift, which extend to 5.5KM, in the world. Each gondola can carry up to 8 people, transferring hundreds of passengers to the skiing areas at 2000M altitude. During the ride, visitors can enjoy the panoramic views for the ski field cover in snow. Some skiing areas greet visitors as early as 4AM. Resting areas with foods stands are abundantly found one by another throughout the resort. 

There are 18 trails in total: 7 for beginner, 6 for intermediate, and 5 for advance. Naeba Ski Resort is the best choice for a family trip not only because preschoolers can enjoy free entry to the resort, but also because it reserve special lift service for family. Additionally, it has a playground area with igloos, which guarantees a memorial experience for children.  Naeba Ski Resort offers one-day pass, seasonal pass, and student discounts. How to get to Naeba from Tokyo.

Yubari Resort
Yubari Resort, located in the center of the Yubari city of Hokkaido, is the only skiing resort in the region.  The resort has two well-furnished hotels, one hostel, and a skiing area.  The Yubari Resort has 18 skiing trails in total, including 3 for beginner, 7 for intermediate, 8 for advanced. Thus, visitors at different levels, from a skiing learner to professional experts, would gather in at this resort. The resort also offers the only indoor skiing area in Hokkaido for kids. This indoor skiing area provides a safe space for children for winter activities, and different courses are available. The price for tickets varies depending on the duration of the stay.

As a reliable Japan Travel Agency, we provide ski tours and Chauffeur services for travelers from overseas. Whether you are looking for a ski tour or a private transfer, you can easily find the most suitable one at an affordable price. Contact our representatives to book our Japan ski tours and Japan private chauffeur today.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to get to Karuizawa Prince Snow Resort with public transprtation?
    Take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen and get off at the Karuizawa Station. Then hop on the free shuttle located at the South Exit of Karuizawa Station.
  • What does Karuizawa Prince Snow Resort offer other than skiing?
    At Karuizawa Prince Snow Resort, you can also enjoy the snowy night scene. Ride a cable car, motorcycle, or sled along the ski trails, you will immerse yourself in the enormous snow field as well as the starry sky.
  • What are the recommended hotels near Niseko Annupuri?
    One Niseko Resort Towers, Niseko Konbu Onsen Tsuruga Moku-No-Sho, Niseko Northern Resort, An'Nupuri
  • How to get to Shiga Kogen Ski Resort with public transportation?
    Take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen to Nagano Station. Transfer to the Nagano Line and arrive at Yudanaka Station, where you can take a bus to Shiga Kogen for 30- 60 minutes. Bus to Shiga Kogen is also available at Nagano Station.
  • Does Shiga Kogen Ski Resort have onsen?
    Onsen bath is not to be missed if you are visiting Shiga Kogen Ski Resort. Hot spring facilities are available at hotels in Kumanoyu, Kidoike, Maruike, Sunvalley, Hoppo-Bunadaira, Takamagahara, and more.
  • What other attractions to visit near Shiga Kogen Ski Resort?
    You can visit Jigokudani Monkey Park to see snow monkey in hot springs. There are buses to the park from Yudanaka Station and Nagano Station. Then, take a half an hour walk from the bus stop to the ticketing office. Winter opening hour is from 9:00AM to 16:00PM.
  • How to get a ticket for the Shiga Kogen Ski Resort?
    You will need to purchase a ticket for the cable car for the rides at the Shiga Kogen Ski Resort. Depending on how long you stay, you can buy a single-, two-, or multiple-days pass. You can use the pass at different ski areas. Tickets are sold at the local hotels as well as ticket offices.
  • Can I rent a 45-seat coaster bus to Naeba Ski Resort in winter?
    Depending on the weather condition, big buses cannot travel if the road gets too icy. Alternatively, you can consider our Tokyo Alphard or off-road vehicles. Please contact our representatives for details.
  • What are the most famous ski centers in Japan?
    Japan is well known for its ski resorts, including Niseko Ski Resort, Furano Ski Resort, Shiga Kogen Ski Resort, Hakuba Happo-one Snow Resort, ZAO Onsen Ski Resort in Yamagata, Gassan Ski Resort, and more.
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