POWDER SKI JAPAN

Hokkaido

Rusutsu

RusutsuWith abundant powder snow, breath-taking scenery and world-class facilities, Rusutsu is a heaven for powder lovers, receiving over 13 meters of snow per year and one of the snowiest resorts globally. With a large area to explore and no over-crowding, there are plenty of fresh tracks to ski all day long; the perfect place for a hassle free ski-in ski-out holiday.
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Tomamu

img_tom12Located 90 minutes south of Sapporo, Tomamu Ski Resort boasts modern, high class facilities catered for all types of visitors and, including the Powder Area, is the 3rd largest ski resort in Hokkaido. The resort, which covers across two mountains, offers beautifully groomed slopes, several expert runs aimed for ski enthusiasts and a well-equipped lift system. Tomamu is one of the only resorts to include powder runs and tree skiing within resort boundaries and has organised procedures to ensure rider safety. The powder area offered at Tomamu has an exhilarating vertical drop of about 500m, similar to that of New Zealand’s Coronet Peak.
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Kiroro

41Kiroro is a medium sized skiing resort stretched across two peaks, located 2 hours from New Chitose Airport. While one of lesser known resorts it is renowned for its contemporary infrastructure and facilities, lack of crowds, and prides itself in some of the best powder in Hokkaido with an average snowfall of 21m. The resort has 21 runs on offer and is both adult and children friendly, including a children’s’ snow park and a large range of lesson options available.
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Furano

img_fur01One of the larger ski fields in Hokkaido, Furano Ski Resort is a great destination for those on the lookout for a culturally rich winter holiday. The mountain has been host to 12 FIS World Cups and is popular among casual skiers and powder enthusiasts alike. Maintaining an authentic Japanese atmosphere, Furano Ski Resort provides developed facilities and services, with the beautiful little town of Furano just below the slopes for all to enjoy and experience. The resort receives large quantities of snowfall (average of 9m) as well as having some of the best weather and more sunny days than any other ski resort in Hokkaido. It also has the highest vertical drop than any other ski resort in the area. Most services are available in English or have English-speaking staff, so there is no fuss and makes life at the resort that little bit easier.
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Niseko

img_nis04One of Japan’s most internationally well-known resorts, Niseko United is the most popular ski resort among international tourists and skiers. A conglomeration of 5 resorts on a single mountain, Niseko United is easily the largest ski resort on offer in Japan. This is reflected in it successfully being awarded Japan’s Best Ski Resort, two years running at the World Ski Awards. With its abundant powder and its high popularity, the competition to ride the fresh slopes of Niseko are fierce.
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Asahidake

img_asa09Located within Daisetsuzan National Park, Mt. Asahidake encompasses a group of mountains reaching over 2290m in central Hokkaido, experiencing an intense and heavy snowfall.
Unlike many Japanese ski fields, Asahidake has a single ropeway and only two groomed slopes, instead providing lots of off-piste, backcountry and powder to explore. Its infamous extreme reputation is demonstrated by its hosting of the 1996, 1997 and 1998 Japan Extreme Ski Competition (JESC) which Hiro himself has competed in. The area is known for its unpredictably bad weather but will generally mean a constant and consistent amount of amazing dry powder.
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Asahikawa

AsahikawaAs Hokkaido’s second largest city, Asahikawa boasts a central location and easy access to a number of ski resorts which make up the Hokkaido Powder Belt, including Furano, Tomamu and Mt. Asahidake. Asahikawa hosts its own Winter Festival, similar to that in Sapporo and offers a number of sights and attractions, the most famous of which is Asahiyama Zoo, known for its unique enclosures and being Japan’s northernmost zoological park. The city is also famous for its ramen, the Asahikawa Ramen and is a must try when roaming the city. The night brings the chance to experience a uniquely Japanese nightlife. Areas such as the conveniently located Sanroku Entertainment District offer endless options of bars, restaurants and clubs for any budget. For a more quiet, yet equally entertaining night, the nearby Furarito Alley lets you experience old town Japan whist catering to all your foodie needs.
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Sahoro resort

img_sah02Sahoro Resort is situated in the central mountains of Hokkaido and only a stone-throw away from other ski fields and local attractions. This reasonably large resort offers picturesque landscape views, amazing weather and plentiful amounts of quality Hokkaido powder. With 17 courses in total and abundant snow activities, the resort offers plenty of terrain and worthwhile off-piste tree runs which any advanced skier or snowboarder will enjoy. Considering its size, the resort offers a solid 3-4 night trip of ski fun.
The accommodation at the resort is made up of two hotels; the Sahoro Resort Hotel and the Club Med Sahoro. Both offer high quality facilities and services, such as onsen hot springs and several restaurants to choose from, however due to the isolated area there is little in terms of night life.
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Sapporo and Otaru

Sapporo and OtaruAs Hokkaido’s largest city and the fourth largest in Japan, this snowy city offers everything a traveller wants, including easy and convenient access to some of the islands most amazing ski resorts. Sapporo is known for, as well as for its history as the first Asian city to host a Winter Olympic games, as well as its spectacular Snow Festival and attractions such as the Sapporo Brewery. For winter sport fanatics, the Okurayama Observatory at the top of the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium which was used during the 1972 Winter Olympics can be accessed via chairlift for some breathtaking views of the city. At the foot of the jump hill is the Sapporo Winter Sports Museum which has an abundance of both visual and interactive exhibits to check out. The main entertainment district of Susukino and the surrounding central city let you make the most of the night after any ski trip, which endless options of restaurants, bars and clubs.
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Mount Racey

Mount Racey The Mount Racey Resort is a small ski area located in the Hokkaido town of Yubari, a short distance from New Chitose Airport and Sapporo, and like many of the Hokkaido resorts receives a consistent snowfall and dry powder. Despite it’s relatively gentle slopes, the area has some great tree runs and steep ungroomed runs to enjoy with some as steep as 45 degrees.
The main resort consists of the Hotel Mount Racey which offers easy ski-in-ski-out access as well as classic Japanese onsen hot spring facilities and the freshest Hokkaido produce.
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