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You might know Japan for its mouth-watering food and high-tech cities, but did you know that it’s also a world class skiing destination? Mountainous regions like Hokkaido island in the north experience on average 50ft of snow every single winter, making it one of the snowiest places on the planet.

With all that champagne powder, it’s really no surprise that skiing in Japan has become such a popular pastime. Legend has it that a Major in the Austrian army introduced it to locals in Nozawa Onsen way back in 1911. Delighted by the sport, the following decades saw ski schools popping up from Mount Fuji to Mount Asahi.

Nowadays, you have literally hundreds of Japanese ski resorts to choose from, each offering up jaw-dropping scenery, incredible skiing opportunities (including plenty of night skiing) and a truly unique ski culture. Sushi and sake anyone?

If you fancy witnessing the country’s unmatched snow-sure slopes for yourself this winter, get in touch with our experts over WhatsApp or Messenger to start planning your unforgettable Japan skiing holiday.

Top ski regions & resorts in Japan

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Choosing a ski resort in Japan

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Best for après

If you like to hit up a club or chill out to live music after a day on the pistes, set your sights on Niseko. The highly popular resort on Hokkaido is famed for its lively and diverse après ski scene, plus it’s home to dozens of tempting restaurants where you can tuck into steaming bowls of ramen, fresh sashimi or even upmarket French haute cuisine.

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Best for families

Family groups with less experienced skiers will want to check out Nozawa Onsen in the Nagano ski region. Around 40% of its snow-sure slopes are designed for beginners, while English-speaking instructors make lessons fully accessible.

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Best for big groups

Due to its sheer size and impressive range of amenities, Niseko is always a safe bet for a big group Japan skiing trip. If you’d rather stick to the main island, the 20 or so individual resorts that make up Shiga Kogen are ideal for a wide range of runs and off-piste activities that’ll appeal to everyone.

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Best for beginners

Japan’s epic snow coverage ensures all of its resorts are snow-sure throughout the winter season. Nevertheless, resorts like Rusutsu and Niseko on Hokkaido island are particularly well placed for dustings of dry yet fluffy champagne powder.

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