Skiing & Snowboarding/スキーとスノーボード

Skiing and Snowboarding Destination Japan

Most of Japan's major cities are located in regions with mild climates that receive little snow, so it may come as a surprise to many people that Japan actually receives some of the heaviest snowfall in the world. Japan has a complex topography, with mountains covering over 70% of its total land area. Many of these mountains are suitable for skiing and snowboarding. In recent years, increasing numbers of people have been coming to Japan to ski and snowboard. Many of these winter sport enthusiasts are pleasantly surprised by the high quality and large amounts of snow.

The Dos and Don'ts of Skiing and Snowboarding

If you want to ski or snowboard, you will need a lot of gear, starting with the skis and snowboards themselves, but also including suitable clothing, boots and more. Thankfully, in recent years, many ski resorts offer such equipment for rent, so you won't need to bring your own. Skiing and snowboarding tours often include lift tickets and rentals of equipment and clothing in the price, so it is a good idea to check in advance what comes included in the package.
As an outdoor activity, skiing and snowboarding brings you face to face with nature and the elements, so there will naturally be some risk involved. Follow the rules and have a good time.

General Rules for Skiing and Snowboarding
・Choose equipment and ski runs for your skill level
There are many different types of skis and snowboards, some of which are more suitable for beginners, and others that are for advanced athletes. Choose the right equipment for yourself. Similarly, the slopes have ski runs of varying levels of difficulty ranging from beginner to advanced, so choose runs that you are comfortable with. We recommend that beginners take lessons.

・Be aware of your surroundings at all times
Be aware of your surroundings at all times so that you can have fun skiing and snowboarding while remaining safe. It is common for your field of vision to narrow down when you are just starting out, so keep an eye out for obstacles and people coming down from further up the slope. Never sit down and remain seated on the slopes, as doing so may cause accidents.

・Do not enter restricted areas
The ski runs are planned and designed with safety in mind. Do not enter closed or restricted areas outside the authorized ski runs, as doing so may result in you having an accident, getting lost or encountering other difficulties that require your rescue.

・Take your trash with you
It is dangerous to have objects lying on the ski runs, so make sure to take your trash with you. Even if unintentional, trash or other debris carelessly left behind can lead to unexpected accidents. Furthermore, when coming to the slopes, try not to bring anything that will become trash.

Specific locations may also have additional rules. Be sure to check the rules, especially as they may have been changed from previous years in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Recommended Skiing and Snowboarding Spots in the Chubu Region


Chausuyama Kogen (Mt. Chausu Plateau) Ski Resort (Toyone Village, Kitashitara District)
At 1,415 meters above sea level, Mt. Chausu is the highest peak in Aichi Prefecture and stretches into Nagano Prefecture as well. Boasting spectacular views, Chausuyama Kogen Ski Resort is the only ski resort in Aichi. It takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes to reach by car from Nagoya, and has family-friendly slopes that even small children can enjoy. The ski runs range in difficulty from beginner- to expert-level and are equipped with two lifts. There is even a slope specifically made for sledding, with a moving walkway to ease the ascent. Rental skis and snowboards are available, as are skiing lessons. Note that snowboarding is only allowed on weekdays.


Snowtown Yeti (Susono City)
The fantastic location of Snowtown Yeti at the second station of Mt. Fuji makes it possible for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy the slopes while taking in the majestic view of Japan’s most famous mountain. It is known to be the first ski resort to open in Japan each year and can be reached by bus in about 55 minutes from JR Gotemba Station. Three lifts and three moving walkways provide access to ski runs ranging from beginner- to expert-level. The resort also offers skiing and snowboarding lessons and has a full range of skiing and snowboarding gear and wear for rent.


Hakuba Happo-One Ski Resort (Hakuba Village, Kitaazumi District)
Hakuba Happo-One Ski Resort is one of the premier ski resorts in Japan. Used during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, the slopes are known for their fine powder snow, and the view from the 1,830-meter-high summit is truly breathtaking. You can reach the resort in around 1 hour and 15 minutes by express bus from JR Nagano Station. There are 16 runs ranging from beginner- to expert-level, serviced by a total of 22 lifts and gondolas. Families can take advantage of the children’s snow play area, the children’s ski school, the kids’ space and more. At the same time, with its full range of expert-level ski runs, the resort also attracts many rippers and shredders looking for a challenge. Rounding out the offer are numerous restaurants, shops selling or renting out skiing and snowboarding gear and clothing, and ski schools for both beginner-level and experienced skiers and boarders.


Takasu Snow Park (Gujo City)
Takasu Snow Park is one of the largest ski resorts in central and western Japan, with slopes at an elevation of 1,550 meters overlooking the Hirugano Plateau and the Northern Alps. To get there, take a direct flight from Nagoya, Gifu or Takayama to Hirugano, then hop on the Takasu Snow Shuttle Bus to the ski resort. It is a diverse ski resort with a total of 31 runs for all skiers from beginner- to expert-level, including parks, half pipes and tree runs. Skis, snowboards and clothing are available for rent, and the ski schools offer lessons for experienced skiers and boarders in addition to the usual children and beginners. There are even lessons offered in English.


Gozaisho Ski Resort (Komono Town, Mie District)
Located at the summit of Mt. Gozaisho, 1,200 meters above sea level, Gozaisho Ski Resort is the only ski resort in Mie Prefecture. It is easily accessible, with an express bus linking Meitetsu Bus Center to Gozaisho Ropeway-mae in around 1 hour and 20 minutes. In addition to ski runs for beginners and experts alike, there are also dedicated slopes for sledding, making it a great place to take the kids. Snowboarding is prohibited, and although skis, poles and boots are available for rent, you must bring your own ski wear. Snowshoes can also be rented, and tours through the snowy forest are highly recommended.


Biwako Valley Ski Resort (Otsu City)
Biwako Valley Ski Resort stretches across the summit area of Mt. Uchimi and Mt. Horai, with a ropeway to the 1,100-meter-high mountaintop. The slopes offer a spectacular view of Lake Biwa, and the feeling you get from standing at the summit is indescribable. You can reach the resort by taking the JR Kosei Line from Kyoto Station to Shiga Station (40 minutes) and then switching to the bus (10 minutes). The resort offers nine ski runs ranging in difficulty from beginner- to expert-level, five lifts, skiing and snowboarding equipment and clothing rentals, a ski school, restaurants, shops, and more. A wide variety of activities are available, including snow play, sledding, ziplining, tubing, snowshoeing and snowfooting.


Ski Jam Katsuyama (Katsuyama City)
Surrounded by the Hakusan Mountain Range, Ski Jam Katsuyama is one of the largest snow resorts in western Japan. The cold, dry winds particular to the Sea of Japan provide copious amounts of high-quality snow. You can reach the resort by taking the train from JR Fukui Station to JR Katsuyama Station (55 minutes) and then taking a taxi for the rest of the way (10 minutes). There are 14 ski runs ranging from beginner- to expert-level, the longest of which is 5,800 meters long, with 6 lifts providing access. There are also slopes for kids and beginners, so families can enjoy the snow without worrying about safety. The resort has everything you could need, from skiing and snowboarding equipment and clothing for rent, to ski schools, restaurants and shops.


Hakusan Seymour Ski Resort (Hakusan City)
Hakusan Seymour is a popular ski resort where you can enjoy challenging slopes against the magnificent panorama of Mt. Haku (or “Hakusan” in Japanese). A direct bus service runs from JR Kanazawa Station, taking you to the resort in about 1 hour. Four lifts provide access to nine ski runs ranging in difficulty from beginner- to expert-level. Four of the nine runs are expert-level. The expert-level runs feature unpacked snow, and the most difficult one has a maximum slope of 38 degrees. It is a narrow run, so be careful not to go too fast. Rental equipment and clothing for skiers and snowboarders are available, as are restaurants, ski schools and shops.



Tateyama Sanroku Ski Resort (Toyama City)
Located at the base of the Tateyama Mountain Range, Tateyama Sanroku Ski Resort offers an astounding panoramic view of Tateyama from an elevation of 1,188 meters above sea level. You can reach it by taking the train from JR Toyama Station to Tateyama Station on the Toyama Chihou Railway line (1 hour) and then transferring to the bus (10 minutes). Six ski lifts provide access to eight ski runs ranging in skill level from beginner- to expert-level, and the kids’ park offers children a plethora of activities including sledding, tubing, balance bikes equipped for use in the snow, and snow play, all made safely accessible by way of a moving walkway, making the resort a great destination for the whole family. The resort is fully outfitted with skiing and snowboarding gear and wear available for rent, skiing lessons, restaurants, shops and more.



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