NAGANO SKI RESORTS: THE ULTIMATE WINTER ESCAPE
Every winter, cold air masses from Siberia travel across the Pacific Ocean to Japan and bring a massive volume of snow to the northeastern regions. ‘Japow’ has now become a household name among snowsports enthusiasts all over the world, attracting thousands of skiers and snowboarders to Japan looking to get a taste of that pow. And they don’t have to look very far – just a few hours away from Tokyo are the winter wonderlands of Nagano ski resorts, where mountainous terrains and high elevations work together to create some of Japan’s most exceptional skiing and snowboarding opportunities. Read on to find out more about these ski areas and why Nagano ski resorts could be the perfect winter destination for you.
NAGANO AND ITS SKI RESORTS
240km northwest of Tokyo lies Nagano, Japan’s fourth largest prefecture. A historic trade, travel and cultural hub, Nagano remains a major urban centre in current times. But what captivates people about Nagano extends further than its modernisation – whether you are interested in outdoor activities, cultural exploration, or simply enjoying the tranquillity of the mountains, Nagano has something to offer.
Endearingly nicknamed the Roof of Japan, Nagano is home to the Japanese Alps and 20 out of Japan’s 33 peaks over 2,500m. It is therefore natural that mountain-related sports take the reign in Nagano. In the summer, the prefecture is the hiking mecca with world-class trekking and hiking trails on top of its mesmerising alpine landscape. In the winter, ski resorts all across the prefecture draw in a massive number of skiers and snowboarders chasing after the amazing pow. Whilst many have long been favoured by domestic riders, it wasn’t until 1998 that Nagano ski resorts gained global recognition with the Winter Olympics, and its legacy continues even today with more than 80 ski areas dotted around the prefecture’s mountain ranges. That being said, most of Nagano ski resorts are in northern and central areas of the prefecture to take the most advantage out of the regional topography and climate.