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Japan Ski Resorts

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Japan Ski Experience was born out of a passion for skiing and snowboarding in resorts across Japan; having lived and travelled in Niigata, Nagano, Yamagata, Fukushima and Hokkaido prefectures, we have spent more than 20 years exploring ski resorts in Japan. As independent specialists, we are trusted by past guests to provide local advice about Japan ski resorts that help to plan the perfect Japan ski package.

Choosing the best ski resorts in Japan is a matter of personal preference, but we have used our local expertise to select the best 4 Japan ski resorts for international skiers and snowboarders. While local skiers and snowboarders flock to resorts which are great after a fresh dump of snow and have enough terrain for a single day, holidaymakers usually look for Japanese ski resorts that offer reliable snow conditions throughout the season and enough terrain for a week or more of skiing or snowboarding, as well as resorts that offer the best range of accommodation, restaurants and holiday services. Below are the 4 best Japan ski resorts to visit for a ski holiday, and we have provided a summary of each, together with some pros and cons, to give you a sense of which is the best Japan ski resort for you! Or if you are visiting Tokyo and looking for a resort nearby, we have written an article, ‘The best Japan Ski Resorts near Tokyo‘, especially for you.

Japan’s Best Ski Resorts Head to Head!


4 interlinked Japan ski resorts, famed for powder snow and lively Hirafu Village, Niseko United is Japan’s most popular ski area.

  • Top Lift 1,200 Metres
  • 30 Lifts
  • 81 Courses
  • 940 Metres Vertical
  • 15+ Metres Annual Snowfall
  • Ikon Passes Accepted
  • Excellent Off-Piste
  • The greatest choice of luxury accommodations
  • Price Range: ¥¥ - ¥¥¥¥¥¥
  • Pros: unbeatable powder, lively resort town, great facilities, international vibe, Youtei views
  • Cons: busier than most Japanese ski resorts, not an off the beaten track experience


Comprising 10 ski resorts, Hakuba Valley is the largest ski area in Japan with varied terrain and spectacular scenery.

  • Top Lift 1,830 Metres
  • 102 Lifts
  • 138 Courses
  • 1,071 Metres Vertical
  • 12+ Metres Annual Snowfall
  • Epic Passes Accepted
  • Good Off-Piste
  • A wide range of accommodation from traditional to modern luxury
  • Price Range: ¥¥ - ¥¥¥¥¥
  • Pros: variety of terrain, traditional and international resort areas, mountain scenery, cultural experiences
  • Cons: best experienced if you take the shuttle or drive around rather than staying in one place


Bluebird powder is on offer at this family friendly Japan ski resort renowned for its immaculate groomers and recently opened off-piste.

  • Top Lift 1,074 Metres
  • 9 Lifts
  • 28 Courses
  • 839 Metres Vertical
  • 8+ Metres Annual Snowfall
  • Kids Ski Free
  • Recently Opened Off-Piste - A Game-Changer for Furano
  • Choice of properties including brand new ski in ski out luxury
  • Price Range: ¥ - ¥¥¥¥¥
  • Pros: perfect Japan ski resort for families - under 12s free!, bluebird powder, easy groomers, quiet runs
  • Cons: limited advanced terrain, not a large resort by international standards


Winner of ‘Japan’s Best Ski Resort’ for 4 of the past 6 years, Rusutsu‘s deep powder and superb conditions could make it the resort for you!

  • Top Lift 994 Metres
  • 18 Lifts
  • 37 Courses
  • 594 Metres Vertical
  • 13+ Metres Annual Snowfall
  • Epic Passes Accepted
  • Excellent Off-Piste
  • Stay at a villa, a resort hotel or a luxury condominium complex
  • Price Range: ¥¥¥-¥¥¥¥¥
  • Pros: great terrain and snow conditions, ski in ski out accommodation, Youtei views and fewer crowds
  • Cons: lacks a classic ski resort town

Japan Ski Resorts Maps

Have you ever wondered where in Japan most ski areas are located? There are currently 466 operating ski resorts in Japan, with the largest number of resorts in Hokkaido, followed by Nagano and Niigata on mainland Japan. Here are two maps showing all Japan ski resort locations by prefecture. If you’re interested in learning more about the main skiing regions of Japan, and what ski resorts in these regions are like including terrain, conditions and accessibility, please check our guides to ski resorts in Hokkaido and Nagano.

Click to enlarge

Other Japan Ski Resorts


For the most current information on individual Japanese ski resorts including operating hours and lift status, it is usually best to check the official resort websites. With 466 ski resorts in total we haven’t covered them all, but below you will find a list of official sites for the Japan ski resorts you are most likely to visit. Please let us know if we have missed any that you would find useful!


Hokkaido Asahidake, Daisetsuzan Kurodake, Furano, Tomamu, Kiroro, Niseko United, Niseko Moiwa, Rusutsu, Sahoro, Sapporo Kokusai, Teine
Nagano Goryu, Hakuba 47, Cortina, Happo One, Iwatake, Norikura, Jiigatake, Kashimayari, Tsugaike, Karuizawa, Kijimadaira, Madarao Kogen, Nozawa OnsenSakae, Shiga Kogen, Sugadaira,
Niigata Myoko, Gala Yuzawa, Ishiuchi Maruyama, Iwappara, Joetsu, Kokusai, Kagura, Lotte Arai Resort, Naeba, Yuzawa Kogen
Yamagata Zao Onsen
Aomori Hakkoda
Fukushima Alts Bandai, Aizu Kogen Takatsue, Inawashiro,

Book with Us

Across the best Japan ski resorts, we offer the chance to book accommodation including the latest early bird deals, together with resort services to create your perfect ski holiday. If skiing and snowboarding in Japan is on your bucket list but you are not sure which is the right resort for you then ask our team of Japan ski resort specialists who are here to provide all the information you need. If you’re interested in more details on any of the ski resorts that we haven’t covered above, check out the Snow Japan website which provides details on every one of the 466 resorts still in operation, and is the most comprehensive resource on ski resorts in Japan we know of!




(Limited Time Only)


Booking early is especially important for big groups and those looking to travel over peak dates as availability disappears fast.