Hokkaido Travel Guide Winter

7 Best Ski Resorts in Hokkaido | Winter Guide

Skiing in Japan is an amazing experience. One of the best locations to try out skiing in Japan is Hokkaido.

The snow and slopes here are particularly excellent because the local weather carries the cold air across the Sea of Japan from Siberia to the area, resulting in very dry powder that is perfect for skiing.

Ski areas in Hokkaido can receive 14 to 18 meters of snowfall every year!

Ski slope of Sapporo Teine. Photo Credit: SAPPORO TEINE -Kamori Kanko.co,.ltd-

If you decide to visit the area in late January and early February, be sure to take some time from the slopes to visit the Sapporo Snow Festival.

At this annual event, local residents showcase amazing works made out of ice and snow. It also features many displays of lights, traditional food, and more! Some ski resorts are closer to the main area of the festival than others, so be sure to plan accordingly.

If you’re looking to go skiing in Hokkaido, the first thing to do is decide on which of Hokkaido’s many ski resorts is for you.

There are many truly amazing ones to choose from! Let’s take a look at the best ski resorts in Hokkaido!

1. Niseko Resort

A skier at Niseko Mountain Grand Hirafu. Photo Credit: NISEKO Mt. RESORT Grand HIRAFU.

Niseko is considered by many to be the powder capital of the world. Niskeo is located about two and a half hours from Chitose airport.

It’s the best ski resort in Japan that has four interlinked ski resorts – Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village, Hanazono, Annupuri.

The area of the resort gets about 15 meters of snow every year and its powder is not only famously great but also famously consistent.

The resort offers lift passes, rental, and lessons for both skiing and snowboarding for all ages. You will find classes here with very fluent English speaking instructors.

With 30 lifts, it gives you complete access to all ski zones. The terrain is almost evenly divided between beginner, intermediate, and advanced difficulties. Niskeo also offers heli-skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, hot spring baths, and cat skiing.

Hirafu Village, the main area of the resort, offers many different dining choices, from traditional Japanese food to burgers and fries. Night skiing at this resort is highly recommended.

If you are planning to stay around Hirafu village then stay at this hotel.

2. Rusutsu Resort

Rusutsu resort during winter. Photo Credit: KAMORI KANKO CO.,LTD.

Rusutsu Resort is a two-hour drive from Chitose airport and one of the best ski resorts in Hokkaido.

Its three mountains (West, East, and Isola) receive between 12 and 14 meters of snow every season. There is a wide array of ski trails to choose from, from beginner to expert difficulty.

The ski resort has 19 lifts and offers both ski and snowboard rentals and snowboards, with an option for English-speaking instructors.

Besides skiing, you can also enjoy snow rafting, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and hot spring baths. Most of the resort’s dining is found in its two main hotels and there are many different options to choose from.

Visit this website to know Rusutsu Resort’s Lift Tickets, Hotels, Restaurants, News, Winter Activities, Ski Lessons and Rentals. There you can even book your shuttle bus (from New Chitose Airport/Sapporo Station to Rusutsu resort) in advance.

3. Kiroro Resort

Kiroro Ski Resort. Photo Credit: www.kiroro.co.jp.

Kiroro ski resort is located in a mountain valley that sits about two hours from Chitose airport. It has 8 lifts and trails that range from beginner, intermediate, and expert.

Backcountry gates were recently introduced to Kiroro and allow visitors to reach off-piste terrain for a truly unique and challenging experience.

Rentals and lessons are available at the resort. All group lessons are conducted in Japanese. There are a number of dining options at Kiroro Resorts two main hotels.

Besides hitting the slopes at Kiroro Resort, you can also go snow rafting, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, try out some hot spring baths, or go to the resort’s winter kids’ park.

4. Furano Ski Resort

An impressive view from the top of the mountain at Furano Ski Resort. Photo Credit: E-190 at Wikimedia Commons.

Furano Ski Resort is about two hours from New Chitose Airport. It is thought to have the lightest and driest powder in Japan. The average seasonal snowfall at Furano Resort is 9 meters.

There are 12 lifts and 1 ropeway. There are also backcountry trails available for visitors. This resort is very well-known for its stable weather.

The experience here is a bit quieter and even more family friendly than that of many of the other Hokkaido ski resorts. The trails skew much more heavily to beginner and intermediate skills levels than experts.

Both lessons and rentals are available at Furano, including options for English lessons.

You can find many different dining options at the township of Furnao. Visitors can also go snowmobiling, cat skiing, and heli-skiing.

5. Tomamu Ski Resort

This ski resort is family-friendly! Photo Credit: Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU.

This ski resort is only 90 minutes from Chitose airport. It is very family-friendly and highly self-contained, making it ideal for a family vacation.

There are five lifts at this resort and many beginner and intermediate trails, with only a few expert ones available.

You can find both lessons and rentals at Tomamu, but please note that there are a very limited number of English-speaking instructors available. It is recommended to book lessons in advance.

There are more than twenty food and beverage choices at Tomamu with a diverse number of cuisines.

Visitors can also go ice skating, night snowshoeing, take reindeer rides, enjoy the resort’s indoor beach, or visit the Tomamu Ice Village.

6. Sapporo Teine

Sapporo Teine is the most popular ski resort in Sapporo. Photo Credit: SAPPORO TEINE -Kamori Kanko.co,.ltd.

This ski resort is found only 40 minutes from downtown Sapporo. This is considered one of the top ski resorts in Sapporo.

There are a large number of trials for skiers of all skills levels. Some of the expert level ski courses were used for events during the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics.

Rentals and lessons are available at the resort. You can also enjoy snow sledding and the kids’ park. There are many different dining options available.

Sapporo Teine is a great choice for those who have skiers and snowboarders of many different skill levels in their family!

Wondering where to ski in Sapporo except this area? Read this guide!

7. Sahoro Ski Resort

A skier at Sahoro Ski Resort. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Sahoro is a calmer ski resort located two and a half hours from Chitose airport. It is very well known for its sunny days.

Here at the resort skiers can find beginner, intermediate, and expert level trails and it has seven lifts and one gondola.

There is not a lot of vertical drop at Sahoro Ski Resort, but there is a lot of terrain. There are both rentals and lessons here, but there are no English-speaking instructors.

All equipment rentals are fairly standard and not particularly diverse but very well kept.

There are three restaurants to choose from at the resort area: French, Japanese, and Izakaya including one cafe. At the Sahoro Gondola Station, you can find Japanese fast food.

Besides skiing and snowboarding, you can also try air boarding, ice fishing, and snowshoeing.

In conclusion, the above ski resorts are considered the best to enjoy skiing and snowboarding including other outdoor winter activities in the Hokkaido region. Some of these are on the list of the best ski resorts in Japan. Thank you.

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