Top Ski Resorts in Japan

  • Advice

With over 500 ski resorts across Japan, you might become overwhelmed trying to decide where to go for your next winter vacation. You’re in luck! We’ve done the grunt work and narrowed down your choices to three of the best ski resorts in Japan.

• Rusutsu | Hokkaido

This is a dream destination for pure skiers. With an average annual snowfall in excess of 500 inches, you can look forward to some heavy action on trails with deep powder. Further, the lack of neighboring restaurants and nightspots means the resort won’t be crowded with ‘casuals’—there are rarely lines at the four gondolas and 5 chairlifts to carry you up the three summits. The trails at Rusutsu, voted the best ski resort in Japan at the 2017 World Ski Awards, are also balanced, so skiers of varying levels of ability and experience can find the terrains which correspond to their level. 

Rusutsu resort in Hokkaido Beautiful views in Rusutsu Hokkaido."Rusutsu Resort" by photozou is licensed under CC 2.0 

• Happoone Winter Resort | Hakuba

There is a good reason why Happoone was the site of alpine skiing events during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics – it has a wide variety of intermediate and expert trails that could take months to explore fully. You will never find a dull day here, especially since there are dozens of high-quality restaurants and nightspots in the vicinity. Happoone is like the Japanese version of Vail, but with less alcohol. It’s probably worth mentioning that the trails here are not really suitable for beginners.

Happoone Winter Resort in Hakuba

The trail options at Happoone are many and varied. "Hakuba Hapoone Winter Resort" by Ski Mania via public domain

• Tomamu | Hokkaido

If Happoone is Vail, then Tomamu is Aspen. Tomamu, served by two upscale resorts, is perfect for families and corporate groups. Aside from the solid snowfall and high-quality trails, Tomamu also boasts  a variety of non-skiing activities for visitors, such as tours, curling contests, dining establishments, snowmobile rentals, a water park, and shopping outlets.

The buffet dining hall with a glorious view of the landscape. "Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU" by MIKI Yoshihito is licensed under CC 2.0 

Editorial Department

Bringing you the latest real estate & lifestyle news in Japan