Ski Japan for deep, fluffy powder
SKIING in Japan is extremely popular and while the well known resorts of Niseko, Nozawa Onsen and Hakuba fill up quickly over the December to January period, there are some other fabulous resorts that should be considered.
On the Island of Hokkaido we would suggest considering the following resorts:
Rusutsu - Located a one and a half hour drive from Chitose airport, Rusutsu has a ski area spread over three peaks and has one of the largest and most modern lift networks in Hokkaido. The ski terrain is great and varied with lots of runs through the beautiful trees and like its close neighbour Niseko, has fabulous powder. This year the Rusutsu tower has been rebranded to a Westin and is a great place to stay.
Furano - One of the largest resorts on the island of Hokkaido, this resort is also well known for some of the best powder skiing, mainly due to the Siberian storm systems that pass over the sea of Japan and then dump the lightest and driest snow in Hokkaido. There is a good range of skiing from beginners to experts, overnight grooming and lots of sunny days.
Kiroro - Only two hours from Chitose airport, Kiroro is a hidden gem in the Central Hokkaido region and it traditionally receives more snow than its sibling resorts and locals come to Kiroro to escape lift lines and find deep untracked tree skiing. Lift lines are rare and even when the snow stops falling, untracked snow can be found for days. There are also plenty of off snow experiences such as the snow Segway, snow rafting or relaxing in the Kiroro hot springs. There is a great Sheraton resort to stay in which is located at the base of the mountain and it is ski in and ski out.
Tomamu - A modern, high class resort located in central Hokkaido, which also features the light and fluffy snow that Hokkaido is renowned for. There is a great variety of runs but the controlled ‘off piste’ is exceptional and once this is all tracked, there is cat skiing available. There is a good range of nice accommodation and the resort offers other snow activities such as snowmobiling, snow rafting, cross country skiing, paraskiing, snow shoeing and dog sledding. The highlight of a visit is the illuminated Ice Village, which is a collection of domes constructed entirely of snow and ice. If you want a real break from skiing while here, visit the Mina Mina beach, which offers one of Japan’s largest indoor wave pools.
We would recommend you give one of these resorts a try, we don’t think you will be disappointed.
Book with Mogul Ski World www. mogulski.com.au.
POWDER DREAMS: Furano lays claim to having the lightest and driest snow in Japan and is an excellent resort for families.
STEEP: Kiroro ski resort in Northern Japan offers steep terrain and an impressive annual average base cover of five metres and lift lines are rare, even after large snowfalls.