Ski Ja­pan for deep, fluffy pow­der

Alpine News - - Overseas - BY FELIC­ITY MOSS MOGUL SKI WORLD

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.

PHOTOS: Mogul Ski World

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.

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