Japan Ski Season Dates for 2019 & 2020

If you’re seeking a unique and exciting spot for your next skiing destination, look no further than Japan. With its fabled dry powder, stunning scenery, amazing culture and varied terrain, hitting the slopes in Japan is a remarkable experience.

Ski resorts in Japan can get over 12 metres of snow a year, providing visitors almost guaranteed powder runs at some point during their holiday. This is one of the reasons it’s a popular spot for riders looking to enjoy deep snow. Alongside the snow, Japan offers skiers and snowboarders delicious food, stunning vistas, and a cultural experience that’s hard to beat.

Japan has hundreds of ski resorts scattered across Hokkaido & Honshu, and you’ll be pleased to hear the lift lines are often smaller than those you’ll find around the rest of the world!

The 2019/20 ski season is just around the corner and the opening dates for the resorts have now been released, check them out below before deciding what destination is best for you.

Hokkaido Ski Season Dates

Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost island, and is well known for its beautiful onsens and highly favourable skiing conditions, where the slopes have a reputation for being “deep, not steep”.

Furano

Opens: 23 November 2019
Closes: 06 May 2020

Furano Ski Resort has an authentic Japanese village combined with an average-sized ski resort that boasts some great powder runs, providing the perfect balance for your skiing holiday.

Skiing at Furano
Skiing at Furano

Niseko

Opens: 23 November 2019
Closes: 6 May 2020

Niseko Ski Resort is world-renowned for its food, snow, and entertainment. The snow falls all winter at Niseko and its facilities are top-notch. It is one of the few resorts in Japan that boasts a great nightlife, which includes after-dark skiing, allowing visitors to enjoy the epic Japanese powder for even longer.

Boarder at Niseko Ski Resort
Boarder at Niseko Ski Resort

Rusutsu

Opens: 23 November 2019
Closes: 05 April 2020

With up to 14 metres of snow falling each year, Rusutsu will give you a taste of some of the best powder snow in the world. The terrain is ideal for all levels.

Sahoro

Opens: 01 December 2019
Closes: 14 April 2020

Sahoro is a small resort, offering great snow and accommodation alike. Beginners will love this resort, with a decent range of options for those just starting out on the slopes, it’s an easy spot for first timers to tackle. Sahoro is very family friendly too, with options such as kid clubs and lessons for children.

Kids ski lesson at Sahoro
Kids ski lesson at Sahoro

Tomamu

Opens: 01 December 2019
Closes: 05 April 2020

Tomamu is a modern and incredible looking resort, with all the bells and whistles you could hope for. The skiing itself offers a wide variety of runs, with great dry powder runs off-piste (which are allowed here!).

Honshu Ski Season Dates

Honshu is Japan’s largest and most populous island. The resorts here tend to open a little later than those in Hokkaido due to the more temperate climate. 

Hakuba 

Happo One
Opens: 23 November 2019

Closes: 06 May 2020

Hakuba holds several ski resorts, in the heart of the Japanese Alps and boasts some of the best snow in the world. Happo One Resort is great for all ages, yet can still give the experts the time of their life. Habuka Valley is also where the 1998 Winter Olympic Games were held, so if you need a day off the slopes there’s a lot of history to explore!

Other resorts in the Habuka area include:

  • Cortina: Opens December 2019 and closes April 2020
  • Hakuba 47: Opens December 2019 and closes May 2020
  • Goryu: Opens December 2019 and closes May 2020
Ski and Board Hakuba
Ski and Board Hakuba

Myoko Kogen 

Akakura Onsen
Opens: 21 December 2019

Closes: 29 March 2020

One of Japan’s oldest ski area, Myoko Kogen gets a massive amount of snow per year, which is always music to a skier’s ears. Combine this powder with the resort’s authentic Japanese town, history and onsens, and the lucky visitors in Myoko Kogen are treated to an unforgettable skiing experience here.

Nozawa Onsen

Opens: 30 November 2019
Closes: 03 May 2020

Nozawa is a historic destination to head to for your skiing holiday. Japanese culture floods the streets, and their famous hot springs provide sweet relief after a long day of skiing or boarding. The resort also stays open into May, allowing visitors to take in some late season runs.

Skiers and boarder at Nozawa Onsen
Skiers and boarder in Nozawa Onsen

Shiga Kogen

Opens: 01 December 2019
Closes: 05 May 2020

Shiga Kogen is one of the largest ski areas in Japan, and because of its altitude, sees a huge amount of snowfall in its winter seasons. The terrain is welcoming to all levels of riders, and the resort offers great accommodation options.

Ski Season Dates

Resort Opens Closes
Furano 23 November 2019 06 May 2020
Niseko 23 November 2019 6 May 2020
Rusutsu 23 November 2019 05 April 2020
Sahoro 01 December 2019 14 April 2020
Tomamu 01 December 2019 05 April 2020
Hakuba 23 November 2019 06 May 2020
Myoko Kogen 21 December 2019 29 March 2020
Nozawa Onsen 30 November 2019 03 May 2020
Shiga Kogen 01 December 2019 05 May 2020

 

*Ski resort opening and closing dates are subject to change
To book a beyond ordinary ski/board experience to Japan including flights, transfers, accommodation, lift passes and activities call the Active Travel Experts at travel&co NZ Toll-Free: 0800 555 035 or click here for our latest offers.

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