Ski Hokkaido

Ski Hokkaido

Hokkaido is the powder capital of Japan, the country’s northernmost island and the home to its best snow. The region plays host to over 1200 festivals and events including February’s Sapporo Snow Festival, where hundreds of snow and ice sculptures of a grand scale line the streets.

Hokkaido is the undisputed snow capital of Japan, famous for its heavy snowfalls and perfect powder. Some regions of the island receive up to 18 metres of snow each year!

Hokkaido’s position as the northernmost island of Japan puts it directly in the path of the Siberian winds, which bring seemingly endless amounts of fresh white snow each season. The classic saying on Hokkaido is the snowfields are “deep not steep” meaning you can enjoy a quality skiing or snowboarding experience suited to a range of skill levels.

The biggest ski resort area is Niseko, which caters to all tastes and abilities. Like many ski resorts in Hokkaido, Niseko resorts offers family-friendly activities and, of course, the beloved hot spring onsen. If you’re hunting those Black Diamond trails, Hokkaido can also cater to your taste for adventure – check out Sapporo Teine and Kurodake resorts for the more thrilling side to snow season.

Of course, skiing and snowboarding are just two aspects of the snow season in Hokkaido. If you’re a lover of winter wonderlands, a trip to Sapporo Snow Festival is a must-see. Since the first event in 1950 incredible snow and ice sculptures as tall as buildings have taken over the city each February, illuminated at night in all the colours of the rainbow.

Hokkaido is the ideal destination for those chasing an authentic ski season, with snow unlike anywhere else in Japan.

Access from Narita Airport

Airport Limousine Bus from Narita Airport to Haneda Airport (75 minutes).
Flight from Haneda Airport to Shin-Chitose Airport (90 minutes)
Chuo bus and Donan bus companies operate buses daily between Shin-Chitose Airport and Niseko (2 hours, 30 minutes).
Japan Rail runs services from Shin-Chitose Airport to Kutchan (2 hours, 30 minutes) or Niseko (3 hours)
A Niseko United in-resort shuttle bus connects the 4 ski resorts and Kutchan town operating daily.

Niseko

Niseko United is comprised of four resorts on one mountain, Niseko Annupuri (1,308m), located 100km south of Sapporo.

Grand Hirafu

The largest area of the 4 resorts on Mt Niseko. Diverse terrain, a wide range of facilities and a high tech lift system, makes everyone’s day on the slope enjoyable.

Season: Late November to early May
Number of courses: 21 (40% Beginner, 37% Intermediate, 23% Advanced)
Number of lifts: 12
Longest course: 5.6km
Other info: Ski Park, Halfpipe, Night Skiing, Ski School, Gear Rental and Kids Facilities

Visit the official site

Hanazono

A variety of courses including a beginners area, terrain parks, FIS half pipe and tree runs. The HANAZONO 308 Centre offers an inviting après ski experience.

Season: Late November to early May
Number of courses: 8 (30% Beginner, 60% Intermediate, 10% Advanced)
Number of lifts: 3
Longest course: 4.55km
Other info: Halfpipe, Tree runs, Beginners Area, Gear Rental, Family Activities, Backcountry, Ski School and Kids Facilities

Visit the official site

Niseko Village

Niseko Village offers incredible off-piste powder skiing and is home to some of the best and longest skiing and snowboarding trails.

Season: Late November to early May
Number of courses: 27 (50% Beginner, 30% Intermediate, 20% Advanced)
Number of lifts: 6
Longest course: 5km
Other info: Ski Park, Night Skiing, Ski School, Gear Rental, Kids Facilities

Visit the official site

Annupuri

Annupuri caters for novice to intermediate level skiers and there is a huge area alongside the slopes, where skiing is also permitted.

Season: Late November to early May
Number of courses: 13 (25% Beginner, 45% Intermediate, 30% Advanced)
Number of lifts: 5
Longest course: 4km
Other info: Ski Park, Halfpipe, Night Skiing, Ski School, Gear Rental, Kids Facilities

Visit the official site

Access from Shin-Chitose (New Chitose) Airport

By train

  1. JR Rapid Airport for Otaru (37 minutes)
  2. JR Hakodate Line from Otaru to Niseko (110 minutes)

Total fare: 3,470 yen

By bus

Take the Chuo Bus from Shin-Chitose Airport to Niseko Hirafu (213 minutes), Hilton Niseko Village (196 minutes), Niseko Annupuri (176 minutes). 2,600 one-way or 4,500 yen return.

Take the Hokkaido Resort Liner direct shuttle bus from Shin-Chitose Airport to Niseko (approx 180 minutes, 4,000 yen). View timetable and fares

Take the White-Liner shuttle bus from Shin-Chitose Airport to Niseko (approx 180 minutes, 4,000 yen). View timetable and fares

Access from Sapporo City

By bus

Take the Chuo Bus from Sapporo Station Bus Terminal to resorts in Niseko. 2,600 one-way or 4,500 yen return.

Take the Hokkaido Resort liner direct shuttle bus from selected hotels in Sapporo to resorts in Niseko (180 minutes, 4,000 yen) View timetable and fares

Take the White-Liner shuttle bus from selected hotels in Sapporo to resorts in Niseko (approx 180 minutes, 4,000 yen). View timetable and fares

Furano Ski Resort

Furano is located in the geographical centre of Hokkaido and is a favourite with both powder enthusiasts and resort skiers. The town has a distinct culture and feel which appeals to families and more mature skiers and snowboarders.

Season: Late November to early May (Furano zone), mid-December to late March (Kitanomine zone)
Number of courses: 24 (40% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 20% Advanced)
Number of lifts: 10
Longest course: 4km
Other info: Ski Park, Halfpipe, Night Skiing, Ski School, Gear Rental, Kids Facilities

Visit the official site

Access from Shin-Chitose (New Chitose) Airport

By bus

Take the Hokkaido Resort Liner direct shuttle bus from Shin-Chitose Airport to resorts in Furano (135 minutes, 4,000 yen) View timetable and fares

Access from Asahikawa Airport

By bus

Take the Hokkaido Resort Liner direct shuttle bus from Asahikawa Airport to resorts in Furano (80 minutes, 2,500 yen) View timetable and fares

Access from Sapporo City

By bus

Take the Hokkaido Resort liner direct shuttle bus from selected hotels in Sapporo to resorts in Furano (180 minutes, 4,000 yen) View timetable and fares

Rusutsu Resort

Situated on a beautiful natural highland, Rusutsu is Hokkaido’s premier ski resort, surrounded by three mountains serviced by four gondolas, seven quads and seven lifts and a total run distance of 42 km.

Season: Late November to early April
Number of courses: 37 (30% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 30% Advanced)
Number of lifts: 18
Longest course: 3.5km
Other info: Ski Park, Halfpipe, Night Skiing, Ski School, Gear Rental, Kids Facilities

Visit the official site

Access from Shin-Chitose (New Chitose) Airport

By bus

Take the Chuo bus from Shin-Chitose Airport to Rusutsu Resort (128 minutes, 2,050 yen one-way or 3,400 yen return)

Take the Hokkaido Resort Liner direct shuttle bus from Shin-Chitose Airport to Rusutsu Resort (130 minutes, 3,500 yen) View timetable and fares

Access from Sapporo City

By bus

A free coach transfer service is available for guests of Rusutsu Resort or the Rusutsu Ski Area departing the Rusutsu Resort Sapporo Sales Office (near JR Sapporo Station). It takes approx 120 minutes. Bookings are required by 5pm the day prior to departure. More information and bookings

Tomamu

Located in central Hokkaido, this is a great powder family-friendly resort. It boasts the largest wave pool in Japan, and a village made of ice. You can also shred powder in the wide open tree run course. Bring back beautiful memories with your family.

Season: 1st of December to mid-April
Number of courses: 28 (35% Beginner, 50% Intermediate, 15% Advanced) +tree run
Number of lifts: 11
Longest course: 4.5km
Other info: Terrain Park & Halfpipe, Night Skiing, Ski School, Gear Rental, Kids Facilities

Visit the official site

Access from Shin-Chitose (New Chitose) Airport

By bus

Take the Tomamu Ski Liner from Shin-Chitose Airport to Tomamu (120 minutes, 4,000 yen) Timetable and bookings

Access from Sapporo City

By bus

Take the Tomamu Ski Liner shuttle bus from selected hotels in Sapporo and Shin-Sapporo to resorts in Tomamu (approx 180 minutes, 5,000 yen) Timetable and bookings

Kiroro

Kiroro is located just 30 minutes from Otaru, and features two hotels; Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort and The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido. The resort receives an average of 21 metres of snowfall per year, so guests can ski deep, fresh powder on some of the longest courses. Staff at Kiroro are also fluent in English and the resort offers plenty of family-friendly activities.

Season: 1st of December to mid-April
Number of courses: 21 (38% Beginner, 24% Intermediate, 38% Advanced) +tree run
Number of lifts: 9
Longest course: 4.05km
Other info: Night Skiing, Ski School, Gear Rental, Kids Facilities, Tours and Activities

Visit the official site


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