Hokkaido is a “hot spot” among many winter sports enthusiasts. Hokkaido’s powder snow is highly praised by skiers and snowboarders worldwide, as it is considered as the best quality snow in the world. Their powder snow gave way to the construction of many renowned ski resorts in the world such as Rusutsu and Niseko ski resorts. Though other ski resorts in Hokkaido are rather smaller than Rusutsu and Niseko, these ski resorts are still very known throughout Japan. The courses and trails on each ski resort are also unique to its own but they all have the same quality of snow.
Niseko Ski Resorts
Niseko has the most popular ski resorts in Japan and it is considered the “Powder Capital of the World”. It has four interlinked ski resorts– Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village, Hanazono, Annupuri. What makes Niseko popular all through the year is because its powder snow is not only fine but also consistent. The resort gets about 15 meters of snow every year. The resort has 30 lifts, which gives you complete access to all ski zones. The terrain is almost evenly divided as well between beginner, intermediate, and advanced difficulties. The resort has lift passes and offers rental and lessons for both skiing and snowboarding, with an option to have a very fluent English speaking instructor. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, Niseko also offers heli-skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cat skiing. They also have hot spring baths where you can relax after an enjoyable day with the snow.
Rusutsu Ski Resort
Just like Niseko, Rusutsu receives thick layers of snow year. Rusutsu Ski Resort has 3 mountains (West, East, Isola) that receive about 12 to 14 meters of snow is present in Rusutsu every season. The ski resort has 19 lifts and has a wide array of ski trails to choose from, ranging from beginner to expert level. They also offer both ski and snowboard rentals, with an option for English-speaking instructors. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, there are also several activities that you can enjoy like snow rafting, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. After a long day of snow activities, you can relax by taking a dip at their hot spring baths.
Kiroro Ski Resort
Located in a mountain valley in Yoichi District, Kiroro Ski Resort will surely awake your powder snow experience. The ski resort has 8 lifts and trails ranging from beginners to experts and has over 21 courses with 4km as the longest run. They also offer a reputable ski/board school for adults and children. Since the ski resort is managed by Kiroro Hotel, dining options are also fantastic. They also have a bar and cocktail lounge where you can chill and relax and a karaoke room to enjoy the rest of your time in the resort.
Furano Ski Resort
Furano Ski Resort is known to have the lightest and the driest snow in Japan. If you want to enjoy a chill and less risk skiing and snowboarding experience, then this place is perfect for you. The trails and courses in the area are more suited for beginners to intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The resort is also a little quieter than the crowd in Niseko and Rusutsu which is perfect for family travels. The weather here is also much more mild and moderate (fewer winds and snowstorms) compared to other ski resorts in Hokkaido. The outstanding views of the vast land of Furano and a mountain range of Daisetsu can also be enjoyed from Furano Ski Resort.
Sapporo Teine Ski Resort
Just 40 minutes downtown from the center of Sapporo, you can find Sapporo Tein Ski Resort. This resort may not be the top ski resort in Hokkaido but it is considered as the top ski resort in Sapporo. It was originally built and used for the 1972 Winter Olympics and it still has the platform for the Olympic flame up until today. The trails and courses in this resort are suited for any skill levels, from beginners to experts. Snowboard and skiing rental materials and lessons are also available in the resort. They also have a snow sledding for kids and the resort’s kids park.
Where to Stay?
Hokkaido is a huge place and there are definitely a lot of things and places to explore from. To fully experience the whole of Hokkaido, choosing the right place to stay at the right location is the true key. One good place to consider for your accommodation in Hokkaido is this designer’s condominium in the high-end residential area of Maruyama.
It is a few minutes walk to several bus stations and subways. It is located in a quiet area where you can feel the greenery of Mt. Moiwa, but you can also walk to Maruyama Koen Station on the Tozai Subway Line. There is also a connecting bus going to the new Chitose Airport from Maruyama Koen Station, which makes it very convenient to travel around. You can also easily access Maruyama Zoo and Maruyama Park and Odori Park is just a short subway ride away. Since there’s a lot of connecting bus lines and subway from the apartment, getting to your desired ski resort will not be a problem.
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