If You’ve Been, Tell Us So We Can Have A Vicarious Vacation.

Sapporo Ice Festival: Snow is in abundance in northern Japan.

We have an interesting article this week from Dave Chambers, the “Traveling Australian.” He takes us to Appi Kogen, a resort in the north of Honshu, the big island of Japan. He spent a week skiing powder in the back end of the resort in perfect conditions he had never seen anywhere in his travels.

Rusutsu, Hokkaido, Japan

His article stimulated this week’s Question For You. After all, by North American standards, Japan is an exotic ski destination. The ryokans (inns), the onsens (hot springs baths), the food, the culture, all represent a distinctly different experience than a vacation in Canada, the US, or even Europe.

Many years ago, we spent a winter in northern Japan and experienced monster snowfalls and cold, cold temperatures. We visited the Sapporo Ice Festival and were amazed how the city had adapted to serious winter conditions: above ground train tracks were covered, streets were swept from snow by seawater hydrants, and ice and snow were celebrated.

Question For You: Have you skied Japan? What was it like? How was the snow? The resorts you visited? What did you love? What was not so great? Would you go back or was once enough? Please let us know.

The rest of us will have a brief, imaginary, vicarious vacation based on the comments from those who have been there.

Please reply in Leave A Comment below.

Popular Hakuba Valley. Japan has very snowy winters every year.




  1. Heide Thompson says:

    I live in Japan and ski . I have stayed in a few resorts,such as Gala Yuzawa, Niseko, Teine, Moiwa, and Grand Hirafu,, Hanazono to name some big ones. My daughter was a FreeSkier and she has skied Bankei, Rusutsu, Furano, FUU, and Kokusai to name a few.
    We have also skied in Kyushu.
    Anyone interested, I’m happy to share our experiences and information.

    • We are a senior couple wanting to ski Japan. We prefer on piste relaxed skiing. We are having difficulty finding an agency that can book this travel. Can you recommend someone and which resorts would you do on a first trip?
      Much appreciated!

  2. Rich Spritz says:

    I’ve skied in Niseko in Hokkaido, and I’ve skied in the Shiga Kogen region; in fact, I made it a project to ski all the resorts of Shiga Kogen in a single day. Three interesting observations about skiing in Japan. First, it is the Japanese culture to do things correctly, so they take ski lessons frequently; thus, the average Japanese skier is far more skilled than the average American or Australian skier. Second, Japanese typically prefer relatively relatively mellow on-piste skiing. And third, the skier responsibility code is printed on every piece of toilet paper at the resorts, in multiple languages, so skiers read it frequently.

    • Lea Givens says:

      The toilet paper skier responsibility code is too funny. I hope you brought a roll home with you. If you did, I also hope the next person to go in the stall wasn’t out of luck.

  3. Have been enjoying ski trips since 2014 to Rusutsu and Furano (twice), powder in Asahidake ( arguably the best powder in Hokkaido, Kamui Links, and Hakuba ( Happo One, Cortina and Norikura). AIm to also spend a bit on non-ski time soaking up some local eats and sights in Hakodate in Hokkaido or tour the far east parts of Hokkaido. let me know if you need some pointers or information. Happy to help

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