If you are an avid skier or snowboarder, you will love the mountainous area around Asahikawa. The many ski grounds here feature both exceptional snow quality and wide, well-groomed slopes – with considerably smaller crowds when compared to the ever-popular Niseko. Aside from the many resorts in the area, there are also places well-suited for backcountry skiing, such as Mount Asahidake. One aspect that makes the area unique is that Asahikawa City and the surrounding mountains are very close, allowing easy access while staying in the city. This means that you can enjoy a full day on the slopes and afterwards hit up the town for some local grub and a drink or two – and, if you stay a little longer, explore the many interesting spots in the city.
Kamui Ski Links
For a skiing ground located just 30 minutes by car from downtown Asahikawa, Kamui Ski Links features pristine snow as part of a full-fledged experience – in fact, it is used as a practice ground for professional alpine skiers. However, there are also several gentler slopes for beginners and children, making the grounds perfect for the entire family. The hill is also known for its well-packed snow, so be sure to come prepared to ski or board to your heart’s content.
112 Kamuicho, Asahikawa, Hokkaido
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa
Within Japan, the “OMO” chain of hotels from Hoshino Resorts is famous for its unique yet affordable take on modern luxury. True to the area, the Asahikawa installation “OMO7” features a shuttle bus service to multiple nearby ski grounds that changes based on the day’s weather conditions, ensuring that you end up skiing a slope perfect for the given day. Nearby grounds that are included in the service include favorites such as Kamui Ski Links and CANMORE Ski Village. Furthermore, after hitting the slopes for the day, coming back into the city and enjoying some local cuisine and nightlife is another advantage to staying at the hotel, as it features a prime location in downtown Asahikawa.
9Chome-Migi1, 6jo-dori, Asahikawa, Hokkaido
Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU
The Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU is a massive ski resort located in a picturesque nature setting with offerings for the entire family. While the “Experts Only Powder Area” is reserved for the advanced skiers and snowboarders, the resort also features a snow-themed nursery as well as the “Terrace of Frost Tree”, an outdoor balcony overlooking the mountains with pure white trees covered in snow-glistening nearby. As if that wasn’t enough, there is also an igloo-village (with the appropriate title “Ice Village”) featuring a cocktail bar and a heavy event schedule, including regular firework shows. While everything is accessible without spending the night, to get that full resort experience we recommend a stay at the “Hoshino Resort TOMAMU The Tower”, located right at the foot of the slopes.
Naka-Tomamu Shimukappu, Yufutsu, Hokkaido
Mountain Flow is a mountain guide office that takes full advantage of the scenic mountains that make up the Daisetsuzan Mountain Range. The summer program primarily features hikes, while in winter you can enjoy snowshoeing or backcountry. These are guided by Michiko Aoki, who became enchanted by mountains when she was studying abroad in Canada, becoming a park ranger at Mount Asahidake before her current job as a guide. Tours are offered in English or, upon request, Swahili, as she also volunteered in Kenya as part of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers.
Furano ski resort
The historic Furano Ski Resort has been hosting competitions since before the Second World War, featuring a massive area of 168 hectares and a total of 23 courses across two peaks made up of the “Furano Zone” at 1209 meters and the “Kitanohachi Zone” at 940 meters. The grand scale means that there are courses for every skill level, and the resort also offers activities tailored specifically to kids, such as snow banana boating – making this institution of skiing ground perfect for families as well.
Nakagoryo, Furano, Hokkaido
The KAMUI SNOWDOLPHIN-SS is a ski school run by one of the most famous and prolific skiers Japan has ever seen – Yuichiro Miura, who also became the world’s oldest person to climb Mount Everest when he reached the summit for the third time at age 80. The school itself is located at Kamui Ski Links, offering comprehensive lessons ranging from beginner ski/snowboard lessons all the way to backcountry. The latter is offered with telemark skis, and private tours are also available.
172 Teinekanayama, Teine Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Daisetsuzan Asahidake Ropeway
For seasoned veterans looking for the real deal, the backcountry experience at Mount Asahigake is not to be missed. There are four courses easily accessible from the top station, meaning that hiking up or excessive skinning is not so much required. The pisted courses themselves are at about 1100 meters above sea level and there are also endless off-piste options, featuring incredible powder snow. In addition to what can only be described as perfect terrain for alpine and tree skiing, Mount Asahidake is also known for its long peak season that can last up until the beginning of May. If you ski here, be equipped with an avalanche transceiver, probe, and shovel. If you would like to ski off-piste, we highly recommend to hire a guide.
Asahidake Onsen Higashikawa-cho, kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido