The Secret to Hokkaido’s World-Renowned Ski Slopes
Skiers and snowboarders around the world look to Hokkaido’s snow as the definition of quality. Hokkaido might just be a snow miracle.
Ski resorts in Hokkaido have that special thing that the skiers and snowboarders are looking for: real, high-quality snow. Snow that falls with little moisture. Snow that falls light and crystalline. Snow that offers some of the best downhill skiing and snowboarding in the world. Snow in Hokkaido is so high quality that National Geographic Travel named Hokkaido as one of its “Best Trips 2016,” and gave Hokkaido snow the title of “Absolute Powder.” The fresh snow that falls almost daily at Hokkaido ski resorts means you have an incredibly high chance of getting to experience this incredible snow yourself.
Creamy Hokkaido slopes are becoming more of a rarity in a world where climate change forces some ski resorts to turn to artificially-created snow to make up for weather that’s either too warm or too cold for good quality snow to fall. These pure-white slopes are waiting for you to paint them with your trails this winter.
The Longest Season in the Country
With some slopes starting as early as the end of November and lasting until the end of March, you’ll have plenty of time to come and experience the childlike wonder of tearing through the absolute powder. Some resorts, such as Niseko Grand Hirafu pictured above, last all the way until the beginning of spring in May! That’s the exact same time that mainland Japan has cherry blossoms in bloom. Imagine the luxury of a vacation that has you visiting the mainland to walk among dreamy cherry blossom-filled landscapes and then popping up to Hokkaido for some spring skiing. That’s the kind of travel memory that any skier/snowboarder can really brag about.
Find the Course That Suits Your Style
Any ski bum worth their salt knows that the most important thing at the end of the day is the course.
Between the now world famous Niseko United’s four different ski resorts, the ever-popular Rusutsu Ski Area which offers 37 courses spread across 3 different mountains, the up and coming Hoshino Resort Tomamu Ski Area which is home to the biggest family slopes in all of Asia, and the Sapporo Kokusai Resort which offers easy access to powder snow-covered hills from Sapporo and Chitose Airport, you’re sure to find a resort that suits your needs and your level whether you’re a beginner or an old pro.
An International Atmosphere Framed by Gorgeous Landscapes
Hokkaido’s incredible winter landscapes are the real champ of the skiing and snowboarding season. The fresh, crisp mountain air that fills your lungs at the peak as you look down at a world blessed with absolute powder will leave you feeling purified.
Just picture yourself in the image above. You’re sliding down the mountain at top speed over some of the crispest snow you’ve ever experienced. The white landscape below is cordoned off from the azure sky above by the distant Daisetsuzan Moutain Range. That’s the kind of experience that you’re in for when you stay at the Furano Ski Resort. Or if the liberating feeling of seeing the endless white expanse of the Tokachi Plains sounds like it would be more moving, the Sahoro Ski Resort might be more your style. If you travel around, you can definitely get a better sense for the variety of landscapes that Hokkaido has to offer.
While you’re in Japan, you’re definitely going to want to kick it with some of the locals. At the Hoshino Resort Tomamu you can get your après-ski on in a lounge made completely out of ice. While you’re warming up after a day on the slopes, why not warm up to your neighbour and open up your world a little bit by asking them a bit about their home country? Everyone’s in a chatting mood after a day on the slopes.
For even more detailed information about the ski resorts around Hokkaido, check out: