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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Skiing in Hokkaido Japan

Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido offers some of the country’s best snow and has been unaffected by the recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan.

Hokkaido’s winter season is November to early April with some ski resorts still having snow until early May. Sapporo is the cosmopolitan main city on Hokkaido, but does not get a lot of snow until early December. The best places are ski resorts like Niseko, Furano, Rusutsu and Kiroro.


Niseko has three resorts which are Grand Hirafu, Niseko village and Annupuri that offer fantastic powder snow, outdoor hot springs (rotenburo) and great night life. In Niseko you can ski on four mountains with just the one pass.

Furano has tree-lined runs, light dry snow and a friendly atmosphere.

Rusutsu is an all in one resort with various activities for families.

Kiroro is the closet resort to Sapporo and has a family focus.

Whatever it is you are after, you can find it on Hokkaido.

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4 comments:

  1. I'm definitely going to Hokkaido one day1 :)

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  2. I have to agree... but if you like to spend time around bigger cities (Niseko's a small ski-town), then you can also do some nice ski runs in-and-around Sapporo. For example Teine was a winter olympic run (1972) and is still reasonable - whilst enjoying that "cosmopolitan" city feel.

    Niseko/Hirafu are good locations, but also there's a high proportion of foreigners there (especially Australians) - so many people feel that it's not that Japanese. Yotei-zan does make for an impressive backdrop however - and is known as Hokkaido's Fuji.

    Just out of curiosity J_A - where was the photo taken? I've been trying to guess. Do you have any favourite spots around Niseko? Also - by late April, you will find that the only people skiing are locals... the snow's barely passable (for Australia perhaps), but is wet and not so good by Japanese standards.

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  3. I enjoyed visiting Niseko ski resort. It is close to Otaru where great seafood and nice scenery are found.

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  4. Thanks Lina, it is one of the must see areas of Japan and something that is not on everyones travel schedule to Japan that should be.

    Thanks AdelaideBen, thank you for the extra info on skiing in Hokkaido. I always enjoy hearing from you about Hokkaido and Sapporo and look forward to hearing a lot more about this beautiful area in the future.

    Thanks Ken, Hokkaido is famous for its fresh seafood and produce.

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