Start planning your trip
Enjoy powder snow and tree runs! Ranking of popular ski resorts nationwide
In recent years, many foreign tourists have been visiting ski resorts in Japan. One of its attractions is the quality of its snow, which has attracted worldwide attention. There are many ski resorts in Japan with unique characteristics such as snow quality and course types, depending on the region,...
Japanese ski resorts are becoming more popular worldwide!
Did you know that Japanese ski resorts have been attracting attention and popularity from all over the world in recent years?
Many ski resorts in Japan have smooth powder snow, and the snow quality is so good that it is commonly referred to as "japow."
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of foreign tourists coming to Japan not only for the powder snow, but also for tree runs on uncompacted snow between the trees. In response to demand, the number of ski resorts that support tree runs is gradually increasing.
This time we will introduce ski resorts where you can enjoy powder snow and tree runs in a ranking format.
Top 15 popular ski resorts with attractive powder snow
First, we will introduce ski resorts that are popular for their smooth powder snow. In particular, the Hakuba Valley (Hakuba area) ski resort in Nagano Prefecture attracts many tourists from overseas as it receives a large amount of dry powder snow due to its high altitude and low temperature.
[1st place] Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort is located at the foot of Mt. Hakuba in the Northern Alps. A big attraction is that you can enjoy the finest powder snow known as "TSUGA POW."
If you take the lecture program "TSUGA POW DBD" and agree to the safety standards, you can ski in the uncompacted snow area. Another reason for its popularity is that you can reach the top of the slope at an altitude of 1,704m by gondola and lift.
TSUGA POW has many fans, and many skiers and snowboarders visit the area every year in search of the natural snow of the Northern Alps. You can rest assured that safety management is thorough so that many people can enjoy special powder riding.
Also, the distance of skiing and the length of the season are attractive. The maximum skiing distance in the high season is 5,000m, and the season lasts until early May, making it a hot favorite among people who want to enjoy winter sports to their heart's content.
A popular course for beginners and families is the ``Kane no Naru Oka Slope''. The large-scale course, approximately 1,200m in width, is said to be one of the largest in Japan, and has a gentle slope that allows you to practice safely.
Click here for the official website of Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort
[2nd place] Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
Hakuba Happo-one Ski Resort is one of Japan's world-class ski resorts and was the venue for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. The superb snow quality has many fans overseas, and skiers and snowboarders who are particular about powder riding flock here.
In February 2023, we will begin introducing a "powder meter" system that will allow you to check the amount of snowfall and snow quality overnight. In addition to checking the ski resort conditions on your smartphone, you can now also use an app that allows you to receive push notifications when it snows.
Furthermore, the panoramic view of the Northern Alps that can be seen from the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 1,831m is a must-see. While it's great to enjoy powder riding while admiring the scenery, we also recommend the restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy meals while enjoying the spectacular views from an altitude of 1,680 meters.
Click here for the official website of Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort
[3rd place] Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
The exquisite powder snow that you can enjoy at Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort is famous for its many fans overseas. The season is long and you can ski until early May, so we recommend visiting at different times of the year.
The course, which spreads out at the base of Mt. Kenashi at an altitude of 1,650m, offers a panoramic view of Nagano's natural beauty, and is also popular for its splendid view of the Sea of Japan on clear days.
If you like powder riding, you should try "Challenge 39° Wall", which is located between 1,070 and 900 meters above sea level. You can enjoy powder snow over a total length of 300m on the steep slope of the ski resort, which has a maximum slope of 39 degrees.
When visiting Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, why not stop by the hot spring town? There are 13 baths in the hot spring town that use 100% natural hot springs, and hot spring tours called ``outdoor bath tours'' are also popular.
Click here for the official website of Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
[4th place] Furano Ski Resort (Hokkaido)
Furano Ski Resort in Hokkaido is recommended for those who want to ski at their leisure on a relaxing slope. Approximately 80% of the 28 courses are in the beginner to intermediate area, so even families and winter sports beginners can enjoy powder snow with confidence.
For those looking for both powder snow and bumps, the Furano Zone at the top of Furano Ski Resort is perfect. This is an advanced course where you can experience a dynamic powder landing while looking out at the silver world spreading out below.
For young children who are worried about hitting the slopes from the beginning, we also offer the world's only kids ski magic lesson program, ``Pandarman Kids School''. Special original skis and artificial mat slopes are available to help you make your debut on the slopes.
Furano Ski Resort is attached to Furano Prince Hotel, so it is also attractive that you can use it in conjunction with your overnight stay. There are also great value accommodation plans that include lift tickets, so many users enjoy sightseeing in Furano at the same time.
Click here for the official website of Furano Ski Resort
[5th place] Kagura Ski Resort (Niigata)
Kagura Ski Resort is a ski resort that receives a large amount of high quality snow due to its altitude of 1,845m. It is also known for its long season, with powder snow from December to March and spring skiing from April and May.
The rich variety of 32 courses is also attractive, and there are 3 courses where you can enjoy powder snow. Among these, the ``Rinkan Expert Course'', which is exclusively for advanced skiers, is an uncompacted snow course surrounded by a silvery-white coniferous forest, with a maximum slope of 30 degrees and a running distance of 661m, making it extremely satisfying.
Of course, there are also courses that beginners and intermediates can enjoy. Kagura Main Slope offers a panoramic view of the foothills from an altitude of 1,700m, and is a spacious course loved by people of all skill levels, from beginners to experts. The upper part is slightly sloped, but there is a detour in the middle of the course, making it suitable for beginners to make their Kagura debut.
Kagura Ski Resort is connected to Naeba Ski Resort by Dragondora, and if you purchase a joint ticket, you can freely ski at both ski resorts.
Click here for the official website of Kagura Ski Resort
[6th place] Hakuba Norikura Onsen Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
Hakuba Norikura Onsen Ski Resort is located particularly inland within the Hakuba Valley, which consists of 10 ski resorts, and is known for its high altitude, which results in a large amount of smooth, dry snow.
A total of 14 courses are well-balanced from beginner to advanced. The Hakunori Family Course features a gentle slope, so even children wearing skis for the first time can safely debut on the slopes.
The Sky View Slope, which has an average slope of 25 degrees, is popular for those who want to enjoy both the spectacular view of Hakuba and powder snow. On snowy days, you can enjoy the deep powder, and even experienced skiers and snowboarders will be satisfied with the sliding experience.
For those who want to try dynamic riding, there is also a ``snow park'' and ``mogol course.'' The secret to its popularity is that you can spend your time at your own pace.
Click here for the official website of Hakuba Norikura Onsen Ski Resort
[7th place] Hakuba Cortina Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
Hakuba Cortina Ski Resort, which is adjacent to Hakuba Norikura Onsen Ski Resort, is also famous for its 100% natural powder snow. The snow is soft and smooth, so you won't get wet even if you fall, so it's recommended for those making their debut on the slopes and for those new to powder riding. Almost all courses meet in front of the hotel at the foot of the slopes, so even families with children can enjoy the slopes with peace of mind.
If you don't mind a forest course, you should definitely enjoy the spectacular view from the Mt. Hieda Forest Course. Not only can you see the beautiful world of silver with a maximum altitude of 1,402m, but the fantastic frost-covered trees that are unique to the forest course are a must-see.
A free shuttle bus also runs from the nearest JR Minami-Otari Station to Hakuba Cortina Ski Resort. You can also enjoy a day trip to the hot springs at the official hotel "Hotel Green Plaza Hakuba" right in front of the hotel.
Click here for the official website of Hakuba Cortina Ski Resort
[8th place] Madarao Kogen Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
Madarao Kogen Ski Resort, located in one of Japan's heaviest snowfall areas, is characterized by so much powder snow that it is nicknamed "Madapow" by winter sports fans. The course on the north-facing slope along the valley has a lot of snow and is less exposed to the sun, so you can enjoy the soft and smooth snow no matter when you go.
It is a popular spot that attracts many tourists from overseas, especially during the high season when you can enjoy the deep powder.
Another reason for its popularity is that there are 32 courses and a wide variety. You can choose freely according to your ability and the conditions of the day, from the advanced course with a maximum slope of 35 degrees, where the Mogul World Cup was held, to the beginner course where you can leisurely ski at your own pace.
The Madarao Kogen Hotel, located below the slopes, is also equipped with a private natural hot spring and sauna where you can relax. This is a ski resort where you can enjoy your day to the fullest, where you can work up a sweat after being covered in powder snow.
Click here for the official website of Madarao Kogen Ski Resort
[9th place] Marunuma Kogen Ski Resort (Gunma Prefecture)
Marunuma Kogen Ski Resort, which stretches toward Mt. Nikko Shirane, which is famous as the highest peak in the Kanto region, is known for its high altitude, which produces large amounts of high-quality powder snow. The quality of the snow is one of the lightest in the area, and it is popular for being able to enjoy fluffy natural snow on days when it snows.
The uncompacted snow course, which is 755 meters long, has a maximum slope of 32 degrees and is extremely smooth. The beginner's course is also spacious, so even those who are not used to riding in powder snow can enjoy it with confidence.
Furthermore, Marunuma Kogen Ski Resort is full of spots recommended for families with small children. At the kids' space on the second floor of the center station at the foot of the slope, you can enjoy attractions such as bouldering.
Click here for the official website of Marunuma Kogen Ski Resort
[10th place] Able Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
Able Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort, located in Hakuba Village in Hakuba Valley, is popular for its good snow quality, good views, and wide variety of courses.
For those who want to enjoy powder snow, we recommend the technical course with uncompacted snow. It's especially beautiful after it snows, and you can enjoy the soft, fluffy snow that flies up. For advanced skiers, we also recommend the Champion Expert Course, which has a maximum slope of 35 degrees. The course has a series of deep humps that will satisfy even the most experienced skiers and snowboarders.
The lift ticket is a shared ticket with the adjacent Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park, so you can enjoy two different slopes with one pass. It is also open for night skiing, so it is recommended for people who want to ski all day.
Click here for the official website of Able Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort
[11th place] Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park (Nagano Prefecture)
For those who like dynamic riding, Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park is recommended. ``Route 3'' in front of the gondola summit station is an uncompacted snow area with a maximum slope of 32 degrees, leaving lumps of natural snow intact.
Hakuba 47 is also known for its great views, and the view of the silver world from the top of Route 1, which runs in the middle, and the entire area of Hakuba Village colored in snow is a sight to behold.
Furthermore, 47PARKS, the largest and highest quality snow park in the Hakuba area, is also popular. The course is divided into sections from beginner to advanced, so not only advanced skiers but also people who are new to the park can enjoy the powder snow park.
Click here for the official website of Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park
[12th place] White World Oniwakura Ski Resort (Gunma Prefecture)
White World Oni Iwakura Ski Resort is known as one of the largest ski slopes in the Kanto region. Six of the 16 courses are uncompacted snow areas where you can enjoy powder snow. It is characterized by a course that takes advantage of the natural terrain, and is gaining popularity for its high-quality powder snow.
Among them, the ``National Athletic Meet Men's Course'' with uncompacted snow is a slope where you can enjoy a long ride with a total length of 1,800 meters. You can enjoy a leisurely slide while looking out at the mountains of Gunma. For those who want to ski more dynamically, we recommend the 2,800m long course called Milky Way. The width is 40 to 60 meters, so you can ski with confidence.
White World Oniwakura Ski Resort is full of activities that everyone can enjoy, even if you are bringing small children. Rock'n Hiroba, a slope exclusively for kids, offers many activities such as sledding, tubing, snow striders, and air domes, and is also equipped with snow escalators.
Click here for the official website of White World Ridge Iwakura Ski Resort
[13th place] Rusutsu Resort (Hokkaido)
Rusutsu Resort in Hokkaido is popular with overseas travelers who want to enjoy not only winter sports but also Japanese gourmet food, hot springs, and nature.
Rusutsu Resort's slopes consist of three slopes: East Mt., West Mt., which is centered around the hotel, and Mt. Isola, which towers to the west.
The ``Sky Course,'' an uncompacted snow course that starts just below the summit of West Mountain, is a popular area among advanced skiers for its high-quality powder snow and deep humps. Near the summit of East Mountain, the ``Super East Course'' with a maximum inclination of 40 degrees is popular, and the deep powder after a heavy snowfall is exceptional.
The appeal of Rusutsu Resort is that you can enjoy a luxurious time while refreshing your mind and body in an environment surrounded by the blessings of nature. Rusutsu Resort Hotel also offers accommodation plans that include lift tickets and meal tickets, as well as an open-air open-air bath and the opportunity to enjoy Hokkaido's seasonal flavors.
Click here for the official website of Rusutsu Resort
[14th place] Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
Okushiga Kogen is said to be Japan's largest snow area, and the Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort, located at the far end, is popular for its large amounts of high-quality powder snow.
There are a total of 10 courses that you can choose from, from beginner to advanced, depending on your ability and preference. The ``Rinkan Course'' is recommended for those who want to enjoy both the quality of the snow and the view. Snow-capped trees line up on both sides, making it popular to ski while surrounded by a beautiful silver world. If you're looking for uncompacted powder snow, the ``Kuma Otoshi Course'' for advanced skiers is the best option. Although it is the steepest slope in the Okushiga Highlands, the slippery feel and deep powder will make you addicted.
If you're planning to visit Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort, be sure to check out the accommodations as well. Okushiga Kogen has two resort hotels and eight pensions, perfect for a few days stay with family or friends. For those who want to seriously improve their skiing, the ski school also has accommodations directly managed by the ski school, which is convenient if you want to take intensive lessons in a short period of time.
Click here for the official website of Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort
[15th place] Akakura Onsen Ski Resort (Niigata Prefecture)
The selling point of Akakura Onsen Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture is its snowfall. Akakura is known as one of the heaviest snowfall areas in Japan, and its biggest attraction is that you can enjoy the finest powder snow made of 100% natural snow throughout the season.
There are a total of 17 courses on the big ski slope that stretches out at the foot of Mt. Myoko, making it a ski resort that will satisfy everyone, from advanced skiers to beginners and children making their ski debut.
The main "Panorama Course" is a long course with a wide width for intermediate players. The ``Moguls Challenge Course'' is popular for those who want to experience powder snow to its fullest. It is the steepest slope in Akakura Onsen Ski Resort, and because it is uncompacted snow, you may encounter bumps not only after snowfall.
Click here for the official website of Akakura Onsen Ski Resort
Top 5 popular ski resorts where you can enjoy tree running
Many ski resorts open the tree run area, where you can slide through the trees, as an area with uncompacted snow, so it's great that you can enjoy powder snow at the same time.
From here, we will introduce recommended ski resorts where you can enjoy a tree run. There are many ski resorts where you can ski while feeling the dynamic nature, so this is a must-see for tree run fans.
[1st place] Madarao Kogen Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
Madarao Kogen Ski Resort in Nagano Prefecture boasts the most tree run courses in Japan.
We are proud of our courses that take advantage of the natural terrain, and at the same time, you can enjoy the finest powder snow that is famous as "Madapow".
One of the most popular is the "Powder Wave 2" course, which has trees arranged at the perfect spacing for a powder tree run. With a maximum slope of 35 degrees and a total length of 1,500m, it is a dynamic area that tickles the spirit of adventure, and attracts many tree running enthusiasts.
For those who are not satisfied with just a simple tree run, ``NINJA'', which has a ladder jumping platform within the tree run course, is also popular. The experience of jumping from a height of 7m (4-5m during snowfall) into powder snow is something you cannot easily get at other ski resorts.
Furthermore, the half-pipe-shaped course "SAWA" is also popular. The appeal of Madarao Kogen Ski Resort is not only the powder snow and tree runs, but also the fact that you can feel nature with your whole body.
[2nd place] Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park (Nagano Prefecture)
Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park is characterized by its ``Tree Riding Zone,'' a course that specializes in tree runs.
The Hakuba area is also famous for its strict safety management for tree runs. At Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park, skiing in the tree riding zone requires registration, and you must agree to the rules and precautions before riding. The pre-training includes video viewing, so be sure to check it out before arriving at the ski resort.
As introduced in the powder snow ranking, Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park is an attractive ski resort with smooth, uncompacted powder. The quality of the snow is especially special the morning after it snows overnight, so if you're into powder or tree runs, you should definitely try it at least once.
[3rd place] Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort is popular for its high quality powder snow, but you can also enjoy a tree run if you take the lecture program in advance.
The vast powder area in the middle of the ski resort is called the ``Tsuga Pow Area'' because it is an area where you can enjoy the ``TSUGAPOW'' that is the charm of the Tsugaike Plateau.
There are a total of 5 gates in the powder run/tree run course "Tsugapau Area". We conduct daily patrols to check the condition of the course, and we have a thorough management system that opens and closes the course depending on the condition of the slope and the weather.
The dynamic course, which takes full advantage of the natural terrain and trees, offers a satisfying sliding experience that is sure to attract many fans from Japan and abroad. This is a ski resort that advanced skiers should definitely try at least once.
[4th place] Hakuba Cortina Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
Hakuba Cortina Ski Resort is known for its 100% natural snow quality, and is characterized by its wide skiing area and high degree of freedom.
The ``Tree Area'' for extremely advanced skiers has no leveling or safety management, allowing you to experience ``sliding in nature'' in the truest sense. The thrilling slide is so thrilling that the official website even describes it as a ``self-responsible area.''
Since it is a self-responsible area, if you are unsure whether to try it, please check the ``Click here for detailed ski report!'' section on the ski slope map page. You can watch videos of the area to feel like you're actually there, and you can also see reviews from people who have visited from overseas, so it's a good idea to use it as a reference.
[5th place] Shiga Kogen Yakebiyama Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture)
The ``Giant Slalom'' at Shiga Kogen Yakebiyama Ski Resort is known for its beautiful coniferous forest. It is a somewhat gentle course with an average slope of 11 degrees that starts at an altitude of about 2,000m, but with a total length of over 2,000m, it is a perfect course.
As you progress along the course, you will also come across an uncompacted snow area covered in a silvery coniferous forest. The quality of the snow at Shiga Kogen Yakebiyama Ski Resort is characterized by low humidity and smooth snow. With high-quality snow also known as "platinum powder," you can enjoy the ski slopes in good condition throughout the season.
Another appeal is that you can enjoy a total of 19 courses with a rich variety, and that you can purchase a shared pass with the neighboring Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort. It is the perfect environment for those who want to fully experience powder runs and tree runs.
Click here for the official website of Shiga Kogen Yakebitayama Ski Resort
Tips for choosing a ski resort where you can enjoy powder snow and tree runs
There are three points to check when choosing a ski resort where you can enjoy powder snow and tree runs:
Areas at high altitudes have lower temperatures than flatlands, so they are more likely to have smooth snow with less moisture. Among the ski resorts introduced this time, many are located at high altitudes, especially in Nagano Prefecture. If it snows overnight, the slopes will be reset, so even those who want to ski for consecutive nights will be satisfied.
slope facing north
On slopes facing north, the snow is less likely to melt due to the shorter amount of sunlight, and the quality of the snow is maintained throughout the day.
less sunshine hours
Ski resorts located deep in the mountains, such as Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort, where there is little sunlight, are recommended because the snow quality is less variable.
Please use the characteristics of each ski resort introduced this time as a reference when choosing a ski resort.
Hakuba Valley is a popular spot with enthusiastic fans all over the world.
Many of the ski resorts in the Hakuba area that made it into this ranking are major tourist spots, collectively known as "Hakuba Valley." Here are three reasons why Hakuba Valley is so popular.
Enjoy high quality powder snow
The Hakuba Valley ski resort is built on the mountainous terrain of the Northern Alps at an altitude of 3,000m, and is characterized by a large amount of high-quality powder snow. The high altitude means that the snow remains smooth and pleasant not only immediately after it snows, but even long after it snows. No matter when you go, the skiing experience is better than expected, which is a great thing for winter sports fans.
What's more, the Hakuba area has courses that take advantage of the undulations unique to the natural terrain, as well as a dedicated tree run area that leaves the trees in the forest as they are, so you'll never get tired of them no matter how many times you visit.
We also sell common tickets that allow you to enjoy all ski resorts.
There are 10 ski resorts in Hakuba Valley, and you can visit all of them by purchasing a lift ticket that applies to all ski resorts.
There are 10 types of lift tickets common to all ski resorts, from 1-day tickets to 10-day tickets. Each ski resort can be accessed by shuttle bus, so you can enjoy a gentle ski resort with lots of courses for beginners on the first day, a ski resort with spectacular views on the next day, and an advanced course on the final day.
Good access from all directions
For tourists visiting Japan's ski resorts from overseas, ease of access from airports and terminal stations is an important factor when deciding where to go.
It takes about 3 hours to reach Hakuba Valley from Tokyo, and about 5 hours from Osaka, so you can also plan a day trip skiing after visiting Japan's tourist attractions.
For tourists who come for Japan's powder snow and tree runs, an express bus called the `` Snow Liner '' is convenient. In addition to Haneda Airport and Narita Airport, which are the gateways to Japan, you can go directly to Hakuba Valley from Yokohama, which is also a popular tourist destination, making it easy for those traveling to Japan for the first time or traveling with large luggage.
There are many ski resorts in Japan where you can enjoy powder snow and tree runs, and among them, Hakuba Valley is a popular area that is attracting a lot of attention from overseas because of its excellent snow quality and variety of courses.
Researching ski resorts is of course important, but it is also important to secure a means of transportation that will allow you to get around as quickly and easily as possible.
If you use the Snow Liner , you can go directly to Hakuba Valley from the airport. Please take advantage of it and enjoy skiing and snowboarding in Japan to your heart's content.
We operate direct buses from Haneda/Narita Airport to each ski resort. https://spur.jamjamliner.jp/
The contents on this page may partially contain automatic translation.