From Sapporo to Hakuba: Japan’s Best Ski and Snow Destinations

Japan's Best Ski and Snow Destinations

Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most popular winter sports in the world. Japan has a high reputation as a winter sports destination and there are good reasons why it is quickly becoming a top destination for winter enthusiasts. 

You will be surprised by the great quality of the snow, also known as Japow and the abundant amount of powder snow is unbeatable. Japan holds the planetary record for the deepest snow cover ever recorded!

With over a dozen ski resorts and a variety of terrain catering to all skill levels, Japan has something to offer everyone. From Sapporo, where the city is known for ramen, beer, and the Sapporo Snow Festival to the family-friendly resort town of Hakuba in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most popular ski spots in Japan and examine what makes them so special.


Sapporo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hokkaido. Thanks to its proximity to the Sea of Japan, Sapporo experiences a fair amount of snowfall each year and is known for its world-class powder snow, making it an ideal place to hit the slopes. The city is also home to a variety of other winter activities, such as the Sapporo Snow Festival, one of the largest and most popular winter festivals in the world.

One of the many wonderful things about the Sapporo ski area is how easy it is to get to any of the many ski resorts. In Sapporo city, there are many ski resorts just 20 to 60 minutes away by cars such as Sapporo Teine and Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort, so they can be enjoyed even on a day trip.

The city of Sapporo is also a great place to visit, with a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars to keep you entertained. And if you’re looking to stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan (inn), there are plenty of options to choose from.


Niseko is located southwest of Hokkaido and is about a 2.5-hour drive from Sapporo. Niseko is world-famous for its dry powder snow, which is perfect for skiing and snowboarding. The ski resorts here are as fashionable as any you’d find in other renowned areas. There are four main ski resorts in Niseko: Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Village, Niseko Grand Hirafu, and Niseko Hanazono.

Niseko Annupuri is great for beginners and families as it has a wide variety of gentle slopes. Niseko Village is a more advanced resort with longer runs and steeper slopes. Niseko Grand Hirafu has the most varied terrain, making it perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Niseko Hanazono is known for its backcountry powder skiing and snowboarding.

There are many other activities to enjoy in Niseko besides skiing and snowboarding, such as hot spring baths, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and ice fishing.

Read More:

The Best Places to Visit for Winter Sports Activities


Furano ski resort is located in the heart of the Hokkaido snow belt which is known for its stable weather and you can be sure that there will be plenty of powdery goodness to enjoy.

Furano also has a wide variety of terrain, so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skier, you’ll find something to suit your abilities. And if you’re looking for a challenge, Furano even has a few double black diamond runs.

What’s more, Furano is also home to some of the best ski schools in Japan, so if you’re new to the sport, you’ll be in good hands.

Shiga Kogen

Shiga Kogen is another great option if you’re looking for a slightly more relaxed atmosphere. Shiga Kogen is the largest ski area in Nagano and the largest ski resort in Japan, made up of several small resorts, so there’s a bit more variety in terms of terrain.

And if you’re someone who likes to get off the beaten path, Shiga Kogen is a great place to explore. There are plenty of hiking and cross-country skiing trails and even a few hot springs that you can visit. Besides, this resort is located in a traditional Japanese town, so you’ll be able to experience the authentic culture while you’re here.


Hakuba gained international fame when it hosted several competitions during the Winter Olympic Games. It is one of the most popular ski resorts in Japan and for good reason. The area gets an incredible amount of snowfall—about 11 meters or almost 36 feet per season! And with nine different ski resorts to choose from, you’ll find a slope perfect for your skill level.

Hakuba also has a lot of off-piste skiing, which is a huge draw for powder hounds and backcountry skiers. If you’re looking for a challenge, definitely give it a go! Just be sure to take a guide with you—the terrain can be pretty tricky.

There’s no doubt that Japan is one of the best ski and snow destinations. With world-class resorts, great powder conditions, and a wide variety of terrain, it’s no wonder that so many people flock to the country every year to hit the slopes. With so many great options of resorts in Japan, you’re sure to have an incredible time on the slopes. If you’re looking for a pair of good-quality ski goggles for your winter trip, welcome to check out SWANS snow goggles.

ROVO MDH-PU-LP Pastel brown mirror x Polarized UL light purple lens

The ski goggle “ROVO” has a unique ventilating function “A-Blow”. function. Keep the clear visibility with one-touch action. Adopting Polarized ULTRA LENS.

RACAN MDH-CU-LG Light silver mirror x Photochromic ULTRA light grey

The ski goggle “RACAN” has a wider sight with superior anti-fog function and is also compatible with glasses. Adopting Photochromic ULTRA Light Grey lens.

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