Whoever coined the term ‘Japow’ was probably drowning waist deep in the soft white fluffy stuff in the Land of the Rising Sun. Japan boasts a number of amazing ski regions which are favored by the snow gods and granted consistent powder year on year.
Nagano’s amazing terrain and consistent powder are still sometimes skipped in favor of Niseko and the snowier ski resorts on Hokkaido, where average annual snowfall is generally a notch higher. There’s no denying the snow is deeper up there, but whether it’s 25 ft or 30 ft of powder in a year, there’s always plenty to go round no matter where you decide to ski in Japan!
Where Nagano gets one up on its northern neighbor is how easily accessible the ski resorts are. With the bullet train taking less than two hours from Tokyo to Nagano and leaving frequently every day, reaching the ski resorts is made simple for skiers from overseas. So, if you’re already wondering which mountain you should ride here first, here’s my top five to get you started!
There is Hakuba Valley which is a short trip from Tokyo and home to ten popular resorts along the Japanese Northern Alps. Close by is the famed Nozawa Onsen where soaking in an outdoor hot spring while snow drizzles down is a daily ritual in winter time. Last but not least you have premier destinations near Sapporo, Hokkaido like Niseko and Rusutsu. There are also a number of smaller resorts dotted around the country - hidden gems waiting to be discovered.