Downturn

Downturn

While snowboarding and the foreigner market have to some extent revived interest in the winter sports scene, the total number of skiers and snowboarders has in fact been decreasing every year over the last decade.

Winter sports is not a cheap hobby of course, and with the explosion of alternative entertainment in recent years, the scene has been struggling to keep people coming back as much as they used to.

Investment at all but a handful of ski resorts has all but stopped.  Some lifts that were once fully loaded with people now stand idle on weekdays - some even on weekends and holidays.

Each year there are stories of some ski-jo closing down. Most of these closures are small local places, but from time to time there has been news that has raised a few eyebrows. Most people in the industry would probably admit that there are still simply too many ski-jo out there...

With decreasing revenues and ever-tightening budgets, it is quite rare to hear of new ski lifts and investment in ski-jo infrastructure.

But given the restrictions and difficult circumstances, ski-jo have been trying to find way to get people back interested and looking to other ways to get people back on the slopes.  Many now offer other activities as well as facilities for families and children, snow parks, backcountry tours or activities such as snowmobiling and snow tubing. We can probably expect more of this in the coming years.

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Introduction to Japan winter sports

Part 1 Snow...in Japan?
Part 2 History of skiing in Japan
Part 3 Ski boom and bust
Part 4 Snowboarding and the inbound market
Part 5 Downturn
Part 6 Where to ski or snowboard in Japan?
Part 7 Skiing and snowboarding in Hokkaido
Part 8 Skiing and snowboarding in Tohoku
Part 9 Skiing and snowboarding in Niigata
Part 10 Skiing and snowboarding in Nagano
Part 11 Other snow regions of Japan
Part 12 The Japan ski and snowboard experience
Part 13 The expense of skiing and snowboarding in Japan
Part 14 The Japan ski and snowboard season
Part 15 Japan ski resort facilities
Part 16 Japan ski resort opening and closing
Part 17 Japan safety
Part 18 Start exploring SnowJapan!