Where to ski or snowboard in Japan

Japan it is! But where to go?

With over 500 of ski-jo to choose from, where should you go? Anyone new to Japan can quickly become overwhelmed and confused.

The easy choices are the most popular regions. Of course, they became popular for good reason… they are great places! Travel agents will certainly offer packages to these most popular resort areas and you’ll be able to find the most information about them in English. You might also find lots of English spoken when you get there. It’s an obvious and easy choice for many.

But for those looking to do something independently and discover some less well-known places, there are still many excellent destinations to choose from.

It’s not SnowJapan’s place as an independent guide to tell people where to go. But hopefully using the detailed information and resources on SnowJapan, and perhaps taking part in our friendly online SnowJapanForums community, our site can be a big help finding what is suitable for you.

Play around with our powerful new Search tools to discover all sorts of places you might not have even considered before. Discuss them on our Forums. On many pages of the new site, you’ll find links to nearby resorts and accommodation that welcomes English speakers. Take a look through all of the Resort Reviews and Photos on the site.

And be sure to add your own when after your visit!

There is a lot to discover.

With ski-jo dotted all over Japan it's probably true to say that almost everyone living on the main Honshu island or Hokkaido is within a few hours from a ski resort. For many, the nearest ski lift is much closer.

There are a number of regions of Japan that are home to a cluster of big ski resorts. Find one ski-jo in Japan and you'll undoubtedly find others nearby - they often seem to come in groups.

The prefectures with the most ski-jo are Hokkaido, Nagano and Niigata. There are also many ski-jo in the Tohoku region as well in the central region of Japan.

Snow conditions tend to be better in northern Japan and at resorts at higher altitudes, as you might expect. However for those living in Kansai and further west, there are still opportunities to get on nearby ski slopes. The excellent transportation network in Japan makes most regions of Japan relatively easy to access.

In the following pages we'll take a closer look at some of the most popular regions. Please note that this list is by no means complete, and we strongly encourage people to really look around and enjoy discovering… SnowJapan!

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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!