About SnowJapan

Welcome to SnowJapan

To everyone visiting SnowJapan for the first time -- hello, we are glad you found us!
To existing members and people who have visited us before -- we hope you like enjoy using SnowJapan.

Please read this introduction to get a bit of background about SnowJapan.

Background

SnowJapan, originally known as SkiJapanGuide, has been online since the autumn of 1999.

Back then, there was almost no information in English on the subject of skiing in Japan.

There was even less information seven years earlier when Andrew Lea, a 24 year old from the north west of England, arrived in the ski resort town of Yuzawa in Niigata Prefecture to teach English at the local schools as part of the JET Programme. Andrew took up skiing quickly and with the help of a few local friends published a simple printed guide that was distributed to other JET participants telling them about the skiing in Yuzawa. A number of years later he created a simple website called ‘Ski Japan Guide’, which introduced the main ski resorts in Niigata Prefecture to the world. The site soon grew and eventually was re-launched as ‘SnowJapan’ in November 2002.

Andrew still oversees the SnowJapan project and our office is still in that same region of Niigata Prefecture.

While SnowJapan has grown dramatically and had a few different makeovers over the years, the concept by which we run the site remains fundamentally the same. We want to provide unbiased information on Japan winter sports in as much detail as possible and also provide a friendly platform for people to share information.

The road to the new SnowJapan in 2013

SnowJapan has grown rapidly by adding new content and functionality every season.

In the summer of 2011 we decided that in order to continue growing we needed to make some major changes to SnowJapan, from the ground up.

We began with a rather daunting blank sheet, lots of ideas, and those twelve years worth of experience and feedback. A healthy dose of passion and determination to really push the site forward to a new level helped us along.

After over 18 months of planning and development, we were pleased to be able to launch a brand new version of SnowJapan in the spring of 2013.

The new site marked a complete reworking of SnowJapan. The site had a new design and structure, but that was only one part of the changes. The new version of SnowJapan was based on completely new coding and all of the basic content was checked and refreshed. Apart from archived Daily Reports, Resort Reviews and Photos, everything was new.

A website like SnowJapan is never going to be ‘finished’. We are always working on fine-tuning and making additions - and for the longer term we have a few larger ideas that we are developing.  So you can expect to see lots of further developments and new functionality.

Please do take some time to wander around and get to know the site and how it works. We think there’s lots of cool stuff to discover.

This is perhaps a good chance to make a few points about SnowJapan – what we are... and what we are not.

What SnowJapan is

- a totally independent guide to Japan winter sports;
- an online community of like-minded - and sometimes not so like-minded - people from all over the world;
- 100% online (well, apart from a few stickers and flyers);
- run by a small group of people who really care about the subject and the site;
- all content within the domain names snowjapan.com, snowjapanforums.com, snowjapan.tv, snowjapanresorts.com and skijapanguide.com.

What SnowJapan is not

- We are not a travel agency and we do not take any kind of bookings or reservations;
- We do not try to promote any one region of Japan over another;
- We do not sell any product;
- We are not a magazine or guide book;
- We are not part of some large commercial operation focussing on sales.

Hope you enjoy using the site, and that you might join in by uploading Photos and writing Resort Reviews if you have been to Japanese ski resorts.

Thank you to the people who helped along the way.

SnowJapan
Updated late 2014

 

Suggested reading:

Our introduction to Japan winter sports Background, history, and what to expect from the Japanese winter sports scene
Start here More information on the main sections of SnowJapan
My SnowJapan Information on our new 'MySnowJapan' members section
About new Resort Search Learn about our new and powerful Japan ski resort search tool
About Places to Stay listings About the accommodation listings on SnowJapan
About Daily Reports About the daily snow and weather reporting on SnowJapan
Your privacy Our promise to you regarding your information
Contact us How to get in touch with SnowJapan
Advertising Promotional opportunities on SnowJapan
Forums Our popular Forums - a fine place to discuss Japan winter sports or just about anything