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Advice on family friendly ski resort with good offpiste/backcountry

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Hi SJ’ers, my first post to ask for some advice on where to go on ski holiday in the coming February. I have slightly complicated wishlist given that its a family ski trip, but I would still like to go to a place that has good offpiste/backcountry potential for one or two days of skiing.

 

I’m looking for a place that would be family friendly and have few things to do off the slopes (eg crosscountry skiing for the mrs, kiddies playground or activities), have an English speaking skischool (will want to put my son for first ski lessons), but also offers Japanese culture. Given the last point I wanted to avoid Niseko based on the stories I've heard and have been recommended to look at somewhere like Myoko Kogen on Honshu. Maybe also Nozawa Onsen? Not sure about Hakuba?

 

Only skied in Japan once before as went there last winter for a 10 day backcountry tour with one of the guiding firms. We hit central Hokkaido and skied some fantastic snow in Asahidake, Tokachidake, Furano and Kamui, so therefore was thinking of visiting Honshu to see different part of Japan.

 

Any recommendations on the places mentioned above for family trip would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Although I haven't been there in over 10 years, look at the list of your criteria, I would say Hakuba is a pretty safe bet. A lot of resorts in a small area and the ski schools there also provide guides for backcountry.

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Nozawa has a nice "authentic" Japanese feel. Really nice little hot spring town. I would imagine they would have English instructors, but I'm not sure. Also don't know about the cross country skiing. Never been to Hakuba so can't really compare the two. Tell us all how it goes. What you want matches up a lot with what I'm looking for in a snow trip (minus the cross country skiing). Would love to hear how things go!

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Thanks ygrene, digriz and gunma boarder and apologies for dropping offline for some time. After lengthy consultations and searches online we've now settled on Nozawa Onsen, as the Mrs really liked the look of the place and 'japanese feel'. Now need to sort out few more things like decide if its finally time to buy my own skis as availability of good quality skis for touring is not very easy by the looks of it in Japan; nor cheap for that matter. Hope you guys get to enjoy some freshies soon!

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