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2022-2023: End of season message

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  • SnowJapan Admin

An end of season message from SnowJapan
This message has been posted on each of the regional daily Now reports on the site

Japan's 2022-2023 ski season has now finished at all but a few ski areas, so it is time to look back and wrap up with some end-of-season thoughts.

The following comments are general observations about Japan's ski season. Remember, there are always going to be many significant regional variations.

First, lots of great snow to enjoy in most regions during the peak season. That is expected, of course. After all, this is Japan. :)

The foremost thing about 2022-2023 was surely the re-opening of international borders in time for winter after several years of covid-driven frustration. Unfortunately, as welcome as it was, the re-opening announcement came too late for some to plan for 2022-2023. Still, it made visiting Japan possible for some of you and probably more than many in Japan expected. Popular ski resorts have commented on being surprised at how many 'inbound' visitors turned up. With the late announcement, the high cost of travel and various troubling world situations, they were probably expecting a much more gradual return.

On top of that, the domestic market also seems to have bounced back quite well in many regions, which is good to hear.

This sudden return of guests caused various problems for facilities that provide essential services - including accommodation, restaurants, ski schools, tours, and ski areas). Not being able to find enough staff was a prominent issue countrywide. Hopefully, this problem will be less of an issue next season with time to try and get it sorted. (If you are looking for employment, keep an eye on our Jobs Available listings, where we will list opportunities. And if you are actively looking for staff and wish to be listed there, please get in touch).

In another welcome move, the requirement to show vaccinations or a negative covid test to enter Japan has been dropped as of late April. As long as nothing mad happens in the coming six months, the 2023-2024 season should be as regular as possible for people wanting to visit Japan to ski and snowboard. And there are going to be lots of those people. Get ready, everyone!

Regarding snowfall, it is probably safe to say that 2022-2023 was a below-average season in most regions. There were still impressive snowfall numbers in some places but some worryingly low numbers in others - particularly in western Japan, where some ski areas had a rough time and struggled to remain open (or, in some cases, even open in the first place).

Last season we commented on many ski areas extending their seasons to take advantage of the good snowfall. The opposite was the case this season, with many ski areas (countrywide) having to close before their original planned closing dates.

One reason was that we didn't get much snowfall beyond early March 2023, and temperatures were generally warmer than average. As a result, it made the spring season seem very long. However, it has to be said that, given the challenging weather conditions, it is really quite impressive how so many ski areas could remain open until April and May.

In the coming weeks, and in a new tradition we started last year, we will add the actual confirmed 2022-2023 season opening and closing dates for ski areas throughout Japan. So keep an eye on the news & updates for more on that.

We think 2023-2024 will be a big one for the 'inbound' market, probably growing to be larger than pre-covid, when it was already growing yearly. SnowJapan will be here to cover the season with our updated information, daily reports and, importantly, none of the hype.

That's it for the 2022-2023 season. Over the next seven months, we will be full-on busy having fun with various updates and our annual major information refresh from late summer. Our daily weather and snow reporting will return from November/December in the run-up to the 2023-2024 season. We'll try our best to cover it with the best information possible.

Thank you.


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