Other snow regions of Japan
|There are literally hundreds of other ski and snowboard resorts dotted around the Japanese mountains and many of them also deserve a mention. We plan to expand on this section but for now will just mention a few other notable regions:
The Kanto region consists of Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama and Kanagawa. Three of these, Gunma, Tochigi and Saitama, have ski areas, with the majority being in Gunma.
The nearest resort to Tokyo is Sayama, which is also the only ski area in Saitama. Sayama is a semi-enclosed ski area, with artificial snow, and can be reached by train in 40 minutes from Ikebukuro station. While not boasting very steep terrain, it is one of the earliest-opening ski areas in Japan, usually being the second ski area to open (after Snow Town Yeti) in late October. As a Prince Resort, kids up through elementary-school age ski free.
Tochigi has five ski areas, the largest being Hunter Mountain Shiobara. The best way to get to Hunter Mountain Shiobara is by car and it makes a good day trip from Tokyo. It is a beautiful drive unless you happen to get stuck in traffic on a busy weekend. Although the resort is not especially big and it doesn't have much advanced terrain, it is a well-run comfortable resort with an American-style feel complete with signs in English. Next to Hunter Mountain is Edelweiss Ski Resort, which has a dog run, and a little further up the Tohoku Expressway is Mt. Jeans Ski Resort Nasu, in Nasu Town, which is a bit smaller than Hunter Mountain, but with perhaps somewhat more challenging terrain, and more expansive views when the weather cooperates.
Gunma has by far the largest number of ski areas in the Kanto region, as well as the best snow. Marunuma Kogen, in Katashina town on the border with Tochigi, has a long ski season (mid-November to Golden Week in early May), and a good variety of courses but is not the easiest place to get to. Minakami Town is home to a number of ski resorts, including Tanigawadake Tenjindaira, known for its spectacular views and off-piste accessible terrain. Other popular resorts in the nearby region of Gunma include Kawaba and White World Oze Iwakura.
The Kusatsu Kokusai resort - in the western area of Gunma and geographically close to Shiga Kogen, but not connected - has a long history as a ski hill, and is based in a famous onsen town.
The area around Hakusan and Kanazawa has several ski areas including Hakusan Seymour, which features some challenging terrain.
Fujiten Snow Resort is where you can ski in the shadow of Mt. Fuji, and if traffic is light it is only 90 minutes from Tokyo.
There are a number of ski and snowboard resorts around and to the north of Mount Washigatake in the Gujo City area of Gifu. This area is popular with people coming from Nagoya and Osaka.
There are a few ski resorts around the Biwako Lake area.
Daisen is an popular destination for people in the area with a few ski hills on the mountain.
There are a number of ski areas around Hyono-san.
A number of ski resorts can be found in areas to the north of Hiroshima, in that prefecture and on the border with Shimane Prefecture.
While we do plan to expand on the above information in the near future, please do contact us if you would like to help contribute from your experiences of these (or other) resort areas. Thank you.