There’s a lot to love about Japan. The culture, the powder snowfall, the people, the ease of getting around, and its proximity to Australia all make it a dream destination for your next snow holiday – the only tricky part is working out where to go.

Hoshino Resorts have stepped it up with incredible hotel offerings throughout Hokkaido, Japan’s north island known for its phenomenal dry powder that falls by the metre load.

From ski-in, ski-out experiences to city escapes with the very best ski resorts on your doorstep, there are a few destinations to choose from, each with major perks to be enjoyed and adventures to be had.

Here’s our guide to four must-stay destinations in Hokkaido that offer an unforgettable winter experience.

1. Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU

Tomamu is nestled into what’s known as the Hokkaido Powder Belt, a destination famous for light, fluffy snow in a cold, dry climate that skiers and snowboarders will dream about long after they’ve left the slopes.

Bed down in the famous Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU towers mid-mountain to have ski-in, ski-out access to 29 runs, suitable for everyone from beginners to seasoned powder chasers. The resort offers an igloo village, ice bars and even an 80m indoor wave pool, along with restaurants and bars, and a ski-accessible shopping precinct called ‘hotalu street’. Families will also love the snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on offer.

On the mountain, the more advanced skiers and boarders are covered with the Powder Area, where you can ski off-piste as long as you follow the resort’s rules and check in with ski patrol. Otherwise, opt for a cat skiing tour in Mt. Karifuri to enjoy untouched powder; or venture further with the resort’s Powder Team, who can take you out for a backcountry experience anywhere from Mount Asahi to Mount Furano.

2. OMO7 Asahikawa

There’s nothing like a ski destination that seamlessly combines the urban with the very best ski resorts. OMO7 Asahikawa is the very place to be if you want to immerse yourself in a city landscape while also discovering nearby off-the-beaten-track central Hokkaido resorts offering big powder.

The hotels offers a free ski resort shuttle bus to Mt. Asahidake, Hokkaido’s highest peak, perfect for skiers and boarders seeking challenging terrains and breathtaking views and hot spring giesers. Or head to Kamui Ski Links, one of Hokkaido’s largest ski resorts, with slopes catering to all skill levels.

The guest perks don’t end there. Skiers and snowboarders can make use of the complimentary wax bar, which provides 30 types of snow wax for optimal performance on every slope. You can also relax in the Snow Bum Lounge, the ultimate place for après-ski relaxation and socialising with fellow winter sports enthusiasts.

When it’s time for dinner, Asahikawa has over 2000 shops and restaurants to discover around town. Join an OMO Ranger-led tour to find the very best, as you’ll need a local’s touch for the delicacies, like Hokkaido crab and Asahikawa ramen.

3. OMO3 Sapporo Susukino

Food tour by night in Sapporo

Sapporo is the capital city of Hokkaido, and just a stone’s throw away from plenty of ski resorts close by- including favourites such as Kokusai, Moiwa and Kiroro. It’s also within a day trip to Rusutsu and well-known Niseko.

For those wanting to get the flavour of the city, it’s worth staying at OMO3 Sapporo Susukino, located in the heart of the bustling Susukino district. Local OMO rangers can take you out to explore the 3500 restaurants and izakayas to be found nearby, ready to sample seasonal seafood and sakes. Or opt for the whiskey-tasting experience at the Nikka Bar, with some of the best Japanese whiskies available to be sampled.

You’ll also have easy access to some of the most magical winter wonderland experiences in Sapporo. Explore the city’s famous Snow Festival, where intricate carvings are scattered all over the park, and enormous snow sculptures light up by night.

4. OMO5 Otaru

The town of Otaru is genuinely enchanting. Historic buildings line the canals of this port, and during the winter the locals make candle holders from the piles of snow, illuminating the darkness of the night. In the alleyways, izakayas and restaurants are tucked away, offering the freshest of sashimi.

OMO5 Otaru by Hoshino Resorts not only offers a cosy place to stay by night, but it’s in close proximity to one of Hokkaido’s most renowned ski slopes, Kiroro Snow World. With great powder snow and a variety of slopes suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, there’s a run – or a few runs – here for you. And you’ll be prepared for the best with the hotel’s complimentary wax bar, on offer with different types of wax to suit every pair of skis, every snowboard, and every snow condition.

By day, take a tour of the Rinyu morning market, and enjoy a traditional breakfast – a raw seafood rice bowl, complete with homemade salmon roe marinated in soy sauce, some with special rare fish.

Ready to plan your next ski trip to Japan? Click here to find out more about Hoshino Resorts. 

The team at Hoshino Resorts are also offering a range of special deals in Tomamu and Hokkaido for the 2023/24 winter season – all you have to do is book by June 30. Click here to find them all.

Hoshino Resorts offer free medical insurance for travellers to Japan