Japan is known for bucket loads of snow that falls by the metre throughout the season making spring skiing guaranteed. There’s so much to love about late season skiing in Japan from discounts on already cheap skiing to blue skies, warmer weather, cherry blossoms and no crowds.

You’ll find plenty of resorts to suit you, your family and your friends on the main island of Honshu come March and April. Happo One in the Hakuba Valley even stays open till May.

Choose from these four iconic main island ski resorts all within train and shuttle distance from Tokyo with some excellent package deals for a unique spring holiday and make the most of Japan’s famous snow falls.

Hakuba Valley

You never have to choose just one resort when skiing at Hakuba, home to the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

The Hakuba Valley boasts eleven ski resorts from the light powder tree skiing at Cortina to the terrain parks of Goryu, the groomers of Happo One and the off piste backcountry steeps and deeps. Expect over 200 ski trails and 135 lifts accessing the peaks of the Japan Alps that create a spine down the main island of Honshu.

The town of Hakuba is a thriving resort destination with traditional Japanese Izakaya pubs, guest houses, bars and hot spring onsens to soothe the weary legs.

Nozawa Onsen

This feudal onsen town was founded in 924 AD and is home to fifty private and public volcanic onsens. The village oozes traditional Japanese charm with cobbled laneways and multi generational ryokans (Japanese guest houses).

Nozawa Onsen is also known as the ‘birthplace of skiing’ in Japan so expect some seriously good snow and over a thousand metres of vertical on the ski hill. You’ll find 50 kilometers of ski trails across 300 hectares of skiable terrain.

Shiga Kogen

The largest ski resort in Japan, Shiga Kogen is actually 21 linked resorts and 600 hectares of skiable terrain accessed on the one ski pass. The resort has a heavy Austrian influence with many Tyrolean styled guest houses and restaurants lined with photos from the 1998 Olympic alpine racing events held at the resort.

Shiga Kogen is traditionally a ski in ski out resort with over 80 kilometers of ski trails with 68 chairlifts. Kids will love the night skiing and the snow ghosts or snow monsters (trees laden with snow) on the top of the mountain. If they’re lucky they’ll also catch some wild snow monkeys darting across the trails. If not, then take a side trip to the famous snow monkey onsen where families of monkeys soak in the wild hot springs.

If you love groomers then you’ll love Shiga Kogen which is a great intermediate level resort. You won’t find the nightlife of Hakuba or the charm of Nozawa but you will find a large easily accessible resort with everything at your finger tips and a dose of old world retro style with egg shaped gondolas.

Myoko Kogen

Myoko is a traditional Japanese style ski resort rich in history with eight ski resorts linked on the one lift pass so there is literally something for everyone from big vertical to tree skiing, groomers and backcountry powder.  Spring skiing here rocks because the resort averages 13 metres of snowfall a season so there’s always a solid base come late season. Don’t expect huge night life but do expect intimate bars and restaurants and a plethora of traditional onsens for soaking.


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