Take a skiing vacation to Japan and you will experience a whole new world. There are several ski areas in the Japanese Alps and each valley has several vacation resorts that offer you skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports at varying levels of skill and experience. Spectacular scenery and world class resorts await you on your Japanese vacation, and they offer a unique blend of the age-old mystical east with modern efficiency and convenience. Modern ski lifts, snow-making and grooming facilities make your trip an extremely well organized one. Apres-ski at most resorts offers a range of world cuisine restaurants, cafés and bars. Other activities include tobogganing and snow shoeing.
Hakuba Valley with seven ski vacation resorts interlinked to three in Niseko is the Mecca of skiing in Japan. Snowboarding and skiing is popular at all the resorts and night skiing is available at three. Hakuba valley provides an incredibly varying terrain and all levels of skiers and boarders will find something to challenge them. Happo One is an Olympic ski resort in the valley and has hosted several FIS World Cup competitions. The terrain here, with its 1,100 meter vertical ski drop is comparable to any top resort in the world. Hakuba is accessible from Tokyo by road or by bullet train to Nagano and from there by resort shuttle buses.
Nozawa Onsen is one of the oldest ski areas, with over 50 km of trails and an outstanding layout. There are runs for skiers and snowboarders of all levels of skill here and the views from the top offers a panorama of Japan’s national parks and the Japanese Alps. Relax in one of its thirty hot springs after a day on the slopes and soak in the ambience of a lovely traditional Japanese village, still steeped in history and culture. A ski vacation in January will enable you to witness their spectacular fire festival and experience superb skiing as well. Nozawa is accessible from Tokyo and Nagoya by road and train.
Shiga Kogen in the heart of the Johshinetsu Kogen National Park is the largest ski area, with twenty one resorts accessible with one lift pass. Shiga offers a very diverse terrain and hosted a number of events in the 1998 Winter Olympics.