Hooray! It is winter holidays and time to plan your family trip. We love Japan! It offers an unique winter experience for families, perfect escape from sunny Singapore and one of the favourite destination for kids and adults from all over the world.
There are more than 500 ski resorts with a stunning views and mountain vistas, friendly locals, tasty food and an incredible variety of onsen (hot springs) which you can enjoy after skiing or snowboarding.
The best resorts and snow conditions are found in northern Japan (Hokkaido and Tohoku) and in the mountains along the Sea of Japan Coast (especially Niigata and Nagano). The ski season starts from early December (usually after 14 December) and ends late April.
Here are awesome vacation ideas and popular family-friendly places near Tokyo, Niigata, Nagano, Gunma, Tohoku and Hokkaido for skiing and snowboarding for you and your kids.
Fujiyama Snow Resort Yeti (Mt. Fuji)
Yeti, located at the Second Station of Mt. Fuji, is the place to enjoy winter activities. Visitors must purchase an admission ticket to use the facilities.
Enjoy the runs on various pistes with a pectacular backdrop of Mt. Fuji! From beginner to veteran, there is a piste always suitable for you! The resort opens from 25 October onwards.
Fijiten Snow Resort (Mt. Fuji)
The Fujiten Snow Resort is 12Km from Kawaguchiko interchange. The resort boasts an outstanding location, overlooking the majestic Mt. Fuji. The 4 lifts and 7 courses are rich in variety. The snow park which is equipped with various items is also very popular. At ‘Chibikko (kids) Island’, which has one of the largest sledging slopes in the Kanto Region, kids can enjoy skiing and playing the snow safely.
Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort (Nagano)
A beautiful all-round resort, about an hour from Tokyo!
Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort is one of the easiest accessible resorts from Tokyo. You can reach there in about an hour by Shinkansen. The ski resort offers good condition trails mainly for beginner and intermediate level skiers, as well as snow parks. The ski season starts from November as snow machines make good snow in the cold air. A huge resort area lies at the bottom of the ski resort including Prince Hotels and a big shopping complex.
Season Start/End: November/ April
Madarao Montain Resort (Nagano)
Madarao mountain resort is located in the northern part of Nagano prefecture, between Nozawa Onsen and Myoko Kogen. We offer a cool respite in summer, and in winter becomes a ski resort area boasting the finest powder snow. The Resort has snow schools for English speaker guests.
The Madarao Kids Park is very popular with children. It is set up on a regular ski run but also has lots of fun stuff like sleds, snow tubes and a Japanese style igloo for the kids to enjoy.
There is also a ʻsnow fun cornerʼ where anybody can have fun in the snow regardless of age or ability.
Nozawa Onsen/ Ski Resort (Nagano)
A True snow paradise! One of Japanʼs most superb and expansive winter sports areas.
Extending from the top to the foot of Mt. Kenashi (1,650m), Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort boasts an altitude differential of 1,085 meters and a total ski slope area of 297 hectares. Indeed, the resort ranks among the very top in Japan in terms of size, its history and snow quality.
The abundance of 100% natural, high-quality powder snow allows you to enjoy skiing well into early May.
The unlimited variety of slopes and courses, including the exciting Snow Park, guarantees satisfaction to snow lovers of all levels from the advanced to beginners as well as families, providing all comers with the ideal playground to enjoy the ultimate in skiing, snowboarding or whatever on-snow fun delights you.
Morino Lodge, Hakuba (Nagano)
Hakuba is a small village that sits in the folds of the Northern Alps in Japan’s Nagano prefecture. The village is dwarfed by the range of 3000m peaks surrounding it. It is one of the most beautiful places in Japan.
Morino Lodge Hakuba is located just a 10-minute walk from Happo One Ski Resort’s gondola, Morino Lodge offers cozy accommodations with spacious guestrooms and a modern lounge.
Mt Naeba Ski Resort/ Kagura (Niigata)
Naeba is located in the southern area of Yuzawa town in Niigata Prefecture, approx. 2.5 hours from Tokyo. It is a high quality ski resort with impressive facilities and services, which offers fun beginner trails for children, challenging trails for advanced skiers, as well as terrain parks for all level riders.
Naeba Ski Resort is connected with neighbouring Kagura Ski Resort by Dragondola, Japan’s longest gondola. The entire area is called “Mt. Naeba”, which consists of 4 ski areas and has many fans from home and abroad. Naeba Prince Hotel at the bottom of the ski area has 1,216 rooms and offers various fun experiences such as gourmet dining, shopping and hot springs and the ultimate in comfort and convenience for the perfect ski or snowboard holiday with kids.
Kagura is a large scale ski and snowboard resort located to the south-west of central Yuzawa town in Niigata Prefecture. Kagura was originally known as two separate ski resorts – Kagura Mitsumata and Kagura Tashiro.
NASPA Ski Garden (Niigata)
NASPA Ski Garden is a skiers-only resort, next to the NASPA New Otani hotel, and popular with families and children.
NASPA New Otani Resort is a deluxe hotel and resort located in the beautiful mountainous surroundings of Yuzawa Town ( less than a 5 minute free shuttle bus ride from the nearby Echigo Yuzawa Station) in Niigata Prefecture, Japan – just 80 minutes from central Tokyo.
NASPA New Otani hotel offers guests beautiful guest rooms, restaurants, onsen hot springs and leisure facilities throughout the year. The adjoining NASPA Ski Garden ski hill is now closed but will be open for the 2019-2020 snow season from 20th December 2019 until 29th March 2020.
Joetsu Kokusai Ski Resort, Minami Uonuma (Niigata)
The largest hotel found here is the Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu, located right at the base of the Joetsu Kokusai resort. It offers true ski-in ski-out convenience and is popular among family groups. Inside, you’ll find 2 lounges serving soft drinks to cocktails, a sauna and Jacuzzi, outdoor and indoor Onsen, changing room and ski lockers, and 7 restaurants!
You’re assured breathtaking views of the surrounding valley and mountains, and skiers of all ages flock to this region each year. Whether 8 or 80, there really is something for everyone, and the resort has a family-friendly, luxurious feel!
Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort (Niigata)
The only snow resort with a Shinkansen station in the world!
They offer the best options for skiers, snowboarders, people who come to sled and those who would simply like to play in the snow. No matter what plan you may have, we at GALA will do our very best to ensure that you and your family have a fabulous winter holiday in a snowy paradise!
Yuzawa Kogen Ski Resort (Niigata)
Approximately 70 minutes from Tokyo by Joetsu Shinkansen bullet train. There are two “snow parks” in this facility, one at the base and one at the top of the mountain.
Nunoba Snow Land offers a lot of fun stuff to do in the snow, from sledding to snow striders and a snow escalator. Kogen Snow Land can be reached by ropeway at the top of Yuzawa Kogen. Visitors can enjoy the snow sliders as well as a Tree Castle and snow tubing, making it fun for everyone.
Aomori Spring Ski Resort (Tohoku)
The Aomori Park usually opens late December and runs until closing day in April. It is Tohoku’s premier ski resort; Aomori Spring is found on the northern tip of Japan’s Honshu island, where snow falls are consistently light, dry and frequently up to your armpits!
Aomori Spring Resort offers English language ski and snowboard lessons for beginner, intermediate and expert skiers and snowboarders, catering to children and adults of all ages.
O-ANA Ski Resort (Gunma Prefecture)
The ski slopes are gentle and wide which provide a safe experience. Furthermore you can enjoy the view of the ski resort without taking the cable car. Safety is our first priority because that is what makes a good family experience. For that they became a very popular skiing resort.
Ski Resort Minakami Norn (Gunma Prefecture)
Ski Resort Minakami Norn is the closest ski resort from Tokyo by all means. Ski Resort Minakami Norn opens until 12am at night, visitors can ski as long as they wish to. Shuttle buses to nearby hot springs and stations are also available.
Hakkoda Ski Resort (Aomori)
Hakkoda is a renowned backcountry powder ski and snowboard mecca in Japan, known among skiers and riders as a place for those looking for a challenging snow adventure.
Hakkoda is packed full of deep powder and breath-taking vistas, but it’s also home to a deep culture and tradition unique to the surrounding Aomori region. It’s this blend of nature and deep culture that makes Hakkoda a place that will Awaken Your Spirit!
Ki Niseko Hokkaido/ Niseko Ski Resort
Niseko Ski Resort is officially Japan’s #1 snow resort, located in Hokkaido, 2.5hrs drive from Chitose Airport. Comprised of 4 interlinked ski resorts – Niseko Hanazono Ski Resort, Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort, Niseko Village Ski Resort, Niseko Annupuri Ski Resort.
It is renowned for its consistency and quality of powder snow throughout the winter.
Ki Niseko is a boutique ski-in ski-out hotel located at the base area of Niseko Grand Hirafu ski resort, combining modern alpine charm with Japanese sophistication. Enjoy breath-taking Mt Yotei and Mt Annupuri views and ski-in ski-out access.
The ski season starts from early December and ends late April. During this time the resort is covered in a blanket of snow with an astonishing 15m average snowfall a year.
Rusustsu Ski Resort
A 2 hour drive from Chitose Airport and just 40 minutes from Niseko, Rusutsu is a family friendly resort. It has a large ski area that covers three mountains, each having a variety of long runs with a good mix of groomed trails, great powder and tree runs. It is located close to Lake Toya (Toyako) and is just on the other side of Mount Yotei from Niseko.
At the base of the ski slopes stand two large hotels, the Rusutsu Resort Hotel and the high rise Westin Rusutsu Resort.
Kiroro Ski Resort
Kiroro resort is perfect for the family with small children. Lot’t of activities for children. It is located only 90 minutes from Sapporo and a mere 50 minutes from Otaru. The resort features a total of 21 courses: seven beginner, six intermediate, and eight advanced.
Club Med Sahoro Hokkaido
Club Med Sahoro Hokkaido all-inclusive resort, a true immersion into authentic Japanese culture and heritage. Roll up some snow, have an impromptu snowball fight, build a snowman, or sled down hills blanketed by soft Japanese powder snow.
The beautiful mountain landscape coupled with the magic of the falling flakes make for an unforgettable holiday together with your loved ones. Truly unforgettable fun-filled family experience.
Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido
Strap into your skis or hop onto a sled and hit the slopes at the hottest Hokkaido winter wonderland. Whether it’s your first time trying out a new winter sport or you have some experience, all of our activities were created with your safety and comfort in mind.
Gear up with our rental equipment and take to the slopes for endless half pipes, table tops, kickers, rails, and boxes to catch some big air. Try snow sledging and our ice slide, or take a quiet stroll out over the deep powdery mountain scape with a snow trekking adventure.
With over 145 hectares of powder to play in, state-of-the-art equipment, and expert G.Os to guide you with group lessons, discover an extreme snow escape you won’t soon forget. Unforgettable experience at Club Med Tomamu.
Some useful tips
1. Each ski resort has own schedule for the season. Check with them before make travel arrangements.
2. It is easier to rent winter clothes and accessories, than buying. Check out Popsicle Asia , a Singapore-based company for rent!
3. Buy JR Rail Pass in a advance if you are planing to take shinkansen (bullet train) for a long travel distance.
4. Don’t forget to buy an insurance plan for your family.
5. The cheapest way is planning your trip at least 6 months in advance. You can visit NATAS Travel Fair in Singapore (Expo, usually twice in a year) to enjoy special deals for air tickets, insurance, tours, etc.
Wishing you a Happy Holiday!