Planning Tips for Skiing in Japan


An amazing trail of deep powder snow is a ski junkie’s ultimate dream. However, finding the best snow condition could be challenge, especially if you are dead serious about skiing. Fortunately, there are several ways to guarantee that you won’t miss out on the most incredible snow or end up skiing on shallow powder.

Photo credit: Pixabay/Sayama

Know your Geography

Japan is blessed to have some of the world’s best snow. Thousands of ski enthusiasts return year after year to experience the best skiing conditions Japan has to offer.

Most popular among ski junkies is Japan’s Hokkaido, where the thrill of deep-powder skiing seems to be staple. Insanely fluffy snow, usually waist-deep, is abundant in this island. Its ski-perfect weather guarantees at least 100 days of powder snow every winter season.

Hokkaido is said to be Japan’s coldest region. It has relatively cool summers as well as icy and snowy winters. Its high quality of powder snow makes it a popular destination for skiing. Without a doubt, Hokkaido offers one of the most reliable ski seasons in the world. Visitors come to experience the amazing skiing conditions in Japan, where some resorts average up to 18 meters of snow.

Ski resorts vary in shapes and sizes, and those on the northern island of Hokkaido has some of the best powder playgrounds that attract thousands of visitors on a yearly basis.

Zao Ski Resort: photo credit: Pixabay/changhohyun 

Check Weather Forecasts

Being familiar with weather patterns is very important if you want to experience the best skiing conditions in Japan. Most weather forecasts are available online. Some websites even feature reports from people currently on the ground.

Reports on Japan’s ski weather include snow depth statistics for hundreds of ski and snowboard resorts around the country, which are updated daily. Some also offer resort-specific snow and weather reports to ensure accuracy.

Several websites even offer webcam images of ski resorts around Japan. You can make use of these real-time images to see if the ski conditions in that particular resort are ideal with what you’re looking for.

Useful Apps

Several mobile applications have been developed to source user-generated content about your favorite ski resorts and snow conditions. These applications intend to connect snow sports enthusiasts with each other and offer comments on the skiing conditions in their area. What’s more, most of these apps are free to download and many users can attest to their reliability.

Popular among ski junkies is the REI Snow Report, a free-to-download application that keeps tabs on popular ski resorts. It also tracks locations to find nearby snow playgrounds and search for future snows spots.

Another application worth checking is Liftopia. This free app for dedicated skiers offers vast information on ski runs. The app gives details on the type of ski runs offered at a resort. It also categorizes them based on skill level, whether beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Aside from snow conditions, Liftopia features deals and discounts on lift tickets to other resorts.

Lastly, another reliable application is OpenSnow which offers information on the best snow conditions. While this application comes free and the bulk of its services don’t require a fee, users may opt to subscribe to an all-access plan for $19 per year.

Useful Books

Here are some useful book resources worth exploring as you plan your trip:

Finding the best skiing condition can be difficult at times, but by following these simple steps, you’ll surely be able to make the most of your planned ski getaway.


Jonny Scott Blair
Jonny Blair is a self confessed traveling nomad who founded and blogs at Don't Stop Living. He sees every day as an adventure. Since leaving behind his home town of Bangor in Northern Ireland ten years ago he has traveled to all seven continents, working his way through various jobs and funding it all with hard work and an appetite for travel. Don’t Stop Living, a lifestyle of travel' contains over 1,000 stories and tips from his journeys round the globe. He wants to show others how easy it is to travel the world, give them some ideas and encourage them to do the same but most of all he aims to constantly live a lifestyle of travel. He is currently based in Hong Kong and on Twitter @jonnyblair.
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