The Japan National Tourist Organisation (JNTO) has recently released a digital copy of its latest Japan Ski and Snow guide.
Over 24 pages, the guide provides a great overview of Japan’s major ski areas – Hokkaido, Nagano and Niigata and the Tohoku region – outlining all of the major ski areas in each region – and a few smaller, lesser-known ones as well.
Skiing in Japan
There are around 600 ski and snowboard resorts throughout Japan all the way down from the northern island of Hokkaido to the southern island of Kyushu.
The first snowfall of the season usually arrives in the north in November and the majority of resorts are able to open in the month of December, meaning that a White Christmas is almost guaranteed in the mountains of Japan.
Another impressive feature of the Japanese snow season is the huge quantities of snow that fall – some resorts during the peak season report a snow depth of 6 or 7 meters!
So reliable are the snowfalls that if you are in Japan during the period January to mid-March, you are almost guaranteed excellent snow conditions.
Such huge quantities of snowfall also means that many regions have a long ski season, with some resorts in higher locations being able to stay open until around in early May.