Popular places for skiing and snowboarding in Japan
Article by Pinky McBanon
Japan is a land of diverse topography. The volcanic activity in the area has lead to natural formation of thousands of thermal springs. Interestingly many areas where there are hot springs are also ski resorts. A survey shows that Japan has 765 ski areas where one can enjoy skiing and snowboarding activities. The resorts are equipped with modern facilities both for those intending to stay and those on a day trip. The fine quality of snow, surrounding scenery and up to date amenities have made ski destinations very popular in Japan.Hokkaido prefecture in Japan is famous for its scenic and modern ski resorts. Niseko is a well known skiing spots which has also played host to Winter Olympic Games. It is also the most tourist friendly resort. Niseko actually is a combination of four smaller interlinked skiing destinations. The area receives 500 inches of fine snow. You can have the time of your life during the day skiing and snowboarding and as darkness falls, you can enjoy the exciting night life in the bars and karaoke spots. Niseko is very popular among tourists.
With 15 slopes and 12 runs, Zao Onsen one of the oldest ski areas in Japan is an ideal ski resort for people having different levels of skill and so from beginners to pros everyone can thoroughly enjoy themselves here. This resort has 35 lifts and 4 gondolas and you can ski down from an altitude of 800m. Besides skiing, Zao Onsen has other attractions such as the relaxing hot springs and the natural wonder the “snow monsters”. Snow monsters are made as strong wind whips the frozen fir trees with more ice.
Yuzawa is located in Chuetsu in Niigata prefecture and houses 20 ski snowboard resorts. The easy accessibility from Tokyo, deep fine snow and longer season has made Yuzawa popular among locals and tourists. Naeba ski spots is considered to be the best among the ski resorts of Yuzawa.
The Kusatsu Ski Resort was opened in 1914 and is one of the earliest ski resorts in Japan. It has 900 m of vertical drops and 10 runs people with different ski skills. The runs are more suited to intermediate skiers although there are runs for beginners and experienced skiers as well. Snowboarding can also be done here.Shiga Kogen in Nagano Prefecture is regarded as the best ski resort of Japan. It is definitely the biggest ski spots in Japan. There are 19 ski areas linked by chair lifts.