During the winter season, many tourists from around the world visit Japan to enjoy the superb snow conditions. The fine and soft snow offers a perfect ski condition for everyone and Japan boasts a number of great ski resorts. Many of which are relatively easy to try even for beginners and children. Some famous places also have a kids park for children where they can spend an exciting time while receiving the blessing of winter. All resorts also organize ski lessons for children, often in several languages including English and Chinese, to help them and adults get ready for their first ski experience. Here is an extensive list of best family trip ski resorts in Japan!
1. Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
Situated at the elevation of 1,650m, Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort attracts numerous visitors every winter. The snow paradise of Nozawa is one of the most popular ski resorts in Nagano Prefecture with the skiing season lasting well into early May. You can try a range of ski courses featuring different highlights and landscape, there are in total 36 ski courses including some easier ones suitable for beginners. The ski area comprises about 50km of ski slopes and an impressive altitude differential of 1,085 meters.
Nozawa Onsen offers a variety of convenient services and facilities such as rental shops, restaurants and souvenir shops. One of the highlights of the facilities is however the hot spring experience at Nozawa Onsen, there are a total of 13 traditional style public bathhouses and for children the Sparena, a spacious kids park, is a fun experience.
2. Hakuba Valley
Hakuba Valley refers to a large ski resort situated at the base of the northern Japanese Alps in Nagano. It is home to 10 popular ski resorts which attracts numerous skiers with unique features ranging from easy courses for beginners to a long one stretching for 8,000m! Blessed with the power of nature, the entire area gets completely covered with power snow which also fascinates us with the incredible scenery of the white world. Hakuba Happo-One is particularly popular among families with the adventurous kids park and helpful ski lessons in multiple languages.
3. Kusatsu Onsen Ski Resort
Kusatsu is widely known as one of the most popular hot spring resorts in Japan and during the winter season visitors can enjoy the refreshing onsen and snow activities at the same time! From the top of the ski slope, which is located 1,600m above sea level, you can have a spectacular view of snow capped peaks surrounding the ski slopes. The Family Slope is relatively easy to try even for beginners and young skiers with a wide-open terrain covered with the famous Japanese powder snow! There is also a kids park for the little ones to have a safe and fun experience in the snow.
4. Saku Ski Garden Parada
If this is your first time to visit ski resorts (in Japan), Saku Garden Parada can be a perfect option for you. They offer a range of ski courses and slopes mainly designed for beginners and those who don’t have full confidence in their ski skills. Each course is classified into 5 levels according to the skills and experiences required to tackle the course. They also offer ski and snowboarding lessons which help you get equipped with useful tips by professional ski instructors. The Kids Park features a spacious area where children can enjoy sledding on the beautiful snow!
5. Fujiten Snow Resort
If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy winter sports around Tokyo, visit Fujiten Snow Resort, located in Yamanashi prefecture. Nestled at the foot of Mt. Fuji, the small resort attracts numerous skiers from big cities in the Kanto region. It is conveniently located, accessible in 90 min from Yokohama by car. They offer different slopes that are great fun for the less experienced skiiers. Let your children enjoy their first ski experience at a spacious gentle slope, or tackle the more challenging ones designed for slightly advanced skiers. If your children are not ready for skiing, take them to the kids area where you’ll find small slopes for sledding as well as a snow playing area. Don’t forget to catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji from the observation deck which can be reached by ski lift or while skiing! Skiing down the slopes with the best powder snow and Mount Fuji in the background, it doesn’t get much better Japan in winter!
6. Iwahara Ski Resort
Located in the southmost part of Niigata prefecture, Iwahara Ski Resort welcomes numerous ski lovers from both the Chubu and Kanto region. Niigata is widely known for the heavy snowfall in winter, which offers a perfect condition for winter activities. The wide-open slopes and terrains are well groomed and range from the easy ones for the first-time skiers to the adventurous ones for experienced skiers. At Kids Paradise children can have a field day with a variety of facilities and activity options such as sledding and snowball fights. Join the enjoyable ski lessons by friendly instructors who will teach you how to go down the slope in no time whilst having fun!
7. Yuzawa Nakazato Snow Resort
Niigata is home to another famous ski destination known as Yuzawa Nakazato Snow Resort. From Tokyo, it takes about 70 min by Shinkansen to reach JR Echigo Yuzawa station, from where you can catch a free shuttle bus directly taking you to the beautiful ski resort. Families can spend a great time together at a range of gentle slopes as well as some fun attractions such as obstacle courses where children can learn essential ski skills through enjoyable experiences. Smile Kids Park is a perfect spot for children to take a first step to feel snow closely through exciting activities before going on to the real slopes. The park can be enjoyed for ¥1,000 which includes rental fees for sled and snow tubing!
8. Tanbara Ski Park
Tanbara Ski Park is a ski resort nestled in the northern part of Gunma Prefecture. It welcomes numerous skiers and families from the Kanto region with high-quality powder snow and a welcoming atmosphere. Although the number of slopes is relatively small compared to other ski resorts, the family-friendly facilities and services allows parents to let their children play with snow safely on a gentle slope or cozy Kids Park. Ski lessons by experienced instructors are also available for everyone from beginner to advanced students. The maximum lesson size is limited to 6 people, so ensure personalized advice from instructors.
9. Shirakaba 2in1 Ski resort
Shirakaba 2in1 Ski resort is perched on the mountainous area in Tateshina, in the central eastern part of Nagano. It boasts a range of wide-open slopes and runs with a fantastic backdrop of the Yatsugatake mountains. Skiers can choose the most suitable slope from 9 options designed for all abilities. At Kids Park children can play in the fresh snow before enjoying tasty meals at family-friendly restaurants. Other famous tourist attractions such as Lake Shirakaba and Mt. Tateshina can also be accessed easily by car!
10. Palcall Tsumagoi Resort
Palcall Tsumagoi Resort is one of the largest ski reports in Karuizawa, which has served as a famous high-class holiday villa area in Japan. It is nestled at 2,100m above the sea level and offers a range of ski courses and slopes for everyone regardless of skiing experience or skills. The snow paradise near Nagano also features a spacious kids park with gentle slopes where children can enjoy skiing safely. Ski lessons are also available in both Japanese and English, which helps your kids learn how to enjoy the snow world more excitingly. Accommodation is also provided at a hotel which is conveniently connected to the ski field!
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If you need some help to organize your trip to Japan, we are here to help! We are a local travel agency that can help you with planning your trip through Japan recommending the best places to visit, booking your hotel in Japan or getting your tickets to for example Ghibli Museum or the Grand Sumo Tournaments. We also love to show you the best places in Japan ourselves, and make your trip and unforgettable experience, be sure to check out our (private) tours with a local English-speaking guide!
Visiting a ski resort is one of the best ways to spend an unforgettable holiday during the winter season in Japan. Because of the heavy snowfall, dry winters and cold temperatures, the Japanese powder snow is of the highest quality and winter sports lovers dream of skiing in Japan. Besides the suburb circumstances, the resorts in Japan welcome international skiers with a range of convenient and helpful facilities as well as services to make your stay comfortable. Children of all ages are also welcomed with fun activities and experiences at the Kids Parks, or enjoyable ski lessons from skilled instructors, often available in several languages including Japanese, English and Chinese. Head to any of the epic snow ski destinations above and spend a memorable family holiday!