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 enjoying the winter snow. 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 the best family trip ski resorts in Japan!
1. Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
Situated at an 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 landscapes. There are 36 ski runs in total including some easier ones suitable for beginners. The ski area is comprised of about 50km of ski slopes and an impressive altitude change of up to 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.
From Tokyo Station, take Hokuriku Shinkansen and get off at Iiyama Station, then take a direct bus (Nozawa Onsen Liner)
2. Hakuba Valley
Hakuba Valley refers to a large ski resort village situated at the base of the northern Japanese Alps in Nagano. It is home to 10 popular ski resorts which attract numerous skiers with unique features ranging from easy runs for beginners to one that stretches 8,000m! Blessed with their great location, every year the entire area is completely covered in snow, making it a great destination for skiers and non skiers alike. Hakuba Happo-One is particularly popular among families as there is a kids park and helpful ski lessons in multiple languages.
From Tokyo Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen and get off at Nagano Station, then take an express bus
3. Kusatsu Onsen Ski Resort
Kusatsu is widely known as one of the most popular hot spring resorts in all of Japan, and during the winter season visitors can enjoy the refreshing onsen and snow activities all in one trip! From the top of the ski slope at 1,600m, there is 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.
Kusatsu Onsen Ski Resort
From Ueno Station, take the limited express Kusatsu and get off at Naganohara Kusatsuguchi, then transfer to the JR bus to Kusatsu
From Tokyo Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen and get off at Karuizawa, then take a bus (Kusatsu Kotsu/Seibu Kanko Bus) to Kusatsu
4. Saku Ski Garden Parada
If this is your first time taking a trip to a ski resort in Japan, Saku Garden Parada might be the perfect option for you. They offer a range of ski runs and slopes mainly designed for beginners and those who don’t have a lot of confidence in their skills yet. Each run is classified into 5 levels according to the skills and experiences required to tackle the run. They also offer ski and snowboarding lessons which help you get equipped with useful tips from professional ski instructors. The Kids Park features a spacious area where children can enjoy sledding on the beautiful snow!
Saku Ski Garden Parada
From Tokyo Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Sakudaira Station, then take a shuttle bus
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 on 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 you can access by ski lift or while skiing! Skiing down the slopes with the best powder and Mt. Fuji in the background, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Fujiten Snow Resort
From Shinjuku Station, take the Chuo Line Limited Express Kaiji to Otsuki Station, then transfer to the Fuji Express and get off at Kawaguchiko Station. Take the shuttle bus to Fujiten Snow Resort from there
6. Iwappara 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 it’s heavy snowfall in winter, which makes for the perfect winter activities conditions. The wide slopes and terrain are well groomed and range from easy runs for first-time skiers to more difficult runs 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. Take fun ski lessons with friendly instructors who will teach you how to go down the slope in no time!
Iwappara Ski Resort
From Tokyo Station, take the Joetsu Shinkansen and get off at Echigo-Yuzawa Station, then take the shuttle bus.
Call +81 025-787-3211 for a pick-up request if you want to
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 that takes you directly to the beautiful ski resort. Families can have fun with a range of gentle slopes as well as 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 their first step before hitting the real slopes. The park can be used for 1,000 yen and the price includes rental fees for sledding and snow tubing!
Yuzawa Nakazato Snow Resort
From Tokyo Station, take the Joetsu Shinkansen and get off at Echigo-Yuzawa Station then take the shuttle bus or train to Echigo-Nakazato Station
8. Tambara Ski Park
Tambara Ski Park is a ski resort nestled in the northern part of Gunma prefecture. It’s home to skiers and families from the Kanto region with lots of powder and a welcoming atmosphere. Although the number of slopes is relatively small compared to other ski resorts, the family-friendly facilities and services allow parents to let their children play with snow safely on a gentle slope and a kids park. Ski lessons taught by experienced instructors are also available for everyone from beginner to advanced students.
Tambara Ski Park
From Tokyo Station, take the Joetsu Shinkansen and get off at Jomo-kogen Station, then take the shuttle bus
9. Shirakaba 2in1 Ski Resort
Shirakaba 2in1 Ski resort is perched on a mountainous area in Tateshina in the central eastern part of Nagano. It boasts a range of wide slopes and runs with a fantastic view of the Yatsugatake mountains. There are 9 runs designed for people of all abilities. At the kids park children can play in the fresh snow before enjoying a tasty meal at family-friendly restaurants nearby. Other famous tourist attractions such as Lake Shirakaba and Mt. Tateshina are also easily accessible by car.
Shirakaba 2in1 Ski Resort
From Tokyo Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Sakudaira Station, and then transfer to a city bus and get off at Tateshinamachi Yakubamae Stop, then take another city bus that will take you to Shirakaba 2in1 Ski Resort
10. Palcall Tsumagoi Resort
Palcall Tsumagoi Resort is one of the largest ski resorts in Karuizawa, which has served as a famous high-class holiday villa area in Japan. It is 2,100m above sea level and offers a range of ski runs and slopes for everyone, regardless of experience or skill. The snow paradise near Nagano also features a spacious kids park with gentle slopes where children can enjoy skiing safely. Ski lessons are available in both Japanese and English. There is also a hotel which is conveniently located on the mountain!
Palcall Tsumagoi Resort
From Tokyo Station, take the Nagano Shinkansen and get off at Karuizawa Station, then take a taxi/rent a car and drive 60 mins to the resort
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Visiting a ski resort is one of the best ways to spend a vacation during the winter season in Japan. Due to the heavy snowfall, dry winters and cold temperatures, the snow in Japan is of the highest quality and winter sports lovers dream of skiing in here. The resorts in Japan welcome international skiers with a range of convenient facilities that will make your stay comfortable and easy. Children of all ages are also sure to enjoy themselves with fun activities at the kids parks and multilingual ski lessons from skilled instructors. We hope you have a chance to check out the winter sports resorts above and enjoy a memorable family holiday!
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