Ski/Snowboard on Hokkaido, Powder Capitol of the World

Ski/snowboard at the powder capital of the world, on the northern Japanese Island of Hokkaido! Four unique resorts offer incredibly rewarding skiing for powder hounds, as consistent weather systems bring the cold air across the Sea of Japan from Siberia, dumping up to 50 feet of incredibly dry powder annually.

Hokkaido skiing is incredibly rewarding for powder hounds. Hokkaido, the northernmost Japanese island, is  in the path of  consistent cold air masses flowing across the Sea of Japan from Siberia, so many of the Hokkaido ski resorts are frequently dumped with powder - an average of 14-18 meters annually! - that is renowned for being incredibly dry. 

Niseko  is the most popular international ski destination in Japan, but several other resorts are also located on Hokkaido including Rusutsu, Furano, and Asahidake  as well as several other ski resorts that are less well known to international tourists (see the full list) .    Hokkaido resorts have a reputation for being "deep not steep" compared to many North American ski resorts.

Getting to Hokkaido

The most common way for international tourists to travel to Hokkaido is to fly into New Chitose Airport (Sapporo), connecting on a domestic flight from Tokyo or Osaka.   Sapporo is the closest airport to  Niseko, though the Asahikawa airport is an option for some of the central Hokkaido resorts.

West of Sapporo 

  • Niseko – 100km southwest of Sapporo and the New Chitose Airport (2.5 hours drive)
  • Moiwa – next to Niseko
  • Rusutsu – 75km southwest of Sapporo (90 minutes) and 89km west of the New Chitose Airport
  • Kiroro – 43km west of Sapporo

Near Sapporo 

  • Sapporo Teine – 20km northwest of Sapporo (45 minutes)
  • Sapporo Kokusai – 46km west of Sapporo (1 hour)
  • Kiroro – 43km west of Sapporo East of Sapporo
  • Asarigawa Onsen - 35km northwest of Sapporo (40 mins drive)
  • Furano – 113km northeast of Sapporo (2:15 hours)
  • Tomamu – 150km east of Sapporo (1:20 hours by train from Sapporo; 1 hour by train from the New Chitose Airport)
  • Sahoro – 179km east of Sapporo (3 hours)
  • Mount Racey (Yubari) – 77km east of Sapporo (1.5 hours)

Near Asahikawa (Central Hokkaido) 

  • Furano – 59km south of Asahikawa (1 hour by train)
  • Kamui Ski Links – 20km southwest of Asahikawa (20 minutes)
  • Asahidake – 47km east of Asahikawa (1 hour)
  • Kurodake – 66km east of Asahikawa (1:20 hours)
  • Tomamu – 125km south of Asahikawa (2 hours)
  • Suitable Activities: Global Adventures, Skiing/Snowboarding
  • Seasons: January, February, March, April, December
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • 4,300 ft
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 16
  • Maximum Party Size: 16
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
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