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Top 8 Ski Destinations in Japan

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Many people think of visiting Japan as a summer vacation, but winter is equally wonderful in Japan with beautiful scenery and the more than 600 amazing ski resorts that offer plenty of winter fun. On top of that, there are often natural hot springs which makes a great treat to look forward to for apres ski activities. So how about we take a small trip to Japan and see what are their best ski resorts.

With a summit at 2,454 meters above sea level, Mt. Myoko became Japan’s first international winter resort in the 1930s. With an average seasonal snowfall of more than 14 meters, the resort is the traditional winter vacation destination for Japan’s imperial family. Myoko City, is the mountain’s village and is known for its traditional, quaint small-town feeling.

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Hakuba Valley gained fame during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics when it hosted a number of the ski competitions, including downhill, ski jumping, Super G and cross country races. Hakuba not only offers world-famous skiing with 3000-meter high peaks along a 30-kilometer stretch of mountains, but the area is also a great place for snowboarding enthusiasts. Located in the northern Japan Alps, skiers can typically be found on the slopes from December through March.

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Often thought of as one of the best ski resorts in Japan, Nozawa refers to itself as the place where Japanese skiing began. In addition to the skiing, the village bustles with history, culture and festivals and the beautiful old streets have a true Japanese aura. Perhaps what makes Nozawa Onsen most well-known, however, are the more than 30 hot springs that are available to the public.

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4. The giant of the Japanese ski scene is yet another famous resort area in the Nagano region. Shiga Kogen is one of the largest snow resort areas in the world. It boasts 21 resorts that are linked with just a single lift ticket; and there are so many courses that it will likely take more than a week to take a run on each of them.

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5. One of the most famous ski resorts in Japan is Karuizawa, located in Nagano as well. In addition to terrific skiing, visitors enjoy spectacular views of Mt. Asama, fantastic shopping, and plenty of entertainment and recreational opportunities in addition to those involving snow.

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6. The ski resorts on Hokkaido, Japan’s northern-most island, enjoy the best powder. Niseko Ski Resort is particularly famous for its dry powder snow, terrific terrain, active night life and a wide variety of places to stay. The back country runs are legendary as well as the tree runs.

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7. Famous as a host of the World Cup downhill races, Furano features two mountains that can be skied with just one lift ticket. Furano is popular with international skiers and has some of the steepest and longest runs in Japan. Nonetheless, there is plenty of terrain for skiers of all levels; and an added bonus is the spectacular views of Mt. Furano’s peak.

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8. Just 77 minutes from Tokyo via Japan’s famous bullet train, is Japan’s famous ski resort town of Yuzawa. In the Japanese Alps, Yuzawa is known throughout Japan as Snow Country. Visitors will find 20 ski fields, a variety of hotels and restaurants, an active nightlife as well as traditional Japanese snow festivals.

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Images copyright to kokorowa, wiki, kikmoyoo, digitalmash, wiki, yeowatzup, dcliff, laihiu, luxtonnerre

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