Japan is a hidden treasure trove of incredible ski spots! But before you arrive, there are a few things to think about to help decide which area to head to.
Whether you’re heading out with friends or family, or want a luxurious stay or are taking control of your budget, there are a few things that will make a big difference to your ski trip – so check out our tips and tricks to making the most out of your snowy ski trip to Japan!
1. For Powdery Snow and Natural Terrain
For the people who want to focus on skiing itself and enjoying the quality powder and natural terrain, some criteria to help you select a ski resort will be snowfall, snow quality, non-compact snow, and if they have a tree run area or not.
In heavy snow areas, you can enjoy the deep powder, and in high altitude locations or cold areas, you can enjoy the fine smooth powder snow.
The snowfall situation of non-compact snow areas will be affected by the weather, but if the timing is right, you can enjoy a premium quality powder run. If you wish to enjoy the natural terrain on a tree run, make sure to check if it’s a gentle slope that’s doable or a steep slope that is meant for advanced skiers. Just make sure to find places that are matching your level for a safe and secure skiing experience.
2. Check the Accommodation Beforehand if You Plan to Spend the Night
If you plan to spend the night at the resort, be sure to see what is included in the accommodation. The main factors to look out for are:
1. If the ski slope is connected to the accommodation of the ski resort
2. If you can check-in after skiing.
Another factor to check for a fun accommodation experience is if they accommodate your personal needs, such as if the facility has a resort feeling, meal quality, and hot springs quality. There are travel packs where ski lift tickets are included with your hotel fee, so make sure to check various plans at accommodation websites.
3. Check How Family-Friendly A Facility Is
If you are planning a family ski trip to Japan, an important factor will be if they have gentle slopes for children. Facilities such as a kid’s park for children who can’t ski and other activities that can be enjoyed by the family are great bonuses.
Another point to check for is whether there are indoor facilities to rest in when the weather is bad or when your child is tired. A few other things to check are rental for children and lessons for children.
Combine the points above with distance and access method to the ski slope, the scale of the slope, and weather, to find the ski resort suited for your needs. We also recommend helmets for children when skiing for safety reasons.
4. For a Fun Ski Trip to Japan with Friends
If you plan on traveling with friends, how about planning your ski trip to Japan around delicious food, sweets, and sightseeing? Look for popular local restaurants, restaurants that use local ingredients or specialized restaurants.
Also, if there is a terrace with a view or a stylish cafe, your time at the snow resort will be even more elegant. You can also go shopping before or after skiing, care for your skin at a quality hot spring, or stop by various places for some snowy activities or fun and games.
Many ski resorts offer discount lift deals especially for women with events such as “ladies day,” so if you plan on a girl's trip, keep an eye out!
5. Japan Ski Trip Packing List
If you are going skiing or snowboarding, skiing equipment and ski wear will be a must, make sure to check for rental information.
Skis, snowboards, and clothes are usually available for rentals at the resort, but you should check if they have accessories such as beanies, goggles, gloves. If you plan to go skiing many times, you might save money and time by purchasing equipment instead of renting it all each time.
For your clothes and gloves, make sure to use waterproof equipment made for skiing and snowboarding. Remember these points and check the belongings list below to be well prepared for your winter trip.
Checklist: Basic Items for Skiing and Snowboarding
When skiing, you will, of course, need some specialized equipment. While some of it is fairly obvious, like skis or snowboards, it’s still a good idea to write it down first so you don’t forget! It’s also a good idea to make a note of what kind of clothing, and protection you’ll need. Generally, ski resorts are (unsurprisingly) very cold, so make sure to layer yourself up with highly insulated clothes.
Here’s our checklist:
□Ski set (ski, boots, stock)
□Snowboard set (board, boots)
□Ski and snowboard clothing
□Mid layer (fleece and sweatshirt)
□Base layer (high insulation)
Basic Necessities for Spending the Night
If you plan to spend the night at the resort, you will need a change of clothes. Make sure to keep in mind what to wear at the facility the next day and prepare accordingly. Having a bathing set is useful too. It comes in handy if you plan to stop by a hot spring on your way back after skiing.
□Change of clothes
Additional Items for Families
For families, don’t forget to bring extra clothes for your children. After playing in the snow and sweating, make sure to change their wet clothes before they get cold! Cold and damp clothes are the worst. We also recommend having an extra pair of gloves and socks to be safe.
□Extra socks and underwear for children
□Extra gloves for children
□Plastic bags (bags to put wet clothes in)
□Equipment for playing in the snow (shovels, buckets, optional snowball maker)
Other Useful Items for a Ski Trip to Japan
On a sunny day, the sunlight will reflect from the snow below, so make sure to protect yourself with sunblock. Lip balm is also nice to have on hand for your dried lips.
Make sure to have your insurance ready in case of an injury or illness. We strongly recommend getting travel insurance for overseas visitors. Also, when traveling in a car, a blanket is useful for staying warm.
□Blanket (for traveling in a car)
Now, with all your knowledge and checklists ready to go, you’re prepared for an amazing skiing adventure!