Why Japan is One of The World's Top Ski Destinations


Did someone just shake a snow globe, or did we just land in the ultimate snow destination on the planet? Known for having the highest snowfall in the world, Hokkaido, Japan, is a ski lover's heaven on earth. As the northernmost part of Japan's main islands, Hokkaido is a paradise for winter sports and recreation due to its fresh snowfall, stunning landscape views, and near-perfect ski conditions. With a blend of adventure, fitness, and breathtaking scenery, it's no wonder why Japan is one of the world's top ski destinations and one of our next epic SurfYogaBeer adventures

Powder Perfect Snow

Let's start with the star of the show: the snow. Hokkaido is famous for its light, fluffy powder, known as "Japow," a hybrid of "Japan" and "Powder." This isn't just any snow; it's some of the driest and fluffiest you'll find on the planet. Snow can begin to fall in late October, lasting through May, meaning this locale is optimal for booking an epic ski trip. Thanks to the cold Siberian winds that blow across the Sea of Japan, Hokkaido gets dumped with an average of 15 meters of snowfall each year. Translation: that's nearly 50 feet of snow! That means endless days of epic powder runs and pristine pistes. Can you imagine carving through fresh powder that feels like you're floating on clouds? We can. 

Pristine Serenity

Japan is hands down blessed with some of the most pristine topography. We're talking about natural forests, perfect for tree runs and the freshest pine scents you can't inhale elsewhere. The winter sunrises and sunsets in this region paint the sky with pink, orange, and purple hues, reflecting the snow-covered ground, and we promise it's a sight not to be missed. You'll pinch yourself at this picturesque scenery, as Japan is a place that reminds you  – there really is more to life than that predictable 9-5 routine. As you breathe in the calmness and the fresh oxygen provided by the trees around you, keep your eyes peeled as you may be lucky enough to spot a red fox or a Japanese crane, some of the unique winter wildlife that graces Hokkaido. 

Diverse Terrain for All Levels

Ranked as one of the best countries for skiing by Forbes, whether you're a seasoned pro or a newbie to the slopes, Hokkaido has got you covered. With an array of ski resorts, each offers diverse terrain to suit every skill level. For those just starting, resorts like Furano and Rusutsu offer gentle, wide-open runs and beginner locations perfect for building confidence. If you're an advanced skier looking for a challenge, head to Niseko, the crown jewel of Hokkaido's ski scene, renowned for its steep runs, tree skiing, backcountry adventures, and modern luxury. And let's not forget the off-piste opportunities – if you're an adrenaline junkie, the ungroomed runs will get your heart racing. With Niseko's incredible food, lavish chalets, and reputation for celeb citings, come for the skiing and stay for the overall experience. 


After a day of shredding the slopes, what better way to relax than soaking in a natural hot spring? For an authentic Japanese après-ski experience, treat yourself to an osen. Hokkaido is lined with onsens, traditional Japanese hot springs that offer the perfect way to unwind and relax after a full day of fresh air and fresh powder. Picture this: you're sitting in a steaming hot spring, surrounded by snowy landscapes, with the crisp winter air kissing your cheeks. It's pure bliss and an essential part of the Hokkaido ski experience. 

While après-ski is not as widespread in Japan as in the West, there's plenty of fun to go around. With Hokkaido famous for its clubs, live music, and high-end restaurants, there are tons of options for unwinding at the end of the day. 

Beyond the slopes

As a natural wonderland, Hokkaido will have your face mimicking this guy – 😍. From majestic mountains and dense forests to tranquil lakes and steaming volcanic craters, you might consider visiting Shiretoko National Park, a UNESCO Heritage site, to soak in the quiet reflection or capture that Insta-worth shot. Beyond the slopes, Hokkaido is known for its warm hospitality and the oh-so-fresh seafood, including some of the best sushi and sashimi you'll ever taste. Warm up with a bowl of ramen or introduce your taste buds to the unique flavor of miso butter corn ramen, a local specialty.

Japan truly has it all – incredible snow, diverse terrain, rich culture, delicious food, and stunning natural beauty. Whether you're a skiing fanatic, an adventure lover, or simply in for the thrill of the views, you're in for an unforgettable experience. So, what are you waiting for? It's time to enter the snow globe and say Konnichiwa to Japan. See you on the slopes!