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att. Travel - Winter Sports Paradise, Japan
att. Travel - Winter Sports Paradise, Japan
You are here: att.JAPAN > Travel Guide > Winter Sports Paradise, Japan
att.JAPAN Issue 58, December 2011

Winter Sports Paradise, Japan


Various and numerous winter activities are easily accessible and provide great wintertime fun in Japan. There are more than 400 ski slopes spread across Japan from Kyushu to Hokkaido, and winter events are held every weekend at various places.

 Two-time Winter Olympics Host

It has been 101 years since Mr. Lerch, a major in the Austrian army, introduced skiing to Japan. The Winter Olympics were held in Sapporo in 1972, and in Nagano in 1998. Hosting these big events contributed to wellgroomed slopes throughout Japan, and most of the ski areas have well-maintained gondolas and lifts as well as excellent facilities to accommodate skiers. 

 

 Perfect Place for Beginner to Expert Skiers and Snowboarders

Many ski areas have several short-distance courses in parallel, a good layout for novice level skiers. Most of the ski areas are located at relatively low altitudes, so no need to worry about strong winds or snowstorms. Ski schools only for children and for foreigners are available. 

 

 Easy Access to Ski Resorts

Ski resorts are easily accessed on the same day you plan to ski. The ski areas in Hokkaido and Tohoku are accessible within 1 hour from urban districts. Ski resorts in Niigata Prefecture and in Yatsugatake (Nagano Prefecture) ski areas are within 2.5 hours from Tokyo, and ski areas in Gifu and Nagano prefectures are within 2 hours from Nagoya (Aichi Prefecture). 

 

 Try Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoe Trekking

Japan’s ski areas are mainly for alpine skiing, but there are an increasing number of areas for Nordic skiing, such as cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, and snowshoe trekking, all of which are perfect for beginners to winter sports. 

 

 Required Gear
Rental equipment is available at ski resorts and the surrounding areas:

Ski boots, bindings, skies, ski wear (tops and bottoms), gloves, goggles, knit hats
Items You Need to Bring:
Base layers (clothing worn under ski wear), socks, neck warmer, pass case (case attachable to arm or belt loop available for purchase at all ski areas.) 

 

 Enjoy Playing in the Snow

For those who are not into skiing or snowboarding, there are other enjoyable snow activities that are fun for the whole family. 

 

After-ski entertainments of delicious food, sake, hot springs, and maiko (apprentice geisha) are waiting for you! 

 

 Maps
Japan Railway Map PDF 414 KB

 Links
Ski Area Information
http://snow.gnavi.co.jp/en/
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/attractions/rest/sports/

Snow Activity Information
http://www.jnto.go.jp/webmaga/en/jan/trends.html 


 

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