Skiing and Snowboarding in Japan – Best Destinations

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Skiing and Snowboarding in Japan – Best Destinations

Skiing and snowboarding in Japan can be affordable, accessible and often outstanding. A spine of mountain peaks runs almost the length of Japan and is home to some 600 ski resorts.

The majority of the resorts open mid-December with the first snowfalls and close in May which is normally the month of hefty discounts. The prime time for skiing and snowboarding in Japan  is from mid-January through the end of February.

Starting from the northern Hokkaido all the way down to the southern island of Kyushu, there is an abundance of snow destinations in Japan. The busiest and most popular resorts are Niseko in Hokkaido where you meet a lot of foreigners; Zao in Tohoku, 'the' destination for snow monsters; and the largest ski resort in Japan, Shiga-Kogen in Nagano famous also for bathing apes. From Tokyo, a two-hour ride can bring you to such resort areas as Nagano, Niigata, Gunma, and Tochigi.

For those who cannot afford spending full time vacation skiing, there are micro-resorts, a characteristic feature of Japanese skiing and snowboarding scene. Many of them offer night skiing with the locals who come skiing after office hours being their main clientele. Fukui prefecture on the western coast is famous for this kind of ski resorts.

Many resorts provide shuttle transport between accommodation in the area and snow slopes but your own car can be te best means of transportation allowing you to beat the crowds.

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