With so many ski resorts in Hokkaido, Japan's northern island is a dream destination for skiers and snowboarders!
The snow quality, season length, and airport accessibility are major factors in attracting winter sports enthusiasts.
So what do you need to know to really enjoy snowboarding and skiing in Hokkaido? We interviewed Mr. Masaji Ueda of the Hokkaido Tourism Promotion Organization’s Adventure Travel Promotion Headquarters, who’s an expert on Hokkaido tourism. In our conversation, we learned about choosing a Hokkaido ski resort and preparing for your trip.
We’ve also compiled a list of recommended ski resorts in Hokkaido to help you make the best of Japan's north! Let's dive right in.

Why skiers and snowboarders love Hokkaido ski resorts

The biggest reason skiers and snowboarders from around the globe come to ski resorts in Hokkaido is for the fantastic snow quality. Snow in Hokkaido contains almost no water and is characterized by its silky feel.
Hokkaido's powder is exactly the kind of snow skiers, and snowboarders love it because it’s easy to gain speed and turn in it. The powder is very soft, so it doesn’t hurt as much when you fall, which is a bonus for novice skiers and boarders.

Mr. Ueda, Adventure Travel Promotion Headquarters, Hokkaido Tourism Promotion Organization

Mr. Ueda, who lived in Kansai and Tokai for many years and has experience skiing in Japan's Nagano and Gifu prefectures, says he was very surprised by Hokkaido's snow quality.
"In Hokkaido, you can keep skiing even if the snow is piled up to your knees or if the slope isn't very steep. Since the snow in Honshu contains a lot of water, even when it's fresh, you can get stuck. I was really impressed when I realized this difference."

Two secrets to enjoying Hokkaido powder

Hokkaido ski resorts are highly regarded the world over for their superb snow – often nicknamed "Japow (Japanese Powder)".
Many have been nominated for the World Ski Awards (founded in 2013), and Hokkaido's Rusutsu Resort has won the highest award.
There are many snowy areas in Japan, but why does Hokkaido have such fine powder? The secret lies in two environmental factors.
The first factor involves the conditions needed for powder snow to fall — low temperature and low humidity. Hokkaido is located in the northernmost part of Japan, and is a very cold region with freezing temperatures throughout winter.
Additionally, the northwest monsoon winds from the Eurasian continent blow across Japan in winter. After crossing the sea of Japan, it causes a large amount of moist snowfall in Hokkaido's coasta…

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