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“Kiroro Ski Resort” is the place to be if you want to ski on the highest quality snow!

April 08, 2021
The Yoichi district - located in one of the most prominent areas for heavy snowfall, even in Hokkaido. It’s there you’ll find “Kiroro Ski Resort”, a ski resort blessed with natural environs. With a rather high standard of quality, even for Hokkaido, it’s a popular spot brimming with tourists every year. So without further ado, leaving no stone unturned, here is a rundown of what makes Kiroro Ski Resort great - the resort with a host of fans that have been won over by its stunningly rich snow quality.

Experience the highest quality powder snow!

Skiers on the slopes of Kiroro
Kiroro Ski Resort is comprised of 2 slopes: “Nagamine” and “Asari”. With the longest run at over 4,000 meters and a total of 21 courses, there is ample volume to stay for at least 2 nights.

Since the degree of incline for many of the slopes is rather gentle, it’s possible for even beginners to enjoy the longer courses. There’s also a large number of courses with moguls aimed at advanced skiers, so there’s something for everyone.

Compared with other ski resorts in Hokkaido, Kiroro isn’t particularly large. However, the point most worth mentioning about the resort is that the slopes are blanketed in soft powder snow! Many people call it the finest grade in Hokkaido, and at the beginning of the season there are always skiers who come all the way just to experience Kiroro’s snow.

There’s a secret to the high snow quality

Exploring the wintery forests in snowshoes
Why is it exactly that Kiroro always has the best powder snow? The secret lies in its location. To begin with, the resort is located in the Yoichi/Akaigawa area, which usually holds first or second place for the highest snowfall within Hokkaido. There’s always heavy snowfall during the winter season - this means that even after repetitive skiing, the tracks are covered over with fresh snow, allowing you to experience a constant state of natural snow when you’re on the slopes.

So overwhelming is the amount of snowfall, you can easily ski from late November right through to the beginning of May. During times when other ski resorts throughout Hokkaido may be running into trouble with snow shortages, it’s not unusual for Kiroro to be the only resort with all its slopes up and running. It has the latent potential to outmatch other ski resorts in terms of snow quality and length of season, as one can tell by their constant stream of visitors at both the beginning and end of the season, when there tends to be less snow all across the board.

That said, the slopes do become deserted in early spring, and a lot of surrounding establishments begin to close. Avoiding the peak season is recommended for those who want to enjoy comfortable relaxed skiing. Visiting between December to February, however, is recommended for those who want to ski amongst the usual lively atmosphere.

Watch out for poor visibility! Don’t forget to check the latest weather forecasts

Kiroro Ski Resort
While this is a ski resort where you can enjoy the finest quality powder snow, the flip side is that weather can deteriorate rapidly due to heavy snowfall. Since it snows rather regularly, visibility often becomes poor.

When it’s clear, there’s a spectacular view from the peak, but there are few days where it’s clear for the whole day. During the peak season, the clear weather ratio sits at around 20%. So you should consider yourself lucky if you get even a few hours of clear weather!

Kiroro Town near the slopes comes complete with all kinds of shops and facilities

During peak season, it’s Kiroro Town that gets the most lively. It’s a comprehensive resort park complete with onsen, a resort pool, resort market, shops and a host of hands-on activities.

Nature Center
There are many hands on activities and events at the Nature Center, such as making gel candles, music boxes and metal badges, making it particularly popular among children.

Get warm at the Akaigawa Caldera Onsen!

Kiroro Ski Resort’s onsen facility
The Yoichi area is also a prominent area for onsen in Hokkaido. The onsen at Kiroro Ski Resort springs from Akaigawa, an region home to a large-scale caldera. Soaking in the onsen while looking at the quiet forest view will undoubtedly make for a thoroughly relaxing experience.

General access is by bus from New Chitose Airport. From there, it’s a 2 hour bus ride, but as it’s only 90 minutes from the Sapporo Station, and 50 minutes from the JR Otaru station, you can see why it’s known for being easily accessible.

It’s also possible to go to Otaru Station by train first and then change to bus. Otaru trains run late into the evening, so there’s no problems booking a flight that departs in the evening.

Spend quality time at the resort hotel on the base of the slopes

The 2 hotels near the slopes are the “Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort” and “The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido”.

Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort
The Sheraton Hotel is on the slopes side, and is directly connected to the ski resort. It’s quite convenient in that if you stay overnight, the next morning you can go straight to the slopes. And thanks to the “Tokiwanoyu” onsen within the hotel, you can relax and refresh after an exhausting day on the slopes. For those looking to get the most out of their skiing experience, this is hotel for you.

The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido
The Tribute Portfolio hotel, on the other hand, is located around 3 minutes away by shuttle bus from the slopes, and is a kind of hideout-type resort hotel. This hotel is directly connected to Kiroro Town, which boasts a range of restaurants, shops and hands-on activities. It’s of a higher grade than the Sheraton in terms of size and number of rooms, and there’s a spectacular view of the natural landscape just outside the windows - so perhaps this hotel is for those who want to have a full resort experience.

Since both hotels are complete with restaurants, large bathing facilities, shops and so on, you’re sure to enjoy an exquisite resort experience at either one.

Another alternative for those wishing to sightsee is to stay in Otaru

The Otaru Canal in winter
Since there are only 2 hotels near the slopes, staying in Otaru is recommended as an alternative for those looking for more affordable lodgings. Doing this is recommended for those whose main goal is sightseeing, as it allows time to leisurely explore Otaru. Also, if you leave early in the morning, you can arrive early at the ski resort.

Since it takes 50 minutes to get to the Kiroro Ski Resort, however, if you plan to go skiing several days in a row, staying at a hotel near the slopes may be a better option.

A chance to experience the finest powder snow in Hokkaido!

A family skiing on the slopes of Kiroro
Kiroro boasts the highest snow quality among overnight stay-type snow resorts in Hokkaido - it’s probably the most ideal ski resort for those who are in search of the best snow quality there is on offer. While the low clear weather ratio as a result of heavy snowfall is a slight disadvantage, in reality it isn’t much different to other ski resorts.

As a resort, this is without question a first class establishment. It’s a splendid ski resort brimming with couples and families, day in day out. Tourists from overseas are on the increase every year, so now’s the chance to join in the trend!

Pricing information and schedule may not be up to date and are subject to change without notice. Please check before your trip.

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