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Hokkaido's 5 of the biggest ski resort areas

# Ski & snowboard
September 21, 2018
There are more than 50 ski resorts in this ultimate ski destination. Many snow resorts are designed for extended stay as many visitors come to Hokkaido to relax and enjoy skiing. We will be introducing 5 of the biggest ski resort areas in Hokkaido of which many are luxurious and suitable for a long stay. Read on and find the right one for you.

Niseko United, Hokkaido’s number one ski resort

Niseko Grand Hirafu on a sunny day

First one up is Niseko. When it comes to Hokkaido, it is Niseko. People think of Niseko when they hear “Hokkaido”. Niseko United is a large ski resort located in Mt. Niseko Annupuri. This resort is comprised of four areas and collectively known as Niseko United. Each of the four ski areas has its own distinctive character and atmosphere.

Hanazono Niseko: On the northeastern side of the mountain and is perfect for beginners with dedicated snow park and courses to learn skiing.
Niseko Grand Hirafu: On the southeastern side of the mountain and is the largest ski resort in Niseko.
Niseko Village: On the southeastern side, providing many advance courses including woods trails.
Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area: On the southeastern side, recommended for families with gentle slopes.

Niseko United is designed in a way for all ages and all level of skiers and snowboarders to have fun. All four ski areas are close to each other and multi-resort lift tickets are available, so you can move between four ski areas easily, but if you plan to try all slopes, you would need at least 2 days in this big ski resort.

In the neighborhood of Niseko United, there are many hotels including traditional Japanese inns (ryokan). It also provides plenty of après-ski fun such as Japanese-style pubs (izakaya) that serve a huge variety of dishes, hot springs, etc. This is why this resort is very popular and is said to be the number one ski resort in Hokkaido.

It takes more than 3 hours from New Chitose Airport to get to this resort. We highly recommend you plan a long stay, minimum 3 nights or 4 nights to enjoy fully.

Rusutsu Resort, is the largest resort in Hokkaido providing a variety of runs.

Slope of Rusutsu Resort

Rusutsu covers a ski area in size of 420 acres (170 hectares) with 37 courses with total run distance of 40+ kilometers boasting to be the largest ski area in Hokkaido.

Rusutsu is popular for the variety of trails that are designed utilizing large space of a snow mountain. You can enjoy different runs; course providing the longest run distance of 3,500+ meters, a broad slope offering splendid view, areas for beginner skiers to practice, etc.
Same as Niseko, you would need more than one day to fully enjoy this resort.

Rusutsu has many big hotels to accommodate long stay visitors. The area has many facilities that are versatile offering events, sightseeing, shopping, activities and gourmet which are essential elements for a good ski resort.
With many long courses with gentle slope, this resort is highly recommended for beginners and families. On the other hand, if you are an advanced skier who knows ski inside out, you may find this resort a bit bland.

It takes about 2 hours from New Chitose Airport. This resort, again, is recommended for an extended stay with 3 nights or more, but this resort has great access to other places, so you can also do one night here and move on to another ski resort for fun.

Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU, a luxurious resort where you will have fun even if you don’t ski!

Snow frosted trees at night

A large ski resort run by Hoshino Resort which is very popular with tourists even during the off-season, offering many snow events beside skiing.

Two towers are located at the center of Tomamu's resort area and highly recommendable for couples and families. Luxurious rooms that have jaccuzi and misty sauna are perfect for those who want to feel like they are in a resort.

There are many winter events taking place at this resort such as “Ice Village” which is a seasonal event to enjoy the snow and “Muhyo Terrace” which lets you observe hoafrosts from top of the mountain. In many courses, the slope is gentle which is suitable for children making their snow debut. 70% to 80% of the season is sunny which allows for a pleasant cruise through a trail with magnificent view.

This is one of few large ski resorts with great access taking only one hour from Sapporo. Train station is located inside the resort, so you can head straight to the ski slope after you get off the train.

Kiroro Snow Resort, a big piste in a heavy snow fall area.

Skiers enjoying powder snow

Kiroro Snow Resort is in the area of heavy snowfall in Hokkaido which is known for the big ski area as well as its top quality snow.

With lots of snowfall (and good snow too!), this resort has a long season starting from November till May. Fresh snow maintains the stability of slopes and ski trails provide variety for beginner to advanced skiers in this resort.

There is a facility named “Kiroro Town” in the base area of the resort providing rental equipment, shopping and hot spring. There are many large hotels adjacent to the piste which we recommend for an extended stay. Because Kiroro Snow Resort is in the heavy snowfall area, the sun is not always out (the only drawback?).

You can get to this resort from Otaru in about one hour, 1 hour and 30 minutes from Sapporo, both not too far. The size is rather small compared to large resorts, but the snow quality is unbeatable!

Furano Ski Resort, enjoy skiing a long trail.

Piste at Furano Ski Resort

This resort is located in Furano-shi, a popular tourist destination in Hokkaido. It is a large ski resort run by Prince Hotel with many large hotels and tourist facilities in the area.

Furano Ski Resort is known to be less crowded. With big area and many different courses, skiers tend to spread across the courses so they do not need to worry about crashing into each other. Because this resort is not yet known to most of foreign tourists, it is a well-kept secret spot.
Being in the inland and due to the large temperature drop, the area provides dry powder snow. The snow quality is said to be as good as that of Niseko.

This resort is aobut one hour away from Asahikawa Airport by bus. It is recommended for those who want to ski in a quiet, elegant environment.

Stay at one of the big resorts to enjoy fully!

Full view of Niseko Resort

We introduced to you 5 famous snow resorts in Hokkaido suitable for extended stay. I hope you were able to see the differences between those resorts as each resort has its own characteristics.

Choose a ski resort that matches your travel style and how you want to have fun, to fully enjoy and get the most out of Hokkaido in winter!

【Note】
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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