Wonderful powder snow of Tohoku for Advanced Skiers to Enjoy!

April 08, 2021
The Tohoku region, located in the northernmost part of mainland Honshu, experiences very severe winters, with average temperatures hovering around 0 degrees Celsius even in urban areas. In the mountains, it is quite common for the temperature to drop to around -10 degrees Celsius, and also common for silky soft powder snow to cover the ground. Tohoku is home to many mountains including the Ou Mountains located in the center of the region, welcomes many skiers, and has a number of ski resorts, from local accommodation to some of the largest resorts in Japan. Here, we introduce a list of ski resorts recommended for advanced skiers that are also popular with experienced locals.

Ungroomed slopes and superb powder snow!

Appi Kogen Ski Resort
Even in the Tohoku region, which is known for its powder snow, the Appi Kogen Ski Resort in Iwate Prefecture is particularly renowned for its "dry powder" snow with extremely low moisture content. The park, open all throughout the season, is one of the largest in Japan and consists of a wide range of areas including mogul practice courses, ungroomed snow zones, and tree run zones, to entertain advanced skiers. For snowboarders, Asia's largest "Appi Quest Park" is the place to go. With its safe design and world-class coaching, the snow park will satisfy all levels of riders from beginners to the world's best athletes, and is even used by Olympic athletes for their training.

More information about Appi Kogen Ski Resort here

Geto Kogen Resort
Geto Kogen Resort, also located in Iwate Prefecture, has four tree run zones where you can enjoy the powder snow. The difficulty starts at Level 1 for the child-friendly area,
to the Level 4 tree run for experienced skiers to encounter natural trees and obstacles. There are tree run guides and trial courses available for people who are worried about skiiing on unfamiliar terrain.

More information about Geto Kogen Resort here

Tazawako Snow Resort
Tazawako Snow Resort in Akita Prefecture is a ski resort that offers a view of Lake Tazawa, the deepest lake in Japan, from its slopes. It is also famous for having three ungroomed snow courses and a mogul course where the World Mogul Championships are held. All three ungroomed snow courses have a minimum incline of 25 degrees. The most difficult course, the Mizusawa Champion Course, has a maximum incline of 38 degrees, and there is no shortcut for the entire 1,000 meter run.

More information about Tazawako Snow Resort here

Snowboarders
Popular not only with skiers but also with snowboarders, the Kurobushi Kogen Snow Park Jangle Jungle in Yamagata Prefecture offers a wide range of groomed and ungroomed snow courses, and is a great resort to be enjoyed by anyone at any level. The ski resort is has three snow parks and a cross course designed for a variety of levels. The snow park has a night skiing area and occasionally hosts ski jumping events. Its these features that has made this ski resort popular. The cross-country course, which makes the most of the surrounding terrain, is also highly reputed and is regarded as the highlight of this ski resort.

More information about Kurobushi Kogen Snow Park Jangle Jungle here

Miyagi Zao Ski Resort Sumikawa Snow Park
If you want to go snowboarding in the Zao mountain range, famous for its beautiful juhyo (frost-covered trees), the best place to go is Miyagi Zao Ski Resort Sumikawa Snow Park in Miyagi Prefecture. The park, which was designed by professional snowboarders, has been carefully designed to be enjoyed by both beginners and experienced snowboarders. There is also a wide variety of other courses and tours available, including the "Atomi Shadow Course," which is called a natural half-pipe, the Snow Cat tour where you can fully enjoy the frost-covered trees, and a backcountry tour to enjoy skiing in nature.

More information about Miyagi Zao Ski Resort Sumikawa Snow Park here

Backcountry Skiing to go deep into the Tohoku Region

Hakkoda Ski Resort
Backcountry skiing is a type of skiing which gets you out of the slopes, up into the wilderness and skiing through the giant Zao Juhyo forests (icy trees) of the north. As you are skiing off the slopes, you will need to have a good sense of the terrain, experience, and skills, but the Hakkoda Ski Resort in Aomori Prefecture, located in the northern part of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park, has tour guides on hand to help you get started. You can join a backcountry skiing tour organized by the Hakkouda Mountain Guide Club. In addition to the groomed trails, the ski resort will also open its ungroomed natural tour trails for a limited time, recommended for those who want to explore a bit off the slopes and ski in wilderness.          

More information about Hakkoda Ski Resort here

 Appi Rinkan
The Hachimantai area, which straddles Akita and Iwate prefectures and is also located in the Towada-Hachimantai National Park, is another popular destination for backcountry skiing tours.  Tours are held at several ski resorts including Appi Kogen Ski Resort, Hachimantai Resort Panorama and Shimokura Ski Resort, and Tazawako Ski Resort.  Appi Kogen Ski Resort also offers backcountry skiing lessons for beginners and tours where you can enjoy going up and down on the short ungroomed snow slopes. It's perfect for those who want to try backcountry skiing.  Hachimantai Resort Panorama Ski Area & Shimokura Ski Area have a tree run area that runs through a beech forest, making it the perfect place to embrace the nature of Hachimantai.                     

Experience the real powder snow and snow activities of Tohoku

Appi Powder
  The Tohoku region, which stretches across six prefectures from Aomori in the north to Fukushima in the south, is home to many experienced skiers who have been skiing all their lives. In addition to the best powder snow, there are various exciting activities and courses to entertain advanced skiers, including ungroomed snow areas, tree run zones, cross courses, and backcountry skiing tours. The more you ski, the more you will fall in love with the ski resorts in the Tohoku region, and sure to discover your new favorite resort.

【Note】Pricing information and schedule is correct at the time of writing and are subject to change without notice. Please check the official website before your trip.

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