How to enjoy skiing and snowboarding

Japan's ski season generally starts around December and lasts until April, with the best snow conditions found from mid January through February. Snow is abundant and temperatures moderate, barely dropping below -10 degrees.

While skiers outnumber snowboarders on most Japanese ski slopes, snowboarding also enjoys a big popularity, and many resorts provide snowboarding facilities, such as half pipes.

Many ski areas in Japan are also hot spring resorts, leading to the particular Japanese way of enjoying skiing and snowboarding in combination with a hot spring bath after a day on the slopes.

Relaxing after skiing at a public bath house in Zao Onsen

The typical cost of a one-day pass for large ski areas is around 4000 to 6000 yen. Many resorts also offer half day, multi-day, nighter and season passes. Furthermore, ski holiday packages, which include transportation, lift passes and accommodation, are available at competitive rates through travel agencies.

Renting ski and snowboard equipment is possible at virtually every ski resort across Japan. Typical prices are around 3000 to 5000 yen per day for a complete set (skis, boots and poles; or snowboard, boots and bindings). Similar prices apply to a one-day rental of ski wear which usually includes a jacket, pants, gloves and goggles.

When using your own equipment, note that delivery companies provide convenient door-to-door shipment of skis and snowboards across the country for around 1500 to 2000 yen. Delivery typically takes two or three days.

Ski rental service counter

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Page last updated: November 6, 2016