Japan is a world-class ski and snowboard destination with abundant, high-quality snow, beautiful scenery and relaxing hot springs. There are over 500 ski resorts across Japan from the northern island of Hokkaido to the southern island of Kyushu, which vary in size from large resorts with dozens of runs to small one-lift slopes. The best resorts and snow conditions are found in northern Japan (Hokkaido and Tohoku) and in the mountains along the Sea of Japan Coast (especially Niigata and Nagano).
While there are no ski resorts within the borders of metropolitan Tokyo, it is feasible to go skiing or snowboarding in a daytrip from Tokyo. Some of the most easily accessible and most popular resorts for daytrips are located in the Yuzawa region of Niigata Prefecture, which can be reached in under 90 minutes by shinkansen. There are also a couple of small resorts on Mount Fuji.
For those who are interested in experiencing snow, but who do not want to ski or snowboard, most resorts have play zones designed for families with small children. Often, they do not require paid admission, except for activities such as sledding and snow tubing. For information on other places to see snow, see our page on where to find snow.