The Appi Kogen Ski Resort is located in the Appi Highlands (安比高原, Appi Kōgen) in Iwate Prefecture, about 50 kilometers north of Morioka. It is one of the best ski resorts in the Tohoku Region, offering a large variety of wide, long ski courses, including groomed and ungroomed runs and mogul terrains. The average yearly ski season lasts from early December to Golden Week in early May.
The ski courses are situated mainly along the slopes of Mount Maemori (1305 meters), with two runs on the adjacent Mount Nishimori (1328 meters). At the peaks of both mountains there are observation points from where the surrounding mountain range, in particular Mount Iwate and Mount Hachimantai, can be seen on clear days.
Other attractions include a snow park with rails and other obstacles for snowboarders to try out stunts, and a family park with sleds, snow tubes and mini courses for children to enjoy the snow. At the foot of the slopes stands the resort center, where rental equipment, shops and food establishments are available. There is also a ski school where skiing and snowboarding lessons are offered.
Hotel Appi Grand is the resort hotel at the base of the ski slopes, consisting of multiple large buildings and a hot spring bath house with gender separated indoor and outdoor baths. The entire hotel area is so large that a shuttle bus runs between its various buildings every 15-20 minutes. In the small town below the resort hotel, alternative lodging options are offered by a few pensions.
Appi Kogen is best reached from Morioka Station, which is about 2.5 hours north of Tokyo by the Tohoku Shinkansen (about 15,000 yen one way, covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass).
By bus from Morioka
Buses connect Morioka Station with the Appi Kogen Ski Resort every 1-2 hours. The one way trip takes about 50 minutes and costs 1130 yen (1340 yen for the last two departures of the day). The fare is not covered by the JR passes.
By train from Morioka
Appi Kogen Station stands about three kilometers away from the ski resort and is connected with Morioka by direct trains every 2-3 hours. The one way ride between Morioka and Appi Kogen takes one hour and costs 1150 yen. Because the trains partially use non-JR tracks, Japan Rail Pass holders will have to pay a supplement of 650 yen. However, holders of a JR East Tohoku Area Pass or JR East South Hokkaido Pass do not need to pay the supplement. From Appi Kogen Station, there are infrequent shuttle buses to the ski resort.