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Go by the Shinkansen! Snow Resorts in Japan

During the winter, Japan is covered in silvery snow as far as the eye can see, creating vast and spectacular landscapes. Depending on the region of Japan you’re visiting, you can enjoy snow-related activities for as long as late November through early May. Skiers from both Japan and from abroad flock to Japan’s ski resorts thanks to their high-quality powder snow, long slopes, and fun activities. Be sure to make the most of enjoying snow activities like skiing and snowboarding during the winter season! The second half of this article will introduce a convenient and great-value pass that will get you to the locations we introduce!

Recommended Snow Resorts in the Tohoku Area

[Iwate Prefecture] APPI Kogen Ski Resort (Dec. 1-May 6, 2019)

One of Japan’s best all-season resorts, APPI Kogen Ski Resort is located in Iwate Prefecture. During the winter, high-quality powder snow accumulates and covers the resort’s large-scale long courses. The ski slopes are meticulously maintained with a commitment to quality.

Try skiing on these carefully maintained ski slopes!
Try skiing on these carefully maintained ski slopes!
The carefully groomed slopes of compacted snow are great for smooth skiing.
The carefully groomed slopes of compacted snow are great for smooth skiing.
The resort also features a 5.5km long course for more advanced skiers.
The resort also features a 5.5km long course for more advanced skiers.

※The ski resort's period of operation is subject to change depending on the amount of accumulated snowfall.

OPEN

Basic Information about APPI Kogen Ski Resort

Address
Appi Kogen, Hachimantai City, Iwate Prefecture[MAP]
Access
About 1 hour by bus from the West Exit of Tohoku Shinkansen’s Morioka Station (No.26) to Appi Kogen
Alternatively, about 10 minutes by taxi from JR Hanawa Line’s Appi-Kogen Station
※For certain accommodation areas, there is a pick-up service from Appi-Kogen Station and Morioka Station that can take you to your accommodations.
TEL
0195-73-5111
Business Hours
8:30 am-8:00 pm, Sun. & Hol.: 8:00 am-8:00 pm *Vary by period
WEB
URL(English)

[Yamagata Prefecture] Zao Onsen Ski Resort (Early Dec.-May 6, 2019)

This resort is popular for its variety of courses that make use of the area’s unique topography. With powder snow that is easy to ski on and as many as 26 courses, skiers from beginners to experts can all enjoy this resort. You can also enjoy the quintessential winter sight of frost-covered trees.

The resort boasts courses that utilize the area’s natural landscapes.
The resort boasts courses that utilize the area’s natural landscapes.
The frost-covered trees that you can only see during the winter are a must-see!
The frost-covered trees that you can only see during the winter are a must-see!
You can ski while looking at the beautiful frost-covered trees.
You can ski while looking at the beautiful frost-covered trees.

※The ski resort's period of operation is subject to change depending on the amount of accumulated snowfall.

OPEN

Basic Information about Zao Onsen Ski Resort

Address
Zao Onsen, Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture[MAP]
Access
About 40 minutes by bus from Yamagata Shinkansen’s Yamagata Station to Zao Onsen
TEL
023-694-9617
Business Hours
8:30 am-5:00 pm
*Until 9:00 pm when opened at night
WEB
URL(Japanese)

Recommended Snow Resorts in Nagano and Niigata Areas

[Niigata Prefecture] Lotte Arai Resort (Dec. 15-May 19, 2019)

This resort boasts astounding amounts of accumulated snowfall. Even if you don’t ski or snowboard there are fun activities you can enjoy, including the zip tour, tubing park, and more, so this resort is a popular destination for families.

This resort boasts one of Japan’s best freeriding off-piste skiing zones.
This resort boasts one of Japan’s best freeriding off-piste skiing zones.
Enjoy the great outdoors on the resorts’ zip tour.
Enjoy the great outdoors on the resorts’ zip tour.
Get the full resort experience at the ski resort and hotel complex.
Get the full resort experience at the ski resort and hotel complex.

※The ski resort's period of operation is subject to change depending on the amount of accumulated snowfall.

OPEN

Basic Information about Lotte Arai Resort

Address
1966 Ryozenji, Myoko City, Niigata Prefecture[MAP]
Access
About 30 minutes by free shuttle bus from Hokuriku Shinkansen’s Joetsumyoko Station to Lotte Arai Resort
※To take the free shuttle bus you must make a reservation before 5:00pm the previous day.
TEL
0255-75-1100
Business Hours
8:00 am-4:30 pm
*May be open at night depending on the period
WEB
URL(English)

[Nagano Prefecture] Hakuba Happo-one Ski Resort (Mid Dec.-May 6, 2019)

This vast snow resort spreads across the magnificent 3,000-meter-high Northern Alps mountain range. It is one of Japan’s largest independent ski resorts. The view from the top of the slopes is absolutely breathtaking.

You can gaze at the vast panoramic view of the Northern Alps.
You can gaze at the vast panoramic view of the Northern Alps.
Travel by ski lift while looking out over the beautiful scenery.
Travel by ski lift while looking out over the beautiful scenery.
Advanced skiers can challenge themselves on the Olympic Course.
Advanced skiers can challenge themselves on the Olympic Course.

※Photos Provided By: Nagano Prefecture Tourism Association
※The ski resort's period of operation is subject to change depending on the amount of accumulated snowfall.

OPEN

Basic Information about Hakuba Happo-one Ski Resort

Address
5713 Hokujo, Hakubamura, Kita-Azumi-gun, Nagano Prefecture[MAP]
Access
About 1 hour 20 minutes by bus from Hokuriku Shinkansen's Nagano Station to Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort
TEL
0261-72-3066
Business Hours
8:00 am-5:00 pm
*Until 9:00 pm when opened at night
WEB
URL(English)

A Great-Value Pass for Visiting Snow Resorts!

Details of the JR EAST PASS (Tohoku Area)

OPEN
Period of Use
Usable year-round
Period of Validity
Any 5 days out of the 14-day period after the date of issue (flexible 5-day pass)
*Date of issue refers to the pick-up date for passes purchased outside of Japan and the date of purchase for passes purchased in Japan.
Prices
Sales outside Japan: ¥19,000 for an adult (12 and older) and ¥9,500 for a child (6-11). Sales in Japan: ¥20,000 for an adult and ¥10,000 for a child.
Valid For
Unlimited travel within the designated areas in reserved seats on ordinary cars of limited express (including Shinkansen), express, and local trains operated by the East Japan Railway Company. In addition, it may be used on scheduled bus routes on JR Bus Tohoku and JR Bus Kanto within the JR Bus Free Area (excluding highway express buses and some scheduled bus routes).
Conditions of Purchase and Use
The JR EAST PASS is available for purchase by holders of non-Japanese passports with “temporary visitor” visa status who plan to stay in Japan for no longer than 90 days.
*Passports must be presented at time of purchase for confirmation purposes.
Purchase Methods
① Within Japan: Purchase at locations where the JR EAST PASS is available.
② Outside of Japan: Purchase an exchange order (e-ticket) from a travel agent, travel company or through the JR EAST website. Then, upon arrival in Japan, trade in the exchange order for your JR EAST PASS at any of the exchange locations.
WEB
URL(English)

[JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)]

OPEN
Period of Use
Usable year-round
Period of Validity
Any 5 days out of the 14-day period after the date of issue (flexible 5-day pass)
*Date of issue refers to the pick-up date for passes purchased outside of Japan and the date of purchase for passes purchased in Japan.
Prices
Sales outside Japan: ¥17,000 for an adult (12 and older) and ¥8,500 for a child (6-11).
Sales in Japan: ¥18,000 for an adult and ¥9,000 for a child.
Valid For
Unlimited travel within the designated areas in reserved seats on ordinary cars of limited express (including Shinkansen), express, and local trains operated by the East Japan Railway Company. In addition, it may be used on scheduled bus routes on JR Bus Kanto within the JR Bus Free Area (excluding highway express buses and some scheduled bus routes).
Conditions of Purchase and Use
The JR EAST PASS is available for purchase by holders of non-Japanese passports with “temporary visitor” visa status who plan to stay in Japan for no longer than 90 days.
*Passports must be presented at time of purchase for confirmation purposes.
Purchase Methods
① Within Japan: Purchase at locations where the JR EAST PASS is available.
② Outside of Japan: Purchase an exchange order (e-ticket) from a travel agent, travel company or through the JR EAST website. Then, upon arrival in Japan, trade in the exchange order for your JR EAST PASS at any of the exchange locations.
URL(English)
www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass_n/