Can't decide where to go in Japan? - MountainWatch Travel


Can’t decide where to go in Japan?


Japan has over 500 ski resorts (it’s not just Niseko and Hakuba).
The following questions will help you to decide where to go skiing in Japan:
  • 1. I would be happiest if…
  • 2. I’m looking for…
  • 3. I’m taking with me…
  • 4. I want…
  • 5. Which sentence best describes you?…
  • 6. What are you thoughts on the evening dinner, entertainment and Apres?…

Japan has over 500 ski resorts (it’s not just Niseko and Hakuba). There’s hot coffee beer from a vending machine! There’s metres upon metres of light fluffy snow. There’s likely an old Japanese fella waiting to dust the snow off the chairlift for you. There’s crazy terrain if you want it or perfectly groomed runs if you’re taking Mum beginners. So the big question is, where should you go and how to decide? To find out, we’ve created a short quiz. So pick the answer to the question below that best suits you. Then read the results below.

1. I would be happiest if…
A. I can find a resort with lots of night life and unlimited bottles of sake.
B. I find a little ski village with as much authentic character as possible.
C. I can relax in my hotel in the evening as I am not interested in going out after skiing.
D. I am in a resort where the hundreds of loud Aussies are not!
E. I could find a resort that can cater for us all and have long runs with lots of deep powder.

2. I’m looking for…
A. A luxury trip, where everything is done for me – it’s not often I go to Japan.
B. Mid range accommodation and to bring home heaps of sake and souveneers.
C. Good service and comfortable rooms – I’m not looking to spend a fortune on this trip as I’ve already spent heaps at #Perrisher.
D. Cheaper accommodation option because I want to stay as long as possible.
E. A resort that can cater for a few families. We all want to travel together.

3. I’m taking with me…
A. My boardies and thongs for the onsen.
B. My Slippers.
C. Yen and my kids who learn Japanese at school.
D. My avalanche gear for some backcountry trips.
E. My powder skis.

4. I want…
A. Powder snow and to stay in ski in ski out apartment. A massage in the evenings would be alright too!
B. Powder snow and to stay in a Japanese ryokan with friendly Japanese locals.
C. Powder snow and a ski in ski out hotel. I’m satisfied with a Japanese breakfast ready for me in the morning so I can have fresh tracks and an onsen in the evening.
D. Powder snow and the full Japanese experience. Yes I’ll sleep on a Japanese style futon and relax in the onsen, no worries.
E. Powder snow and a western style mattress because I often ski so much during the day and I don’t want to have an aching body.

5. Which sentence best describes you?
A. I’m an experienced lift-line skipper so lines isn’t a bother to me.
B. I enjoy talking to strangers on the chair lifts.
C. I don’t want to be spending too much time on the chair lifts – I’m there to ski.
D. I’m pretty happy as long as there are no lift lines.
E. I’m not fussed if I have to catch a shuttle bus to the resort because I know there will be sweet powder all day.

6. What are you thoughts on the evening dinner, entertainment and Apres?
A. It’s ok if I have to wait for a table to eat dinner, as long as I’m with my mates and there’s a vending machine near by.
B. I would love to try the local sake and the local beer in the family run local isakayas.
C. I’ll have dinner at the hotel and enjoy a couple drinks with dinner.
D. I’ll go for a quiet few after dinner and explore what’s around.
E. I would like some options for dinner and bars. Not sure how the kids will go with the Japanese food.

If you answered mostly A’s we think you’ll love Niseko. There’s great night life in Niseko. This place may receive the occasional piece of criticism, (don’t make us repeat it) but there’s a good reason for it. It is indisputably Japan’s number one international ski resort. It has the highest number of foreign visitors and the best tourism infrastructure. Almost everything is in english, making it easy to order meals, organise ski lessons, tours and get about town. You’ll need to book very early if you’re planning a trip to Niseko.

If you answered mostly B’s we think you’ll love Nozawa. Want an authentic Japanese experience? Nozawa Onsen is a charming Japanese village with onsens scattered around town. The resort is well known for The Nozawa Onsen Dosojin Fire Festival held on January 15th each year. The village at the base of the ski resort. Given the close proximity to Tokyo Nozawa can get busy with weekenders.

If you answered mostly C’s we think you’ll love Shiga Kogen. Shiga is Japan’s largest ski resort. The ski resort is large, but the village is not. Shiga Kogen is boasts the true Japanese experience: onsen, ski, dinner, onsen, sleep, repeat. Plus the snow monkeys are just down the road from Shiga Kogen, creating the perfect opportunity to rest those tired muscles.

Have you heard of Myoko Kogen(? If you answered mostly D’s we think you’ll love it here. Myoko is one of Japan’s best kept secrets. Myoko receives a similar amount of snow to Niseko and is the same distance from Tokyo as Hakuba. Except there’s no crowds to beat. There’s 6 resorts in the area, which are all easily accessible.

Did you answer Mostly E’s? Where to even start! Hakuba has amazing mountain scenery. There’s 10 ski resorts in the area to pick from and shuttle buses that take you to the different resorts. Few resorts offer the diversity that Hakuba has, both in accommodation and in restaurants. There’s onsens and temples in the village too. Hakuba is easily accessible from Tokyo, making it an easily accessible ski destination, with the family, with friends or for a solo trip.

Were your answers all jumbled up? See also: Hakuba vs. Niseko

Perhaps you need to check out a few of the resorts in Japan. Liquid Can help you plan a multi-resort trip too. 


HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? Speak to one of our ski travel specialists today!