Asia

7 things you need to know about skiing & snowboarding in Japan

Forget everything you knew about skiing in Canada, France and Italy, it’s all about Japan. Arguably the ultimate skiing destination because of its light, dry powder found in abundance; whether you’re after the steepest runs, terrain parks or half pipes Japan really does have it all. The best time of year to head over is probably between December up until early May.

But hold on just for one minute, skiing or snowboarding in Japan is snow piece of cake, so here are a few things to bear in mind before hitting the slopes…
Mt Fuji

1. Hire a guide for the day

It’s 100{67e156e4ee2ef9246962f65a4f1efdaee88fb3c7951f538c2a80b1896ec79ca1} worth hiring a guide for the day – Japan’s ski resorts can be pretty tricky to navigate. They have a limited number of signs and the gate system can take a bit of getting used to! But definitely make sure you check your guide beforehand, they need to have liability insurance and a good knowledge of the mountain. DUH.

2. Carry cash

MAKE IT RAIN. Carry cash on you at all times. Most restaurants, bars and ski amenities take only cash. So stock up on yen before you go or make the most of the first ATM you see. You might be able to buy a life-ticket with a credit card but that’s about it!
japan ski

3. Head north to Hokkaido

There are loads of awesome spots for skiing in Japan but if you’re after the most powdery snow and quite frankly a skiers paradise then head North to the snow-kissed peaks of Hokkaido. Niseko (in Hokkaido) is considered the world’s powder capital comprising of 4 fantastic resorts which can all be accessed on a single lift ticket. There is particularly incredible mountain called Rusutsu which gets about 12 to 14 metres of snow each season and has wide tree-lined courses which can suit many abilities.

4. All about the ‘hot box’

If you can’t function each day without a cup of joe, then it’s time to get to know the Japanese coffee culture. Say Kon’nichiwa to the hot box! All you have to do is head to your nearest convenience store or vending machine and grab one of the mysterious looking cans labelled ‘hot’ or just feel around for the warm one. The hot cans are filled with pretty tasty coffee although it’s a guessing game as to which one contains milk, is sweetened or straight up black, you’ll figure it out!
Japanese Onsen

5. Be prepared to get naked

If you fancy it, take the opportunity to experience a Japanese hot spring known as an Onsen, but just to let you guys know clothing is not an option, in fact it is prohibited. Make sure you read up on Onsen etiquette before you enter the bath and be very sensitive to other people’s modesty. When in Japan ey!

6.It’s all about the FAT skis

If you’re not sure about which skis to bring to Japan, it’s all about the FAT skis. Fat skis are great on deep snow and most of the snow in Japan will be deep and soft. Although you can ski & snowboard on basically anything as even though the snow is light it’s pretty supportive. So don’t worry too much!
ski japan

7.Whiskey and Karaoke are a great combo

Whiskey? Not normally a big whiskey drinker but when you can’t feel your toes, this stuff will warm your cockles. Japan is renowned for its malt whiskey and it’s pretty damn tasty. You’ll be able to get a few from the hotel where they’re way cheaper. OBVIOUSLY whiskey and Karaoke go hand in hand as the perfect combination and you can’t not experience karaoke in its birthplace. So hire a private room, grab a mic and let the hilarity commence!

Hopefully with these 7 tips you will have an epic time on the Japanese slopes. Oh and while we’re here we might as well mention our AWESOME Japanese ski & snowboard package deals. Shameless.