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    I’m considering a Japan trip this spring. I’m hoping to glean information here about where in Japan to go.

    What I’m looking for:

    1. Snow: The deepest snow in Japan – north island, I assume but? And then, which airport to fly into?

    2. Terrain: Uncrowded. Open trees, glades, or above treeline are fine.

    3. Hot springs.

    4. Lodging: Simple, clean, unfancy, on the inexpensive side, and close to, or within public transport from, the uptrack(s), food and hot springs. Prefer something in a smaller than larger town.

    5. Transportation: Is it generally necessary to rent a car or van? Do people rent and shred from RVs in Japan as in AK?

    Any help from those who know (Firstlight, Bobgnarly?) would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.




    Hokkaido- 20cm-40cm most days, not many clear days in dec/jan/feb, not much steep terrain
    Honshu- bigger dumps but less often though totals are pretty much the same, more clear days, not as cold, steeper terrain, more variety.


    I have exactly the same questions and will watch with interest.


    I went last March to Hokkaido and it was amazing. I did however have the unfortunate luck of landing during their week and a half dry spell (started puking the day I flew out). I don’t know much about the other options but we stayed at the black diamond lodge ( and I’d highly recommend it. The lodge atmosphere was great, friendly helpful staff and the free breakfast was on point! They also have a tour department that can set you up wth whatever you’re looking to do as well as rentals. If you stay at the lodge you get discounts on lift tickets, rentals, and tours. Their guides know where the goods are even on the worst days. We’re already planning the next trip for late January.


    From what I hear from many friends who have been, Hokkaido has much dryer snow. Honshu/hakuba has better terrain (vulcanic) and more snow if it dumps, it’s also higher. But there isn’t a big differnce in 9 meters and 12 meters when you think about it. I’m not sure if late spring is the best for Hokkaido because it’s a bit lower though. You need to keep an eye on the temerature if you’re going really late.

    But I would go to Hokkaido and get a car so you’re mobile. There is a difference between the resorts in the amounts of fresh snow, you can have no snow at one place and freshies at another. Also the resorts are not that big, and when it’s not dumping at all a car is nice to do a bit of roadtripping. RV’s not really, but those cute little 4wd vans are cheap to rent and you can sleep in them.

    Avoid Niseko, as it’s too busy. Go for the smaller places.

    Also, get the book snowsearch Japan.


    Some say the dry gods of snow reside in Tokachidake, Hokkaido..
    I am a believer having been there 3 times. Pure heaven on all accounts that you are after.
    Touring straight from the door from several onsen ryokans.
    Super cold january gives the dry dreamy stuff. Sunny days as well if your lucky. It does not snow every day like the Annupuri Range around Niseko area but the snow stays fresh and deep.
    Touring around Annupuri Range is fun, easy and snow is great. Great tree laps in low vis a plenty of Nitonupuri.
    Quick low vert tree and bowl fun and then onsens.
    Combine both spots for a great trip.
    I can let you know more if needed. places to stay etc.


    Niseko is not busy at all for splitters.
    Always fresh and untracked!!
    Resort bunnies can have the inbounds an out of bounds around resorts. Its an extension of Australian ski fields.
    Some like Rusutsu hey Bob!!
    I do like Shiribestu-dake though..

    And Spring would be touring Haukuba range or near like Tateyama.


    I apologise for hijacking the thread with photo’s, probably should be a TR, but it sounds like your interested in a similar trip to what I did Feb/March this year, I went to Hokkaido, it gets the snow but the mountains aren’t as big or steep as the Alps on Honshu, heaps of places to stay around these places I went to, awesome onsens for relaxing after a big day as well.
    I hired an RV got a good deal so was cheaper than car and hotels but maybe a little anti-social and definitely colder.




    Furano sidecountry


    @yogisnow wrote:

    Some like Rusutsu hey Bob!!
    I do like Shiribestu-dake though..


    Never heard of the place 😉
    Im a honshu convert, you still get epic snow and the terrain is just better. Plus it only gets to about -12c at night which is great when you are sleeping in cars


    This is one of my dream trips as well. Food, culture, hot-springs and powder! My brother and i are in, as soon as we win the lottery or dig our selves out of dept (to create some more dept with a trip like this). Pictures are great..


    see my season report on Hokkaido this year.
    the japanese have not taken to splitboarding at all, they love snowshoes so much even skiers use them.

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