You’d have to be living under a rock to not know that Japan has quickly become one of the world’s most popular places to go skiing. Home to spectacular ski resorts, dramatic mountain ranges and the occasional alpine spa, it’s no wonder why the nation is such a hit with winter-loving couples.
This ancient country has a range of fantastic skiing locations, so whether you’re interested in a winter honeymoon or a couples’ getaway, there’s something for you. Planning a ski holiday in Japan but don’t know where to start? Here’s our top three destinations for the ultimate winter escape, and the need-to-know details that will help you get your planning underway.
Nozawa Onsen, located in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan, offers more than just skiing and snowboarding. The charming village is steeped in culture and history, with winding narrow streets lined with traditional wooden buildings and 13 public onsens to soothe sore muscles after a day on the slopes. The village is famous for its hot springs, discovered in the 8th century, and steam rises everywhere amongst the bustling cobblestone streets and traditional ryokan inns and shops. Some also consider Nozawa Onsen the birthplace of skiing in Japan, with skiing introduced to the area in 1912 by an Austrian. Today, the Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort is popular among international travellers for its diversity of terrain, abundance of snow, and lovely traditional village.
Thinking of honeymooning in Japan? This guide has everything you need to know to plan the perfect Japan honeymoon or romantic getaway.
Hakuba Valley, located in the Japanese Alps, is a world-renowned ski area that boasts ten resorts and hosts prestigious snowsports events such as the Winter Olympics and FIS World Cup. With its towering mountains and exceptional variety of ski terrain, Hakuba Valley offers something for every level of skier and snowboarder. Visitors can purchase a single lift ticket, the Hakuba Valley Day Pass, which grants access to all ten resorts and their unique offerings. Despite its popularity, Hakuba maintains a traditional Japanese feel and is easily accessible by bullet train from Tokyo in under four hours. With over 200 runs and free shuttle buses between resorts, Hakuba Valley is the perfect destination for those seeking a diverse and exciting skiing experience.
Related: Looking for a ski destination closer to home? Check out Australia’s favourite ski resorts for couples.
You’ll love Shiga Kogen in Nagano, Japan if you’re a skier. This resort has 18 interconnected ski areas you can access with a single lift ticket. It’s famous for hosting several events at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, including women’s downhill, slalom, super G, and snowboarding. Shiga Kogen is the second-highest ski resort in Japan, providing excellent snow quality and a wide range of ski and snowboard terrain. You can access almost 1km of vertical and 83km of groomed piste through 52 lifts with one pass.
Moreover, you can stay in the centrally located Ichinose village and visit the Jigokudani Monkey Park, where wild monkeys live and soak in hot spring waters. Shiga Kogen is accessible via shuttle or Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo, which takes about four hours. It’s no surprise that Shiga Kogen is becoming one of Japan’s top resorts.
- Discover more great Japanese destinations with these stories:
- Tokyo for Honeymooners and Couples of all ages
- Okinawa – Japan’s Tropical Paradise
- 7 Crazy Cool Things to See & Do In Japan