Written by: Zunita Ramli
Great Powder, Friendly People, and Beautiful Scenery. What’s Not To Love?
Japan is famous the world over for its first-class ski and snowboard resorts with exceptional facilities and diverse attractions. It’s no wonder thousands of avid skiers and snowboarders make the pilgrimage to this mystical land, returning year after year.
The season officially starts in December and lasts until April, with the best conditions typically in January and February.
Recommended Ski Resorts
With more than 500 ski resorts to choose from all over Japan, here are the top 3 of what I recommend to go.
1. Niseko (Hokkaido Prefecture)
Located southwest of Sapporo in Hokkaido Prefecture, Niseko consistently features “World’s Best” for skiing and snowboarding. Among the reasons are because Niseko has one of the best, quality snow powders in the world with top-notch facilities stretching along 47 kilometers of well-groomed terrain that consists of seven ski areas.
2. Myoko Kogen (Niigata Prefecture)
Located in Niigata Prefecture, Myoko Suginohara holds the record for the longest run in Japan at 8.5 kilometers with beautiful scenery along the way.
3. Gala Yuzawa and Yuzawa Kogen (Niigata Prefecture)
Located in Niigata Prefecture, Gala Yuzawa and Yuzawa Kogen are actually ski resorts located just side by side. Gala Yuzawa is famous for being the only ski area in Japan with its own Shinkansen bullet train station while Yuzawa Kogen is famous for its excellent snow conditions and spectacular panoramic scenery of Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma valleys of Niigata Prefecture and beyond.
Packing List for Snowboarding/Skiing
- Snowboard/Ski (can be rented)
- Snowboard/Ski Boots (can be rented)
- Snowboard/Ski Jacket (can be rented)
- Snowboard/Ski Pants (can be rented)
- Neck Warmer
Do not worry if you do not have all of the items. You can rent items 1,2,5 and 6 at the rental shop there and the price varies between ski resorts, between 10,000 yen for the whole set of items, up to 20,000 yen or so.
You also need to buy a lift ticket or cable car ticket in order for you to go to the top of the mountain before you can do the skiing and snowboarding. The lift ticket price also varies depending on the ski resort, from 4,000 yen up to 8,000 yen per day.
Basically, most ski resorts offer Muslim-friendly foods such as seafood and so on. In some resorts, there are Indian curry restaurants nearby for your option.
Additionally, you can ask the staff to pray so then they will guide you to a place where you can do pray quietly.
For an avid snowboarder, I recommend going two days straight instead of one for maximum satisfaction especially during peak season because the waiting time for the chair lifts is quite long.
Also, if you are particular about food, I recommend bringing some extra foods as well because physical activity especially during cold weather will make you extra hungry.
So… are you ready to go for ski and snowboarding? But wait, you actually never done it before?
No worries, most ski resorts usually offer lessons for the first-timer and also the beginner. There is also some fee incurred, ranging from 8,000 yen and more for 4 hours session, and make sure you do your reservation prior.
So, wait no more, just pack up your bag and leave!