Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

March 8, 2011

Ski Resorts of Hokkaido

Filed under: Skiing — Tags: , , — admin @ 6:40 am

Hokkaido Skiing.


Nothing much needs to be said about Niseko. It is very well known. It receives massive dumps of snow but can get quite crowded. There are four main inter-connected resorts and there is accommodation to suit every budget. Get here from Sapporo airport via a shuttle bus, or train from Tokyo. The Shinkansen bullet train goes all the way to Hakodate as of February 2011, but there are plans to extend the line in the future. Go for day trips to Rusutsu if you like.


Smaller and gets less snow than Niseko. There are two sides to the resort – Furano Zone and Kitanomine. The trees are very tight here and you have to dodge the ski patrol to go off-piste. There are lots of places to stay for varying budgets. You can do day trips to Kamui Ski Links, Tommamu and Asahidake.

Otaru Area

Accommodation: The Otarunai Backpackers Hostel Morinoki. Dormy Inn Premium, across the road from Otaru station. Otaru Green Hotel ~3500 Yen.


Kiroro Ski Resort is 40 kilometers west of Sapporo and 30 minutes from Otaru JR Station. The average maximum snow depth is about 400 cms. There are 4 Quad Chairs, 4 double chairs and a Gondola. The highest point is 1180 meters and there is 610 meters of vertical to ski. There are two hotels at the resort.

Otaru Tenguyama

Tenguyama has an average snow depth of 150-170cms and has four lifts. To get there, take the number nine bus from Otaru station and get off at the last stop. There is the Otaru Villa Mountengu Youth Hostel which has beds for around 3500Yen. It is 2kms north of Otaru.

Asarigawa Onsen

Asarigawa has an average snow depth between 150-200cms. There are 6 lifts and it is 30 minutes by train from Sapporo.

Sapporo Area

Accommodation – Ino’s Place ~3000Yen. Marks Inn Sapporo ~2100Yen. DK Guest House Sapporo (long-term rates). Jimmyz Backbackers.

Sapporo Teine Ski Resort

Teine has about 14 lifts and around 450 meters of vertical. Average snow depth is 200 – 250 cms. It is made up of two areas, Highland and Olympia. To get there take JR train from Sapporo to Teine, then catch the bus. It takes about 45 minutes from Sapporo Station. JR sells a package includes fare and lift pass.

Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort

Kokusai is a fairly small ski resort and you can get there via a subway to Makomanai station and a bus to the bottom of the ski hill. Some ticket specials include a lift pass. There are 5 lifts and average snow depth is 300-400 cms.

Hokkaido Travel

There is a 5 day pass from Japan Rail (JR) which is very good value. It is called the Seishun Juahachi Kippu. It is for 5 non-consecutive days travel on local JR trains. It costs 11,500 Yen. The Spring ticket is on sale from February 20 to March 31 and is valid for travel between March 1 to April 10. A day is from midnight to midnight.


  1. Snow Search Japan. book –

    Comment by admin — March 8, 2011 @ 8:43 am

  2. Moiwa has a shuttle bus to Hirafu.

    Comment by admin — March 8, 2011 @ 9:02 am

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