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Japan's Best Ski Spots by Rail

During your Winter trip

skiing in japan

One of the best ways to make the most of your winter trip to Japan is to go visit one of its incredible ski resorts! Here's a few of our favorite places to ski using your Japan Rail Pass, Hokkaido Pass, or JR East Pass.

gala yuzawa - niigata

Best ski spot Gala Yuzawa in Niigata : Japan Exxperience
Located in Echigo Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture, this spot even has its own shinkansen station! Buy your pass at the station and head straight to the mountain. You can even show your JR East pass when buying your ski pass at the station for a great discount.

nozawa - nagano

Best Ski spot Nozawa in Nagano ; Japan Exxperience
The ideal place for great skiing and famous hot springs. This resort is well-known for skiers relaxing in the onsen after a hot day, as well as its mostly Japanese-style accommodations.

Nozawa can be reached by shinkansen to Nagano, then a local train line to Togari Nozawa Onsen Station.

niseko - hokkaido

Best Ski spot Niseko in Hokkaido : Japan Exxperience
The largest ski resort in Japan is only a short distance from Sapporo, Hokkaido. As such, aside from amazing skiing, Niseko also has a wide range of accommodations and a fun-filled town with great nightlife.

Niseko is accessible from Sapporo by local trains.

kiroro - hokkaido

Best Ski spot Kiroro in Hokkaido : Japan Exxperience
A more low-key ski destination compared to the neighboring Niseko, Kiroro has great skiing as well as many other snow activities, including snow-shoeing and sledding. It also includes a great ski school geared for children only.

Kiroro can be reached from Sapporo by express train to Otaru, a nearby seaside town, then a shuttle bus.

hakuba - nagano

Best Ski spot Hakuba in Nagano : Japan Exxperience
Located in Nagano, this former winter olympics event spot is a great location for overseas travellers. Hakuba boasts lots of English speakers, including instructors and child caregivers, making it very family friendly. The surrounding village also has great shops and many restaurants.

Hakuba can be reached by taking the shinkansen to Nagano, then taking a shuttle bus.
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