This week, I want to share with you my personal experience of exploring Hokkaido in the wintertime.
My time spent skiing in Hokkaido was an incredible experience and I have to tell you all about Japan’s snow powder, which the locals like to call Ja-pow.
Hokkaido is a perfect winter destination for winter sports
and offers ideal conditions for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts alike.
Surrounded by snow-covered mountain ranges, Hokkaido offers perfect conditions for different skiing abilities.
This makes Hokkaido a must-visit snowsports destination for any enthusiasts.
You’re now one step closer to Sapporo from Europe
Finnair now offers direct flights from Helsinki, Finland to Sapporo, Japan.
This means that with a connection flight from London via Helsinki, you can easily reach Sapporo with your ski equipment with a short connection in no time.
You no longer need to fly to Tokyo and switch to the domestic terminal with your ski equipment to reach Sapporo. You can easily connect in Europe and reach the ski slopes much quicker.
Winter in Hokkaido is an experience like no other and you can now arrive sooner than you think.
What is Ja-pow? and why is it so special to Hokkaido, Japan?
You simply have to travel to Hokkaido, Japan in the wintertime to truly experience Ja-pow for yourself!
What makes the snow powder so special in Hokkaido, Japan is the cold air blowing across the straits from Siberia, removing excess moisture, which creates ideal ski and snowboard conditions.
An endless blanket of perfect snow powder is waiting for you and can be found in Hokkaido.
In terms of skiing, I have personally never experienced such incredible snow conditions. It truly is out of this world.
Before I travelled to Hokkaido, I had heard rumours about how incredible the Ja-pow is but I had to witness it for myself to truly understand it.
The best way to describe Ja-pow is that it’s like your skis are a butter knife and you’re spreading soft margarine on top of your breakfast toast. The snow is extra fluffy and your skis glide with ease through the mountain piste.
You simply have to pack your skis, head to Hokkaido and try out these unique skiing conditions for yourself.
Hokkaido has many winter sports resorts to choose from
Once you’ve made it to Sapporo, you can choose from many winter sports resorts located across Hokkaido.
Kokusai Ski Resort is the closest resort to the city of Sapporo. It’s a popular choice for those wanting to add some fun winter sports activities to a city trip. Kokusai Ski Resort has lots to offer visitors on a day trip from Sapporo city.
Furano is considered a world-class winter sports resort offering stunning views of Mount Tokachi and the Daisetsuzan National Park. The resort has 28 courses, and you can find many different styles to suit all abilities. Furano is a friendly town and proud of its culture and traditions as well as its perfectly powdered slopes.
Tomamu is the largest residential snow sports resort in Hokkaido. It offers ski-in ski-out village-style accommodation options and focuses more on the exclusive skiing customer looking for some solitude during their stay. Tomamu is also a perfect alternative option for those looking at going more off-piste. Here you will find amazing tree style skiing which is a popular skiing option to try in Japan for the more adventurous skier. Located across 2,500 acres with 29 courses to choose from, Tomamu is a popular choice for snow sports.
Niseko is a collection of four vast ski resorts spread out amongst the base of Mt. Niseko Annupuri. It is the most popular destination for winter sports in Japan.
The four resorts – Niseko Hanazono, Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri, are accessible with one ski pass. There are loads of options available for skiers of all abilities, such as long runs, pristine slopes and backwoods adventures. Niseko is a paradise for snow lovers, and don’t forget to enjoy that world-famous Niseko snow powder!
A special kind of Après-ski experience
You must have experienced Après-ski on one of the many ski resorts around Europe. Wait till you experience the Après-ski Japan style!
After a fun day of skiing around one of the many ski resorts in Hokkaido, the most popular and traditional Après-ski experience is to relax at an onsen, a natural hot spring in Japan.
It’s commonplace to find one nearby, maybe even located at your hotel resort.
Onsens are special in Hokkaido as they’re naturally heated, drawn from the hot bubbles located beneath the earth.
Be sure to relax after a long day of skiing in this purifying and authentic traditional bathing ritual.
Another enjoyable Après-ski experience to try in Hokkaido, Japan is to end your skiing experience at a ramen noodle bar.
Hokkaido ramen goes perfectly with a nice ice-cold glass of local Sapporo beer.
Hokkaido ramen is special for offering the best miso-based ramen across all of Japan.
Nothing warms you up like a nice hot bowl of Hokkaido ramen after a long day of skiing.
Be sure to enjoy your Hokkaido ramen with corn and butter and for an extra special experience, you can enjoy Hokkaido ramen with a side of local seafood such as King crab.
Explore the winter city of Sapporo, Hokkaido
Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido is a perfect city break destination for the wintertime with many events taking place.
Sapporo is a great option if you fancy doing some skiing around Hokkaido and then spending some time in the city before you fly home.
You can find many seasonal winter activities such as a German Christmas market, Sapporo White Illumination show in Odori Park and Sapporo Snow Festival where you will see a large selection of snow sculptures on display.
Thank you for reading all about Hokkaido in the winter
Hokkaido is a perfect destination for enjoying snowsports in Japan.
Thank you for visiting my blog post and reading my article all about visiting the Prefecture of Hokkaido, Japan in the wintertime.
I had such an incredible trip and amazing winter and skiing conditions that I can’t wait to revisit once it’s safe for tourists to return to Japan.
I hope in the future, I can stay for a whole winter season and make the most out of that incredible Ja-pow!
Wishing you all the best with your future travel planning to Japan and hope you found this article both inspirational and informative.