written by Maria Santana Reyes
Booking a trip to a ski resort doesn’t have to be hard, especially if you’re a beginner. If you want to book a trip easily, try Japan—in particular, Hokkaido. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why this Japanese island is the ideal destination for skiers in Asia.
1. It has a consistent amount of powder snow
Hokkaido is located in the northern part of Japan, which is closest to the cold fronts coming from Russia and China. These winds gather moisture from the Sea of Japan and fall as snow on the country’s mountains. This close proximity gives Hokkaido a longer and more consistent cold climate, making it ideal for those who want to ski on fresh snow.
On top of that, Japan’s powder snow is highly sought after by experienced skiers due to its soft texture. For beginners, this type of snow can also act as a cushion if they crash. If you’re among those who still need to learn to keep their balance, you won’t have any worries since powder snow is fluffy and falls in thick layers. Their snow is also considered as the driest in the world, making it light and ideal for snowboarding and skiing.
2. World-class facilities and classes for beginners
It’s true that world’s most popular ski destinations are in the United States, Canada, or Europe. However, Hokkaido has more than its own fair share of slopes to enjoy. In fact, the island has more than 100 mountain resorts to choose from, with many of them offering world-class facilities.
These resorts also offer the right resources to get beginners started, from comprehensive ski lessons to expert coaching services. For example, the Kiroro Ski Resort operates its own International Ski and Snowboard Academy, which offers individual and group lessons in English.
3. Close proximity to Asian countries
If you’re coming from Singapore or Malaysia, the flight to Hokkaido won’t take more than half a day. This means no jet lag from changes in the time zone and no cramps from sitting for hours inside a plane.
For example, a direct flight from Singapore’s Changi Airport to Hokkaido’s airport—the New Chitose Airport in Sapporo—will take around 9 hours. However, a flight from the same country to Switzerland would take at least 13 hours to complete.
4. Courteous, English-speaking staff
The resorts in Hokkaido cater to a lot of foreigners, especially during the holidays. Hence, there won’t be any communication problems, since most of their staff can speak English.
5. The onsens are a great way to relax
After a long day at the slopes, it’s best to relax in Japan’s geothermal hot springs. Known as the onsen, these natural baths have shower rooms where guests can wash up before taking a dip in the waters. These are ideal for those who are exhausted from skiing and are looking for a way to ease their tired muscles.
In short, Hokkaido offers more than just optimal skiing conditions for beginners. From a shorter travel time to great options for unwinding after the day’s activities, you’re sure to enjoy a complete skiing experience.
Looking for where to stay in Hokkaido? Check out this blog by HotelsCombined on Where to Stay in Hokkaido: The Ultimate Seasonal Travel Guide to enjoy Hokkaido all year round.