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        Spring Skiing in Japan 2022

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    • Near Tokyo
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      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.
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Japan Snow Guide: Winter Events and News

This snow season has all the makings of an epic year for Tokyo residents and travelers. Tons of snow, discounted travel fares and less people on the slopes. While many events are up in the air, there are fun activities and specials you should check out while exploring Japan’s ski resorts. Travel safe and enjoy the white season in Japan.


Niseko Shootout and Film Festival 

Niseko’s winter photography competition is back. Any photo posted on Instagram and hashtagged #NisekoShootout is eligible for exciting prizes including a Gentemstick Snowboard, Roko skis and a Niseko United season pass. Photos will be judged within  skiing, snowboarding and landscapes categories. The Niseko Shootout Film Festival on Mar. 13 will showcase the best Niseko-themed short films and photographs taken during the previous 15 months. 
When: Until Mar. 13
Where: Niseko, Hokkaido

Hanazono Slopestyle

Skiers and snowboarders are judged on a standard Slopestyle format, running through a custom-built park at Hanazono Slopestyle. Bring your best tricks, as this competition attracts the best park riders from near and far. Online registration is ¥1,000 and walk-in registration ¥1,500. Online registration starts Feb. 22 to Mar. 13.
When: Mar. 14
Where: Hanazono Niseko, Hokkaido

Hanazono Banked Slalom

The Hanazono Banked Slalom time trial race is held in the Hanazono quarter pipe and main park. Hand-dug banked turns are blended with the existing terrain park area to create a unique course for skiers and snowboarders. Prizes are awarded to the fastest in each category. Online registration is ¥2,000 and walk-in registration ¥2,500. Online registration from Mar. 8 to Mar. 27.
When: Mar. 28
Where: Hanazono Niseko, Hokkaido

Family-friendly Fun in Niseko

Get in the holiday spirit with your little ones by reindeer sledding around the resort or hop on a thrilling snow rafting ride. There are also snowshoeing and snowmobile tours. 
Where: Niseko Village, Hokkaido

First Tracks at Mt. Isola

Enjoy 3,500 meters of first tracks on the Isola Grand Course for intermediate riders and powder riding on the Heavenly Canyon Course. Every Sunday morning in January and February Rusutsu opens its mountain for early risers. Pick up your First Tracks ticket at the Rusutsu Hotel at 8:15 (booking required) then hop on the free shuttle bus that takes you to Mt. Isola and you’ll be on the gondola by 8:45. 
When: Every Sunday Jan. and Feb. 
Where: Rusutsu Resort, Hokkaido

Kamori Wonder Lights

Rusutsu Resort features a projection mapping show this winter telling the Ainu story. The projection mapping is cast onto the hotel’s large glass screen and you can enjoy the show from inside and outside the hotel. Shows are held daily between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.
When: Dec. 10 – Apr. 3
Where: Rusutsu Resort, Hokkaido


Gala Yuzawa’s 30th Anniversary

Gala Yuzawa celebrates 30 years this season with an Instagram photo contest and prize giveaways for travelers using the Weekday View shinkansen and lift ticket package. Prizes include Salomon skis and snowboards and lift passes. Enter to win the photo contest by following @galayuzawa_official and posting a photo tagged #gala30thフォトコン. Other events are still being planned.
Where: Gala Yuzawa, Niigata

Children’s Mini Triathlon

Children three to nine-years-old can enter this three-part race that starts with “swimming” (rather, crawling) over snow, running and finally racing on snow striders. The race is held every weekend until Mar. 28. There is also a sled race on Jan. 24, Feb. 23 and Mar. 20. 
When: Every Saturday until Mar. 28
Where: Joetsu Kokusai, Niigata


Rewild Ninja Snow Highland

This ski resort formerly known as Minenohara Kogen has reopened as Rewild Ninja Snow Highland after a two-year hiatus. It is located on the western side of Mt. Azumaya in central Nagano, near Sugadaira Kogen. The resort has two lifts running and eight courses. As the name suggests, this ninja-themed resort has some interesting activities such as renting Snowfeet, ski-shoe attachments that turn your boots into ski skates. Try your hand at ice climbing, fly through the air in a human bungee slingshot and enjoy the views from the two-person giant swing. There’s also a zipline for children. At night, enjoy an illuminated lights show and relax with a hot drink in a kamakura igloo. Lift passes are ¥3,900 for adults and ¥1,900 for kids. Activity costs are separate. 
When: Until Mar. 28
Where: Suzaka, Nagano

Snow Wow Park

This unique adventure park in the snow is fun for children and adults alike. Sign up for snow rafting or tobogganing, try out snow skateboarding or fat biking. There is also a net obstacle course where kids can climb and enjoy bird’s eye views safely. The park is located at the base of Tsugaike Kogen ski resort’s gondola.
When: Until Mar. 21
Where: Tsugaike Mountain Resort, Nagano

Tsugaike Kogen Firework Festival

Hakuba area’s biggest firework show is held annually in March 6.
When: Mar. 6
Where: Tsugaike Mountain Resort, Nagano

Hakuba Mountain Harbor

Take a break from riding with a cup of coffee, lunch and baked goods at Hakuba’s terraced cafe located on top of Hakuba Iwatake Mountain Resort. This cafe, at 1,289 meters, is open year round and provides scenic views of the Iwatake peaks, the Japan Alps and Karamatsuzawa Snow Valley. The gondola takes eight minutes from the foot of the mountain station to the top. 
Where: Hakuba Iwatake Mountain Resort

First Tracks at Yakebitaiyama

The mountain will open for first tracks from 7:50 a.m. every weekend until Mar. 29  (and Mar. 20). Tickets are ¥1,500 and must be booked by 5 p.m. the previous day. First tracks are also available for free on weekdays to Seibu Prince Club members. 
If you have a special event planned, you can book out the resort for night skiing between until Apr. 3 outside of regular operating hours. There are also snowshoe and snowmobile tours and a kids’ park. 
Where: Yakebitaiyama Ski Resort, Nagano

Nozawa Onsen’s New Gondola

The new gondola whisks skiers and snowboarders from Nagasaka Station to Yamabiko in only eight minutes (half the time the previous gondo). The middle station has been removed and the track goes straight to the top. The gondola seats up to ten riders. In the green season, mountain bikers and hikers can use this gondola to enjoy the mountain.
When: Until May 9
Where: Nozawa Onsen, Nagano

The Dojo Nozawa 

An unused dojo has been refurbished into a social gathering space and bouldering gym just a stone’s throw from Nagasaka Gondola in Nozawa Onsen. The gathering space will host events, films and yoga classes. There’s also a cafe and bar. The Dojo is open weekdays and Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. 
Where: Nozawa Onsen, Nagano

Pulse Gondola Opens in Shiga Kogen

Japan’s first pulse gondola provides easier and faster access to riders in Shiga Kogen this season. Pulse gondolas are fixed-grip CPT systems featuring cabins grouped together rather than spaced evenly across the cable. The short 400-meter journey will take just 90 seconds, making it easy to get over to Takamagahara, Terakoya, Ichinose, Yakebitaiyama and Okushiga areas. This new gondola is located next to the Shiga Kogen Yama-no-eki building across the tourism information center in Hasuike and takes riders to the Giant ski area. 
Where: Shiga Kogen, Nagano

Discounts at Blue Resort Norikura

Look out for all the discounts at Norikura! If you come dressed up in a costume on any fourth Sunday until March, you are eligible for a free lift ticket. Every third Sunday until March, elementary school children ride free. Half-day passes are available for women on Mondays, Nagano residents on Tuesdays, everyone on Wednesdays, seniors over 55 on Thursdays and residents not from Nagano on Fridays. 
Where: Blue Resort Norikura, Nagano


Hodaigi Ground Cup

This annual freestyle contest with cash prizes open to everyone with an entry fee of ¥4,000. There is also a slopestyle contest held the Sunday before. 
When: Mar. 28
Where: Ski Resort Hodaigi, Gunma


Haga Farm and Glamping

Enjoy winter glamping at Haga Farm and Glamping in Tochigi, a luxury campsite part of the Reiwa Golf Resort. Visitors have access to a magnificent 27-hole golf course and an onsen. Each glamping dome and deck area can sleep up to four people and boasts beds, a kotatsu (heated table), air conditioning, and Wi-Fi. There’s also a fully covered outdoor kitchen with a fully stocked fridge. Each unit has a private toilet, shower and bath.  A six-course seasonal BBQ feast is the highlight of the evening and the winter course features salad, fondue, seafood or chicken broth, a mixed BBQ plate, a selection of fine steaks and dessert. Vegetarian options are also available. 
Where: Haga, Tochigi

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