Japan is increasingly becoming famous for it’s light, fluffy snow, but just how much it gets per season can often surprise people. Resorts in the north island of Hokkaido, such as Niseko, can receive an average of 14 meters of snow during the season. The current 2017/18 season already has us passed 13 meters and we aren’t even into March yet! We take a look at just why it snows so much here and how it compares to other resorts around the world.
Japan has the lucky coincidence of being in exactly the right spot geographically. Situated just below Siberia, during the winter cold air moves south and crashes into the western coast. These bitterly cold winds pick up moisture over the Sea of Japan and bring it straight to the mountains where it falls as some of the lightest snow in the world.
When the air is forced to rise over the mountains it falls as wonderful light snow! With this powder train in full force, you do not even need storm systems to bring the white stuff; the majority of Snow in Japan falls with very little wind, which means a lot less disruption than other major ski destinations around the world.
Niseko, Japan Snow Ski
While other major resorts, such as Whistler, have very reasonable snowfall, they still only expect to receive around 11 meters for the entire season. Elsewhere, some of the most popular resorts in Austria and France receive on average less than 10 meters. Here in Niseko, there have only been 13 days without snowfall since the 1st of December!
Hokkaido Ski Resorts
Whilst the north island of Hokkaido is better known for snowfall, even resorts on the main Island get a huge amount of snowfall. Hakuba has excellent regular snowfall whilst also boasting a huge amount of skiable terrain; over 200 runs! Twinned with many fantastic onsens, a wonderful balance of culture and easy access from Tokyo, this is also a great ski holiday destination.
Snow Tours Japan
With so much snow falling across the northern areas of Japan, dedicated teams of snow clearers are hired every year to keep the streets clear. Without these it is likely most ski areas in Japan would be completely inaccessible. Although the roads are cleared, those with cars will, unfortunately, need to clear these themselves! We’ve certainly experienced worse problems though!
With consistent snowfall like nowhere else in the world, now is certainly a perfect time to think about skiing in Japan. With major resorts catering to tourists, all that needs to be done is focusing on enjoying the bottomless powder.
Talk with Japan Ski Experience today about Japan Ski Destinations and the best way to take advantage of what is on offer. They can cater for everyone: from beginner lessons all the way through to guided backcountry tours. With everything taken care of, the only thing to remember is your snorkel!
Also published on Medium.