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Welcome to the 'Land Of The Rising Sun' ... and deep, deep powder snow. Let us show you our Japan, on and off the ski mountains. A country that nourishes and bombards in equal measure, all you really need is a sense of curiosity and adventure (and some fat powder skis).

What you've heard is true - Japan is the Holy Grail of tree-line skiing in glorious dry-powder snow. Indeed, skiing and snowboarding in Japan is without equal anywhere in the world and Different Snow have travelled the length and breadth of the country in search of the best waist deep, life affirming "Ja'Pow".

However, a winter holiday to Japan can and should be more than only that. It’s an adventure into the most unique and enthralling country in the world; a wonderfully atmospheric ancient civilization with feet firmly planted in the 21st Century.

Ski Resorts in Japan

We go to the best-of-the-best of Japan's ski resorts; a unrivaled collection. For the best powder snow? The ski resorts on both Hokkaido and Honshu have vast quantities of the lightest, fluffiest snow known to humankind. Backcountry and off-piste? There are volcanoes and mountains everywhere and, with or without a chairlift, the options are limitless. Characterful and authentic ski villages? We know how, where and when to avoid the crowds, to discover an alternative and quirky real Japan. 

Your choice of Japanese ski resort is not one to be made without seeking advice from someone who's been there and who's impartial. Do make sure you contact us and we'll talk you through the options. It may be the better known resort of Niseko, but it may be somewhere else equally as amazing!


On Hokkaido Island, Japan’s most internationally renowned and beloved ski resort.

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Nozawa Onsen

Our favourite ski resort in Japan is an authentic hot spring village in the Japanese Alps.

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11 stunning ski mountains in one valley, Japan’s most varied and diverse resort.

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An authentic Japanese ski town in the snowy centre of Hokkaido Island.

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Japan's newest ski resort. An amazing ungroomed mountain and wonderful luxe hotel. 

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Zao Onsen

For the snow monsters, the hot springs and a thoroughly authentic Japanese experience.

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Myoko Kogen

Tons of powder snow, an authentic Japanese ski village & access to several resorts.

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Niseko’s low-key & powdery little brother, on the other side of the volcano.

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Appi Kogen

In the remote, northern Tohoku region is Japan's best kept powder secret. And we love it!

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The Ski Season

The ski season lasts from December through to April, (similar to Europe), and the most notable difference is the dependability and sheer amount of snow! The Siberian weather systems guarantee massive amounts of light, dry powder every year even at sea level. Christmas and New Year are usually very busy and then the Chinese New Year week, usually in early-February, is also considered high season. For us, late February and March is the perfect time to travel as the base is deep, the slopes are quieter, it's great value and there are more of those perfect blue-bird days to enjoy.

Why Japan?

Now let's get down to business – skiing! After all those years staying West, you owe it to yourself to go East. Here are just a few reasons why:

Glorious snow

The Japanese islands are affected by weather systems skimming the Sea of Japan on their way from Siberia – and that makes for a predictable 12 to 18 metres of snow every year, kept chilled, crisp and fluffy by the cold temperatures. The result is boundless powder, perfect for easy fresh tracks and the best gladed tree skiing we've ever experienced.

World class resorts with NO crowds!

We have chosen a handful or ski resorts that offer varied terrain, good grooming and great facilities. Between them, you'll find something to suit you; whether you're into skiing or snowboarding; cruising the gentle slopes or adventuring off piste. The hotels or facilities can be world class, and we rarely see crowds outside of the weekends, offering you more runs, fresh tracks and a relaxed vibe, both day and night – many Japanese ski resorts are floodlit allowing you to ski in to the evening.

Because it's Japan!

Did we mention that we love Japan? From sushi and noodles in busy roadside cafes to delectable multi-course kaiseki cuisine in smart restaurants - the food is divine. The people aren't merely 'polite', they're warm, engaging and welcoming. The culture is vibrant and absorbing. Whether meeting the iconic geisha, soaking in an onsen with the locals, or taking in the temples, we believe the unique, indelible culture in Japan adds a richness to your ski holiday which is hard to beat.

Skiing & onsen

You might approach your first onsen with trepidation (we're not generally accustomed to bathing in our birthday suits with utter strangers), but we urge you to shake off these inhibitions! The ancient Japanese tradition of soaking in natural hot springs is still very much a part of life here, and it's nowhere more alive than in the ski resorts. After all, skiing and onsen are the perfect match. 

It's cheaper than you think!

There's a general misconception that Japan costs the earth. Ok, so your flight may be more expensive, but thereafter everything from skiing to dining out is often significantly less expensive in Japan than it is in Europe or North America. We also have an excellent range of accommodation options, all offering incredible value. We are a luxury tour operator – unashamedly so – though it is rare we can’t achieve something within what you're wanting to spend.

Suggested Itineraries

Your private, tailor-made journey willvoffer you complete freedom of choice and there are no set departure dates or prices. Each itinerary is unique and you don't need to follow a set template - just allow our years of experience to plan it with you.

The following are suggested itineraries only, shown to give you a flavour of what is possible and each can be tailored to suit you and we hope these itineraries will inspire, excite and inform you. We often combine different ski resorts within a trip, and you can take the opportunity to explore and experience Japan beyond the ski slopes.

Different Snow can include ski hire, lift passes, backcountry tours, cultural excursions and activities, rail passes, accommodation and transfers ... and because we are ATOL bonded, we can also include your international flights.

The Japanese Ski Safari

Niseko - Tokyo - Nozawa Onsen - Kyoto

Duration: two weeks

The best powder snow, a bit of culture, the mountains, onsen and the capital! We can't improve on this - the perfect ski holiday to Japan.

from £2,884 per person, including flights

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Japanese Powder Unlimited

Niseko - Sapporo - Furano - Asahidake

Duration: 10 / 12 days

An itinerary with a singular objective: to ride the finest, deepest powder snow in Japan. Stay on Hokkaido Island, and ski hard.

from £2,345 per person, including flights

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The Alternative Ski Safari

Appi Kogen - Zao Onsen - Tokyo

Duration: two weeks

Explore the Tohoku region to discover some the best skiing in Japan. Deep, untracked powder snow awaits in the remote north.

from £2,780 per person, including flights

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The Japanese Alps Explorer

Tokyo - Nozawa Onsen - Hakuba - Kyoto

Duration: two weeks

Bullet-trains, snow monkeys, atmospheric villages, shrines, geisha and vibrant neon cities. Oh...and some of Japan's best skiing.

from £2,498 per person, including flights

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Snow & Beach - Honeymoon

Japanese Ski Resort - Tokyo - Asian Beach

Duration: two weeks

First the powder snow of Japan, then it's a city break in Tokyo, before heading to Thailand or The Philippines and a tropical beach.

from £3,250 per person, including flights

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The Grand (Ski) Tour of Japan

Hakuba - Takayama - Kyoto - Hiroshima - Hakone - Tokyo

Duration: three weeks

The ultimate itinerary, for those with the time, an adventurous spirit and a real passion for Japan.

from £3,580 per person, including flights

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Prices are indicative only and include accommodation (low season), lift passes, transfers and – because we are ATOL-bonded – your flights from the UK. Different Snow can also include ski hire, backcountry and off-piste tours, rail passes, private transfers, English-speaking guides, cultural excursions and activities.


Capital:  Tokyo

Time zone:  GMT + 9 hrs

Currency:  Yen

Language:  Japanese

Ski Season:  Early December until mid-April

Largest Ski Resorts: Shiga-Kogen is the largest..but we don't feature this ski resort (it's not very good!). Of the resorts Different Snow feature Hakuba, Niseko & Appi Kogen are the largest.

Access:  There are direct flights from the U.K. to Tokyo, either Narita or Haneda airports. Alternatively, it sometimes works out a little cheaper to route via Europe or another Asian city. From Tokyo the wonderful rail network, road transfers or a domestic flight up to Hokkaido Island will get you to the ski resorts.

Beyond the skiing:  Spending time in Tokyo is a must; it is the world's most exciting city. Kyoto is the cultural heart of the country. Get off the beaten track and stay in a ryokan or capsule hotel, visit markets, discover traditional Japanese arts and explore modern otaku culture.

Places to Visit

For centuries, Japan has fascinated the world. It is a country totally removed from the West – mysterious, alluring, alien, distant, enigmatic. Perhaps, just different. For us, a ski holiday to Japan is as much about Japan itself as it is the game-changing powder snow. It is is a country to be experienced, rather than a country in which you merely tick off sights. We are veterans when organizing tailor-made tours in Japan, we know the stories you come home with will involve zen monasteries, neon jungles, cat cafés, karaoke boxes and outdoor onsens. A night spent in a ryokan – a traditional Japanese Inn – or a capsule hotel will be talked about for years to come.

Different Snow provide all our guests with comprehensive travel notes, known as 'How To...' guides, offering you the pragmatic support and in-depth insight learned through over 20 years of sending clients to Japan on tailor-made tours.


Japan's dizzying and enthralling capital, you've never experienced anything like it before.

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Japan's ancient capital is a veritable treasure chest of temples, shrines, gardens & geishas.

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Famous for hot springs, ryokans and that view across Lake Ashinoko to Mount Fuji.

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A bustling old town with historic charm in the Japanese Alps.

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A vibrant city famous for all the wrong reasons, easily combined with nearby Miyajima Island.

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Hokkaido island's wintery city, famous for its boisterous outlook and snow festival.

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