Plumes of smoke from Asahidake  Photos: Masaaki Kato

▶︎ THE POWDER BELT of Central Hokkaido

Ski 5 areas & backcountry in one holiday

Experienced skiers in Hokkaido speak of a paradise of powder snow. This paradise is the area known as Hokkaido’s Powder Belt, home to the very best powder snow on offer in Japan.
This belt region runs along the center of Hokkaido and encompasses the backcountry ski areas of the Daisetsuzan Park that includesKurodake, Asahidake, Mt. Tokachi, Mt. Furano, the Kamui Ski Links, Furano Ski Resort, and the Hoshino Resorts Tomamu Ski Resort.
The inland location of the belt region means it has a dry climate, which results in a light powder snow. Have a taste of this powder snow paradise for yourself, by hopping onto one of the many backcountry ski tours and off-piste tours.

Back Country Skiing with a Taste of ‘Steam’

When snow forms and falls to the ground, building up without melting, it becomes a light, dry powder. The snow here is known as ‘steam’ to the locals for the way it kicks up into the air without resistance in a fine mist of snow as you wind your way down the slopes.
Daisetsuzan National Park, a short drive from Furano City, is a backcountry field where this type of powder snow is in abundance. The mountain ranges reaching out from Asahidake, the highest of the mountains in the north at 2,290 m above sea level, to Mt. Furano in the south, are always host to a soft snow. The breathtaking landscape of the active volcano Mt. Tokachi, combined with courses offering powder snow of the highest quality, make for an outstanding backcountry skiing course. And what better way to finish it all off than with a trip to the natural hot springs in the area with their view over the mountains.

Off-Piste Skiing on the Powder Snow

The term off-piste refers to backcountry skiing that can be accessed immediately from skiing areas. Reached via lifts and ropeways, there is no need to hike out to such areas on foot, making them the perfect place for those looking to take in as much of the powder snow as possible.
The off-piste ski areas near Mt. Furano offer some of the highest quality powder snow across the entire world. You can enjoy the best of each of these areas by joining tours led by experienced local guides.
Amazing off-piste areas around the Furano Ski Resort such as Asahidake, Kamui Ski Links, and Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, which can be accessed via day trips from Furano, are a must see.

Information: https://www.facebook.com/HokkaidoPowderBelt

poder belt scenes



A ski paradise with the best powder snow in the world


Four world class resorts in one

Niseko United is the name given to the collection of four ski resorts located on the Niseko Annupuri mountain, which stands 1,308m above sea level, and which forms the eastern-most part of the Niseko Volcanic Group.
A special location amongst the vast wilderness of Hokkaido, Niseko Annupuri offers a stunning view of Mt. Youtei, the main peak of Niseko. Seasonal winds from the Eurasian continent pass over the Sea of Japan, drawing up high levels of moisture that in turn brings theperfect powder snow to the region throughout the winter months.
The majestic outline of the Niseko Annupuri mountainside and the beautiful winter forests offer an unforgettable skiing experience for both beginner and expert skiers alike.
The skiing areas running from east to west on the south side of the Niseko Annupuri mountains are the Niseko Hanazono Ski Resort, the Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort, Niseko Village Ski Resort, and the Niseko Annupuri Ski Area.
Niseko is the most well known of Japan’s skiing areas amongst skiing enthusiasts, and is visited by over 20,000 visitors from Australia each year. The story began in the 1980’s when Australians who visited the area spread the word about the allure of Niseko, leading to a steady increase in visitors from Australia with each passing year. Today, there are numerous luxury condominiums that Australians have developed and invested in, and the town is almost like an Australian village where families can enjoy extended stays.


Niseko Hanazono Ski Resort

A snow resort with everything from powder snow to a park area. Many attractions are on offer, from various trails and Hokkaido’s largest park area to half pipes. The Strawberry Fields ski run is known for its unique geographical formation, and the Hanazono 308 facility is perfect for relaxing after skiing.

Information: http://hanazononiseko.com

Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort

The largest of the four skiing areas in the region, the Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort offers not only the latest facilities, but superb powder snow, accommodation ranging from hotels to condominiums, hot springs, restaurants, and more amongst the foothills of the mountains.

Information: http://www.grand-hirafu.jp

Niseko Grand Village Ski Resort

Here, the forested slopes directly connected to two resort hotels offer a skiing course through virgin forest, making for the perfect resort space. Take in some of the leading powder cruising in the country! A snow school, various activities, and programs aimed at children are also on offer.

Information: http://www.niseko-village.com

Niseko Annupuri Ski Area

Enjoy some of the best powder snow on wide skiing courses that only Annupuri can boast, along with carefully planned groomed runs. The surrounds are home to many interesting hot springs, and the area is the perfect spot to enjoy one of the great draws of winter – open-air hot spring bathing.

Information: http://annupuri.info