The ski fields in the Kanto area are concentrated in four prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Niigata, and Nagano. These places are beautiful and convenient for moving. Taking the Shinkansen only takes about 2-3 hours from Tokyo to have many rinks with ski slopes. If you are from the city center, you can also travel by direct bus to the rink location at a time that suits your schedule.
Hunter Mountain (Tochigi Prefecture)
Hunter Mountain Shiobara is located in the heart of Myoujin-dake (明神岳) hill at an altitude of 1,638 meters. The name Hunter Mountain comes from the Hunter Mountain resort in New York. This is also one of the ski areas suitable for a day trip from Tokyo with a total of 12 runs.
The children’s park has two areas with lots of fun activities, including sledding, tubing, and snow escalators.
The highest place is 1,638m. The altitude at the foot of the mountain is 1,138m, and the difference between these two places is 500m. There are 12 ski packages, with a total length of 3,000m, and the maximum slope is 25°.
Address: Maekuro, Yumoto Shiobara, Nasu Shiobara-shi, Tochigi
How to go:
🚉 By train: Take the Tohoku Shinkansen from Nasu Shiobara station, the Kinugawa line from Ryuokyo station, or the Kinugawa line from Kinugawa Onsen station.
🚌 By bus: Take the shuttle bus for about 70 minutes from Nasu Shiobara station (the bus departs at 8:10 am and arrives at 9:25).
🚗 By private car (choose one of the following): From Nishi Nasuno Shiobara IC on the Tohoku Expressway; or Imaichi IC on Nikko Utsunomiya Street, or Utsunomiya IC on the Tohoku Expressway.
GALA Yuzawa Ski Area (Niigata Prefecture)
This ski resort is located in Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture, and is easily accessible by the Joetsu Shinkansen bullet train. It is known for its extensive ski runs and its unique feature of being directly connected to the train station. At the station’s ticket gate exit, there will be a ski resort’s ticket counter. You can change into ski clothes and take the ski lift to the top of the mountain in no time.
GALA Yuzawa Ski Area has a variety of runs catering to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. It includes beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The resort has 17 runs in total, with the longest being about 4.8 kilometers. The resort also has a terrain park for snowboarders and freestyle skiers.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, it offers a variety of other activities, such as snowshoeing, sledging, and snowmobiling. The resort also has some restaurants and shops and a hot spring facility, making it a popular destination for day trips and weekend getaways.
The GALA Yuzawa Ski Area ski season usually runs from mid-December to early May. And the best snow conditions are typically in January and February. The resort also offers night skiing on weekends and holidays, providing visitors more opportunities to hit the slopes.
Address: 1039-2 Kayabira, Yuzawa-machi, Minamiuonuma-gun, Niigata-ken, 949-6101, Japan
How to go:
🚉 By train: Take the Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo Station or Ueno Station to GALA Yuzawa Station. The journey takes about 75-90 minutes, depending on the train type.
If you are traveling with a lot of ski equipment or luggage, you may consider using a luggage delivery service, such as Ta-Q-Bin or Yamato Transport. These services can pick up your luggage from your hotel or residence in Tokyo and deliver it directly to GALA Yuzawa Ski Area for an additional fee.
Fujimu Panorama Ski Area (Nagano Prefecture)
Fujimi Panorama Ski Area is a ski resort located in Fujimi town, Nagano Prefecture, which is part of the Chubu region of Japan. While it is not in the Kanto region, it is still relatively close to Tokyo.
It has a total of 7 courses, with runs ranging from beginner to advanced level. The resort also has a snow park for snowboarders and freestyle skiers, as well as a dedicated kids’ park for children. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, the resort offers other winter activities such as snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and tubing.
The ski season at Fujimi Panorama usually runs from mid-December to early April, with the best snow conditions typically in January and February. It offers night skiing until 9 pm, providing visitors with more opportunities to enjoy the slopes. This ski area is famous for its unique slopes, such as the “heart-shaped slide,” which is very popular with couples.
There is a legend that if a couple goes to the Yatsugatake observatory or a mountaintop restaurant and slides down the heart slope, they will be together forever.
Address: 8545-1 Takakuotsu, Fujimi-machi, Suwa-gun, Nagano-ken 399-0211, Japan
How to go:
🚉 By train and bus: Take the JR Chuo Line from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station to Kobuchizawa Station, which takes about 2 hours. Then, take a bus to Fujimi Panorama Ski Area, which takes about 25 minutes. The bus operates only during the ski season. The schedule can be found on the official website of the ski area.
🚗 By car: Drive from Tokyo to Fujimi Panorama Ski Area, which takes about 2.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic. Take the Chuo Expressway to the Sutama IC, then take Route 299 and Route 141 to the ski area. There is a parking lot at the ski area for visitors.
Snow Town Yeti Ski Area (Shizuoka Prefecture)
Snow Town Yeti is located 2 hours and 40 minutes by bus from Shinjuku Station. Direct buses go from Tokyo to Snow Town Yeti through 18 stations, such as Hachioji, Shinagawa, Machida, Yokohama, etc. You can get on the bus at the station closest to your place, which is very convenient.
The resort has 19 ski slopes, ranging from beginner to advanced levels, and a terrain park for snowboarders. The longest run is over 4 kilometers long and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Snow Town Yeti is the only place you can ski with Mount Fuji in the background. Snow Town Yeti is Japan’s earliest open because it uses tools to create snow. You can ski here even though it’s only autumn.
Address: 2428 Aza Fujiwara, Suyama, Susono-shi, Shizuoka Prefecture 410-1231
Operating time: 2022 October ~ 2023 April
Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Area (Nagano Prefecture)
Located in the famous resort town of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, this ski resort is known for its beginner-friendly slopes and proximity to Tokyo. It is also part of a larger resort complex with multiple hotels, restaurants, and other amenities. It only takes an hour for Shinkansen to reach the Karuizawa Prince Hotel ski area, “KaruSki” for short, from Tokyo to Karuizawa Station. In addition, the Karuizawa Prince Hotel ski area offers free transfers for children and a snow stadium where you can go snowboarding or snow tubing. These combinations make the Karuizawa Prince Hotel ski area a kid-friendly place.
The eastern high-speed cable car is also used for sightseeing, even for night tours, allowing visitors to use the cable car even if they don’t ski.
Operating time: 2022 November 3 ~ 2023 April 2
Norn Minakami Ski Area (Gunma Prefecture)
Norn Minakami ski area is about an hour and a half from Tokyo by Shinkansen Joetsu train to Minakami station, then take the free bus to the ski area. The Norn Minakami ski area is open until 22:00 from Sunday to Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. There are a variety of discounted tickets here depending on the time of day you ski, such as early morning, dusk, and evening tickets. There has many slopes ideal for intermediate and advanced skiers.
Operating time: 2022 December ~ 2023 March
Tambara Sky Park (Gunma Prefecture)
Tambara Sky Park is a trendy ski field because it is easily accessible by car from Tokyo (it only takes about 2 hours).
It is 1,550m above sea level. In such a place so close to Tokyo, there is still powder snow for skiing, so the quality of snow falling on the slopes here is quite good.
The total area is up to 41ha, including 8 sliding packages.
The highest place is 1,550m, the lowest is 1,250m, and the difference is only 300m. The longest sliding distance is 2,550m, with the highest slope of 25°.
There are 6 high-speed cable cars, and there is a snow escalator.
For families or beginners, everyone can comfortably practice on the gentle and wide slopes. Advanced or advanced skiers will have access to the “harder” areas of the hilltop, including challenging ski packages, trial packs on raw, uncompressed snow, or the Lakewood ski package, where you can both ski and enjoy the view of Lake Tamahara.
Operating time: 26/11/2022 ~ 7/5/2023