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JAPAN

UNCOVER THE SKI & SNOWBOARD AWARD WINNERS IN THESE CATEGORIES

BEST FAMILY SKI RESORT

1Niseko United

Hokkaiko

At the top of our list for Japan again this year, Niseko United Ė located at Mount Niseko Annupuri and consisting of four linked resorts Ė continues to be celebrated as the powder capital of the world. With over 800 hectares of skiable terrain off ering unparalleled freeriding opportunities and world-class, English-language ski and snowboard schools for fi rsttimers, thereís something here for all ages and abilities.

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2Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU

Hokkaido

3Nozawa Onsen

Honshu

For family fun in the snow, itís hard to beat the unique atmosphere of Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU, especially if youíre looking for more than ski slopes for your holiday. Check out the Ice Village or Mina-Mina Beach indoor wave pool, go banana boating or try ice skating. Families can also choose an all-inclusive stay at the new Club Med Tomamu.

Just an hourís drive from Nagano City, Nozawa Onsen has been renowned for its hot springs and traditional inns since the early 17th century. More recently, however, itís known as one of Japanís most expansive and diverse winter sports areas. The whole family will love hitting the powder-laden slopes before indulging in a deep-soaking onsen in the evening.

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=4Rusutsu

Hokkaido

=4Appi Kogen

Honshu

=5Myoko Kogen

Honshu

The three mountains of this family-friendly resort - West, East and Isola - receive an annual snowfall of up to 14 metres with a variety of long, tree-lined runs to suit experienced powder hounds as well as those just getting their ski legs. The lack of steep pitches and drop-offs make it an ideal place for learning to ski or snowboard, and everyone will love blasting through the vast quantities of dry powder.

A compact base area, first-class facilities and variety of easily accessible terrain make Appi Kogen a fantastic choice for families on ski-cation in Japan. Thereís a range of beginner and intermediate slopes and plenty to keep the kids busy off the slopes, so families are guaranteed to ďBe Happy in Appi.Ē

One of Japanís oldest ski areas, Myoko Kogen has had plenty of time to perfect the art of family-based ski travel. Made up of three separate resorts - Myoko Akakura, Myoko Suginohara and Ikenotaira Onsen - there is something here for everyone, but itís perhaps best suited to intermediate and advanced skiers with its long vertical runs and off-piste riding.

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=5Sahoro (Club Med Sahoro)

Hokkaido

=5Kiroro

Hokkaido

Families will notice a pleasant change of pace at Sahoro Ski Resort, renowned for sunny days, quiet slopes and plentiful powder-laden terrain. Donít want to spent every day on the slopes? Try something different like ice fishing or snowshoeing!

Kiroro might not draw the bigger crowds of some of the higher-profile Hokkaido ski resorts, but this is hardly a bad thing for discerning families in search of the best ski-ready powder (the average snowfall is 21 metres). The historic port town of Otaru is only 30 minutes away by car and makes for an excellent day trip when your crew needs a day off the slopes.

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READERS' CHOICE

1Niseko United

Hokkaido

Our well-travelled, ski-savvy readers have nominated Niseko United, Hokkaido as their top choice, and itís easy to see why. Itís rare to see a day without snow at this world-famous resort, resulting in a constant covering of deep, light, dry powder across the vast and varied terrain. Itís also home to some of the best English-language programs in the country for those wishing to learn or hone their ski skills.

2Hakuba

Honshu

=3Nozawa Onsen

Honshu

=3Rusutsu

Hokkaido

=4Myoko Kogen

Honshu

=4Fujiten Snow Resort

Honshu

=4Shiga Kogen

Honshu

=4Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU

Hokkaido

  
EXPERT PICKS

Best for beginners

1Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU

Hokkaido

Tomamu is nothing if not beginner-friendly with its plentiful and easily accessed beginner slopes, gentle runs and regular English-language group lessons for kids and adults.

=2Sahoro (Club Med Sahoro)

Hokkaido

=2Niseko United

Hokkaido

3Appi Kogen

Honshu

 

Best for advanced families

1Rusutsu

Hokkaido

Itís quality and quantity when it comes to snowfall in Rusutsu. Families of powderhounds will salivate at the endless opportunities for off-piste and tree skiing, with high-quality lift infrastructure meaning less time getting to the top and more time carving up that powder.

=2Kiroro

Hokkaido

=2Myoko Kogen

Honshu

3 Hakuba (Cortina)

Honshu

 

Best for all-round family activities

1Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU

Hokkaido

Thereís plenty of off-slope fun to be had at Tomamu. Whether your crew is up for exploring the magical Ice Village, getting tubed at Mina-Mina Beach indoor wave pool, trying banana boating or heading to the ice skating rink, non-skiers will be delighted by Tomamuís offerings.

2Appi Kogen

Honshu

3Niseko United

Hokkaido

Best village

1Nozawa Onsen

Honshu

Long before it was know as a skiing destination, travellers made their way to Nozawa Onsen for its famous hot springs and traditional inns which date back to the Edo period. This traditional Japanese charm is retained today in deep soaking onsens and traditional ryokans, which continue to delight travellers from the world over.

2Hirafu

Hokkaido

3Hakuba

Honshu

Best freestyle resort

1Niseko United

Hokkaido

The sheer size of Niseko's ski terrain mean that while there are a multitude of groomed runs, there is also a vast snowscape of ungroomed terrain park areas for freestyle skiers to go crazy on, over, around and through. The knee-deep powder just makes it all the more exciting.

=2Ishiuchi Maruyama

Hokkaido

=2Appi Kogen

Honshu

3 Hakuba (Cortina)

Honshu



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