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1. NisekoMIKI Yoshihito/Flickr
When you’re talking about winter sports in Hokkaido, the first things that come to mind are definitely skiing and snowboarding. Niseko is known for having powder snow of such quality that it’s internationally recognized for it, and it’s a holy land for ardent skiers and snowboarders. This is one place you can’t miss for winter sports.
HP: www.niseko.ne.jp/ja/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido (Google Map)
Kiroro Resort sits in Yoichi-gun. It also benefits from Hokkaido’s famous powder snow, and upon that snow skiiers and snowboarders can bask in Hokkaido’s incredible nature. This is another area that can’t be missed by ski and snowboarding enthusiasts.
HP: www.kiroro.co.jp/jp/summer/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 128-1 Tokiwa, Akaigawa-cho, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido (Google Map)
Rusutsu was chosen as one the number 1 ski resort in Hokkaido by Gelande. You can enjoy all sorts of winter sports on this single mountain, so it’s definitely a recommended spot.
HP: rusutsu.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Rusutsu, Rusutsu-mura, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido (Google Map)
4. Sapporo SatolandMIKI Yoshihito/Flickr
Sapporo Satoland is a place where you can enjoy winter sports inside the city limits of Sapporo. Satoland’s large grounds becomes a winter wonderland in which you can take a banana boat, enjoy cross-country skiing, slide down slopes in a tube, and other sports to tickle your fancy.
HP: www.welcome.city.sapporo.jp/find/recreational/satoland/?lang=ja (Japanese Only)
Address: 584-2 Okadama-cho, Higashi-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido ２ (Google Map)
5. Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park Snow WorldMIKI Yoshihito/Flickr
Around the same time when the Christmas season starts, Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park’s Snow World opens. They utilize the large groups for activities such as cross-country skiing and a 200 meter tube slide.
Address: 247 Takino, Minami-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
6. Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observatoryaquafisch/Flickr
Hitsujigaoka is where a statue of William S. Clark, a professor who helped Hokkaido’s economic development by establishing an agricultural college there, stands. His parting words to the students of Hokkaido were “boys, be ambitious,” and it is a phrase that has resounded throughout Japan. In winter, this observatory hill becomes a snowscape upon which you can enjoy tube-sliding, cross-country skiing, and making snowmen. It’s perfect for beginners to winter sports.
HP: www.hitsujigaoka.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1 Hitsujigaoka, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
7. Moerenuma Park
Moerenuma Park is both an art museum and a park. In the winter it becomes blanketed in white, and the art pieces are transformed thanks to the snow. On these wide grounds, you can cross-country ski and take a sleigh ride.
HP: www.welcome.city.sapporo.jp/find/nature-and-parks/moerenuma_park/?lang=ja (Japanese Only)
Address: 1-1 Moerenuma-koen, Higashi-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
8. Maeda Shinrin Park
Maeda Shinrin Park is inside the Sapporo city limits. You can try out all kinds of winter sports there in the winter, and it’s perfect for families. There are certain things you can only do here, such as snow rafting and snow mini-golf, so you should check it out.
HP: www.sapporo-park.or.jp/maedashinrin/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 591-4 Teinemaeda, Teine-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
9. Hokkaido Kaitaku no Mori
Hokkaido Kaitaku no Mura was established in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Hokkaido’s cultivation (“kaitaku”). Here you can try traditional sleigh rides, old-fashioned skiing, and walking across fresh snow in snowshoes.
HP: www.kaitaku.or.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 50-1 Konopporo, Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
10. Sapporo Snow Festival
The Sapporo Snow Festival is Hokkaido’s biggest and most known festival. Despite its image, however, this festival isn’t just snow sculptures, but there are also various winter enjoyments as well. You can experience sliding down a slide made of ice as well skiing on bamboo skis here.
HP: www.snowfes.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Odorinishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
11. Sapporo Art Park
Sapporo Art Park is located in the southern part of Sapporo. In the winter the art pieces get blanketed with snow, transforming them into seasonal art pieces. You can walk around in snowshoes, making this an ideal place to enjoy the Hokkaido winter.
HP: www.welcome.city.sapporo.jp/find/art/sapporo_art_park/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 2-75 Geijutsu-no-mori, Minami-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
12. Nakajima ParkMIKI Yoshihito/Flickr
Nakajima Park is south of Susuki Station. It’s very easy to access from the city, so you can reach a place where you can cross-country ski easily just by taking the subway. You can rent skis there as well so you can go without making any prior preparations.
HP: www.sapporo-park.or.jp/nakajima/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1-4 Nakajima-koen, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
13. Sapporo Bankei Ski Area
Bankei Ski Area is right inside the Sapporo city limit. It’s very easy to reach from the center of the city as it’s only 15 minutes by car. There are various structures like a kicker and a half-pipe for experienced skiers. Of course, there are also many courses available for beginners as well.
HP: www.bankei.co.jp/ski/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 410-1 Bankei, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
14. The North Snowland Chitose
The North Snowland is located in Chitose, where the entrance to Hokkaido’s sky, Shin-Chitose Airport, is also located. You can enjoy many activities here including snow rafting and riding mini-snowmobiles. How about stopping here and having some fun before taking your flight home?
HP: www.welcome-to-chitose.jp/category/detail.php?item=35 (Japanese Only)
Address: 26 Rankoshi, Chitose-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
15. Ekorin Village
Ekorin Village is located in Eniwa, a town between Sapporo and Shin-Chitose. In the winter there are many thrilling activities such as riding snowmobiles and being pulled on a banana boat. You should definitely experience Hokkaido snow here!
HP: www.ecorinvillage.com/index.html (Japanese Only)
Address: Makiba, Eniwa-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
16. Sapporo Kokusai Ski Area
Sapporo Kokusai Ski Area is about an hour away from Sapporo by car. Around Sapporo, the snow quality is known to be excellent so it’s a beloved area by skiers and snowboarders. You can take a bus from Sapporo so it isn’t hard to get to. It’s an area you should visit at least once.
HP: www.sapporo-kokusai.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 937 Jouzankei, Minami-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
17. Kamui Ski Links
Kamui Ski Links is about 30 minutes from Asahikawa and is Hokkaido’s biggest ski area. You can enjoy a long cruise on the gondola that runs on a track that’s over 2km long. This is definitely recommended for ardent skiers and snowboarders.
HP: www.kamui-skilinks.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 112 Kamui-cho, Nishi-oka, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido(Google Map)
18. Sapporo Teine Ski Area
Sapporo Teine Ski Area is easily accessible from Sapporo. From here you have an unbroken view of the city of Hirano, and skiing down the forested slopes is exhilarating. This is one of Hokkaido’s most recommended ski areas.
HP: www.sapporo-teine.com/snow/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 593 Teinehon-cho, Teine-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
19. Otaru Tengu Ski Area
Tengu Ski Area is inside the Otaru city limits. You can gaze over Ishikari Bay and the city, giving it a beautiful view. The course popular with locals is called the “Wall of Tengu” due to its steep slope. If you’re in the area for sightseeing, why not stop by?
HP: www.n43.net/ski/otaru-tengu/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 2-16-15 Mogami, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)
20. Furano Ski Resort
Furano Ski Resort has two very different ski slopes that give the area diverse atmospheres. The forested course that has a vista of faraway snow-capped mountains is very popular. How about enjoying winter sports while basking in Hokkaido’s verdant nature?
HP: www.princehotels.co.jp/ski/furano/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Nakagoryo, Furano-shi, Hokkaido (Google Map)