Seasons change, but our wanderlust remains. And this coming winter, instead of escaping the cold by jetting off to a tropical paradise somewhere along the equator, why not head North – specifically to Hokkaido, Japan.
Hokkaido is one of the main islands of Japan known primarily for two things: the beer in Sapporo, and the ski resorts everywhere else. The powder snow that falls from the heavens once December rolls around is one of the best in the world, and thanks to the dry winds that blow down from Siberia, the snowfall in the region is constant.
According to experts (or just frequent travellers who love skiing), the best time to go to Hokkaido is in January, where it can average almost 24 days of snow during the month in the most popular ski area, Niseko. The only caveat to this? Everyone who has been planning a trip to Hokkaido also knows that it is the best season to visit the ski slopes. You can thank us later when you find out you got the last room of the resort you picked out.
Still need further persuasion? Hokkaido played host to the athletes competing in the 1972 Winter Olympics and the 2017 Asian Winter Games, and the numerous family-friendly resorts scattered around the island all boast coveted views of the mountains and ski trails.
Here, we rounded up the six best ski resorts in Hokkaido, should you be planning a trip with your partner or family. Be it a boutique resort or a upscale chain, there’s bound to be one that fits your needs. And if you’ve already booked your dates, check out our list of the best high-tech ski gear that will make your life easier on the slopes.