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When do Hokkaido ski resorts open for winter 2022/2023?

Asahidake

Updated 24 June 2022

Winter is just around the corner and it feels like summer and autumn have gone by faster than usual. Nevertheless we have been busy preparing for another japow-like winter season here in our base ski resort of Niseko United. We are happy to report that none of our staff or any of our guests contracted Covid-19 last winter. With Japan’s borders now opening up to tourists, we are looking forward to seeing all guests – old and new – this coming winter season 2022/2023. Below is an update on the Hokkaido ski resorts opening dates. Our team is based in Niseko but can travel out to other resorts as well. So here is a list of our favourite resorts for you.

Hokkaido Winter Season 2022/2023

Niseko Village Resort in Niseko United
Niseko Village is one of the four resorts of Niseko United that will operate this season (Photo: Niseko Village)

Niseko United

Grand Hirafu

Opening date: 2nd December 2022

Closing date: 2nd April 2023* (operation from April 3 TBD)

Operating hours: TBA

No new lifts or any other improvements have been announced by the resort. We are looking forward to having all the lifts running after 2 seasons of partial lift operations.

Hanazono

Opening date:  2nd December 2022

Closing date: 2nApril 2023

Operating hours: TBA

Inbound guests will be able to experience new lifts at Hanazono resort. There is the new 6-seater hooded and heated seat chair lift (We are very excited about that – more time skiing less time sitting!). The second lift will be an 8-seater gondola that will service the beginner run and short top red run, as well as night skiing which will be very welcome for those staying at Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono hotel. See more on the resort map below.

Hanazono resort with the updated chairlifts (Photo: Hanazono Resort)

Niseko Annupuri

Opening date: 2nd December 2022

Closing date: 2nd April 2023* (operation from April 3 TBD)

Operating hours: TBA

No new additions announced in Annupuri for this winter at this stage.

Niseko Village

Opening date: 2rd December 2022

Closing date: 2rd April 2023

Operating hours: TBA

Niseko Village has not announced any new additions for this winter season. We expect the gondola to operate as usual with limited capacity and night skiing to be available for beginner courses.

Moiwa

Opening date: TBA

Closing date: TBA

Operating hours: TBA

There is no night skiing available in this small ski jo. Keep in mind that this ski hill is not part of the Niseko United common ski pass. It is popular for powder skiers as the skiing out of the gates offer some nice and fun terrain. Local ski clubs also train here but in general, the resort is very quiet.

Rusutsu

Opening date: 26 November 2022

Closing date: 1 April 2023

Operating hours: TBA

Rusutsu is just a 45 min drive from Niseko and is the largest ski area and resort in Hokkaido. It is our favourite for many reasons but in particular, the long ski runs and hooded chair lifts.

The resort has introduced a hands-free lift ticket machine pick up service. Simply buy a pass online and pick it up at the machine in the resort. You can always upload more days to the pass that you hold in your pocket. It is simple to use and similar to the Niseko United lift pass system. Some lifts and runs will be closed due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sapporo Kokusai

Opening date: 18th November 2022

Closing date: 7th May 2023

Early season hours (18-30 Nov 2022): 9:00-15:20

Regular season hours (1 Dec-31 Mar): 9:00-17:00 (8:30 on weekends and national holidays)

Spring season hours (1 Apr-7 May): 9am-16:30

This ski resort is the first in Hokkaido to open and its proximity to Sapporo city makes it very popular with locals. From Niseko it takes more than an hour drive but with local tourist attractions to see along the way, it’s worth the long day trip. The resort has rebuilt their fairytale bell at the base of the ski resort. The rest of the resort has no changes.

Hokkaido ski resort Sapporo Kokusai Trail map
Sapporo Kokusai will open on 18 November 2022 (Photo: Sapporo Kokusai)

Kiroro Snow World

Opening date: 3rd December 2022

Closing date: 7th May 2023

Operating hours: TBA

One of the snowiest resorts in the area is scheduled to open as early as Niseko. This is a small resort and popular with weekend skiers from Otaru and Sapporo. It is a good hour drive from Niseko and offers great powder terrain and backcountry possibilities. There are no new developments to report.

Nakayama Toge

Opening date: TBA

Closing date: TBA

Operating hours: TBA

This small ski slope, on the way to Sapporo city from Niseko via the Nakayama mountain pass, is normally one of the first to open in the Niseko region. However, due to the lack of precipitation and warm temperatures, the resort has postponed the opening date. Keep in mind that this resort is closed during the winter season and will reopen for spring season. It is popular with the locals and snow park users. If you are planning to ski some spring slush, we would be more than happy to take you to the ski slope and teach you new tricks.

Sapporo Teine

Opening date: TBD

Closing date: TBD

Operating hours: TBD

This Olympic resort overlooks the city of Sapporo. The resort has two major zones; one is more suited for beginners while the other for more advanced levels, giving the opportunity to explore some sweet and steep sidecountry terrain. Sapporo Teine also has the BURTON Step On ® rental program as the first resort in Hokkaido. There are no new updates to the ski lift infrastructure.

Sapporo Teine Resort Map (Photo: Sapporo Teine)

Furano

Opening and Closing dates: 

Furano Zone: TBA
Kitanomine Zone: TBA

Operating hours: TBA

This family friendly ski resort has two zones – Furano and Kitanomine. The Furano zone is where the New Prince hotel is situated as well as the Furano ropeway. Night skiing is available on both sides of the mountain but they are not connected during the night operation. The infrastructure is not getting any updates but there are plenty of activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Our instructors are also based in Furano so get in touch with us if you would like to book lessons with our team.

Tomamu

Opening dates: TBD

Closing dates: TBD

Operating hours: TBD

Tomamu is a popular small ski resort with Hoshino hotels on one side and Club Med resort on the other. Night skiing is available and families with kids can enjoy the largest indoor pool in Hokkaido. The runs are fun and also get a lot of powder during the January and February months. There are no new developments except for some new restaurants in the Hoshino side.

Please enquire for lessons from our small team of instructors based in the Tomamu ski resort.

Asahidake Ropeway

Opening dates: TBD

Closing dates: TBD

Operating hours: TBD

This high alpine Hokkaido ropeway takes skiers up the Asahidake mountain and offers plenty of opportunities for backcountry tours. The small groomed ski runs service the bottom area where you can enjoy some nice tree skiing as well. The weather can be harsh here and many hazards in the area so we recommend hiring a mountain guide when skiing Asahidake.

 

Daisetsuzan Sounkyo Ropeway

Mount Kurodake is one of the many popular backcountry touring spots in the Daisetsuzan mountain range

Opening dates: TBD

Closing dates: TBD

Operating hours: TBD

This is a high alpine ski resort serviced by a ropeway and a double chair ski lift where one can ski on the short groomed run. It is normally one of the first ski resorts in Hokkaido to open, but has been postponed due to lack of snow. There are great multiple day backcountry opportunities in the area. For a unique experience, hire one of our UIAMG qualified mountain guides to guide you through the highest mountain range in Hokkaido.

Let the Hokkaido Winter 2022/2023 Season begin

Japan is gradually allowing International travellers to the country. We will continue to provide updates on the Hokkaido resorts as new information is released. We are extremely excited to welcome back everyone for the Hokkaido winter season 2022/2023. Our team are here to serve you better so feel free to get in touch with us at any time with any questions. 

We look forward to seeing you on the mountain. 

To book a private ski or snowboard lesson, mountain safari tour, or for more information about the resorts listed above, please send your enquiry to [email protected].

Miha Grilj

Miha Grilj

Miha is the Co-Founder and CEO of Hokkaido Ski Club. He loves teaching and sharing his knowledge and passion for skiing and nature.
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