Things to Do: Hokkaido – Day Trips to Ski Areas Under $100

The Hokkaido branch of JR is offering cheap one-day trips for skiing, snowboarding and hot springs in Japan's northern winter wonderland. For about $75 you can get an inclusive trip of train pass, one-day lift pass, and ski/board rental for some of the world's best snow.

Ice_hotel-in-hokkaido-island-of-japan-05Or for as little as $85 you can get a day at an outdoor hot springs, in the snow, with a buffet lunch.

Some trips also involve a bus trip to the particular destination, but that's also included in the price.

Your options include:

Skiing
Niseko Hirafu with view of Mt. Yotei: 6,200 yen
(special note: we just covered Niseko!)
Sahoro with view of Tokachi plain: 10,300 yen
Tomamu with 16 courses: 9,100 yen
Furano with courses for all levels: 5,750 yen
Teine, just 40 minutes from Sapporo: 5,850 yen

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Skiing in Japan: The best ski areas in Hokkaido

It's looking like an amazing ski season is underway in Hokkaido. Niseko, an area in northwest Japan 500 miles away from Fukushima, is having great snowfall and is doing good business with Asian tourists. 

Suite_Livingroom_2Japan's snow is legendary. Even regular slopes are comparable to the best untouched wilderness in North America. Last year, the ski season went all the way to mid-May. This season, December's fresh snowfall was the best it's been since 1964. 

What's better, even during crowded holiday periods there are no waits for lifts and resorts keep their Japanese roots despite a constant influx of tourists from major Asian cities like Hong Kong and Singapore.

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