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   The Hokkaido 2023-2024 Season has ended!   

   All resorts have closed

See you again for more powder fun next season! 



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Japan is OPEN to tourists!

Since October 11th, 2022 individual tourism has resumed, with no more need for pre-departure tourist visas or Japan travel agent package tours.

For up-to-date information on Japan’s border controls, entry conditions and restrictions, please visit our News Section.


01 April 2024: As we enter into spring, resorts are slowly closing down after what has been another superb season!  March 2024 has been an excellent month for spring powder skiing in Hokkaido, one of the best Marches in many years!  And this is after the usual January and February powder craziness!!  We hope to see you all again next season – thanks for all the great memories!!

23rd December 2023: This last week has seen some superb consistent snowfall, with 1.5m+ of snow falling in some Hokkaido resorts!  The HSM (Hokkaido Snow Machine) is once again delivering the silky light fluffy goods!

15th December 2023: All of the major resorts in Hokkaido are now open for business!  Cold temperatures are hopefully here to stay all winter now, and with big snowfall expected this weekend the season is well and truly underway!

5th December 2023: Warmer temps have arrived into the region, putting a temporary halt to winter (the usual frustrating early season weather cycles…)  The Siberian winds should start blowing again soon, bringing back the powdery goods that we all want!

30th November 2023: More huge snowfalls across most Hokkaido resorts (some reporting 60cms)!  Sapporo Kokusai and Rusutsu among those opening their lifts, and more to follow in next couple of days.  Powder powder powder!  

27th November 2023: The Hokkaido season has officially kicked off!  After the snowfall of the last few days, Furano Resort has opened its upper slopes.  More resorts expected to open over the next few days!

21st November 2023: A little bit more patience required before the snow fun begins!  Expect to see some decent snowfall across Hokkaido in the next few days…  We can’t wait to get back in the powder!!

11th November 2023: First snow of the season down at Skilas Japan base!  Plenty more up top – the resorts are already looking very wintery!

Snow is falling in Hokkaido! November 2023
Snow is falling in Hokkaido! 11 November 2023


3rd November 2023: Preparations are underway for the upcoming ski season in Hokkaido! Just a couple more weeks to go!

Past Updates (Season 2022-2023)

12th December 2022: We woke up today to 20cms of beautiful fluffy fresh snow in Sapporo City!  A big storm is due to hit Hokkaido from Tuesday 13th night… Game on!


9th December 2022: It’s been an incredible first week in December with over 2 metres of snowfall in some resorts.  Some superbly deep early season powder treats!

1st December 2022: December has started with BIG snowfall!  20-50cms across Hokkaido resorts, with snow forecast for the whole of the next week.  Ski resorts opening from tomorrow (2nd December).  Woohoooooo!!

26th November 2022: Still need a little more patience… The resorts are yet to open due to lack of snow, but we are expecting HUGE snowfall from Wednesday 30th November! The mountains will quickly change into the winter wonderland we love so much and we can’t wait!

16th November 2022: It’s definitely getting wintry here in Hokkaido! Temps are dropping nicely, snow is falling in upper elevations and resorts are opening soon!

Sapporo Kokusai, 16th November 2022

28th October 2022: The autumn leaves are beautiful in Sapporo! They are a wonderful sign that winter is just around the corner… Some ski resorts are due to open in 3 short weeks!

5th October 2022: First snow of the season in Hokkaido! Asahidake has a beautiful white blanket on its upper reaches. Not long until the ski fun begins…

20th September 2022: Snowy news from the JMA! The Japan Meteorological Agency is forecasting above-average snowfall for all ski areas of Japan this winter. It’s going to be a big season!


Season 2021-2022 Roundup 8th May 2022: And that’s a wrap! The end of the season has finally arrived as the last of the Hokkaido resorts closed last weekend. However there is still plenty of snow up in the mountains if you feel like earning your turns! Next season is looking very exciting as Japan is set to open its borders to tourists from next month! See you all in JAPOW next season!

28th April 2022: Last week for most resorts! The spring skiing has been fun, with wonderful weather and still plenty of snow around. Sadly Hokkaido resorts will be closing at the end of the Golden Week holidays next week. It’s your last chance to enjoy the snow!

31st March 2022: Still plenty of spring snow around (and the odd bit of snowfall too!), with over 4 metres of base in some resorts.  This weekend sees a few resorts closing for the season already (seems a bit too early for the likes of Rusutsu, Kamui, Niseko…) while others will remain open until May. And the wonderful Hokkaido backcountry will be enjoyed by some right through to June!

15th March 2022: A great spring storm has hit Hokkaido, bringing some fresh snow to all resorts. Great conditions for the next few days!  With a mega deep base and more snow on the cast, we are looking good for skiing right through May!

25th February 2022: Another 2m of fresh pow pow has blanketed our mountains over the past week. More superb conditions for this truly epic season!

9th February 2022: After an astonishing 59 days of consecutive snowfall days in Hokkaido, the snowy streak finally comes to an end.  An epic 14m+ of powder has blanketed our winter wonderland so far this season, and after a brief lull this week the Hokkaido Snow Machine will crank up again to deliver a deeeep second half of February!

19th December: Superb conditions across Hokkaido!  After a week of snow, bringing around 1.5m of powder, all resorts are reporting great powder conditions both on and off the pistes.  As the snow base grows, and more continuous snowfall is forecast for the next 10 days, Japow is going big!

3rd December: A week of great powder skiing (1m+ of snow fell this week) interspersed with warmer conditions and some rain.  Typical early season weather!  The snow base is slowly building up, with another storm set to hit Hokkaido this weekend.

26th November: Sapporo Kokusai opens today after massive snowfalls over the last 2 days. Over 80cms already!!  Game. On.

10th November 2021: Japan Travel bubbles being discussed!  Although no tourists are currently allowed into Japan, there is hope that some may yet still be able to enjoy Japow this season.  Reasons to be optimistic:
– Japan has allowed foreign businesspeople and students to enter Japan since 8th November with shortened quarantine (under certain conditions and in limited numbers)
– Australia and Taiwan are among a few countries discussing opening travel corridors with Japan by the end of the year.
Watch this space for updates!

18th October 2021: Snow down to many of Hokkaido’s resort bases! With over a month to go before the official ski season opening date, the white blankets covering the autumn leaves are both beautiful and exciting to see!

Kiroro’s hatsuyuki (first snow), 18th October 2021

6th October 2021: First snow in Hokkaido! This season’s first snow has arrived, with Asahidake receiving a beautiful blanket of snow overnight.  The temperatures are dropping nicely, with further snow expected next week. Winter is on its way!

2020-2021 Season Roundup: An absolute epic season is coming to an end!  Snow-wise this has been the best season for a number of years, with consistently exceptional powder conditions from mid-December right through to the beginning of March .  Sadly foreign visitors were not allowed into Japan this year due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.  The resorts were super quiet with only the locals being able to enjoy the superb deep powder on offer.  Hopefully Japan and World travel will open up in time for the 2021-2022 ski season!

18 November 2020: The ski season has officially started in Hokkaido! First lifts spinning in Kurodake with more resorts due to open this weekend. Bring on the deep powder..

10 November 2020: 47cms reported in Rusutsu overnight! That is a crazy early November dump!!

03 November 2020: Snowing at the base of Kiroro Resort! 16 days to go…

15 October 2020: First sprinkling of snow on the upper slopes of Kiroro Resort!  Beautiful autumn colours with winter just around the corner!

Kiroro 15 Oct 2020

01 October 2020: The Skilas Japan Autumn 2020 Newsletter is out now!  Find out the latest Japan travel and ski information here.

The 2019-2020 Ski season is over.  Stay safe and healthy everyone, and see you all next season!

02 March 2020: More snow on the way this week with yet another snowstorm expected on Wednesday!  Conditions are excellent on and off piste with a top snow base of 3m+ in many Hokkaido resorts.

25 December 2019: Merry Christmas to you all!  Plenty of great powder around the resorts at the moment, so enjoy your turns and your faceshots!  With a Siberian snowstorm on approach and due to hit Hokkaido on New Year’s Eve, we are getting ready to start 2020 with a powder feast!

25 November 2019: Many resorts have opened in Hokkaido!  Early season temperatures are still fluctuating, but there are some great conditions up top!

Sapporo Kokusai, 25 November 2019

16 November 2019: The snow continues to fall – very wintry conditions in Hokkaido!  Here is a photo of The Skilas Kiroro Lodge receiving its first snow of the year:

15 November 2019: With a week to go before the 2019-2020 Japan Ski Season Opening Day, Hokkaido resorts are recording healthy drops!  Sapporo Kokusai has just reported 40cms of fresh:

14 November 2019: IT’S SNOWING!!! Heavy snow is forecast over the next few days, with over 2 metres forecast in some parts of Hokkaido!  Just in time for the start of the season!!

10 October 2019: Check out Asahidake with its already snow-covered peak!  A big dump expected this weekend – the snow base is building nicely in October!

Asahidake Webcam
Asahidake, 10 October 2019

16 September 2019: First snow in Hokkaido is forecast for Thursday!  Winter is not far away!!

26 August 2019: We are accepting bookings for The Skilas Kiroro – our new ski lodge!  Ideally located just 10 minutes from Kiroro Ski Resort – the snowiest resort in Hokkaido perfect for powder thrill seekers and beginners alike – it is a great place for groups and families to enjoy a snowy holiday.  A stay in The Skilas Kiroro includes fully guided tours (for skiers and non-skiers), return airport transportation and many other services.  Places are limited – BOOK NOW!

17 May 2019: ***BREAKING NEWS*** Skilas Japan’s Kiroro Ski Lodge will open for the 2019-2020 ski season!  Enjoy a true Japanese mountain experience in our new 4-bedroom lodge!  Each bedroom will have its own private bath room, with guests sharing large communal living space with TV/sofas.  The advantages for staying in this lodge include shorter transfer times to ski resorts, a more sociable environment compared to hotel accommodation and a relaxing stay in a mountain setting.  More details coming soon!

12 April 2019: As another epic ski season comes to a close, the whole team at Skilas Japan would like to thank everyone for all the special moments out in Hokkaido’s magical snowy mountains.  Roll on next season!  In the meantime, please check out the 2018-2019 Season video or why not book your next Japow ski trip early and save $s with our Early Bird Prices!

15 December 2018: Another great week of snowfall!  Plenty of happy faces in resorts across Hokkaido.  And when the sun finally comes out it makes the whole scene even more spectacular!

Powder Bluebird ski day in Teine, Sapporo

08 December 2018: Oh yes!!  2 days of continuous snowfall has brought around 80 cms of fresh snow in Hokkaido resorts.  With more snow to come overnight, needless to say powder skiing conditions are superb!

Deep snow in Sapporo Kokusai

05 December 2018: Fluctuating temperatures are causing a lot of frustration for snow seekers…  But fear not: from tonight, we are expecting up to 1 metre of snow to fall until the end of the week!  Bring it on!!

01 December 2018: Plenty of snow around in Hokkaido resorts after 3 solid snowfall days!  The season is really underway now – enjoy the moutains and stay safe!

27 November 2018: Mild temperatures have temporarily put winter on hold…  However temperatures are due to drop tonight with significant snowfall expected this week!

25 November 2018: Plenty of happy faces with all this snow around!  30-40cms of fresh snow has fallen in some places in the last 2 days!

Skilas in Rusutsu

23 November 2018: Fresh snow across Hokkaido resorts!  Fresh snowfall / Snow base (upper mountain figures)

Teine  25cms / 70cms      Kokusai 15cms / 80cms      Niseko 35cms / 80cms      Rusutsu 23cms / 38cms     Kiroro 20cms / 45cms   Furano  25cms / ?cms

23 November 2018: Great to see significant snowfall in Sapporo City!

22 November 2018: The season is underway at Sapporo Kokusai! 10cms of fresh powder to start!

21 November 2018: The snow has arrived to Sapporo City!  We can officially launch the Hokkaido Ski Season today!

20 November 2018: Fresh snow in resorts!  Here is Sapporo Kokusai today:

Sapporo Kokusai 20 November 2018

19 November 2018: We are still waiting for our first significant snowfall of the season; the forecast is looking good with 1 metre of fresh snow due this week!

15 November 2018: It is snowing right now in Hokkaido!

First snow in Sapporo!

13 November 2018:  The JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency) are forecasting an ‘average’ amount of snowfall in Hokkaido this winter.  This means a ‘mere’ 15-20m of powdery goods are heading to our beloved ski resorts again this season!  Woohoo!!

11 November 2018: Significant snowfall expected this coming week; right on time for season opening day!  Are you ready for Hokkaido’s Winter Wonderland?

02 November 2018: It’s always exciting to see the first snow in the hills around Sapporo!

First snow in Sapporo hills

31 October 2018: Snow in all the Hokkaido mountains last night – winter is here!!

30 October 2018: Introducing our Special Multi-Based February Ski Tour!  Combining the very best skiing in Central and Western Hokkaido (Asahidake & Furano, Rusutsu & Kiroro) with a stay in a hot spring town (Jozankei) and one of Japan’s most famous festivals: The Sapporo Snow Festival!

Dates: 02-11 February 2019 (10 days/9 nights), including 7 fully guided ski days, all accommodation (4 nights Asahikawa, 3 nights Jozankei, 2 nights Sapporo), return airport transfers, all ground transportation and much more.  Places very limited!  Visit for more information.

29 October 2018: Just 3 days until the end of October…  Still time to grab your October bargain: 10% off our tours for groups of 4+!  Offer ends 31st October.

24 October 2018: We are getting so excited that we just had to check out the early snow in Central Hokkaido today!  Winter is coming!!

16 October 2018: With just one month to go to the start of the ski season, snow has arrived in Hokkaido!  This is the stunning Asahidake with its first proper snow coating of the autumn!


10 October 2018: Introducing our special “Arrive Any Day” Japan ski tours!  Just book you flight to Sapporo on your selected day and enjoy a fully hosted & guided powder ski tour!  More details on our 2018-2019 Specials page.

03 October 2018: Autumn has definitely arrived here in Hokkaido!  The beautiful fall colours (seen here on Mt. Kurodake) will later this month be giving way to wonderful snowy landscapes.  Bring on the winter fun!

17 September 2018: Just two weeks left to grab your Early Bird Discount for a Beginner Ski Lesson!  Book any day in the season by 30th September and get ¥2,000 off per person!  Visit our Beginner Ski Day page for more info!

10 September 2018: Discover the Hokkaido Powder Faceshot this winter!  Skiing’s ultimate sensation!

03 September 2018: Only 2 months to go until the snow starts falling in Japan! We are getting excited here in Sapporo – already dreaming of those amazing powder runs… Still some places left on our tours so do come join us!

28 August 2018: Early bird offers ending soon!  This is your last change to grab one of our special offers.  You have until 31 August 2018 to book one of our guided Japan ski trips and save ¥20,000!  Visit the Silky Powder Adventure page now to find out more!

17 August 2018: First snow in Hokkaido – earliest snowfall since records began!  Kurodake had its earliest snowfall ever on 16th August 2018.  Surely this is a great sign for this coming winter season!!

May 2018: Prices for our 2018-2019 Fully Guided & Hosted Japan Ski Tours have been released!  Book before 31 August 2018 and save ¥ 20,000 per person!  Please visit the Silky Powder Adventure page for more information.

Season Updates

12 April: Well what a classic season it has been!  Many many incredible deep powder days and amazing memories for all who took part in this epic Japan winter.  Thanks to all of you who joined in the fun!  We will still be doing some great ski touring through to mid-May, but that’s just about it for the powder this year.  See you all next season for some more Japow craziness!

16 March: Spring is definitely on its way now, but today was a classic March powder beauty with unlimited fresh tracks to be had!  There are certainly a few powder days left in this season yet!!

06 March: It really was an absolutely incredible Japow February which will live long in our memories!  March has started with a big storm bringing high winds and warm temperatures, but with colder Siberian wind coming in we are looking forward to more fluffy goods in the next few days!

19 February: Absolutely insane ski days here in Hokkaido!  It hasn’t stopped snowing since 9 February, bringing around 4 metres (12 feet) of fresh powder.  And the forecast still has plenty of snow for the next few weeks… It’s deep, it’s fluffy, it’s incredible Japow!

08 February: Big snow storm is due to hit the region on 10th February, and snow set to stay with us all of next week.  After a slow start, February looks rather tasty!

17 January: The snow keeps on coming in Hokkaido!  Another couple of snowstorms are due to hit on Friday and Tuesday with major dumps expected.  Grab your fattest boards and get ready for some epic deep turns!

05 January: Daily top-ups are ensuring the ski conditions remain excellent, especially in Western Hokkaido.  No big dumps this week, but the powder is fluffy and plentiful so enjoy your turns!  The weekly forecast is for continuous snow with the largest drop on Saturday night.

23 December: The incredible powder snow conditions continue across Hokkaido!  Snow has fallen every day and the powder has been very very deep.  The resort pistes are in amazing condition, and the off-piste / side country is superb.  After perhaps a lull in the snowfall this weekend, the HSM (Hokkaido Snow Machine) will be dumping hard again from Monday!

12 December: After a week of fantastic deep powder conditions across Hokkaido resorts, the forecast is for more continuous snowfall for the next few days. Yesterday’s warmer temperatures have been replaced by freezing Siberian wind; the perfect ingredient for fluffy powder snow!

04-December: Best start to the Hokkaido ski season in over 10 years!  Resorts reporting 2m+ snow base and powder snow!

  • Skilas’ Blog: The Silky Powder Road

    Top 5 Hokkaido Meals

    Top 5 Hokkaido Meals

    15 September 2017 2017-2018 Japan Ski Season Countdown Days to go: 62 Hokkaido’s Top 5 Mini Blog Series Today I continue my Hokkaido mini-blog series, and I present to you my favourite foods from this magical snowy kingdom.  Of course everyone knows about Japanese sushi; but the fact is that there are so many wonderful […]

    Top 5 Hokkaido Sidecountry Routes

    Top 5 Hokkaido Sidecountry Routes

    The first of Skilas’ mini-blog series to celebrate the upcoming 2017-2018 Japan Ski Season: Skilas’ Top 5 Hokkaido Sidecountry Routes.

    Japow 2016-2017: The Season Wrap

    Thursday 23rd March 2017 Well well well, I wasn’t expecting this!  Just as I had started putting my fat skis away and taken out my touring gear (no significant snowfall for a week and rising temperatures had clearly indicated that Spring was on its way) the HSM has decided to come back to life and […]

    2015-2016 Hokkaido Ski Season: Days 3-7 (Back in the swing of all things snow)

    The superb powder snow is back in Hokkaido!!  The start of the season also invariably brings its frustrating ups and downs: some absolutely amazing pow days mixed in with disappointing warm temperatures and wetto conditions – as the cold Siberian airmass fights with the remnants of the mild weather for control over the land of the falling snow.  But it won’t […]

    2015-2016 Hokkaido Ski Season: Days 0-2 (The beginning)

      Woohooooo!!!!!  It has started!!!  The eagerly anticipated ski season is upon us!!!  And this time Skilas is not doing things by halves; he has set up a registered ski tour company in Japan (Skilas Japan, and is continuing to live the dream in Sapporo, Hokkaido – the fantastic playground of the powder Gods.  Here […]

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