Southern Tohoku’s Largest Ski Slope and Best Hot Spring – Alts Bandai (Fukushima Prefecture)
Alts Bandai ski area sprawls across Mount Bandai in Fukushima Prefecture. As the largest ski resort in southern Tohoku, this famous winter destination offers a total of 29 runs, including a 2.8km (1.7-mile) course beginners can have fun on.
At the Hoshino Resort Bandaisan Onsen Hotel and ski resort, the hot spring interior draws its modern style from the striking colors of traditional Aizu lacquerware, famous in the region. The aroma of the Japanese cypress baths will transport your senses to a deep forest setting. As for cuisine, locally produced soba noodles and Aizu beef will greatly satisfy your palate.
Hoshino Resort Alts Bandai
[Address] 6838-68 Sarashina Shimizudaira, Bandai-machi, Fukushima Prefecture
[Overview] 29 runs. Equipment rental (English assistance available).
Ski Among Ice-encrusted Trees and Unwind in a Hot Spring with a View at Onikoube Resort (Miyagi Prefecture)
Resort Park Hotel Onikoube and the adjoining Onikoube Ski Resort are located in the popular Naruko-onsen-kyo Hot Spring Village. With eight different runs, these slopes are great for beginners to experts. The “Forest Road” run in particular features excellent snow conditions and stunning views. When the timing is right, the beech trees flanking the run are encrusted in sparkling snow and ice. From the hotel’s hot spring and sauna, you can take in views of the scenic Onikoube highlands and Mt. Kamuro.
Onikobe Ski Resort
[Address] 9-55 Komukaihara, Onikoube, Naruko Onsen, Oosaki City, Miyagi Prefecture
[Overview] 8 runs. Equipment rental (English assistance available).
Gaze at the Tsugaru Plain and Sea of Japan from the Slopes of Aomori Spring Ski Resort (Aomori Prefecture)
To get to the Aomori Spring Ski Resort in Aomori Prefecture’s hot spring town of Ajigasawa, take the bullet train to JR Shin-Aomori station and transfer to the Resort Shirakami train heading to Ajigasawa station. This ski resort is particularly popular for its panoramic view of the Tsugaru Plain, and beyond that the Sea of Japan, from its slopes. The tree-lined, 3.4km (2.1-mile) long run is a popular choice for novices to enjoy at their pace.
The ski resort’s accommodations – the Rockwood Hotel & Spa – are situated in middle of the region’s natural grandeur. You’ll be captivated by the wide open vistas from the hotel’s outside hot spring bath (“rotenburo”).
Aomori Spring Ski Resort
[Address] Ajigasawa-kogen, Ajigasawa-machi, Nishitsugaru-gun, Aomori
[Overview] 14 runs. Equipment rental (English assistance available).
In Japan, the skiing season basically runs from December to March, but there can be changes depending on weather conditions. It’s always best to check ski resort websites before making plans. Then you can enjoy downhill action and hot spring relaxation to the max!