With dropping temperatures and the autumn season behind us, it’s time to start planning your winter adventures and looking out for the best ski packages from Tokyo. While Hokkaido may be the most famous ski destination in Japan, you don’t have to travel far from the capital to make the most of the country’s world-class snow.
From Tokyo, there are plenty of excellent alpine destinations just a few hours away. There are several travel companies offering competitive transport + resort pass + accommodation packages. Here are some of the best and cheap ski resort packages available for Japan’s 2020 winter season.
Mt. Naeba overnight trip
Dates: Available now
Mt. Naeba is one of Japan’s premier ski destinations, with the added bonus of being about three hours from Tokyo by car. This Niigata location is the perfect short getaway or weekend-long vacation destination, and with this package, it’s a budget-friendly option too.
The package, which starts at ¥26,750, offers transport to and from the mountain, one night’s accommodation with dinner and breakfast included, and a lift ticket for one day of skiing. You can also tailor the package to suit your budget, which includes the option of staying at a traditional ryokan inn, or adding an extra ski pass for the second day.
Naeba or Gala Yuzawa day trip
Dates: Available now
This one-day ski package from Tokyo is the perfect budget-friendly way to get your snow fix at some of the best ski destinations close to the capital. You can choose between visiting Naeba or Gala Yuzawa, both in Niigata.
The package is better suited to those with their own gear, as pricing starts at ¥9,200 and includes transport and lift passes, but not rentals or food. It’s worth noting that while Yuzawa-machi does have its own bullet train service, tickets cost over ¥7,000 each way, making this package cheaper than the regular transport offer alone.
A beginner’s trip to Fujiyama Snow Resort
Dates: Available now until April 10 | Sundays not included
For those who are new to skiing, this one-day package to Fujiyama Snow Resort Yeti (aka Snow Town Yeti) is a great way to learn new skills and save money at the same time. For ¥11,274, the ski package includes a round-trip transfer between Shinjuku and Snow Town Yeti, a pass to Fujiyama Snow Resort, ski gear rental, and lessons with an English-speaking guide (there are Chinese speaking guides available too).
Fujiyama Snow Resort is perfect for beginners as it’s a little smaller than most of the other resorts out there and, as a bonus, it has excellent views of Mt. Fuji.
Overnight three-day group trip to Madarao Kogen Ski Resort
Dates: Bus departs on January 24 (booking in Japanese only)
This package to Madarao Kogen Ski Resort in Nagano may be the best value for money on offer at the moment. Madarao Kogen Ski Resort gets an average of 10 to 13 meters of snow each season, and 60% of the runs are ungroomed, which means it’s perfect for those hunting soft fluffy powder snow.
For ¥15,800, this ski package gets you transport from and from Tokyo, departing overnight and arriving at Madarao Kogen Ski Resort early the following morning. Also included is accommodation for the night, ski rental, lift passes, dinner, and breakfast the next morning (both are set menu). The only catch is that to secure the deal at the price of ¥15,800 per person all-inclusive, you have to book as a group of six. (Tip: Don’t have a crew to go skiing with? Consider a group ski tour.)
As part of the package, the group is also hosting a bingo night for no extra cost, but no obligation to join.
Sledding, strawberries and all-you-can-eat crab in Gunma
Dates: From December 23, 2019
If the idea of enjoying the apres-ski life without having to ski is appealing to you, then this day-trip package to Gunma is perfect. The trip includes snow sports, strawberry picking and an all-you-can-eat crab feast in one tidy action-packed deal.
The tour departs from Shinjuku at 8 am, in time for an 11 am arrival at Minakami Ski Resort (January to March) or Tambara Ski Park (December to April). From here, you have the opportunity to ski, sled or play in the snow for a few hours before enjoying a crab lunch. Next, you’re off strawberry picking at Harada Farm before heading back to Tokyo and arriving before dinner time.
The package costs ¥12,980 for adults, ¥11,980 for children and includes transport, meals, and strawberry picking. If you want to ski, then guests are encouraged to organize their rental gear. The tour runs in Japanese, but a pocket video translation device (in English and Chinese) are given to non-Japanese speaking guests.