The diverse range of pistes making use of the natural topography is a key attraction at this resort in the northern Iwate area of the Tohoku region
(c) Iwate Prefecture/ (c) JNTOThe ski resort at the foot of Mount Iwate, in the Towada-Hachimantai National Park, is called Hachimantai Snow Resort. There are 14 courses in total, with a variety of ways to enjoy them, depending on your level of skill in skiing and what you want to do.
A piste where you can play on sledges and ride on a snowmobile or banana boat means that even people experiencing snow for the first time can enjoy it with complete peace of mind. As the name suggests, the Debut Park is a big hit with novice skiers. Whether you're a child or an adult, visiting as part of a family or as a couple, you can have fun frolicking in the snow in whatever way you choose.
The Panorama Ski Resort is recommended for snowboarders and novice skiers who have begun to enjoy skiing after mastering the stop turn. The main course features a 2,700 m long piste with an average gradient of 15 degree. The gentle gradient means that all skiers and snowboarders can take it slowly and easily, making it the ideal course for snowboarding novices.
On the other hand, for highly-competent skiers who find ordinary pistes somewhat unchallenging, there is the Shimokura Ski Resort. Looking upwards from the bottom of the piste, which has a maximum gradient of 37 degree, it looks just like a wall. From above, you can't even see the bottom. There are pistes where you can enjoy fresh snow, which attract many highly-proficient skiers in search of the soft, fluffy texture of powder snow.
A free shuttle bus links the Panorama Ski Resort with the Shimokura Ski Resort. Amply furnished with equipment, ski- and snowboarding-wear, and schools that will teach you all you need to know, you can enjoy the snow to your heart's content.
Phone: 0195-78-4111 (Hachimantai Resort)
Hours open to visitors: Panorama Ski Area: Weekdays 08:30 - 16:30 Night time skiing: 08:30 - 21:00 (not fixed) Shimokura Ski Area: Weekdays 08:30 - 16:30
Directions: Train: 30 minutes by the Iwate-Kenpoku Bus from Obuke Station, which is on the JR Hanawa Line (3 hours 30 minutes from Tokyo Station) to Hachimantai-Onsenkyo
Car: 15 minutes from Matsuo-Hachimantai interchange on the Tohoku Expressway
Open: Mid-December - early April (differs according to the year)