Poll Pics & Videos of Japan 2021 - 2022 ski season

Seeing is believing. So, it's better to show pics and videos filmed in Japanese ski resorts this season in order to show people on this forum what Japanese ski resorts are like this season (2021 - 2022 season). Most are not the ones I took but only some. The pictures below = Zao Onsen this weekend. Most major ski regions had good snowfall in November, which helped many ski resorts open in November (I'd say it's rare). Then, this weekend, it's likely to snow a lot, so I think it's a good start in that many ski resorts have been having enough - plenty of snow from late November to mid December, considering the fact that a lot of ski resorts sometimes suffer from lack of snow in early season (late November - mid December).
Zao Onsen.jpg



Zao Onsen 2.jpg




Zao Onsen filmed last month (2021 November)


Zao Onsen in the first week of 2021 December





I showed Zao Onsen ones in this post. I'll show many different ski resort in Hokkaido, Tohoku and Central Honshu (most are not the ones I take, though).
 
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Ramenman

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All below were filmed today (December 18th)


Hakuba


Naeba


Sapporo Kokusai


A road to Kawaba ski resort (Gunma Prefecture)
yONO7DYP?format=jpg&name=small.jpg


Takasu Snow Park (Gifu Prefecture)
FG2gc2aaUAYczIo?format=jpg&name=small.jpg
 
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Ramenman

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This week, it snowed a lot in "strange" places too. The altitude of the station is less than 100m and it's not very snowy station usually. Anyway, it's going to be a great ski week! Plus, reportedly, the next big snow will come soon again!
kankoku1-2.jpg
 

Ramenman

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Tazawako ski resort this week.


Zao Onsen this week.


Hakuba this week.
 
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Ramenman

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Ishiuchi Maruyama yesterday.



Niseko today.



Kandatsu Snow Resort (ex Kandatsu Kogen) this week.
 

David-eTO

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Seeing is believing. So, it's better to show pics and videos filmed in Japanese ski resorts this season in order to show people on this forum what Japanese ski resorts are like this season (2021 - 2022 season). Most are not the ones I took but only some. The pictures below = Zao Onsen this weekend. Most major ski regions had good snowfall in November, which helped many ski resorts open in November (I'd say it's rare). Then, this weekend, it's likely to snow a lot, so I think it's a good start in that many ski resorts have been having enough - plenty of snow from late November to mid December, considering the fact that a lot of ski resorts sometimes suffer from lack of snow in early season (late November - mid December).
Zao Onsen.jpg



Zao Onsen 2.jpg




Zao Onsen filmed last month (2021 November)


Zao Onsen in the first week of 2021 December





I showed Zao Onsen ones in this post. I'll show many different ski resort in Hokkaido, Tohoku and Central Honshu (most are not the ones I take, though).
it seems that Mountainwatch has your same intention. A big focus on the Tohoku Region though, with two consecutive articles:

I'm just envious of all those who will be able to enjoy what appears to be a good snow season in Japan.
 
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Tonester

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watching these videos, with no prospect of heading over to Japow anytime soon, is pure torture.
It's a good thing that I'm a glutton for punishment!
 
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Ramenman

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Is the connecting run between top ropeway and the valley run at Ryuoo now back open?

Yep, it's "木落しコース" in the trail map below and it's open now.
course_pic_r0112.jpg




A bit about the first video (the video of Kawaba ski resort). It was filmed in the one of sidecountry / off piste runs they newly opened since last season. It's nice to see more ski resorts opening such runs in recent years. The light blue colored areas are the new sidecountry runs they newly opened officially.
map_otp01.jpg
 
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Tonester

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Watching the Geto Kogen video is especially nostalgic. It’s where I finally came to the realisation a few years back that there can, in fact, be such a thing as too much snow…..getting stuck in chest deep snow in the trees because the gradient eased off a little. Sigh….to be there again…..with wider skis.
 
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Ramenman

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Most mountain huts in snowy regions are closed during winter, however, some amount of them are open in winter as well. Usually, the mountains are "relatively" safe in winter as well (Edit : and NOT too snowy), so the mountain huts are open. So, it's better to choose those mountains if you are interested in climbing mountains in winter. However, you should not underestimate the risks. Actually, I've heard some death cases this winter already. The video below was filmed last week.




Filmed last month (December 2021)




Filmed last month (December 2021)
 

Ramenman

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And this was filmed inside one of those mountain huts on December 31st of 2021 and January 1st of 2022. The girl was climbing the mountain for "Hatsuhinode". Hatsuhinode = the first sunrise of the year. It's a Japanese tradition to see Hatsuhinode on special spots including mountains, hills, beaches, etc. In the video below, you can see the beautiful sunrise from the snowy mountain.



Just like Hatsuhinode (=the first sunrise), "Hatsumoude" (= the first visit to shrines / temples) is also a Japanese culture. A lot of people visit shrines and temples on January 1st - 3rd. I think most people on this forum land in Narita (or Hanada), spending some time in Tokyo, so, visiting Meiji Jingu or another shirine / temple might be better. Some of my foreign friends like visiting Meiji Jingu wearing Kimono (Japanese traditional clothes) during New Year holidays. That said, it will be very crowded, so, not ideal place for COVID era, I guess.



Another winter climbing for the first sunrise (filmed last week = on January 1st). The mountain is not a snowy one and it doesn't have to be a snowy mountain for the first sunrise. In the video below, you'll see Mt.Fuji but you should not climb Mt.Fuji in winter. It's not a very snowy mountain if compared to Japanese ski resort mountains, however, due to the altitude + high wind, a lot of people have actually died when they were climbing Mt.Fuji in winter, including this New Year holidays (even some people who have climbed Mt.Everest died when climbing Mt.Fuji in winter).



The first sunrise is important for surfers and anglers too (filmed last year= January 1st of 2021) in Chiba Pref (Chiba = the prefecture where there is Narita Airport, so it's very near Tokyo). I love surf fishing. Not this year, but I've seen the first sunrise of the year along beaches while fishing many times.
 
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Ramenman

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Which makes it even harder to put up with the fact that even this year I won't be able to go.

I'd say it's a good season (so far) but not exceptional for Japanese ski resorts in general. I mean, some ski resorts might be having an exceptional season now, though. For most ski resorts in Hokkaido and Tohoku, it's just a good (or average) season, but some ski resorts such as Zao Onsen are having a very good season if compared to other ski resorts.

Last December (2021), there were several mega snowfall days in the western part of Japan, and usually the area doesn't have that kind of mega snowfall in December, so, for those regions, this season has been exceptional, IMO.
 

Ramenman

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I'd say it's a good season (so far) but not exceptional for Japanese ski resorts in general. I mean, some ski resorts might be having an exceptional season now, though. For most ski resorts in Hokkaido and Tohoku, it's just a good (or average) season, but some ski resorts such as Zao Onsen are having a very good season if compared to other ski resorts.

Last December (2021), there were several mega snowfall days in the western part of Japan, and usually the area doesn't have that kind of mega snowfall in December, so, for those regions, this season has been exceptional, IMO.

This is the amount of this season's "snowfall" (not snowdepth) compared to the "average" season. It is the comparison of the same period. It's updated everyday. Now (as of January 9th 2022), the snowfall comparison (image below) is between November 1st (2021) and January 8th (2022).
smsnd_smhi01.png
 

Ramenman

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I’d be interested in your thoughts on Zao Lisa World. The trail map doesn’t look that inviting, but I’m assuming that the off piste makes it worth a try?

I like Liza World for the off piste and sidecountry / BC terrains. A lot of ski resorts in Japan including Tohoku have started opening up their hidden terrains (treerun zones, sidecontry zones, etc) but Zao region (Zao Onsen and Liza World) is kind of conservative and you won't see hidden delicious terrains / runs in their official trail maps. Some are easy to find even if you don't know (you can see some of them from the official runs) and the rest of them = you might need guides. Liza World's top lift station = the entrance to Juhyo area. Plus, trees are nicely sparse for powder tree skiing. So, Liza World is one of our common BC mountains.


Lift accessed BC from Liza World (you need some hike)


0 hike (inside the ski resort)




By the way, as you might know, Zao mountains straddle Yamagata Pref and Miyagi Pref (both Zao Onsen and Zao Liza World are on Yamagata side). In winter, roads are closed, so they are not easily accessible each other (I wish there were a connecting gondola!). If you are mainly skiing in Iwate Pref (Hachimantia, Appi, Geto, etc), and you are interested in off piste, visiting Sumikawa Snow Park (it's one of "Miyagi"Zao ski resorts) might be good. I mean, Miyagi side means it's near Sendai station = easily accessible to Iwate. And, Sumikawa Snow Park has CAT to the peak everyday. The peak area is a huge off piste area and you don't need to hike in order to ride there. The videos below were filmed in Sumikawa Snow Park.




 
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Crispy013

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I like Liza World for the off piste and sidecountry / BC terrains. A lot of ski resorts in Japan including Tohoku have started opening up their hidden terrains (treerun zones, sidecontry zones, etc) but Zao region (Zao Onsen and Liza World) is kind of conservative and you won't see hidden delicious terrains / runs in their official trail maps. Some are easy to find even if you don't know (you can see some of them from the official runs) and the rest of them = you might need guides. Liza World's top lift station = the entrance to Juhyo area. Plus, trees are nicely sparse for powder tree skiing. So, Liza World is one of our common BC mountains.


Lift accessed BC from Liza World (you need some hike)


0 hike (inside the ski resort)




By the way, as you might know, Zao mountains straddle Yamagata Pref and Miyagi Pref (both Zao Onsen and Zao Liza World are on Yamagata side). In winter, roads are closed, so they are not easily accessible each other (I wish there were a connecting gondola!). If you are mainly skiing in Iwate Pref (Hachimantia, Appi, Geto, etc), and you are interested in off piste, visiting Sumikawa Snow Park (it's one of "Miyagi"Zao ski resorts) might be good. I mean, Miyagi side means it's near Sendai station = easily accessible to Iwate. And, Sumikawa Snow Park has CAT to the peak everyday. The peak area is a huge off piste area and you don't need to hike in order to ride there. The videos below were filmed in Sumikawa Snow Park.




I think at this stage we will be on the Yamagata side. Im assuming the road(?) to the peak to the lookers right side of the marked trails/lifts is best? The gully to the left looks dicey. Does the top peak lift only open in Green season?

86D949C0-A747-446E-B4C4-138A5C19CEB4.jpeg
 
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David-eTO

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I'd say it's a good season (so far) but not exceptional for Japanese ski resorts in general. I mean, some ski resorts might be having an exceptional season now, though. For most ski resorts in Hokkaido and Tohoku, it's just a good (or average) season, but some ski resorts such as Zao Onsen are having a very good season if compared to other ski resorts.

Last December (2021), there were several mega snowfall days in the western part of Japan, and usually the area doesn't have that kind of mega snowfall in December, so, for those regions, this season has been exceptional, IMO.
I'd say it's a good season (so far) but not exceptional for Japanese ski resorts in general. I mean, some ski resorts might be having an exceptional season now, though. For most ski resorts in Hokkaido and Tohoku, it's just a good (or average) season, but some ski resorts such as Zao Onsen are having a very good season if compared to other ski resorts.

Last December (2021), there were several mega snowfall days in the western part of Japan, and usually the area doesn't have that kind of mega snowfall in December, so, for those regions, this season has been exceptional, IMO.
Believe me I wish I enjoy some of that average season
 
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Ramenman

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I think at this stage we will be on the Yamagata side. Im assuming the road(?) to the peak to the lookers right side of the marked trails/lifts is best? The gully to the left looks dicey. Does the top peak lift only open in Green season?

86D949C0-A747-446E-B4C4-138A5C19CEB4.jpeg

Yep, the lift is green season only. There is a restaurant (Edit: closed in winter) on the ridge and the lift is running from a parking lot to the mountain ridge for the people who are visiting the restaurant and the crater called "Okama". The image below is the lift filmed in winter. The lift can just help you know where you are now in winter (and it's very important in that Zao's visibility tends to be bad in winter). The picture below was filmed in early January. It can be buried more in February and early March.
d8334d14b32b7cde58291de97cd?h=1080&t=resize&w=1439.jpg





I don't recommend the gully area without a guide, however, the area is actually popular for icefalls.
43485914


20fb8f77.jpg



In recent years, we see international tourists with guides there. So, I guess English speaking guides are available somewhere.
 

Ramenman

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Lift accessed BC on Mt.Iwaki last week. The peak of the mountain is 1,625m but the uploader is skiing from 1,213m. You can ski from the very top of the mountain (1,625m) but it will be an a bit long tough hike.



Seki Onsen this week



White World Oze Iwakura (Katashina village, Gunma Pref) this week



Dynaland (Gifu Pref) this week
 
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mannyk

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Not quite a pic of Japan, But I nice memory pic on the way to Japan. Im sure others have seen the same beautiful view, Nth of PNG I think.
2019 qantas wing over water.jpg
 
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Ramenman

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All videos (edit: except the last video) below were filmed this winter.

This is a winter trout fishing video. I love outdoor activities(fishing, camping, farming, skiing, etc). And, the videos of fishing and camping are kind of "ASMR" for me. So, I often watch fishing and camping videos in the bed room and the videos are like lullabies for me. Ski resort regions have many camping sites. Some people might like such fishing parks with camping sites. The girl in the video is fishing a big trout in the end of the video.



Around Mt.Fuji, there are many camping sites. The regions are not snowy = easy winter camping sites.



Family winter camping video (with a bit of snow).



This video was NOT filmed this winter, but the hidden Onsen is on a ski resort mountain in Fukushima Pref and it's one of our BC mountains (Minowa). This winter, some extreme people were in the onsen!. It's about 1,400m asl, very cold and snowy. A bit too extreme for me!. I love Onsen travels (except mid summer) and I noticed there are a lot of women who are uploading winter Onsen travel videos onto Youtube, but many of them are a bit like porn videos:oops:
 

Ramenman

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All videos were filmed in the past 7 days or so.


Amihari Onsen (Hachimantai region, Iwate Pref)



Lotte Arai



A local ski resort in Ishikawa Pref (the vertical drop is 730m)



Zao Onsen
 

Ramenman

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All videos were filmed this week

Hakkoda



Kawaba ski resort to a mountain peak nearby



Madarao Kogen



A rare sunny day at Zao Onsen
 
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Ramenman

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It's been nicely snowing in the past few days and some JMA weather stations have reached 300cm or 200cm of snowdepth. The snowdepth of Yuda, a low altitude weather station in Iwate Pref (relatively near Geto Kogen) reached 200cm and it means Geto Kogen has got another mega snowfall yesterday and today and the official website says the snowdepth of the top lift / gondola stations have reached 400cm.


Shiga Kogen (Kumanoyu) this morning (14th)





0cm on the car, then the snow got accumulated a lot in a short period.
FJC-BM_aAAIfr01?format=jpg&name=4096x4096.jpg






From the official twitter of Togakushi ski resort today (looks it nicely snowed there too)





This twitter is about Tsugaike(Hakuba) so, nearly +90cm of snowdepth within 24 hours.
 
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Ramenman

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All were filmed (or uploaded) this week.


Winter camping in Niseko



Ani ski resort (Akita Pref) before the mega snowfall



Takasu Snow Park (Gifu Prefecture)



Shiga Kogen
 

Ramenman

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All were filmed this week (past 7 days)


Hakuba



Geto Kogen



Niseko BC



Zao Onsen



Australian woman and her family in Fukushima Pref
 
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Ramenman

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All were filmed within the past 7 days.

A terrible condition (super windy) at Shizukuishi ski resort



Alts Bandai



Hakuba (Happo One)



Furano. Btw, backcountry skiers & snowboarders are missing in Furano now.



Another winter camping video (a lot of winter camping videos on Youtube now and I randomly chose one of them). It might be because of COVID-19, more people get interested in outdoor activities now? I think I see more people enjoy fishing, camping, etc recently.
 

Ramenman

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All were filmed in Gunma Prefecture (a bit underrated ski Pref) this week.


Tanigawadake BC



Oze Iwakura



Oguna Hotaka



Snowshoe hiking around Tanbara Ski Park
 
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Ramenman

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All were filmed this week.


Kagura ski resort yesterday



Charmant Hiuchi the day before yesterday


Zao Onsen



Hakuba Cortina
 

Ramenman

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All were filmed this week.


Takasu Snow Park (Gifu Pref)



Ryuoo & Nozawa Onsen



Madarao Kogen



Kagura



Zao Onsen
 
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