Ski Resorts Japan: Top 3 Luxury Spots

For those living just west of the International Date Line, you already know. Japan is one of the hottest ski destinations around. Though its mountains may not receive as much widespread acclaim as their European and American counterparts, that in many ways works to their advantage. This island country consistently receives an abundant amount of snow each year, providing many regions from which to choose your dream ski holiday. And the crowds, and costs, can be significantly less.

While micro resorts offering smaller, less-crowded experiences have popped up all over Japan, that doesn’t mean there aren’t luxury escapes available. There are more than a few top hotels offering guests luxurious weekend getaways or longer skiing adventures.

These are the best ski resorts Japan has to offer:

One Happo Chalet, Hakuba

The One Happo Chalet in Hakuba is described as “a James Bond fantasy come real.” And really, what else would you expect from one of the most high-tech countries in the world? The exclusive chalet boasts one of the best locations you could ever hope for – a mere 100 meters from the gondola and facing the 1998 Olympics slope.

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Amenities include a state-of-the-art gym, FAR infrared sauna, glass-topped pool table, marble-topped cocktail bar and floor-to-ceiling glass window wine room. Not to mention the iPads strategically placed throughout the chalet for controlling basically everything.

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The property is 5400 square feet or approximately 500 square meters and sleeps up to 10 adults in five bedrooms. But don’t wait to book – this highly sought after property is only offered for a limited period each season.

Ki Niseko, Hokkaido

Located in the town of Niseko on the island of Hokkaido, the Ki Niseko is one of the top small luxury hotels in Japan. This ski-in, ski-out property takes all of the work out of planning your holiday.

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A concierge service is available to see to your every need, from lift passes to equipment rentals to lessons. They also offer in-accommodation babysitting, sightseeing tours, restaurant and dining reservations and recommendations, and a spa. And getting there is a breeze if you use one of their recommended airport transfers.

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Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted with a modern Japanese aesthetic that blends in beautifully with the mountainous surroundings. Choose from traditional hotel rooms, or book one of the one-bedroom, two-bedroom or two-bedroom deluxe condos. And for the ultimate luxury experience, book the penthouse with its panoramic views of Mount Yotei.

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The Green Leaf Niseko Village, Annupuri

Niseko Village is again on the island of Hokkaido. This island has gained international acclaim for the quality of its snow – the winds whipping over from Siberia create ideal conditions for winter sports. The Green Leaf Niseko Village has been refurbished by the renowned Champalimaud Design of New York and has been widely praised since its launch in 2010.

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The hotel caters to skiers of all levels. Their ski-in, ski-out facility, called Basecamp, is there to assist guests in any way they can. They also host movie screenings and community events here.

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The hotel offers 200 rooms, divided into deluxe king rooms, deluxe twin rooms and suites. Complimentary shuttles transport guests to the towns of Hirafu and Kutchan as well as to other hotels in the area.

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But if you don’t feel like venturing off the property, take advantage of the Tomioka White cocktail bar or the Goshiki Japanese fusion buffet. There’s even a rooftop space, called Altitude, from which to appreciate the views of Mount Yotei and the Konbu Range, weather permitting.

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Top Image Source: By Trysil via Flickr

Amy Lynne Hayes

Amy Lynne Hayes is a freelance writer and designer best known for her absolute refusal to stay in one place for very long. After studying art and design in Orlando, London and Paris, and working for a boutique design firm in Melbourne, Australia, Amy focused her attention on her first passion: travel. Her blog, Créatrice Mondial, means “global creator” - the perfect description. She recently set up home base is Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she can usually be foundsipping wine on her balcony, dreaming up her next great adventure.