Also located in the Nagano Prefecture, Shiga Kogen is the largest ski area in Japan; you’ll find 21 linked ski resorts sprawled over 600 hectares of great terrain and 50 lifts, gondolas and ropeways, all accessible on one ski pass. The area has a reputation for excellent powder and is renowned for having the highest elevation ski fields in Japan, which means that fresh falls are not uncommon in the warmer months. The slopes at Shiga Kogen busy during Golden Week, with intermediate and advanced skiers looking to take advantage of the area’s quality late season skiing. Particularly, Terakoya and Okushiga Kogen have a reputation for excellent conditions in the spring.
The ski resort at Mount Gassan in Nishikawa (in the Yamagata Prefecture) experiences such heavy snow falls during the standard ski season that the resort is only accessible starting in early April each year as the weather begins to warm up. Literally meaning ‘Moon Mountain’, Gassan is a small resort with a single lift. However, it’s the perfect spot for some late season skiing, typically staying open until July.
4. Geto Kogen Snow Resort
Located in located in the southern region of Iwate Prefecture on Japan’s northernmost island of Honshu, Geto Kogen Snow Resort boasts one of the countries longest ski seasons. The area is known for its abundant snow fall and has groomed and off-piste runs suitable for both beginners and more experienced skiers. As a bonus, the resort is surrounded by stunning forest scenery and plenty of hot springs (onsens) for visitors to enjoy.
5. Charmant Hiuchi Snow Resort
The Charmant Hiuchi Snow Resort is a hidden gem in Niigata Prefecture that prides itself on offering great skiing well into spring, particularly for intermediate and advanced skiers. With only three lifts in operation, the resort is smaller and generally quieter than flashier hotspots like Kagura. However, with snow lasting well into the second week of May and breathtaking sea views when the weather is clear, this resort is well worth a visit