The Christmas and Chinese New Year crowds have come and gone, the sun makes more of an appearance and in some Japanese ski resorts, snow conditions don’t tend to decline ‘til May.
Easter in Japanese mountain towns is a time of good skiing, weird and wonderful activities and first-class feasting. If you’re really lucky, you might witness the start of cherry blossom season too…
From hotels with doorstep skiing that see you straight out onto the slopes to properties with private onsen offering a relaxing springtime stay – Japan’s ski hotels come with all kinds of perks. All-inclusive packages save you from having to worry about arranging where to eat and drink during your stay, with some including ski lessons and lift passes to make life even easier. You’ll also find room-only and B&B options which afford a little more flexibility for those keen to check out local restaurants.
Though January and February are the peak of powder season, fresh powder falls aren’t unusual in March and April and you could experience some of the deepest cover on the planet. More sunlight means better visibility, and this with milder daytime temperatures (around 3-10°C) makes conditions especially good for children and beginners. It usually drops below freezing at night time, giving snow cannons the chance to get to work if needed.
The bigger resorts and hotels have put on Easter egg hunts in recent years, and though the warmer weather might mark the end of some snowy activities, it also means the start of new ones – sometimes you can be skiing in the morning then rafting in the afternoon! Niseko often hosts the Snow Water Festival at this time of year, which is basically a huge snowball and water balloon fight, and the Mad Dog Jam is another local event at the snow park. When Easters fall late into April, you might be able to catch Japan’s iconic cherry blossom trees in bloom – there’s a national forecast to predict then when’s and where’s and it’s well worth heading out with a camera if your holiday dates match up.