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‘Snow Monsters’ and Powder Snow in Akita

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > ‘Snow Monsters’ and Powder Snow in Akita


Ski, snowboard or snowshoe through snow-covered trees on Mt. Moriyoshi


Akita Inu Tourism




Ani Ski Resort on Mt. Moriyoshi, Kita-Akita City, Akita Prefecture, offers great backcountry skiing and plentiful powder snow. The area’s impressive natural scenery is especially spectacular during autumn and winter. Winters at Mt. Moriyoshi are said to be one of the best due to the quality of powder snow, great for snow sports lovers; and because of the interesting phenomenon called ‘snow monsters’. Freezing winds and snowfall build up over tree trunks and branches conjuring up the look of creatures dotting the mountaintop.


What’s awesome about Ani Ski Resort is that you can backcountry ski or snowboard through the snow monsters. To get to the snow monsters, all you have to do is take a 20-minute gondola ride up the mountain and then walk for 10-minutes. If you want to enjoy the snow without doing anything too adventurous, borrow a pair of snowshoes from the gondola station free-of charge and take a stroll around the snow monsters. There is a 1,200 meter walking trail that takes about 30 minutes to walk one lap.


Before the snow sets in, during autumn, the colourful foliage of Mt. Moriyoshi is one not to be missed. See the different shades of reds, yellows, and greens as you take a ride up the mountain on a gondola.


Ani Ski resort has beginner, intermediate, and ungroomed courses. Choose from one-way, 3-hour, 5-hour, and full-day lift tickets. In February it is possible to catch a snow cat to the top of the mountain to view the ‘snow monsters’ at night.


How to get there


20 minutes by car from Aniai Station.



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