Heaps of snow in central Honshu along the Pacific Ocean
The mountains of Tokai are located roughly in the center of Japan’s main island, and see plenty of snow between December and February every year. Resorts along the Sea of Japan coast and in the Hida area of Gifu are particularly popular. This region, whose Northern Alps are known as "the roof of Japan," is famous for its many hot springs, the World Heritage-designated village of Shirakawa-go, and numerous ski fields. Enjoy skiing on fresh snow while exploring mountain towns like Takayama (Gifu Prefecture).
How to get there
The Tokai area is also accessible with railways by two of Japan's essential railway lines that cross the region: the Tokaido main line between Tokyo and Kobe, which links Japan's two largest cities, Tokyo and Osaka, and the Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Shin Osaka Station. The mountains of Tokai are centrally located and therefore make an easy trip from Nagoya, Osaka or Tokyo. Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair International Airport serves as the best entry point for Gifu and other Tokai resorts if traveling from overseas.
Skiing Around Gifu, Takayama, Shirakawa-go
Many of the best ski resorts in Tokai are around Takayama in Gifu Prefecture. Gifu Station is just a 20-minute train ride from Nagoya, while Takayama Station is about two and a half hours away. Many popular ski resorts are within a 45-minute drive of Takayama’s central area. This is also the location of Shirakawa-go, where you'll find well-preserved thatched-roof farmhouses nestled between the mountains.
Powdery slopes and family activities
The mountains of this region are coated with lots of snow every winter, making them perfect for ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Many resorts here pair exciting slopes with a host of other snow activities. Hirugano Kogen Ski Resort offers snow rafting, sledding and other activities that are sure to entertain visitors of all ages.
Sweeping views of Mt. Fuji
Many ski resorts in Shizuoka and Yamanashi have picturesque views of Japan's most iconic peak, Mt. Fuji. Snow Town Yeti goes one step further, allowing visitors a chance to ski on the southern face of the country's national symbol. There's also a sledding slope and an Activity Park for the little ones.