Towering mountains and snowy slopes within easy reach

As the country's main international gateway and the world's biggest city, Tokyo is a stop for most travelers at some point in their Japan journey. But the area isn't all concrete jungle — the wider Kanto-Koshinetsu region includes some top-class snow getaways. Bullet trains and other convenient transport links make skiing near the capital very easy, including many daytrip options. This area is famous around the globe for its winter sports pedigree. The 1998 Nagano Olympics put the ski resorts of the Japan Alps on the world stage, while the 2020 Alpine Ski World Cup in Niigata will highlight the prefecture's perfect snow conditions that result from facing the Sea of Japan.
Towering mountains and snowy slopes within easy reach

How to get there

Accessing the slopes in the Kanto-Koshinetsu region is very easy. Most of the area is within quick reach of Tokyo by taking one of three shinkansen lines. Highway buses connect the few resorts without great rail links and are a budget alternative.

By Joetsu Shinkansen

The Joetsu Shinkansen links Tokyo with Niigata City on the Sea of Japan coast in just two hours. It takes only 80 minutes to reach Echigo-Yuzawa Station, a gateway to the many Yuzawa-area resorts.

By Hokuriku Shinkansen

The Hokuriku Shinkansen connects Tokyo with Kanazawa, with many stops near ski resorts along the way. Ski lifts are just steps from Karuizawa Station, a 70-minute ride away. It takes 80 minutes to reach Nagano Station, or 90 minutes to Iiyama Station, from where shuttle buses depart for many famous resorts.

By Tohoku Shinkansen

The Tohoku Shinkansen heads northeast from Tokyo, eventually reaching Hokkaido. The line is a stress-free link to the resorts of northern Kanto. Nasushiobara Station is just 75 minutes away.

By highway bus

Highway buses run from Tokyo to nearly every ski resort in the region. They are a lower-cost alternative to shinkansen travel and provide access to resorts not easily reached by rail.

Stress-free snow daytrips

Kanto-Koshinetsu has extremely accessible ski resorts for a low-stress snow getaway. Gala Yuzawa Snow Resort stands out as the only ski area in the world with its own high-speed rail station. Ride the Joetsu Shinkansen just 70 minutes from Tokyo Station and alight straight into the resort's base lodge. Change into your snow gear, get rental equipment and a lift pass, and hop on the gondola without stepping outdoors. Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort is nearly as convenient and caters especially to beginners and intermediates. It is just a short walk from Karuizawa Station, just over an hour from Tokyo on the Hokuriku Shinkansen.

Learn to ski or board with the whole family

Learn to ski or board with the whole family
Enjoy a fun-filled day on beginner-friendly slopes at one of the many ski areas in this region that cater to first-timers and families. Choose one of these hills if you're keen to get your snow legs under you or you have young ones in tow. One such resort is Yuzawa Kogen, located near Echigo-Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen. To reach the resort, take a 166-person ropeway that ascends to an altitude of 1,000 meters in just seven minutes.

Shred the famous Japow

Japan's ski resorts have become famous worldwide for their volume of powder snow, widely varied terrain and long ski season. Many of the country's most well-regarded ski areas are in the Kanto-Koshinestu region. These include Mt. Naeba in Niigata, a massive resort with a wide range of ski courses and non-ski activities as well. Dragondola, Japan's longest gondola, connects it to neighboring Kagura Ski Resort. Shiga Kogen is Japan's largest resort, containing 18 ski areas and lots of powder. The ski areas of Hakuba Valley are the jewel of the Japan Alps, with high alpine terrain, even higher-quality snow, and panoramic views. Also in Nagano, Nozawa Onsen has trails as long as 3,500 meters, fluffy powder, and scenery of the surrounding Joshinetsu Kogen National Park.
List of Kanto-Koshinetsu Ski Resorts