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Skiing and snowboarding

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Winters in Akita can be long, cold, and boring unless you take part in one of it's three most popular winter sports: skiing, snowboarding, and drinking. Even if you've never tried winter sports in your life, these skiing areas provide a great place to learn. The biggest and most popular resort in Akita is Tazawako. Other places are worth checking out too, though. Also, if you are willing to drive, there are some great ski resorts in neighboring prefectures, such as Zao and Appi. For detailed information on these areas (including snow reports), see Snow Japan Online.


Except where explicitly noted, ski areas in Akita allow both skiing and snowboarding.

  • Tazawako Ski-jō (たざわ湖スキー場). website 〒014-1201 秋田県仙北市田沢湖生保内下高野73−2 (map) 08:30-16:30 ☎ 0187-46-2011. The largest ski area in Akita with 13 runs and 6 lifts, including a couple of quad lifts. Also offers spectacular views of Lake Tazawa.
  • Hanawa Ski Area (花輪スキー場). ☎ 0186-23-8000. 15 min by bus from Kazuno Hanawa Station 2 runs, 2 lifts, jump stand, cross country course.
  • Akita Hachimantai Ski Area (秋田八幡平スキー場). 8:30AM-4:30PM ☎ 0186-31-2020. 60 min by bus from Kazuno Hanawa Station 3 runs, pair lift, single lift.
  • Suishozan Ski Area (水晶山スキー場). 8:30AM-4PM, Fri-Sun 8:30AM-9PM ☎ 0186-23-2424. 15 min by bus from Kazuno Hanawa Station 1 run, pair lift, single lift.
  • Ani Ski Area (阿仁スキー場). website 8:30AM-4:30PM ☎ 0186-82-3311. 30 min by bus from Aniai Station 5 runs, gondola, 2 lifts.
  • Taihei-zan Ski Area Opas (太平山スキー場・オーパス). 8:30AM-4:30PM, 5PM-9PM ☎ 018-827-2221. 40 min by bus from Akita Station 6 runs, quad lift, 2 lifts.
  • Yashima Ski Area (矢島スキー場). 8:30AM-9PM ☎ 0184-56-2182. 20 min by car from Yashima Station 7 runs, 1 2-person lift, 1 quad lift. Night skiing allowed.
  • Kyōwa Ski Area (大仙市営協和スキー場). 8:30AM-4:30PM, F-Sa 5PM-9PM ☎ 018-893-2050. 22 min by bus from Ugosakai Station 7 runs, 5 lifts.
  • Jeunesse Kurikoma Ski Area (ジュネス栗駒スキー場). 8:30AM-4:30PM, 5PM-9:30PM ☎ 0182-47-3101. 40 min by car from Jumonji Station 14 runs, 2 pair lifts, 2 quad lifts.
  • Oyasu Onsen Ski Area (小安温泉スキー場). ☎ 0183-47-5241. In Minase Village, 70 min by car from Yuzawa Station 5 runs, 2 lifts, night skiing on weekends until 20:45.
  • Fujisato Choei Ski Area (藤里町営スキー場). 9:00AM to 4:00PM in January, 10:00AM to 5:00PM on weekdays in February, and 9:00AM to 5:00PM on weekends in February. ☎ 0185-79-2970. Take the 317 highway towards Fujisato from the 7 highway for 20 minutes. 1 run, 1 lift, free rentals.
  • Yakushizan Ski Area (北秋田市営薬師山スキー場). Take the 7 from the center of Takanosu towards Futatsui (Noshiro). offers night skiing (open until 9:00pm). 2 runs, 2 rope-tows


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Elsewhere in Japan

  • Appi Kogen Ski Resort (安比高原スキー場). website Located in the Hachimantai region. This is one of two internationally recognized ski areas in Tohoku (other the being Zao). It is much larger than any of the ski areas in Akita. It is the destination of the annual Appi Ski Trip.
  • Geto Kogen (夏油高原). website Located in Kitakami, which is directly east of Yokote and on the expressway. Though located in Iwate, the location proximal to the expressway makes this a reasonable day trip.
  • Shizukuishi Ski Resort (雫石スキー場). website Located in Shizukuishi, north of Shizukuishi station
  • Iwate Kogen Snowpark (岩手高原スノーパーク). website Located in Shizukuishi, north of Shizukuishi station
  • Jangle Jungle Snow Park (黒伏高原スノーパークジャングル・ジャングル). website Located in Higashine. This ski area has three lifts: a two-person and two quads.
  • Zao Onsen Ski Area (蔵王温泉スキー場). website Located in southern Yamagata City. This is quite a drive from Akita, so a multi-day trip is recommended. Some say this mountain is more suited to skiing than snowboarding, for whatever that's worth. The location is quite scenic, and the ski area is famous.
  • Owani Ski Area (大鰐スキー場). website Located in Owani, which is on the way to Hirosaki City from Odate. This ski hill is relatively small and lacking in intermediate-level runs. The bottom of the hill has a very relaxed incline, but the top of the hill is very steep. If you ride the lift to the top, you have to take the long, winding, sometimes-uphill scenic route, or one of the sharp plummets that it offers as advanced runs. Owani ski hill straddles two peaks, and forms a large "bowl"-type run where the mountains join.
  • Naqua Shirakami Ski Resort (ナクア白神スキー場). website Located north-west of Hirosaki, on the far side of Mt. Iwaki. This sizable ski hill offers a range of different runs. It is a decent drive from Odate, but it is doable as a day-trip for the dedicated skier or boarder. This mountain also boasts a Mos Burger directly on one of the runs!

See also

Entertainment in Akita
Sports Running • Bicycling • Soccer • Basketball • Cricket • Ground Golf
Martial Arts Kendo • Kyudo • Judo • Naginatado • Karatedo • Sado
Outdoors Hiking/Climbing • Camping • Rafting • Skiing and snowboarding
Leisure Onsen • Movies • Museums and zoos • Ramen shops • Akita beer • Doburoku • Cigar stores • Festivals • Arcades • Taiko