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[2022-2023 Season Latest Info] Special Feature on Ski Slopes in the Tohoku Region! 5 Ski Resorts Recommended for Beginners & Non-Skiers

The Tohoku region is a skier’s paradise with nearly 100 ski resorts. We have selected five ski resorts we recommend to beginners and families looking for a resort for their children's skiing or snowboarding debut. All slopes feature snow activities, services, and facilities! We will introduce the unique features of each ski resort, which are packed with activities that even non-skiers can enjoy.

[Fukushima Prefecture] Make your debut on the slopes! “Hoshino Resorts ALTS BANDAI Snow Park & Resort” is perfect for families!

A family enjoying sledding
Hoshino Resorts ALTS BANDAI Snow Park & Resort is one of the largest snow resorts in the Tohoku region, overlooking Mt. Bandai and Lake Inawashiro. The expansive slopes have 22 courses, a snow park, restaurant, café, hotel, and a variety of other facilities that everyone can enjoy. In addition, since the opening of the snowtop walking route to Hoshino Resorts NEKOMA Snow Park & Resort, it can be reached in about 15 minutes walking distance when it used to take an hour by car! Let us show you why the ever-evolving Hoshino Resorts ALTS BANDAI Snow Park & Resort is a great choice for families and first time skiers.

"YUKIDS 70" is perfect for your child's skiing/snowboarding debut!

Snowboarding lesson
Hoshino Resorts ALTS BANDAI Snow Park & Resort features "YUKIDS 70," skiing and snowboarding lessons for children ages 3 and up. There are 5 levels and learning goals are set for each lesson. With a clear goal in mind, you can have fun and steadily improve your skills.

There are two types of lessons: group lessons and private lessons. The best part of the group lessons is that the maximum number of students is four. Thanks to the small group size, you can enjoy the lessons without worrying about differences in progress. Your child will get a pin badge for completing the set tasks in each level, giving them a great sense of accomplishment.

Another great feature is that skis, boards, boots, and poles necessary for lessons can be rented free of charge. You only need to come wearing your snow wear, and you can participate in the lesson empty-handed.

Lessons are the same level as "RISONARE Yatsugatake," "Tomamu," and "Hoshino Resorts NEKOMA Snow Park & Resort," which are all affiliated with Hoshino Resorts and incorporate similar programs. We recommend these lessons for those who visit multiple ski resorts a year and are considering participating again next season and beyond.

Featuring many comfortable areas at the base of the slopes!

Oil drum art area
If you go skiing as a family, not everyone will necessarily ski, and there may be times when only the husband and older children will go skiing, and the wife and baby will stay behind. Hoshino Resorts ALTS BANDAI Snow Park & Resort also offers facilities for non-skiers and snowboarders that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

The first thing to note is the "Oil Drum Square," which will catch your eye when you arrive at the ski resort. Colorful oil drums are placed like art; you can take photos or have lunch/snacks outdoors as the oil drums serve as tables and chairs.

When it gets cold, head to the free lounge on the 2nd floor of the Resort Center WEST. The space has a small area where you can take off your snow boots and relax while enjoying the view of the slopes. There is a diaper-changing table across from the lounge, so parents with infants can feel at ease.

In addition, there is a wide variety of dining spots such as "Bandai Cafeteria," which offers standard slope food, "yamacafe," where you can enjoy crepes, and an area with 5 stores perfect for a light meal. Spend a relaxing time with hot drinks or some sweets.

Click here for more information on Hoshino Resorts ALTS BANDAI Snow Park & Resort

Full of activities! “Hoshino Resorts Bandaisan Onsen Hotel” is directly connected to the slopes

Hoshino Resorts Bandaisan Onsen Hotel's Akabeko Cow
Hoshino Resorts Bandaisan Onsen Hotel is directly connected to the slopes and is a major attraction of Hoshino Resorts ALTS BANDAI Snow Park & Resort. In addition to its convenient location, the hotel offers a variety of activities that can be enjoyed throughout the year. The following activities are available during the winter months, make sure to join in.

•Akabeko Snowmobile: Ride on a snowmobile shaped like an akabeko (red cow) and tour the snowfield around the hotel. You can drink “Beko's Milk” from “Aizu-Chuo Dairy”, a local milk shop.

•Sake Bar in the Snow: A Sake Bar with a romantic atmosphere made entirely of snow. Visitors can enjoy sake and snacks from Aizu, a famous sake brewing area while enjoying snow lanterns and the snowy scenery.

Hoshino Resorts Bandaisan Onsen Hotel
Address: 6838-68 Sarashina Shimizudaira, Bandai-machi, Yama-gun, Fukushima Prefecture
Hoshino Resorts Bandaisan Onsen Hotel Official Website

[Iwate Prefecture] “Appi Kogen Ski Resort” offers a wide variety of snow activities!

3 people enjoying skiing/snowboarding
With a total of 21 courses, Appi Kogen Ski Resort is one of the largest ski resorts in the Tohoku region and boasts excellent snow quality with low humidity. This season, the "Magic Forest," the longest kids tree run course in Japan and the only one in Honshu with a total length of 850 meters, was newly opened in a 10-hectare forest (about the size of two Tokyo Domes). The course is designed so that you won’t gather up too much speed, and can enjoy the tree run while exploring the forest with your children. Let's look at the many features of Appi Kogen Ski Resort, which make it perfect for small children and non-skiers alike.

For ages 3 and up! "Magic Lesson" teaches fun and creative ways to ski

A girl skiing
"Magic Lesson" is a ski lesson program offered by "Appi Kogen Happy Kids Junior School" and is open to children as young as 3 and as old as 12 years old. The lesson starts with preparatory exercises. The first half of the lesson is on an indoor slope, and the second half is on an outdoor slope, allowing children to step up from one stage to the next.

The ski slope is packed with innovations to ease children's fears and provide a safe and secure challenge, including an indoor artificial slope made of mats, training skis tailored to the child's height, and 10 types of tools that allow children to improve their skills as if they were playing a game. Recommended for children who want to make their skiing debut and for those who have tried before but still can't ski.

Perfect for families! Packed with snow activities

A Family enjoying snowshoeing
The facilities and activities at Appi Kogen Ski Resort are excellent for first-time skiers and snowboarders, as well as for those who want to enjoy the snow without skiing. Here are some of the most noteworthy areas and activities.

•KIDS LAND: The snow park is completely separated from the regular slopes by nets, allowing children and adults to play safely. The ski and snowboard area has snow escalators and is great for kids to make their skiing debut! There is also a snow play area, a sledding area, and a snow tubing area, so you can experience a variety of activities without getting bored.

•Snowshoe Tour: Put on your snowshoes and explore the winter forest with a nature guide. Walk through the fantastic snowfield where you can catch glimpses of animal tracks, see beautiful scenery such as Mt. Iwate from the summit, and learn about the animals of Appi, such as the Appi rabbits.

Click here for more information on Appi Kogen Ski Resort

Hotels directly connected to the slopes offer fun and relaxation!

Appi Kogen Ski Resort has three hotels located near the slopes, making it easy to get to and from the slopes. Out of the three hotels, we will introduce you to ANA InterContinental Appi Kogen Resort, a luxury hotel with all rooms offering a view of the slopes, and the ANA Crowne Plaza Resort Appi Kogen, a two-building hotel with 16 types of guest rooms. There are plenty of facilities for the whole family to enjoy and relax after a day of skiing.

•ANA InterContinental Appi Kogen Resort: The hotel is equipped with an open-air bath, large hot spring bath, sauna, spa "LAVILLA SPA APPI," and a gym that is open 24 hours a day. Welcome drinks, afternoon tea, and aperitifs are also offered!

ANA InterContinental Appi Kogen Resort
Address: 117-46 Appi Kogen, Hachimantai-shi, Iwate Prefecture
ANA InterContinental Appi Kogen Resort Official Website

•ANA Crowne Plaza Resort Appi Kogen: In addition to a heated indoor swimming pool with glass walls, visitors can enjoy table tennis, rock climbing, mini basketball, karaoke, and other activities. Appi Tofu Kobo and the Appi Soba Dojo are unfortunately available only until November, but the hotel offers many fun activities. The hotel makes for a great stay any time of the year.

ANA Crowne Plaza Resort Appi Kogen
Address: 117-17 Appi Kogen, Hachimantai-shi, Iwate Prefecture
ANA Crowne Plaza Resort Appi Kogen Official Website

[Fukushima Prefecture] "Grandeco Snow Resort" has many areas for children to enjoy

2 people enjoying snowboarding
Grandeco Snow Resort, located at an altitude of 1,590 meters above sea level, is famous for its high-quality snow and is renowned as one of the best powder ski resorts in Japan. The slopes with spectacular views of Mt. Bandai have 13 courses, with the longest run being 4,500 meters! More than 80% of the courses are for beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, so you don't have to be at an advanced level to enjoy the variety of courses. We will introduce areas and facilities that even non-skiers can enjoy.

Kids' Park with a variety of areas

Kids practicing skiing
Grandeco Snow Resort's Kids' Park offers a variety of areas! Children can practice skiing/snowboarding, play on soft play equipment, and try a variety of snow activities so the whole family can have fun.

In addition, a new sledding area is opening this year! The area with snowy hills and waves has been expanded, so even if you have been here before last season, this may be a good opportunity to revisit.

Excellent facilities for families!

Children playing with toys
Grandeco Snow Resort also offers many convenient indoor facilities. The nursery is a favorite among families with small children who do not ski or play in the snow, and accepts children ages 2 to 6. Morning and afternoon slots are available, reservations are required, and the maximum capacity is 5 children. Those who wish to use this service should make reservations as early as possible.

On the 2nd floor of the Ski Center, there is also a "Family Room," a rest area exclusively for families that can be used free of charge. Although the playground equipment has been removed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is convenient for a short break or breastfeeding, so be sure to take advantage of it.

Click here for more information on Grandeco Snow Resort

Go right next door to "Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel" to relax after a day of skiing!

Hot Spring
Grandeco Snow Resort is adjacent to the Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel, known as the "closest hotel to the starry sky in Urabandai." In addition to hot springs, which are essential to relax for winter ski trips, the hotel also offers a variety of convenient facilities! The hot spring baths include a large public bath where you can enjoy the hot spring water of Dekodaira Onsen, an open-air bath with modern granite for men, hinoki cypress baths for women, and a snow-viewing bath.

A dry sauna, a water bath, and an indoor pool can also be used year-round! In addition, there is a hands-on corner where you can try your hand at painting an akabeko (red cow), make an original kaleidoscope, or make an original door plate. If you make these items with your children, they will surely become treasured mementos of your stay.

A must-visit during your stay or on your way home is the "DECO SHOP" on the first floor. It features a wide variety of sweets, Aizu's local sake, and traditional handicrafts. It is recommended for those who feel hungry or want to buy souvenirs during their stay.

You can spend a relaxing time warming up in the hot spring or sauna, have fun at the swimming pool, or take part in creative activities. Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel offers a variety of ways to spend your time after skiing.

Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel
Address: Arasuna Sawayama, Hibara, Kitashiobara-mura, Yama-gun, Fukushima Prefecture
Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel Official Website

[Fukushima Prefecture] "Listel Ski Fantasia" is the perfect place to make your debut on the slopes & practice skiing

View from the slopes
Listel Ski Fantasia is a ski resort with a panoramic view of Mt. Bandai and Lake Inawashiro. One of the most attractive features of this ski resort is its accessibility. It's approximately 10 minutes from the Inawashiro-Bandaikogen Interchange on the Ban-etsu Expressway and 15 minutes from Inawashiro Station via a free shuttle bus. A wide variety of courses are available for all levels of skiers, from beginners to experts. Another great feature is the many lessons, services, and facilities available. It is especially recommended for families with children.

Provides lessons utilizing a unique program for children 4-12 years old

Listel Ski Fantasia has a "Super Kids' Club" that offers ski lessons utilizing a unique program; children as young as 4 years old can participate, and classes are divided by level, so even first-timers can try skiing without any worries.

During lessons, lifts are free, and ski wear, skis, and boots can be rented free of charge! As long as you prepare gloves and goggles in advance, everything else is a breeze.

The Super Kids' Club is also equipped with a nursery, "Earth Room," where full-time staff takes care of children as young as 6 months old. Unfortunately, please note that it is closed for the 2022-2023 season to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Snow Play Land," where the whole family can have fun in the snow

Snow Play Land
At the base of the Royal Christi beginners course, there is the Snow Play Land for children. This is an area where children can enjoy sledding, snow striders, and other activities with mom and dad. In addition to the free sleds available for rent, there are sleds with handles that can be rented for a fee, so even small children can play and never get bored.

Sledding is a strenuous activity that involves climbing and sliding up and down slopes many times. Normally it might be a little tiring for parents, but this area is equipped with a moving walkway. You can easily travel back and forth as many times as you'd like and play to your heart's content!

Click here for more information on Listel Ski Fantasia

"Hotel Listel Inawashiro," features family-friendly rooms and facilities and is located adjacent to the slopes

Children playing in the water
"Hotel Listel Inawashiro" is located next to Listel Ski Fantasia. This resort hotel consists of the "Wing Tower," where all guest rooms face Lake Inawashiro, and the condominium-style "Main Building," where all rooms come with a kitchen. The hotel offers a variety of facilities and services including relaxation, gyms, and karaoke areas. We will introduce two of the most exciting facilities for families with children.

•Chibippu Room: Rooms for families with children ages 0 to toddlers. With special attention to safety and hygiene, low sofas and long beds are provided so parents and children can relax in a safe and comfortable space.

•Kurhaus & Pool C's: Complete with eight different types of bathtubs, several types of pools, and an underwater aerobics space. Visitors can wear bathing suits and enjoy the natural hot spring water that bubbles up from 1,200 meters underground. There is a separate hot springs "Kocho-no-Yu," where you can enjoy the private Inawashiro gensen Hot Spring in the large public bath and open-air bath (Bathing suits are not allowed in Kocho-no-Yu.)

Hotel Listel Inawashiro
Address: Listel Park, Kawageta, Inawashiro-machi, Yama-gun, Fukushima Prefecture
Hotel Listel Inawashiro Official Website

[Iwate Prefecture] "Geto Kogen Resort," where you can experience a variety of snow activities

Geto Kogen Resort's ski slope
Geto Kogen Resort, is located in the center of the Ou Mountains in an area with heavy snowfall, boasting one of the highest snowfalls on Honshu, and is known for its high-quality snow. It also offers a long season, with skiing and snowboarding available until early spring in early May. It's also perfect for families with children, as the resort offers a Kids' Slope, a Kids' Area, and a nursery. We will introduce some of the lessons and activities you can enjoy together with your children.

*The nursery is closed for the 2022-2023 season

For ages 4 and up! Plenty of lesson options to choose from

A boy snowboarding
Geto Kogen Resort offers a wide variety of skiing and snowboarding lessons. Whether you're a complete beginner or an expert, instructors will help you level up with lessons tailored to your needs. Among the wide variety of skiing and snowboarding lessons offered, here are some that are perfect for beginners and children who are making their debut on the slopes.

•Kids Lesson: Group lesson where you'll mainly climb on foot without using lifts to get used to the snow. (Skiing only)
•Kids 1-on-1 lesson: Practice with the instructor while using lifts.
•Lesson for Elementary school students: Divided into three classes (A, B, and C) according to their level.
•Private Lesson: The most popular program. You can choose the time and your instructor.
•Parent-child lessons: Limited to two groups per day; parents and children 4 years old and up are welcome to participate.

Countless ways to have fun besides just skiing and snowboarding!

Geto Kogen Resort offers a variety of activities that can be enjoyed by non-skiers and non-snowboarders. Reservations can be made for any of these activities, so if you want to take part in the activity, we recommend making reservations as early as possible. We will introduce the many unique experiences available.

•Snowmobile Family Tour: Explore the snowfields with a small snowmobile! This tour is for families with children of elementary school age and under. Other snowmobile tours including a "Snowmobile Riding Experience" and "Snowmobile Forest Road Tour" are available.

•Snow Rafting: Ride a rafting boat pulled by a snowmobile through the snow! It will make for an exhilarating experience.

•Snowshoe Exploration Tour: Stroll through the beautiful snowfield! Includes admission to Geto Kogen Onsen Hot Springs. For elementary school students and above.

Click here for more information on Geto Kogen Resort

3 types of rooms to choose from according to your needs! Accommodations directly connected to the slopes

On the second floor of "Geto Kogen Onsen Usagimori no Yu," a hot spring facility within the ski resort, there are two types of lodging spaces: "Skiers' Beds" and "Dormitory Rooms." These are not private rooms but spaces with multiple beds and are recommended for those who wish to stay at a reasonable price.

For families, we recommend "Premium Stay Gou," a hotel-type accommodation, newly opened for the 2020 season! It is equipped with a shared kitchen and laundry, and there are two types of rooms to choose from: standard and superior. It is a comfortable place to stay with children, even for longer stays.

Premium Stay Gou
Address: Iwasaki Shinden, Waga-cho, Kitakami-shi, Iwate Prefecture
Premium Stay Gou Official Website

There are endless ways to have fun! Go skiing in the Tohoku region this winter!

Two people eating crepes
We have carefully selected 5 ski resorts we recommend in Iwate and Fukushima prefectures. It is very important that a child's ski/snowboard debut is as comfortable as possible and that they feel safe and have fun. The first step is choosing the right ski resort! To avoid making a mistake when choosing a ski resort, feel free to refer back to the lessons introduced here to help you make the right choice.

We’re sure you will make unforgettable memories at these ski resorts that even your non-skiing/snowboarding companions can enjoy. Once you discover the beauty of Tohoku through your ski trip, you may find other places you want to come back to visit during other seasons. For starters, head to the Tohoku region this winter for the best snow experiences at unique Tohoku ski resorts!

[Note] Japanese law prohibits the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages to persons under 20 years of age, regardless of the person's country or citizenship.

[Note] Pricing information and schedule is correct at the time of writing and are subject to change without notice. Please check the official website before your trip.

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