Japan’s Ski Resorts Need Visitors Like You

It is no longer a secret that Japan offers some of the best skiing in the World. With the perfect combination of snow quantity and quality, unrivalled virtually anywhere, the trend to travel to Japan for a ski holiday has exploded since the noughties. So it must be getting pretty crowded right? Wrong!

On the contrary, Japan’s ski industry is in worrying decline. Domestic skiing in Japan was at its peak in the eighties. Facilities were among the most impressive in the world, and Japanese skiers waited in long lines for lifts while building ski resort after ski resort to keep up with the growing demand.

Sadly this thriving industry could not withstand the sudden economic decline of the nineties which saw a dramatic drop in the domestic ski population, a downward trend which continues to this day. The 2017 International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism reports that skier visits are currently under 40 million per year, less than half of what they were in the eighties. And the loss is felt strongly by a huge number of resorts, some even being forced to close due to the lack of visitors.

The potential for foreign visitors to make a much needed positive impact on the Japan ski industry are particularly notable. The report shows that the current proportion of foreign to Japanese skiers is around 10%, comparatively low for a country with such an established ski industry demonstrating room for substantial growth. Moreover, the same report notes the extraordinary increase in popularity in skiing in China, which just begs to become the next huge market for Japan. With new ski resorts being built up all over China, covered in man-made snow due to the less favourable conditions, surely being the country that boasts the very best powder snow in the world while sitting right on China’s doorstep is an exciting prospect for the Japan ski industry.

And Japan is an easy sell to any foreign snowsports enthusiast, especially powder hounds, and those who want to experience more than skiing on their holiday. Often voted the most interesting country in the world to visit, recently announced as the cheapest long haul destination from the UK by The Telegraph, with unbeatable snow conditions, delicious food, incredible hospitality, and amazing hot-springs dotted all over just about every resort, the reasons to ski in Japan are endless. Peak season visitors don’t need to worry about if there will be snow, but rather where the snow will rate on a scale of incredible to out of this world. And trips are easy to put together with the help of specialist companies like Japan Ski Experience who can recommend places to stay and put all the arrangements together.

To allow the Japan ski industry to continue its decline despite all that it has to offer would be unthinkable. Ski areas like Niseko and Hakuba Valley have started to turn this demise around and thanks to a significant influx of skiers and snowboarders, the cash has been found for huge investments in property and infrastructure which in turn attract more visitors from abroad. But with there still being a long way to go, the slopes of Japan really do need you, and your family and friends to spread the word, that a much loved Japanese tradition is in need of revival. And it is going to take people like you to make that happen.

Categorized as Travel